Table1_Pesticides are Substantially Transported in Particulate Phase, Driven by Land use, Rainfall Event and Pesticide Characteristics—A Runoff and Erosion Study in a Small Agricultural Catchment.DOCX
Agriculture on sloping lands is prone to processes of overland flow and associated soil detachment, transportation, and deposition. The transport of pesticides to off-target areas related to runoff processes and soil erosion poses a threat of pollution to the downstream environment. This study aimed to quantify transport of pesticides both dissolved in water and in the particulate phase in transported sediments. Particulate phase transport of pesticides on short temporal time scales from agricultural fields is scarcely studied. During two growing seasons (2019 and 2020) rainfall—runoff events were monitored in a catchment of 38.5 ha. We selected 30 different pesticides and one metabolite based on interviews with the farmers on the application pattern. Concentrations for these 31 residues were analyzed in runoff water (dissolved phase–DP) and sediment (particulate phase–PP) and in soil samples taken in the agricultural fields. In all runoff events active substances (AS) were detected. There was a clear difference between DP and PP with 0–5 and 8–18 different AS detected in the events, respectively. Concentrations in PP were higher than in DP, with factors ranging from 12 to 3,700 times. DP transport mainly occurs in the first days after application (69% within 10 days), and PP transport occurs over the long term with 90% of transported mass within 100 days after application. Potato cultivation was the main source of runoff, erosion, and pesticide transport. Cereals and apples with grassed inter-rows both have a very low risk of pesticide transport during overland flow. We conclude that for arable farming on sloping lands overland transport of pesticide in the particulate phase is a substantial transport pathway, which can contribute to pollution over longer time periods compared to transport in water. This process needs to be considered in future assessments for pesticide fate and environmental risk.