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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Atmospheric Pollutants and Trace Gases

Environmental Concentrations of Agricultural Herbicides in Saskatchewan, Canada


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 5, p. 1616-1628
    Received: June 23, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): Don.Waite@ec.gc.ca
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  1. D. T. Waite *a,
  2. A. J. Cessnab,
  3. R. Groverc,
  4. L. A. Kerrd and
  5. A. D. Snihurae
  1. a Environment Canada, 300-2365 Albert Street, Regina, SK, Canada S4P 4K1
    b Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1J 4B1 (present address: National Water Research Institute, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 3H5)
    c Deceased (formerly at Research Station, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Regina, SK, Canada)
    d Retired (formerly at Research Station, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Regina, SK, Canada)
    e Faculty of Engineering, University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada S4S 0A2


Herbicides are the most commonly used group of agricultural pesticides on the Canadian Prairies and, in 1990, more than 20000 Mg of herbicides were applied in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The present paper reports on environmental concentrations of five herbicides currently used in the prairie region. The herbicides bromoxynil [3,5-dibromo-4-hydroxy-benzonitrile], dicamba [3,6-dichloro-o-anisic acid], diclofop [(RS)-2-[4-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)-phenoxy]propanoic acid], MCPA [(4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)acetic acid], and trifluralin [α,α,α-trifluoro-2,6-dinitro-N,N-isopropyl-p-toluidine] were measured in the atmosphere, bulk atmospheric deposits, surface film, and dugout (pond) water at two sites near Regina, Saskatchewan, during 1989 and 1990. All five herbicides were detected in air and surface film and all but trifluralin were detected in the bulk atmospheric deposits and dugout water. Trifluralin was most frequently detected in air (79% of samples) whereas bromoxynil was present in maximum concentration (4.2 ng m−3). MCPA was present in maximum levels in bulk atmospheric (wet plus dry) deposits (2350 ng m−2 d−1), surface film (390 ng m−2), and dugout water (330 ng L−1), whereas dicamba was most frequently detected in surface film (47%) and dugout water (97%). The highest quantities of the herbicides tended to be present during or immediately after the time of regional application.

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