Golf Course Management

JUN 2013

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

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research pipes (Precision Porous Pipe) with a diameter of 0.5 inch (1.27 centimeters) operated at 30 psi. Each subsurface-drip-irrigated block had a fush valve installed to prevent sediments from potentially clogging the drip lines. Irrigation water use on subsurface-drip-irrigated blocks was recorded with water meters (Invensys Process Systems), and run times were calculated based on recorded water delivery rates minus the amounts lost in the fush cycles. Uniform water distribution on subsurfacedrip-irrigated blocks was monitored twice over each growing season to ensure that the system was operating within normal parameters. gated plots did not differ between the two upper soil depths on any of the sampling dates. EC in drip-irrigated plots was either lower (June 2006) or similar to that measured in sprinkler-irrigated plots at depths of 4-8 inches. These fndings confrm our assumption that drip irrigation may not be as successful as sprinkler Results A subsurface drip system was installed for this study. Electrical conductivity 5 Electrical conductivity (decisiemens/meter) Root-zone salinity at depths of 0-8 inches EC and sodium content. When data for plots irrigated with all three water types were pooled over both sampling depths, plots irrigated with moderately saline and saline water showed changes in EC and sodium between summer and late fall that were similar to the changes in irrigation amount and precipitation. Monthly irrigation amounts increased between March and June each year, but minimal precipitation during that time resulted in peak EC and sodium values in June 2005 and 2006. When data were pooled over irrigation systems and depths, the highest EC and sodium levels were observed in June 2006 on plots irrigated with moderately saline water (3.9 decisiemens/meter EC and 747 ppm sodium) and saline water (4.7 decisiemens/meter EC and 1,024 ppm sodium). Subsequent precipitation during the rainy season (July to October) and lower irrigation amounts from July to November (compared to March through June) reduced EC and sodium by November. Above-average cumulative monthly precipitation from April to October 2007 (data not shown) reduced salt buildup, and neither EC nor sodium content changed between June and November 2007. Plots irrigated with moderately saline water had lower salinity readings than plots irrigated with saline water. With the exception of saline-irrigated plots in November 2005, EC did not differ between drip- and sprinkler-irrigated plots for any of the three water qualities during the research period. In November 2005, plots sprinkler-irrigated with saline water exhibited greater EC than drip-irrigated plots. Type of irrigation system had no effect on sodium content regardless of water quality. When EC and sodium data were pooled over all three water qualities but analyzed separately for each depth and sampling date, EC was greatest in drip-irrigated plots at depths of 0-4 inches in June 2005 and 2006 (Figures 1, 2 ). EC in sprinkler-irri- 4.5 Sprinkler 0-4 inches Drip 0-4 inches Sprinkler 4-8 inches Drip 4-8 inches A 4 A B 3.5 B 3 BB 2.5 2 C B 1.5 1 0.5 0 June 2005 Nov 2005 June 2006 Nov 2006 June 2007 Nov 2007 Figure 1. Electrical conductivity (EC, decisiemens/meter) in soil at depths of 0-4 inches and 4-8 inches (0-10 and 10-20 centimeters) irrigated from a subsurface drip or sprinkler system. Data are pooled over three water qualities (potable, moderately saline and saline). Letters denote the differences in EC between the two irrigation systems and the two depths separately for each sampling date. June 2013 GCM 83

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