Golf Course Management

MAR 2015

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88 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.15 The RESEARCH SAYS • Researchers examined the effects of spills of petroleum diesel, 20% blended biodiesel and 100% pure biodiesel on creeping bentgrass, bermudagrass and zoysiagrass fairways. • Biodiesel spills generally resulted in less fairway turf damage and faster recovery compared to petroleum diesel spills. • For creeping bentgrass fairways, small fuel leaks are more damaging at higher tem - peratures, and high-volume leaks are more damaging than small ones regardless of the fuel temperature at the time of the leak. • Superintendents should monitor fuel-damaged fairways and consider allowing natural regrowth, which is especially likely with biodiesel fuel spills. bentgrass fairways, small fuel leaks are more damaging at higher temperatures, and high volume leaks are more damaging than small volume leaks regardless of the fuel tempera - ture at the time the leak occurred. Rainfall Determining the effects of rainfall on damage from fuel spills was not an objective of the present study, but large differences in rainfall were observed between the two study periods (Table 1). It appears that the greater amount of rainfall observed in the second experiment (4.4 inches [11.17 centimeters]) compared to the frst experiment (1.4 inches [3.55 centimeters]) may have mitigated some of the injury by moving the fuel away from crowns and other meristematic tissues or by diluting the fuels so that less injury occurred. Plots were maintained in well-watered condi - tion in both experiments, so these effects are not believed to be associated with drought stress in the plots. The effects of water volume on injury would be a good avenue for future research, as increased irrigation might be an alternative approach to reducing damage from fuel spills on golf course turf. Zoysiagrass In the frst experiment, zoysiagrass fairways treated with 20 milliliters of each fuel type showed no signifcant difference in percent rela - tive green cover by fuel and an almost complete (>90% relative green cover ) recovery by week 6. In the second experiment, at the 10-millili - ter application rate, there were signifcant dif- ferences in percent relative green cover by fuel type, with petroleum diesel being lowest, B100 highest and B20 being intermediate. In addi - tion, by week 6, recovery in percent relative green cover for treated zoysiagrass fairways was much lower for petroleum diesel (50%) and B20 (75%) than in the frst experiment. The cause of this difference was not determined, but it may have been due to different growth rates for zoysiagrass between the two experiments (the zoysiagrass plots were 81% green at the be - ginning of the frst and 98% green at the begin- ning of the second experiment). Finally, this research suggests that golf course managers should carefully monitor fuel-damaged fairways and consider allowing damaged turf to regrow naturally. This natu - ral regrowth is especially likely with biodiesel fuel spills. Funding This study was supported by the Arkan- sas Soybean Promotion Board; FutureFuel Corp.; and the University of Arkansas, Divi - sion of Agriculture. Acknowledgments The results of this research were originally published online on Nov. 14, 2014, in the journal Applied Turfgrass Science as "Effect of Petroleum Diesel and Biodiesel Spills on Turf - grass" by Donald M. Johnson, Don W. Edgar, Douglas E. Karcher, Michael D. Richardson and John H. McCalla (doi:10.2134/ATS- 2013-0005-RS). Literature cited 1. Bai, R., and D. Li. 2013. Establishment of peren- nial ryegrass in soil contaminated with simulated petroleum-based spills and remediation. HortTechnol - ogy 23(3): 334-338. 2. Berndt, W.L. 2007. Effect of synthetic hydraulic fuid on warm-season turfgrass. Online. Applied Turfgrass Science doi: 10.1094/ATS-2007-1119-01-RS. 3. Department of Energy. 2009. Biodiesel Handling and Use Guide. 4th ed. NREL Report No. TP-540-43672; DOE/GO-102008-2658. U.S. Department of Energy, Offce of Scientifc and Technical Information, Oak Ridge, Tenn. 4. Karcher, D.E., and M.D. Richardson. 2013. Digital image analysis in turfgrass research. Pages 1133- 1149. In: J.C. Stier, B.P. Horgan and S.A. Bonos, editors. Turfgrass: Biology, Use, and Management. Agronomy Monograph 56. 5. Lyman, G.T., M.E. Johnson and G.A. Stacey. 2012. Golf course environmental profle measures energy use and energy management practices. Online. Applied Turfgrass Science doi: 10.1094/ATS-2012- 0288-01-RS. 6. Young, J., M. Richardson and D. Karcher. 2012. Evaluating ball mark severity and recovery using digi - tal image analysis. Arkansas Turfgrass Report 2010 Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Service 593:50-55. Donald M. Johnson (dmjohnso@uark.edu) is a professor and Don W. Edgar is an associate professor in the depart - ment of agricultural education, communications and tech- nology; and Douglas E. Karcher is an associate professor, Michael D. Richardson is a professor and John H. McCalla is a research specialist in the department of horticulture at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark. periments. In 15 of 24 comparisons by weeks after application, fairway surfaces treated with B20 and B100 had signifcantly higher percent relative green cover than did surfaces treated with petroleum diesel. None of the 24 comparisons by weeks after application resulted in a signifcantly higher percent rela - tive green cover for surfaces treated with pe- troleum diesel. Finally, in four of six compari- sons in week 6, surfaces treated with B20 or B100 had signifcantly higher percent relative green cover than did surfaces treated with pe - troleum diesel. Thus, we conclude that B100 and B20 spills generally result in less fairway turf damage and faster recovery compared to petroleum diesel spills. This is consistent with research on the effects of spills of vegetable- based hydraulic fuid (2). In the second experiment, when fuel was applied at 10 milliliters, the heated (165 F) fuel produced greater damage to creeping bentgrass fairways than the fuel applied at am - bient temperature (90 F). However, in the frst experiment, where the fuel was applied at 20 milliliters, no differences by fuel temperature were observed for creeping bentgrass fairways. It is also important to note that when fuel was applied at the 20-milliliter rate, regardless of application temperature, damage was substan - tially greater than for fuel applied at 10 millili- ters. These fndings suggest that, for creeping

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