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Fate and transport of furrow-applied granular tefluthrin and seed-coated clothianidin insecticides: Comparison of field-scale observations and model estimates

Huff Hartz, Kara E., Edwards, Tracye M., Lydy, Michael J.
Ecotoxicology 2017 v.26 no.7 pp. 876-888
application methods, clothianidin, corn, droplets, exposure models, furrows, guttation, model validation, nontarget organisms, particulates, pyrethrins, risk, runoff, surface water, tefluthrin, Illinois
The transport of agricultural insecticides to water bodies may create risk of exposure to non-target organisms. Similarly, widespread use of furrow-applied and seed-coated insecticides may increase risk of exposure, yet accessible exposure models are not easily adapted for furrow application, and only a few examples of model validation of furrow-applied insecticides exist using actual field data. The goal of the current project was to apply an exposure model, the Pesticide in Water Calculator (PWC), to estimate the concentrations of two in-furrow insecticides applied to maize: the granular pyrethroid, tefluthrin, and the seed-coated neonicotinoid, clothianidin. The concentrations of tefluthrin and clothianidin in surface runoff water, sampled from a field in central Illinois (USA), were compared to the PWC modeled pesticide concentrations in surface runoff. The tefluthrin concentrations were used to optimize the application method in the PWC, and the addition of particulate matter and guttation droplets improved the models prediction of clothianidin concentrations. Next, the tefluthrin and clothianidin concentrations were calculated for a standard farm pond using both the optimized application method and the application methods provided in PWC. Estimated concentrations in a standard farm pond varied by a factor of 100 for tefluthrin and 50 for clothianidin depending on the application method used. The addition of guttation droplets and particulate matter to the model increased the annual clothianidin concentration in a standard farm pond by a factor of 1.5, which suggested that these transport routes should also be considered when assessing neonicotinoid exposure.