MODELLING PESTICIDE DYNAMICS IN A CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE SYSTEM TO MITIGATE THEIR IMPACT ON ECOSYSTEMS. RTI2018-101587-J-I00
Funding entity: Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MCIU), the State Research Agency (AEI) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Duration: 2019 – 2022
Principal Investigator: Jesús Mª Marín Benito
Participating researchers: Jesús Mª Marín Benito (IRNASA-CSIC), Laure Mamy (INRA, France).
New cropping systems have been designed in the last decades to ensure soil sustainability and decrease contamination. One of them is the conservation tillage system characterized by zero tillage, the presence of cover crops during the fallow period, and/or the accumulation of crop residues (mulching) on the soil surface. In this type of conservation agriculture, the use of herbicides is necessary to obtain high productivity. However, the physicochemical behaviour of these compounds could be modified by the new agricultural practices being necessary to predict their fate and/or environmental consequences in these scenarios. In this sense, the use of mathematical models that evaluate the environmental fate of these compounds is of great interest. The aim of the project is to study in real field conditions (experimental plots) the effect of conservation farming practices, including cover crops, mulching and no-tillage, on the environmental fate of herbicides by: 1) evaluating the distribution of herbicides in the soil profile in a conventional cropping system and in a conservation cropping system, and 2) modelling their environmental fate using MACRO and PRZM models to establish guidelines to assess and predict the impact and viability of these agronomic practices on soil sustainability and on the quality of surface and groundwater in the short, medium and long term.