Soil and Pesticides
Soil can be degraded and the community of organisms living in the soil can be damaged by the misuse or over use of pesticides. Some pesticides are more toxic to soil organisms than others. Some pesticides may break down quickly when applied to soils, while others may persist for longer periods. The type of soil and the type of pesticide can also affect pesticide persistence.
When applying pesticides to soils, keep these tips in mind:
- Review the "Environmental Hazards" section of the product label, and always follow the label directions.
- Adopting IPM methods of controlling pests can reduce the need for pesticides application to soils.
- Pesticides in soil may be taken up by plant roots and moved to other plant tissues, including the fruit.
- Pesticides applied to sandy or course-grained soils are more likely to leach through the soil and contaminate groundwater.
To learn more about pesticides and soils visit these resources:
If you have questions about pesticides and soil, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Helping People Understand Soils - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
- Ecological Soil Screening Levels - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Pesticide Properties Database - Oregon State University Extension
- Yesterday's Orchard, Today's Home: Legacy Pesticides on Former Orchard Property - Oregon State University Extension Service