Isoxaflutole (IXF), a newer low application rate herbicide, was introduced for weed control in corn (Zea mays) to use as an alternative to widely applied herbicides such as atrazine. The transport of IXF in streamwater has not been well-studied. The fate and transport of IXF and two of its degradation products was studied in 10 Iowa rivers during 2004. IXF rapidly degrades to the herbicidally active diketonitrile (DKN), which degrades to a biologically inactive benzoic acid (BA) analogue. IXF was detected in only four, DKN in 56, and BA in 43 of 75 samples. The concentrations of DKN and BA were approximately 2 orders of magnitude less than those of the commonly detected triazine and acetamide herbicides and their degradation products. Concentrations of IXF, DKN, and BA were highest during the May through June postplanting period. The concentration ratio of BA/DKN was similar to the deethylatrazine/atrazine ratio with smaller ratios occurring during May and June. The relative temporal variation of DKN and BA was similar to that observed for atrazine and deethylatrazine. This study shows that low application rate herbicides can have similar temporal transport patterns in streamwater as compared to more widely applied herbicides but at lower concentrations.
Additional publication details
Comparison of fate and transport of isoxaflutole to atrazine and metolachlor in 10 Iowa rivers