Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in JOURNAL OF RANGE MANAGEMENT 41 (5), September 1988.


Atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N’-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] can be used to modify species composition of naturally subirrigated Sandhills meadows. The potential for ground water contamination exists as the water table depth ranges from 0 to 3 m. Atrazine was applied at 2.2 and 3.4 kg ha-1 in May 1984, August 1984, or May 1985 to a Gannett fine sandy loam (Typic Haplaquoll, coarse-loamy, mixed, mesic) in a Nebraska Sandhills subirrigated meadow. Residues of atrazine applied in 1984 and 1985 carried over into 1985 and 1986, respectively. Herbicide dissipation and off-plot movement were monitored in 1985 by sampling soil at 0 to 5 cm and 5 to 15 cm depths within and outside the experimental areas. Atrazine dissipation initially approached zero-order kinetics after May 1985 application, but generally followed first-order kinetics during the entire 320-day sampling period. Atrazine half-life in the entire 0 to 15 sampling zone was 46 ± 7 days. Herbicide concentrations at the 5 to 15 cm sampling depth did not exceed levels measured at 5 days after application. Low and highly variable atrazine concentrations detected in some of the untreated plots and in some off-plot soil samples indicated minimal lateral movement of the herbicide.