Behavior of the non-selective herbicide glyphosate in agricultural soil

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Glyphosate [N-phosphonomethyl]glycine is a systematic, non-selective, organophosphorus herbicide used worldwide in agriculture and industrial zones. Following its application, residues of glyphosate can threaten soil or aquatic organisms in adjacent water. In this study, we followed the degradation, stabilization, remobilization and leaching of 14 C-glyphosate in three agricultural soils in laboratory incubations and in lysimeters under field conditions. Glyphosate degradation was relatively rapid with a half-life of 14.5 days in the silt clay loam soil incubated at 20°C. Glyphosate's degradation product, Aminomethylphosphonic Acid (AMPA), represented more than 85% of residues after 80 days of laboratory incubation. Leaching of glyphosate in lysimeters of three different investigated soils under outdoor conditions was very slow, less than 1% of the initial applied amount has been detected in the leachates after 100 days of experimentation. Glyphosate rapidly formed non-extractable residues after treatment. In summary, glyphosate was removed from soil very rapidly and its leaching seems to be very slow regardless the type of treated soil. On the other hand, the contamination risk of groundwater with its metabolite AMPA at long term is probably due to the release of the non-extractable residues. © 2013 Science Publication.




Al-Rajab, A. J., & Hakami, O. M. (2014). Behavior of the non-selective herbicide glyphosate in agricultural soil. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 10(2), 94–101.

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