Menu

How to Keep Herbicides Out of Groundwater and Surface Water

As you begin to prepare your fields for this growing season farmers need to make the necessary steps to ensure that herbicides stay out of surface and groundwater. The following field practices recommended by Michigan State University Extension can be implemented to effectively reduce pesticide runoff, leaching, and protect groundwater and surface water.

  • Consider the geology of your area: When planning herbicide applications; be aware of the water table depth and the permeability of the geological layers between the surface soil and groundwater.
  • Consider soil and field characteristics: The susceptibility of the soil or field site to leaching or runoff should be determined. Soil texture and organic matter content, in particular, influence chemical movement into groundwater; the slope of the field also influences surface runoff.
  • Reduce compaction: Surface water runoff increases when soils are compacted.
  • Utilize conservation practices that reduce erosion and surface runoff: These practices include but are not limited to no-till and other forms of conservation tillage, increasing crop residues or planting cover crops, planting grass waterways to retard soil and water runoff, and keeping buffer strips to protect surface water boundaries.
  • Use integrated pest management programs: Minimize herbicide use by combining chemical control with other pest management practices such as tillage, cultivation, crop rotation and pest scouting.
  • Rotate crops: Crop rotation can improve water infiltration, which reduces runoff. Crop rotations also may provide more surface crop residue and may reduce the need for applications of specific pesticides repeatedly to a given field site.

By using these basic principles farmers can minimize their environmental impact on water quality by keeping herbicides out of the waters of the state. It is very difficult to purify or clean contaminated groundwater or surface water. Treatment is complicated; time-consuming, expensive and often not feasible. The best solution to groundwater and surface water contamination is to prevent the problem in the first place.

Source: Michigan State University 

Recent News

Federal Reserve: Observations on the Ag Economy- October 2020
10/22/2020

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Board released its October 2020 Beige Book update, a summary of commentary on current economic conditions by Federal Reserve District. The report included several observations pertaining to the U.S. agricultural economy. * Sixth District- Atlanta– “Agricultural conditions remained weak. While drought- free conditions prevailed in most parts of the District, some producers reported crop and […]

FAS Report: Corn Ethanol Production Booms in Brazil
10/20/2020

A report earlier this month from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Corn Ethanol Production Booms in Brazil, stated that, “Plentiful, and generally cheap, corn supplies in Brazil’s Center-West region have enticed investment in the corn ethanol sector over the last few years. There are currently 16 corn ethanol plants in the Center- West states of Mato Grosso, Goias, and Mato […]

Extended Drydown in Corn
10/20/2020

As fall is progressing, crop harvest is also occurring throughout the state. However, many producers are seeing slower than usual drydown in their corn fields this October. This may be in part due to how the weather conditions impacted corn growth and development this year. In many parts of Ohio in 2020, temperatures were near […]

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now