Atrazine, alachlor, and cyanazine exhibited maximum concentrations of about 1000-6000 ng/L in the Minnesota River in 1990 and 1991, resulting from precipitation and runoff following the application period. Transport of these herbicides to the river occurs via overland flow or by infiltration to tile drainage networks. Suspended sediment, SO42-, and Cl- concentrations were used as indicators of transport mechanisms. The atrazine metabolite, DEA, was present in the river throughout the year. The ratio of DEA to atrazine concentration was used to calculate an apparent first-order soil conversion rate of atrazine to DEA. Half lives of 21-58 d were calculated for 1990 and 1991, respectively. The longer conversion rate in 1991 results from rapid flushing from the soil and minimum exposure to soil microorganisms. Total flux of herbicide to the river was 1-6.5 t, with over 60% of this loading occurring during the month of June. Loading to the river accounts for less than 1.5% of applied herbicide. ?? 1994 American Chemical Society.