Golf Course Management

OCT 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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THE INSIDER: turf Teresa Carson The Global Soil Survey for Sustainable Turf gives superintendents an opportunity to participate in an international effort to develop new sustainability guidelines for turf nutrition. Photo by M. Woods Sustainable soil: Going global NEWS & notes Scientists at China Agricultural University in Beijing have found that crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) is highly successful in lawns, home gardens and farms because it produces herbicides that kill neighboring plants. In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Chui-Hua Kong and other researchers were able to isolate three chemicals in crabgrass that affect microbes in the soil and inhibit growth in wheat, corn and soybeans. The scientists say that the chemicals would also be toxic to other plants. Presented in partnership with Barenbrug 38 GCM October 2013 Not enough can be said about the challenges superintendents face as they strive to maintain high-quality playing conditions for golfers even as they aspire to be stewards of the environment. Reducing inputs has been recognized as a step analyzed by Gelernter, Stowell and Woods. toward sustainability, and it also contributes to "Each person will receive a full report on their a healthy bottom line. In 2012, Larry Stowell, results, as well as an analysis of where each nutriPh.D., and Wendy Gelernter, Ph.D., of Pace Turf ent falls on the sustainability index," says Stowand Micah Woods, Ph.D., of the Asian Turfgrass ell. "Turf managers have really found the index Center released Minimum Levels for Sustainable to be useful because it gives them a numerical Nutrition (MLSN) soil guidelines to encour- way to monitor where they are now and to track age superintendents to decrease fertilizer inputs how they are improving over time." while maintaining high standards of golf course The Global Soil Survey allows superintenmanagement. dents from all over the world to take advantage To develop the MLSN guidelines, the scien- of the soil testing and analysis, and it allows the tists selected 1,500 samples from a database of turf community to use the results, which will be 16,000. Those samples had these four traits in updated continually as long as the project contincommon: the turfgrass grown on those soils did ues. "We see the survey going on in perpetuity," not perform poorly; pH ranged from 5.5 to 7.5; says Gelernter. The three scientists also believe total exchange capacity <6 cmol/kilogram; and that since golf course superintendents and other sodium <110 ppm and electrical conductivity <2 turf professionals share a strong sense of commudecisiemens/meter. nity and an eagerness to share their knowledge Adding results from many more samples about turf management, they will be more than taken at numerous locations would allow Stow- willing to contribute to a large database that can ell, Gelernter and Woods to refne the guidelines, help others improve their environmental stewwhich are available online without charge (www. ardship on a global basis. paceturf.org/journal/minimum_level_for_susA fee of $250 will be charged to each particitainable_nutrition). To meet this end, the trio pant to cover the costs of the laboratory analyhas announced the Global Soil Survey for Sus- ses, reporting, recommendations and shipping. tainable Turf, which they describe as "a citizen Information about the Global Survey for Susscience-style initiative" that asks turf managers tainable Turf and instructions for participating throughout the world to provide samples of soil in the survey are available at www.paceturf.org/ from "good-performing turf" from their facilities journal/global_soil_survey or on the Global Soil for analysis and inclusion in the database. Each Survey Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ turf manager who participates in the initiative globalsoilsurvey). will receive packing and postage-paid shipping materials to send three soil samples for laboratory GCM analysis by Brookside Laboratories in New Bremen, Ohio. The data from the laboratory will be Teresa Carson (tcarson@gcsaa.org) is GCM's science editor.

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