Evaluating Agricultural Best Management Practices to Mitigate Neonicotinoid Transport in Water and Soil

dc.contributor.authorMaris, Jacob Ogdenen
dc.contributor.committeechairStewart, Ryan D.en
dc.contributor.committeememberFlessner, Michael L.en
dc.contributor.committeememberXia, Kangen
dc.contributor.departmentCrop and Soil Environmental Sciencesen
dc.date.accessioned2022-08-18T08:00:34Zen
dc.date.available2022-08-18T08:00:34Zen
dc.date.issued2022-08-17en
dc.description.abstractThe use of agrochemicals, like neonicotinoid insecticides can threaten human and environmental health when they are transported from agricultural fields. To minimize environmental impact of neonicotinoid pesticides to non-target organisms, it is important to quantify the movement of neonicotinoids from agricultural fields and examine how conventional agricultural practices can be altered using best management practices to minimize neonicotinoid transport. We developed a proportional runoff sampler that is inexpensive, rugged, and adaptable to existing runoff quantification systems. The sampler accurately collected flow-weighted samples under a broad range of steady-state and variable flow conditions. We then incorporated the sampler, along with leachate and soil sampling techniques, in a two-year field study testing the effects of winter cover crops and different edge-of-field buffer strip plant types on movement of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (TMX) and its metabolite clothianidin (CLO) in treated agricultural fields. Due to dry weather and other complications, runoff and leachate data could not be statistically analyzed. Soil samples indicated that cover crops had no effect on insecticide retention, so cover crops may not be a viable strategy to prevent neonicotinoid transport. Soil TMX was higher in grass buffers than native forb buffers in 2020; however, this result was not repeated in 2021 when vegetative cover was more consistent across treatments. CLO concentration did not vary by buffer in either year. Therefore, buffer strip plant type may have less impact on TMX and CLO retention than other factors like plant density.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralSince the 1950's high yield crops and the use of pesticides and fertilizers have helped farmers increase yields from agricultural land. Increased yields have helped food production keep pace with population growth, but the use of pesticides and fertilizers can pose a threat to human and environmental health. Neonicotinoid insecticides can kill not only agricultural pests but beneficial invertebrates like bees and butterflies when the pesticides leave agricultural fields. To lessen environmental impact of neonicotinoid pesticides to the environment, it is important to understand 1) how these insecticides move from agricultural fields, and 2) how conventional agricultural practices can be altered to minimize neonicotinoid transport. We first developed a runoff sampler that was inexpensive, low maintenance, and adaptable to existing systems used to measure runoff. The sampler collects water at a rate proportional to the runoff rate under constant and changing flow rates. We then used the sampler along with leachate and soil sampling techniques in a field study testing the effect of winter cover crops and the species planted in edge-of-field vegetated buffer strips on the amount of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (TMX) and its degradation product clothianidin (CLO) remaining in the soil of treated fields during two growing seasons. Due to dry weather and other complications, runoff and leachate data could not be statistically analyzed. Cover crops did not change soil pesticide concentration either year, so cover crops may not be a viable strategy for preventing neonicotinoid transport. Soil TMX was higher in grass buffers than native forb buffers in 2020; however, this result was not detected in 2021 when plant growth in buffers was more uniform across treatments. CLO concentration did not vary by buffer type in either year. Therefore, the species planted in buffer strips may not be as important to holding TMX and CLO in soils as other factors like plant density.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
dc.format.mediumETDen
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:35377en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/111548en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/en
dc.subjectwater qualityen
dc.subjectcontaminantsen
dc.subjecterosionen
dc.subjectpollutant transporten
dc.subjectinstrumentationen
dc.subjectneonicotinoidsen
dc.subjectedge-of-field buffer stripsen
dc.subjectcover cropsen
dc.subjectcornen
dc.titleEvaluating Agricultural Best Management Practices to Mitigate Neonicotinoid Transport in Water and Soilen
dc.typeThesisen
thesis.degree.disciplineCrop and Soil Environmental Sciencesen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen
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