Skip to main content Accessibility help

Effects of Conventional and Mulch Tillage on Dicamba Transport

  • Donald W. Watts (a1) and Jon K. Hall (a2)


Leaching and runoff losses of the postemergence-applied herbicide dicamba were evaluated over a 3-yr period (1989 to 1991). Dicamba was applied at the recommended rate (0.56 kg ai/ha) to conventional and mulch tillage planted corn fields on Hagerstown silty clay loam (fine, mixed, mesic Typic Hapludalf). Mulch tillage followed several years of no-tillage corn. Root zone leachates were collected utilizing pan lysimeters placed 1.2 m below the soil surface. Surface runoff was monitored and collected with an HS-flume and automated sampling equipment. Leaching was greatest during 1989, and runoff events were recorded only during this season. Leachate samples containing measurable levels of dicamba were obtained within 21 d of herbicide application or within slightly more than one soil half-life of this chemical. More dicamba leached under mulch tillage than conventional tillage management. Tillage rotation (no tillage to mulch tillage) did not alter the leaching loss potential of dicamba beneath the minimally tilled soil surface, as postulated, compared with the previous untilled surface. The mulch tillage surface reduced runoff water losses compared with conventional tillage, but early-season leaching activity, coupled with the minimal persistence of dicamba in soil, negated runoff transport of this herbicide from either tillage system when the first runoff event occurred 12 d after its application.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author's E-mail:


Hide All
Arjmand, M., Spittler, T. D., and Mumma, R. O. 1988. Analysis of dicamba from water using solid-phase extraction and ion-pair high-performance liquid chromatography. J. Agric. Food Chem. 36: 492494.
Burnside, O. C. and Lavy, T. L. 1966. Dissipation of dicamba. Weeds. 14: 211214.
Comfort, S. D., Inskeep, W. P., and Macur, R. E. 1992. Degradation and transport of dicamba in a clay soil. J. Environ. Qual. 21: 653658.
Deluca, T., Larson, J., Torma, L., and Algard, G. 1989. A survey of pesticide residues in groundwater in Montana. Helena, MT: Montana Dept. of Agric. Tech. Rep. 89-I.
Edwards, W. M., Shipitalo, M. J., and Owens, L. B. 1989. Water and nitrate movement in earthworm burrows within long-term no-till cornfields. J. Soil and Water Cons. 44: 240243.
Grover, R. 1977. Mobility of dicamba, picloram and 2,4-D in soil columns. Weed Sci. 25: 159162.
Hahn, R. R., Burnside, O. C., and Lavy, T. L. 1969. Dissipation and phytotoxicity of dicamba. Weed Sci. 17: 38.
Hall, J. K., Mumma, R. O., and Watts, D. W. 1991. Leaching and runoff losses of herbicides in a tilled and untilled field. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 37: 303314.
Hall, J. K. and Mumma, R. O. 1994. Dicamba mobility in conventionally tilled and non-tilled soil. Soil Tillage Res. 30: 317.
Hall, J. K., Murray, M. R., and Hartwig, N. L. 1989. Herbicide leaching and distribution in tilled and untilled soil. J. Environ. Qual. 18: 439445.
Harris, C. J. 1964. Movement of dicamba and diphenamid in soils. Weeds. 12: 112115.
Hill, R. L. 1990. Long-term conventional and no-tillage effects on selected soil physical properties. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 54: 161166.
Johnson, C. B. and Moldenhauer, W. C. 1979. Effects of chisel versus moldboard plowing on soil erosion by water. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 43: 177179.
Quisenberry, V. L. and Phillips, R. E. 1978. Displacement of soil water by simulated rainfall. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 42: 675679.
Ritter, W. F. 1990. Pesticide contamination of ground water in the United States—Are view. J. Environ. Sci. Health B. 25: 129.
Ritter, W., Chirnside, A., and Scarbough, R. 1987. Pesticide leaching in a Coastal Plain soil. St. Joseph, MI: Am. Soc. of Agric. Eng. Paper 87-2630. 20 p.
Ritter, W. F., Chirnside, A.E.M., and Scarbough, R. W. 1996. Leaching of dicamba in a Coastal Plain soil. J. Environ. Sci. Health A. 31: 505517.
Römkens, M.J.M., Nelson, D. W., and Mannering, J. V. 1973. Nitrogen and phosphorous composition of surface runoff as affected by tillage method. J. Environ. Qual. 2: 292295.
Sadeghi, A. M. and Isensee, A. R. 1997. Alachlor and cyanazine persistence in soil under different tillage and rainfall regimes. Soil Sci. 162: 430438.
Sauer, T. J. and Daniel, T. C. 1987. Effects of tillage systems on runoff losses of surface-applied pesticides. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 51: 410415.
Shaffer, K. A., Fritton, D. D., and Baker, D. E. 1979. Drainage water sampling in a wet dual-pore soil system. J. Environ. Qual. 8: 241246.
Shipitalo, M. J., Edwards, W. M., Dick, W. A., and Owens, L. B. 1990. Initial storm effects on macropore transport of surface-applied chemicals in no-till soil. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 54: 15301536.
Smith, A. E. 1973. Transformation of dicamba in Regina heavy clay. J. Agric. Food Chem. 22: 601605.
Triplett, G. B. Jr., Conner, B. J., and Edwards, W. M. 1978. Transport of atrazine and simazine in runoff from conventional and no-tillage corn. J. Environ. Qual. 7: 7783.
Watts, D. W., Bogus, E. R., Hall, J. K., and Mumma, R. O. 1994. Simultaneous extraction of six pesticides using a dual-column extraction procedure. J. Environ. Qual. 23: 383386.
Watts, D. W. and Hall, J. K. 1996. Tillage and application effects on herbicide leaching and runoff. Soil Till. Res. 39: 241257.
Wauchope, R. D. 1978. The pesticide content of surface water draining from agricultural fields—A review. J. Environ. Qual. 7: 459472.
Wendt, R. C. and Burwell, R. E. 1985. Runoff and soil losses for conventional, reduced, and no-till corn. J. Soil and Water Cons. 40: 450454.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed