Golf Course Management

JUN 2019

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

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06.19 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 77 CUTTING EDGE Teresa Carson This research was funded in part by the United States Golf Association. Impacts of surfactants on soil and plant health A study is underway at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M., to investigate the effects of soil surfactants on soil health and turfgrass quality under deficit irrigation. Treatments were applied on Princess 77 ber- mudagrass, with two levels of irrigation (75% and 45% ETos). Specific treatments were: 1) Revolution; 2) Dispatch; 3) 'erm X-70, a natural wetting agent derived from Yucca schi- digera; 4) Zonix, an organic wetting agent derived from bacteria; and (5) an untreated control. Soil measurements at 0 to 0.5-foot (0 to 0.15-meter) depth are taken at the begin- ning and at the end of the growing season. 'e measurements include microbial, bacterial and fungal biomass. Soil physical and chemi- cal measurements are taken with an emphasis placed on available water content. Turfgrass quality and other plant health parameters are collected during the growing season. Results from the first year of this trial show a signifi- cant effect of surfactants only on a few soil measurements, namely microbial, fungal and available water content. Irrigation levels did not impact the measured soil indicators. More years of testing are planned to assess possible changes in soil and plant health over several years. — William Bosland; Bernd Leinauer, Ph.D. (leinauer@ad.nmsu.edu); John Idowu, Ph.D.; Mat- teo Serena, Ph.D.; M. Omar; and Darien Pruitt, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M. Editor's note: A version of this summary was published in the 2018 ASA-CSSA Meeting Ab- stracts, ASA and CSSA, Madison, Wis. Adaptive landscape irrigation using reclaimed water Use of reclaimed water for turf irriga- tion means that turf managers must simul- taneously manage soil moisture and salinity. Available sensors are capable of monitoring these variables, but existing irrigation con- trol systems do not use the information to automatically maintain moisture and salin- ity levels between thresholds that provide for the desired level of turf quality and per- formance. Previous research has shown that implementation of soil moisture sensors to schedule irrigation when using potable water can result in as much as 61% water savings compared to irrigating with a constant run time, while maintaining equivalent turf con- ditions. To address this gap in irrigation tech- nology, we are working to "close the loop" on irrigation control by developing an adaptive irrigation sensing and control system to de- liver reclaimed water efficiently and effec- tively. Proof-of-concept plots were established in February 2019 at New Mexico State Uni- versity with Pinnacle II perennial ryegrass. Prototype hardware and software systems are being developed at Colorado School of Mines, with the support of 'e Toro Co., and will be installed on the plots during spring 2019. Soil moisture and salinity, turf health and reclaimed water quality will be moni- tored throughout 2019, and data will be used to develop and implement adaptive control algorithms and demonstrate the effective- ness of closed-loop, wireless sensing and con- trol systems. — Joshua Friell, Ph.D. (Josh.Friell@ toro.com), The Toro Co., Bloomington, Minn.; Max Weiss, Qi Han, Ph.D., Jordan Newport, and Junko Munakata Marr, Ph.D., Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo.; and Matteo Serena, Ph.D., Elena Se - vostianova, Ph.D., and Bernd Leinauer, Ph.D., New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M. Teresa Carson (tcarson@gcsaa.org) is GCM 's science editor. Photo by William Bosland Photo by Junko Munakata Marr

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