Pesticides in soils and ground water in selected irrigated agricultural areas near Havre, Ronan, and Huntley, Montana

Water-Resources Investigations Report 90-4023



Three areas in Montana representing a range of agricultural practices and applied pesticides, were studied to document whether agricultural pesticides are being transported into the soil and shallow groundwater in irrigated areas. Analytical scans for triazine herbicides, organic-acid herbicides, and carbamate insecticides were performed on soil and shallow groundwater samples. The results indicate pesticide residue in both types of samples. The concentrations of pesticides in the groundwater were less than Federal health-advisory limits. At the Havre Agricultural Experiment Station, eight wells were installed at two sites. All four soil samples and two of four water samples collected after application of pesticides contained detectable concentrations of atrazine or dicamba. In an area where seed potatoes are grown near Ronan, eight wells were installed at two sites. Pesticides were not detected after initial application of pesticides and irrigation water. The site was resampled after irrigation water was reapplied, and aldicarb metabolities were detected in four of five soil samples and one of five water samples. At the Huntley Agricultural Experiment Station, five wells were installed in a no-tillage corn field where atrazine was applied in 1987. Soil and water samples were collected in June and July 1988; pesticides were not detected in any samples. Results indicate residue of two pesticides in soil samples and three soluble pesticides in groundwater samples. Therefore, irrigated agricultural areas in Montana might be susceptible to transport of soluble pesticides through permeable soil to the shallow groundwater system. (USGS)

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Pesticides in soils and ground water in selected irrigated agricultural areas near Havre, Ronan, and Huntley, Montana
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 90-4023
DOI 10.3133/wri904023
Edition -
Year Published 1990
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey ; U.S. Geological Survey, Books and Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
Description iv, 34 p. :ill. ;28 cm.
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