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Finn Plauborg

Pesticide leaching through sandy and loamy fields e Long-term lessons learnt from the Danish Pesticide Leaching Assessment Programme

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  • Annette Elisabeth Rosenbom, Department of Environmental Engineering, Denmark
  • Preben Olsen
  • Finn Plauborg
  • Ruth Grant, Denmark
  • René K. Juhler, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Dept. of Geochemistry, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Walter Brüsch, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Dept. of Geochemistry, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Jeanne Kjær, Rambøll, Copenhagen, Denmark
The European Union authorization procedure for pesticides includes assessment of the leaching risk posed by pesticides and their degradation products aimed at avoiding any unacceptable influence on the environment, in particular contamination of water, including drinking water and groundwater. The procedure has shortcomings, however, as revealed by the past 11years of monitoring results from the Danish Pesticide Leaching Assessment Programme. This monitoring programme have assessed leaching to the groundwater via the variably saturated zone of 43 pesticides applied in accordance with current regulations on sandy and loamy agricultural fields, as well as 47 of their degradation products. Three types of leaching scenario were not fully captured by the authorization procedure: i) long-term leaching of degradation products of pesticides applied to potatoes crops cultivated on sandy soils; ii) leaching of strongly sorbing pesticides after autumn application on loamy soils; and iii) leaching of various pesticides and their degradation products following early summer application on loamy soils. The monitoring data revealed that the authorization procedure was unable to predict leaching scenarios of a number of pesticides in hydrogeological settings dominated by rapid preferential transport bypassing the retarding plough layer. Such settings are primarily present during the autumn but can also occur during the early summer in connection with the formation of a structural seal on the soil surface.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Pages (from-to)75-90
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • pesticide leaching, risk assessment, field scale, agricultural soils, early warning monitoring programme

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