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Home > Ag Chemicals & Fertilizers > Pesticides > Acetochlor Information > Label Restrictions for Groundwater Protection

Label Restrictions for Groundwater Protection

Acetochlor demonstrates characteristics associated with chemicals that have been detected in groundwater. To protect groundwater from contamination, acetochlor product labels restrict the use of acetochlor on porous soils over shallow groundwater:

On the following soil types, do not apply this product within 150 feet of any well where the depth to ground water is 30 feet or less: sands with less than 3 percent organic matter; loam sands with less than 2 percent organic matter; or sandy loams with less than 1 percent organic matter.* 

Soil texture (sand, loamy sand, sandy loam) can be determined by field observation or by using Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) soil surveys available at libraries and soil and water conservation district offices. Percent soil organic matter information is available in general ranges from NRCS soil surveys, often too general to assist in determining whether acetochlor can be used. More detailed organic matter information can be obtained by having soil samples analyzed by a soil testing laboratory. A listing of soil testing laboratories certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

The Acetochlor Registration Partnership (ARP) provides a website that maps soils that potentially meet any of the three soil texture and organic matter combinations that restricts the use of acetochlor over groundwater that is 30 feet deep or less.

Groundwater depth is often the most difficult information to obtain. Well logs can be used, but need to be interpreted with care because wells often end in aquifers deeper than the surficial aquifer (most shallow aquifer) which has the highest potential of being contaminated by acetochlor applications. Unless a well ends in the surficial aquifer, its well log cannot be used to determine depth to groundwater in regards to acetochlor use. Soil conservation district offices, county health department offices, and experienced well drillers are all potential sources for groundwater depth information.

Those using acetochlor in Dakota County have an additional resource. University of Minnesota Extension-Dakota County, Dakota County Water Resources Department and Office of GIS have collaborated to develop an interactive map to help determine areas where acetochlor applications may be restricted. The map can be used to easily identify both soil texture and depth to groundwater on a field by field basis throughout rural Dakota County.

In addition to restricting acetochlor applications on porous soils over shallow groundwater, acetochlor product labels require setbacks from wells and surface water during mixing and loading operations:

This product may not be mixed or loaded within 50 feet of any wells including abandoned wells and drainage wells, sink holes, perennial or intermittent streams and rivers, and natural or impounded lakes and reservoirs. This setback does not apply to properly caped or plugged abandoned wells and does not apply to impervious pad or properly diked mixing/loading areas.*

 * NOTE: Label language varies between acetochlor products and may change without warning. Be sure to always read and follow the label of the specific acetochlor product being used.


MDA Contacts

Gregg Regimbal, Supervisor
Pesticide Management Unit