Neonicotinoid insecticide use has increased over the last decade, including as agricultural seed treatments (application of chemical in a coating to the seed prior to planting). In California, multiple crops, including lettuce, can be grown using neonicotinoid treated seeds or receive a direct neonicotinoid soil application (drenching) at planting. Using research plots, this study compared pesticide runoff in four treatments: (1) imidacloprid seed treatment; (2) clothianidin seed treatment; (3) imidacloprid drench and an azoxystrobin seed treatment; and (4) a control with no pesticidal treatment. Neonicotinoid and azoxystrobin concentrations were measured in surface water runoff during six irrigations events in the 2020 growing seasons. Results showed runoff concentrations up to 1308 (±1200) ng L−1 for imidacloprid drench treatment, 431 (±100) ng L−1 for clothianidin seed treatment, 135 (±60) ng L−1 for imidacloprid seed treatment, 13 (±10) ng L−1 for azoxystrobin seed treatment (treatments averaged). The percent of applied mass in runoff over the entire sampling period varied by compound; the imidacloprid seed treatment and drench were similar (0.015 and 0.019%, respectively) to the clothianidin seed treatment (0.036%) while the azoxystrobin seed treatment was much higher (15%). Although the proportion of imidacloprid in runoff was similar for imidacloprid treatments, the mass applied during soil drench was > 4x the amount applied from the imidacloprid seed treatment. Surface soils were collected before planting and at the end of the trial. The neonicotinoids were detected in soil throughout the study and average maximum concentrations were 9–13 ng g−1; azoxystrobin was detected in only two soils at concentrations up to 0.57 ng g−1. These results elucidate the comparative mass runoff resulting from planting treated seed and soil drench applications and highlight the value of additional work to characterize off-site transport from the many commodities that may be utilizing treated seeds.
|Title||Comparing imidacloprid, clothianidin, and azoxystrobin runoff from lettuce fields using a soil drench or treated seeds in the Salinas Valley, California|
|Authors||Emily Woodward, Michelle Hladik, Anson Main, Michael Cahn, James Orlando, Jennifer Teerlink|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Environmental Pollution|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||California Water Science Center|