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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluating the Potential of Turf Management Practices to Mitigate Pesticide and Nutrient Loads with Runoff from Fairway Turf


Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: November 28, 2005
Publication Date: January 30, 2006
Citation: Rice, P.J., Horgan, B. 2006. Evaluating the potential of turf management practices to mitigate pesticide and nutrient loads with runoff from fairway turf. In: Nus, J.L., editor. USGA 2005 Turfgrass and Environmental Research Summary. Fall Hills, NJ. p. 44.

Technical Abstract: The use of pesticides and fertilizers in highly managed turf systems and the detection of these compounds in surface waters have raised questions concerning the impact of pesticides and fertilizers on the quality of water resources and the contribution of highly managed turf systems to surface water contamination. To address these questions we designed and implemented experiments that would measure the quantity of pesticides and fertilizers transported with rainfall runoff and snow-melt runoff from fairway turf, and evaluate the ability of turf management practices to reduce the transport of pesticides and nutrients with runoff. To date, we have initiated studies to determine the influence of chemical application strategies and cultural practices, such as location of chemical application and different methods of aerification, respectively. In addition, this research is part of a multi-state cooperative initiative, which utilizes a standardize protocol for turf maintenance, pesticide applications, rainfall simulation techniques, and runoff collection/extraction/analysis procedures in order to evaluate the influence of regional, turf species and plot size variability on pesticide transport with surface runoff. The standardized regional data will be valuable to calibrate/validate models and establish scientifically based criteria for the registration and use of turf protection products. In addition, understanding pesticide and fertilizer transport with runoff and identifying strategies that reduce off-site transport of applied chemicals will increase their effectiveness at intended sites of application and will minimize potential undesirable impacts to surrounding surface water resources.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015