Groundwater Contamination Risk Indices For Pear And Sugar Beet Cultivations In The Province Of Ferrara

Caffarelli V., Galassi T., Mazzini F., Nencini L., Rapagnani M.R., Rossi R., Screpanti C.

Groundwater contamination risk indices are presented for 106 pesticides currently applied on two widespread cultivations in the Province of Ferrara, sugar-beet and pear-tree. The indices were evaluated on the basis of the Attenuation Factor (Rao, 1985), for six soils representative of the pedological regions of the area under study.
Transit times are calculated separately in each soil horizon, on the basis of the pesticide chemiodynamic properties and of pedological data supplied by the Emilia-Romagna Region. The application rates are those suggested by the Emilia-Romagna Regional Plant Protection Service.
The resulting pesticide ranking is consistent with that predicted by the GUS percolation index, the chemicals with higher risk index being those assessed as leachers by the latter. The soil vulnerability to leaching is also estimated. The highest vulnerability is found in soils belonging to the coastal and the deltaic planes. The comparison between different pesticide application strategies on pear cultivation, shows that a reduction in pesticide percolation is attained by integrated pest management.

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