Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Pesticide levels decline in corn belt rivers


  • Randy Showstack


Reducing the use of pesticides is an effective and reliable strategy for reducing pesticide contamination in streams, according to a 9 November report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “Trends in pesticide concentrations in corn-belt streams, 1996–2006.” The report found that from 1996 to 2006, concentrations of several major pesticides mostly declined or stayed the same in U.S. rivers and streams in the corn belt—a region that generally includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, and parts of other states. This region has the highest pesticide use in the nation. The study also found that the declines in pesticide concentrations closely followed declines in their annual applications.