<ol> <LI>Identify, develop, and/or validate trace residue analytical methods, immunological procedures, and biomarkers of chemical exposure and effects.<LI>Characterize abiotic and biotic reaction mechanisms, transformation rates, and fate of chemicals in agricultural and natural ecosystems.
Non-Technical Summary: Current technologies and the cost and availability of labor dictate the use of pesticides for managing weeds, insects, nematodes, and diseases in most cropping systems. To increase crop and rangeland production efficiency, agriculturalists must reduce the impact of crop losses due to pests using cultural, chemical, and biological pest control strategies. New exotic weeds, new genotypes exhibiting environmental tolerance or herbicide resistance, or alternate species can invade open habitats very rapidly. Understanding the mechanisms involved will improve our ability to better predict and integrate current and potential pest management strategies, providing environmentally sound and cost effective approaches to pest management. These approaches will lead to reduced application of pesticides in the long term. The results of these studies will provide insights into the effects of low-dose exposure to various agrochemicals on non-target species. State and Federal regulatory agencies may use this information in decisions regarding the registration and use of these and other agrochemicals based on a similar mechanism of toxicity. There is a critical need to develop animal models to indicate the impact of agrochemicals, including endocrine-disrupting compounds, on non-target species. The development of the migratory bird and fish models into research and regulatory tools for assessing the impact of an agrochemical on non-target species will be very valuable in protecting fish and wildlife. These models will also be useful to the agrochemical industry in evaluating the toxicity of existing and proposed products. The off-site transport of agrochemicals is both an agronomic and environmental concern reducing efficacy in the area of application while increasing contamination to non-target surrounding ecosystems. Results of this research will provide information on the fate of nutrients and pesticides in the soil/water/air and sediment/water system, and will identify environmental factors influencing agrochemical fate. This research will provide information to manufacturers on the efficacy and environmental fate of their products. The data gained from this research can be used to develop best management practices to reduce the movement of these chemicals to non-target ecosystems. It will also allow development of computer-simulated pesticide exposure scenarios using established regulatory models to estimate the impact of new and existing chemistries on environmental systems under various management practices. In addition, the multi-state data will be valuable to regulatory agencies in establishing scientifically based criteria for the registration and use of pesticides and fertilizers on crops and turf. <P> Approach: Objective 1: Identify, develop, and/or validate trace residue analytical methods, immunological procedures, and biomarkers of exposure and effects. To characterize and quantify agrochemical exposure and effects to cells, organisms, and ecosystems, appropriate biomakers need to be elucidated and characterized. New sampling and analytical methods need to be examined and optimized with respect to environmental and biological matrices. Research will be conducted at Univ. of Hawaii, Mississippi State University, Cornell University, and UC Riverside to address these needs. Objective 2: Characterize abiotic and biotic reaction mechanisms, transformation rates, and fate of chemicals in agricultural and natural ecosystems. This research will encompass investigations of agrochemical transformations (mechanisms and rates) and fate in the environment. The research will be applied to agrochemical efficacy, the potential to contaminate air, groundwater and surface water, and chemical and biological remediation strategies. Research will be conducted at Cornell University, the Universities of California, Florida, Hawaii, and Nevada; Mississippi, Montana, and Oregon State Universities; and USDA-ARS locations at St. Paul and Morris, MN, and Beltsville, MD.