Biochar is a solid material derived from different feedstocks that is added to the soil for various agronomic and environmental purposes, such as nutrient sources and CO2 emission mitigators. In modern agriculture, the application of herbicides directly in the soil is common for pre-emergent weed control; however, biochars may interfere in the degradation processes of these agrochemicals, increasing or decreasing their persistence. Long persistence is desirable for some herbicides in determined cultivation systems, especially in monoculture, but persistence is undesirable in crop rotation and/or succession systems because the subsequent cropping can be sensitive to the herbicide, causing carryover problems. Therefore, knowing the interactions of biochar-herbicide is essential, since these interactions depend on feedstock, pyrolysis conditions (production temperature), application rate, biochar aging, among other factors; and the physical-chemical characteristics of the herbicide. This chapter shows that the addition of biochar in the soil interferes in the persistence or remediation processes of the herbicide, and taking advantage of the agricultural and environmental benefits of biochars without compromising weed control requires a broad knowledge of the characteristics of biochar, soil, and herbicide and their interactions.
Part of the book: Biodegradation Technology of Organic and Inorganic Pollutants
Herbicides play a crucial role in weed control in various agricultural and non-agricultural settings. However, their behavior in the environment is complex and influenced by multiple factors. Understanding their fate and retention, transport, and transformation is essential for effective herbicide management and minimizing their impact on ecosystems. This chapter begins by emphasizing the importance of studying herbicide behavior in real-world conditions, considering physical, chemical, and biological amendments in soil. It highlights how these amendments can directly affect weed control efficacy when residual herbicides are applied in pre-emergence. Detailed knowledge of herbicide behavior in the environment enables the adjustment of application rates based on soil type and climatic conditions, which is a key aspect of precision agriculture. The study of herbicide interactions in the environment has experienced significant growth across various subfields, particularly in the last three decades. It can be considered a multidisciplinary subject that encompasses areas such as agricultural, environmental, and biological sciences, as well as technology, physics, chemistry, and biomedicine. Overall, there are over 35,000 papers on herbicide behavior in the environment, and the trend indicates that the number of publications will continue to grow in the coming years.
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