A controlled-release formulation (CRF) has been developed for metolachlor, which reduced its leaching in a sandy soil and improved weed control in comparison with the commercial formulation. The current study tested the effect of soil wetting and drying cycles (WDCs) on metolachlor fate (desorption, leaching, and weed control) applied as the CRF and as the commercial formulation. Metolachlor adsorption to a heavy soil (Terra-Rosa) was predominately to the clay minerals and oxides. Metolachlor release from a heavy soil subjected to WDCs was higher than its release from the soil not subjected to WDCs. Consequently, a bioassay in soil columns treated with the commercial formulation indicated enhanced metolachlor leaching in heavy soils under WDCs. In contrast, when metolachlor was applied as the CRF, leaching was suppressed and not affected by WDCs. These results emphasize the advantages of the CRF also in heavy soils subjected to WDCs.
- controlled-release formulations
- wetting and drying cycles