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Follow acetochlor BMPs to tackle surface water detections

Naworaj Acharya, Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Tana Haugen-Brown, Extension educator and Co-coordinator - Pesticide Safety and Environmental Education

Acetochlor products like Tripleflex, SureStart, Warrant, and Harness are commonly used in Minnesota to control weeds in crops like corn, soybeans, and sugarbeets. As sales continue to increase, acetochlor is being detected at higher concentrations in many rivers in southcentral and southwestern Minnesota. 

If acetochlor levels exceed state water quality standards, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency may designate the waterbody as impaired, triggering the development of a response plan to promote responsible pesticide use and possibly impose use restrictions. Currently, only Silver Creek in Carver County is impaired by acetochlor. 

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) advises following the Water Quality Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Acetochlor and considering alternative herbicides to safeguard water quality. These BMPs, which include mandatory label requirements and voluntary practices, aim to promote the judicious use of acetochlor and prevent its movement beyond target fields. More information on BMPs and surface water pesticide monitoring, including impairments, is available on the MDA’s Pesticide BMPs webpage and Surface Water Pesticide Water Quality Monitoring webpage.

For more information, please contact Naworaj Acharya at

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