Fate of Pesticides in the Turfgrass Environment
As the public and scientific communities become more aware of the potential for environmental contamination by pesticides, the fate of turf-applied chemicals continues to receive growing attention. In contrast to most agricultural crops, turfgrass is a permanent crop that fully covers the soil surface. As such, pesticide applications are made to turfgrass foliage. Pesticides residing on foliage are subject to the same avenues of dissipation as pesticides in soil. Once on foliage, a pesticide can be absorbed into the leaf, volatilized back into the atmosphere, chemically or microbially degraded, or removed by water. It is well documented that pesticides have been detected in groundwater. However, research on turfgrass seems to indicate that a variety of factors in the turf environment may reduce leaching to levels below those seen in production agriculture. The runoff of pesticides applied to turfgrass has not been studied extensively.