Saturday, 15 July 2006

Leaching of Pesticides in Tea Soil.

Shivani Jaggi, Institute of HImalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, Distt- Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India

Tea, Camellia sinensis (L) O. Kurtze, is the most important plantation crop in India occupying 420,000 ha of land with an estimated production of 1,019 million kg by 2005. Like any other crop tea plantations are also subjected to ravages of insects, mites, plant pathogens, nematodes etc. Pesticide is an important agro input for controlling array of pest complex in tea crop necessitating the continuous application of heavy doses of pesticides. The tea soil is acidic in pH (4.5-5.5) with organic content of 2.12% and water content of 24% at an applied pressure of 33 kPa. A work was initiated to study the effect of these heavy doses of pesticides in tea soil and its leaching behavior. Four pesticides viz. Fenazaquin, quinalphos, deltamethrin and dimethoate representing three different groups were included in this study. Soil samples from different depths (0-20 cms) were collected to see the leaching behavior of the pesticides under study at two different environmental conditions (dry and wet season). The study confirmed that the properties of the test soil as well as that of pesticides are equally responsible for its leaching along with the environmental factors involved. In this study it was confirmed that the acidic tea soil was playing a significant role in ground water protection. The purpose of this paper is to explain the factors involved in ground water contamination through pesticides and how it can be avoided.

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