Agrochemical mixtures detected on wildflowers near cattle feed yards

Eric Peterson, Kim J. Wooten, Seenivasan Subbiah, Todd Anderson, Scott Longing, Philip Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A variety of veterinary pharmaceuticals and pesticides are used on beef cattle feed yards to enhance growth and health of cattle and to control unwanted pests and parasites. Because growth promoters and antibiotics have recently been detected on particulate matter emanating from feed yards, we examined wildflowers collected near feed yards in the Southern Great Plains for the occurrence of antibiotics, β-agonists, other feed yard-related agrochemicals, and neonicotinoids used on regionally grown row crops. Wildflowers contained detectable concentrations of moxidectin, abamectin, monensin, ractopamine, and neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin). All wildflower samples contained at least one target analyte, while the majority (82%) contained multiple pharmaceuticals and/or pesticides, including 12% of wildflowers containing moxidectin, monensin, ractopamine, and a neonicotinoid. This preliminary survey demonstrates the potential for insect pollinators occurring near feed yards to become exposed to mixtures of agrochemicals derived from beef cattle feed yards and pesticides from row crop-based agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-220
JournalES&T Letters
StatePublished - 2017


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