Golf Course Management

JUL 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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07.19 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 71 • The goal of this study was to determine the effects of nitrogen fertility levels on traffic tolerance of Cody buffalograss on golf courses. • Cody buffalograss treated with 1 to 3 pounds of nitrogen/1,000 square feet/ year produced green cover, quality and color superior to that of turf receiving no nitrogen. • In some situations, moderate fertility levels can increase buffalograss resistance to traffic stress, but superintendents should also reduce traffic stress by altering traffic patterns when needed. The RESEARCH SAYS our research shows that buffalograss can be an effective low-input option. Buffalograss is often considered a no-main- tenance turfgrass species, but this research shows that a little maintenance can improve the success of buffalograss on golf courses. In our research, the green cover, quality and color of buffalograss that received 1 to 3 pounds ni- trogen/1,000 square feet/year was superior to that of buffalograss that received no nitrogen (with and without traffic). In certain situa- tions, applying moderate levels of nitrogen fertility can increase the resistance of buffalo- grass to traffic stress. However, high levels of traffic greatly affected the percent green cover, quality and color of buffalograss. It is highly recommended that superinten- dents who manage buffalograss pay special at- tention to traffic areas near the entrances and exits of cart paths. To ensure that the buffalo- grass stand is not injured to the point of no return, altering traffic patterns with ropes and stakes may be advisable in high-traffic areas. Buffalograss is a great option to help reduce management inputs and water consumption. Its ability to withstand many environmental conditions while maintaining playability and aesthetic appeal may be beneficial in low-in- put turf areas. Funding Authors would like to thank the Kansas Turfgrass Foundation for funding this research. Acknowledgments ‡anks are extended to Cliff Dipman for technical support and expertise. Literature cited 1. Alderman, E.J., J.A. Hoyle, J.A. Reeves, and R.C. Braun. 2018. Evaluating the effects of nitrogen rate and simulated golf cart traffic on 'Cody' buffalograss roughs. Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management 3. doi:10.2134/cftm2018.09.0079 2. Amundsen, K., L. Li, R.C. Shearman and R.E. Gaussoin. 2017. Addressing misperceptions regard- ing buffalograss tolerance to sandy soils, traffic, and shade. International Turfgrass Society Research Jour- nal 13:358-363. doi:10.2134/itsrj2016.05.0347 3. Beard, J.B. 1973. Turfgrass: Science and culture. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 4. Braun, R.C. 2017. Environmental and management impacts in turfgrass systems: nitrous oxide emis- sions, carbon sequestration, and drought and traffic stress. Ph.D. dissertation. Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan. 5. Carroll, M.J., and A.M. Petrovic. 1991. Wear toler- ance of Kentucky bluegrass and creeping bentgrass following nitrogen and potassium application. Hort- Science 26:851-853. 6. Frank, K.W., R.E. Gaussoin, T.P. Riordan, R.C. Shear- man, J.D. Fry, E.D. Miltner and P.G. Johnson. 2004. Nitrogen rate and mowing height effects on turf-type buffalograss. Crop Science 44:1615-1621. 7. Throssell, C.S., G.T. Lyman, M.E. Johnson, G.A. Stacey and C.D. Brown. 2009. Golf course environ- mental profile measures water use, source, cost, quality, and management and conservation strategies. Applied Turfgrass Science 6. doi: 10.1094/ATS- 2009-0129-01-RS 8. Watkins, E., A.B. Hollman and B.P. Horgan. 2010. Evaluation of alternative turfgrass species for low- input golf course fairways. HortScience 45:113-118. Evan J. Alderman (ejalderman@yahoo.com) is an Exten- sion specialist for the Pesticide Safety Education Program at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa; Jared A. Hoyle is an assistant professor, Extension turfgrass specialist and director of the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.; Jacob A. Reeves is a graduate student in the Department of Horti- culture and Natural Resources at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.; and Ross C. Braun is a postdoctoral research associate in turfgrass science at Purdue Univer- sity in West Lafayette, Ind. Figure 4. Differences in turf quality and color are quite evident after 14 weeks of traffic applications.

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