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Report, 2008

Monitoring of sulfonylurea herbicides in stream water draining intensively cultivated areas in southern Sweden during a 9-year period (1998-2006)

Kreuger, Jenny; Adielsson, Stina


In 1998 a co-operation was initiated between DuPont and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) with the aim of generating knowledge on environmental behaviour of sulfonylurea (SU) herbicides under Swedish agricultural conditions. Results from a 9-year monitoring programme of SU herbicides in surface waters are presented. The report includes the analytical results from 536 samples collected during 1998 to 2006 from up to 4 intensively cultivated agricultural catchments in the southern portion of Sweden. The following seven SU herbicides were included: chlorsulfuron, flupyrsulfuronmethyl- sodium, metsulfuron-methyl, rimsulfuron, thifensulfuron-methyl, tribenuron-methyl and triflusulfuron-methyl. Results on detection frequency and concentration levels are presented and related to amounts applied in the investigated areas as well as to the Swedish Guideline Values (GV) for surface waters. The application of SU herbicides to a variety of crops was quite comprehensive during the 9- year investigation period, with tribenuron-methyl being the most extensively used herbicide on 16-33% of the arable catchment area each year. Thifensulfuron-methyl was the secondly most widespread SU herbicide. Analytical results showed that SU herbicides were occasionally detected in stream water draining intensively cultivated areas in Sweden (on average in 13% of the samples collected each year). These findings were essentially restricted to samples collected during or shortly after the main application season. The level of detected concentration was typically in the 0.01-0.1 􀀁g/l range, with a few occasional findings of up to a maximum concentration of 0.21 􀀁g/l. Concentrations exceeding the Swedish Guideline Values for the protection of surface waters occurred in a few samples each year (3% of the samples). There was an overall good correlation between the frequency of detection of the different substances and the area treated, with tribenuron-methyl and thifensulfuron-methyl being the most frequently detected herbicides, in 13% and 6% of the samples, respectively. However, the concentrations of these substances exceeded the Guideline Values only on a few occasions during the entire 9-year investigation period. The two herbicides with the lowest Guideline Values, rimsulfuron and metsulfuron-methyl, were detected above GV slightly more regularly than the other herbicides


pesticides; bekämpningsmedel; ytvatten; miljöövervakning; lågdosmedel;

Published in

2008, number: 103
Publisher: Avd. för vattenvårdslära

      SLU Authors

    • Associated SLU-program

      Non-toxic environment

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Fish and Aquacultural Science
      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
      Agricultural Science

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