Golf Course Management

DEC 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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66 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 12.18 turfgrass has shown nitrous oxide emissions typically increase after nitrogen fertilization (especially with quick release fertilizers) that is followed by precipitation or irrigation (1, 4, 7, 8). Turfgrass researchers measuring nitrous oxide emissions have concentrated mainly on quick release fertilizers, and few investigations have looked at the influence of controlled re lease (slow release) fertilizers on nitrous oxide emissions. e use of controlled release fertil izers, such as polymer coated urea (PCU) or sulfur coated urea (SCU), may reduce emis sions by decreasing the amount of nitrogen in the soil that is available for denitrification (11). erefore, in order to develop manage ment practices that have the potential to re duce nitrous oxide emissions in turfgrass, fur ther research is required on the effects of the amount of irrigation and the different forms of nitrogen fertilizer on nitrous oxide emissions (2). We hypothesized that employing smarter turfgrass management practices such as com bining the use of controlled release fertilizers with improved irrigation techniques (for ex ample, deficit irrigation) would reduce N 2 O emissions. Our experiment We conducted a two year field study under an automated rainout shelter at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhat tan, Kan., from 2014 to 2016 (Figure 2). By shielding turfgrass from rainfall, we were able to control the amount of water applied to re search plots. Our experimental objectives were to quantify the magnitude and patterns of ni trous oxide emissions in turfgrass, and to de termine how irrigation and nitrogen fertiliza tion may be managed to reduce nitrous oxide fluxes. Because visual quality of turfgrass is important to golf course superintendents, we also evaluated the effects of the treatments on turfgrass appearance. Our experiment included 36 plots ar ranged in a 2 (irrigation) × 3 (fertilizer) treat ment factorial in a randomized, complete block design with six replications. Our turf plots were Meyer zoysiagrass — commonly used for golf course fairways in the transition zone — maintained to simulate golf course fairway conditions (Figure 2). We applied two deficit irrigation treatment amounts: medium (66% reference evapotranspira tion [ET o ] replacement) and low (33% ET o replacement). During the summers (June Figure 3. Plots received precise irrigation amounts based on daily reference evapotranspiration during the summer (June- August). Figure 4. Twelve static chambers (right side) were used for sampling nitrous oxide across 36 plots on each measurement date. To sample a plot, a static chamber was installed on the base collar (left side), creating an airtight seal with closed- cell weather stripping and a rubber sleeve covering the outside perimeter of the junction (right side). Gas samples of 25 milliliters were extracted with syringes and injected into 12-milliliter vials at 0-, 20- and 40-minute intervals.

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