Consideration of risk management practices in regulatory risk assessments

Evaluation of field trials with micro‑dams to reduce pesticide transport via surface runoff and soil erosion

Environmental Sciences Europe (2020) 32:86
Stephan Sittig1*, Robin Sur2, Dirk Baets3 and Klaus Hammel2

1 knoell Germany GmbH, Konrad-Zuse-Ring 25, 68163 Mannheim, Germany
2 Bayer AG, Division Crop Science, Alfred-Nobel-Str. 50, 40789, Monheim, Germany
3 Bayer AG, Division Crop Science, Jan-Emiel Mommaertslaan 14, Mechelen, Belgium

On sloped agricultural fields, water and sediment can be transported downhill as runoff and erosion. This process can cause losses of valuable top soil material, water resources for plant availability, and nutrients as well as transport of plant protection products (PPP) into adjacent surface water bodies. In the European and the US risk assessment for the registration of PPP, runoff and erosion are numerically calculated with the simulation model PRZM which uses the USDA runoff curve number (CN) concept for the water movement.

Results from runoff field trials were used to estimate the effect of dedicated management practices in terms of mitigating runoff and erosion, i.e. creating micro-dams between the ridges of potato fields or in maize cultivation on model input parameters. Based on the findings, a robust case can be made to consider innovative runoff mitigation for risk assessment purposes by, e.g. lowering the CN in the exposure scenarios.

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