Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Horgan, B., Rice, P.J. 2004. Understanding pesticide and nutrient loss with runoff from fairway turf and evaluating the ability of management practices to mitigate their loss. Hole Notes. 35:22-23. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: This research project is part of a multi-state cooperative initiative to improve the current understanding of pesticide and nutrient runoff from turf. Two objectives of the study are 1) to quantify pesticide and nutrient transport with runoff from fairway turf as affected by regional variability, turf species variability, and test plot size, and 2) to evaluate the ability of turf management practices to mitigate pesticide and nutrient loss with rainfall and snowmelt runoff. Effect of Regional Variability, Turf Species Variability, and Plot Size A standardized protocol was used for the construction and maintenance of fairway turf plots in the North-Central, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeastern regions of the United States. Pesticide applications, rainfall simulation, runoff collection, and chemical analysis are similar for all locations, while plots size and turf species vary according to location. Data collected from this study will help fill the information gaps between former studies and what is required by the US EPA to more accurately assess the non-point source pollution potential of pesticides and nutrients from turf runoff. Improved knowledge of pesticide transport will allow risk assessments to be made with quantitative data rather than conservative assumptions, resulting in more scientifically-based criteria for the registration and use of turf protection products. Ability of Management Practices to Mitigate Pesticide and Nutrient Loss The off-site transport of pesticides and nutrients is both an agronomic and environmental concern resulting from reduced control of target pests in the area of application and contamination of non-target surrounding ecosystems. Despite the widespread use of turf management practices their impact on runoff and potential to mitigate pesticide loss with runoff has not been studied. Our goal is to identify management practice that maximizes pesticide and nutrient retention at the site of application, thereby improving desired results of pest control and turf maintenance while minimizing environmental contamination and adverse impacts associated with the off-site tranpsort of these compounds. Results of this research will provide quantitative information to golf course superintendents that will allow for informed decisions on best management practices that are both environmentally-responsible and provide quality turf.