Leaching of broadcast and banded Atrazine from maize plots

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Environmental Quality






Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy

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There are few reports that compare losses of atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N′-(1-methyethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] from band and broadcast applications. A field study was conducted in Connecticut to determine the leaching losses of atrazine when applied to maize (Zea mays L.) in 15-cm bands over the rows or broadcast onto the entire plot. Estimates of leaching losses were made with zero-tension pan lysimeters. The experiment was set out as a randomized complete block design with four replicates and treatments were method of application (broadcast vs. band) and location of lysimeters (row vs. interrow). Water samples were analyzed for atrazine and related s-triazines using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). There was a greater (P < 0.01) frequency of water samples with atrazine detections from the broadcast application (>99%) than from the band application (82%). Atrazine concentrations also were more likely (P < 0.01) to be above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 3 µg L−1 from broadcast treatments (7.1%) than from band treatments (0.7%). Concentrations and mass loss of atrazine were three to four times greater (P < 0.05) in the broadcast treatment than in the band treatment. There were significant (P < 0.05) differences in concentrations and mass losses of atrazine between row and interrow locations of lysimeters for band application but not for broadcast application. Maize yield was not reduced by band atrazine application with interrow cultivation. There is less potential of groundwater contamination from atrazine when applied in a band than when applied broadcast.

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