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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Nitrapyrin Behavior in Soils and Environmental Considerations


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 2, p. 367-379
    Received: Jan 25, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): jdwolt@dowagro.com
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  1. Jeffrey D. Wolt *
  1. Dow AgroSciences, Global Exposure and Risk Assessment, 9330 Zionsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46268.



Using nitrification inhibitors is a well-established fertilizer best management practice affording improved fertilizer use efficiency in crop production that may benefit profitability, crop quality, and the environment. The environmental benefit of nitrification inhibitor use in terms of managing N mobility in agroecosystems must be balanced against any environmental costs associated with the practice itself. Nitrapyrin exhibits multiple routes of degradation in the environment (hydrolysis, aerobic and anaerobic metabolism), which along with sorption and volatilization restrict its ability to mobilize to ground or surface water. Management practices (timing, rate, and method of application) that maximize nitrapyrin efficacy, additionally, favor the ultimate fate of nitrapyrin to occur by the linked processes of sorption and degradation within the upper soil profile. Thus, when nitrapyrin is used as a best management practice conducive of optimal fertilizer use efficiency, its environmental fate and behavior attributes minimize potential environmental exposure.

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