Golf Course Management

MAR 2015

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

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32 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.15 Pamela Rice, Ph.D. Pamela.Rice@ARS.USDA.GOV Brian Horgan, Ph.D. Strategies used to maintain managed bi- ological systems, including golf course turf, often involve application of fertilizer and pes - ticides to optimize plant health and protec- tion. The transport of applied fertilizers and pesticides with runoff to surrounding surface waters has been shown to result in enhanced algal blooms, promotion of eutrophication or negative impacts on sensitive aquatic organ - isms or ecosystems. In previous research we demonstrated that changes in cultivation prac - tices (for example, type and timing of core cul- tivation) reduced the volume of runoff and the percentage of applied pesticides and nutrients that moved off-site with runoff from creeping bentgrass turf. In the current study we evalu - ate the infuence of turfgrass species on runoff quantity and quality. Experiments are under way to compare the volume of runoff and measure the amount of pesticides and nutrients in runoff from conven - tional versus low-input turfgrasses. Plots (20 feet × 80 feet) maintained as a golf course fair - way (0.5-inch height of cut) were seeded with creeping bentgrass (Dominant Xtreme 7: a 7:3 mixture of 007 creeping bentgrass and SR 1150 creeping bentgrass) or a fne fescue mixture Presented in Partnership with Barenbrug (turf) In our previous studies with creeping bent- grass turf, we found that runoff volume had a greater effect than chemical concentration on the overall mass of chemicals transported off- site with runoff. We are curious to learn if this trend continues with the low-input fne fescue mixture or if other infuencing factors are of greater importance. Data collected from this study will guide strategies to manage low-in - put fne fescue mixtures in order to provide op- timal results for golf course managers, golfers and the environment. Pamela Rice is a research chemist at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, St. Paul, Minn., and an adjunct professor in the department of soil, water and climate at the University of Minnesota−St. Paul; and Brian Horgan is a professor in the department of horticultural sciences at the University of Minnesota−St. Paul. Low-input vs. traditional turfgrass: Runoff quantity and quality (equal parts Chariot hard fescue, Seabreeze GT slender creeping red fescue, Cardinal strong creeping red fescue and Longfellow II Chewings fescue). Each plot is equipped with runoff gutters; a fume; an automated sampler; and a fow meter to measure fow rates, calcu - late runoff volumes and collect subsamples of the snowmelt and rainfall runoff. Studies will be performed with fertilizer and pesticides applied at label rates to both the traditional and low-input turf, as well as additional studies with pesticides applied at label rate for creeping bentgrass turf and label rate for the low-input fne fescue turf. To date we have observed the fne fescue mixture produces greater quantities of snow - melt and rainfall runoff than the creeping bent- grass (see fgure above). Collected runoff sam- ples have been processed and are being stored frozen until completion of chemical analysis. Creeping bentgrass and low-input fne fescue turfgrass plots used in runoff testing at the University of Minnesota−St. Paul. Photo by Pamela Rice Runoff measurements from creeping bentgrass and fne fescue plots were taken on June 14-15, 2014, from 6:35 p.m. to 3:05 p.m. and on June 19 from 2 a.m. to 11:25 p.m. On June 14-15, the quantity of runoff from fne fescue was 3.7 times that from creeping bentgrass, and on June 19, runoff from fne fescue was 1.8 times that from creeping bentgrass. 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 June 14-15, 2014 June 19, 2014 Creeping bentgrass Fine fescue June 14-15, 2014 June 19, 2014 Runoff (millimeters)

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