Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2006
Publication Date: 6/15/2006
Citation: Rice, P.J., Horgan, B. 2006. Mitigation of nutrient and pesticide loss with runoff from fairway turf. Hole Notes. 37(5):13.
Technical Abstract: The off-site transport of pesticides and fertilizers are both an agronomic and environmental concern resulting in their reduced efficacy at the site of application and contamination of surrounding non-target areas. The use of fertilizers and pesticides in highly managed turf has raised questions concerning their impact on the quality of water resources and the contribution of managed turf systems to surface water contamination. To address these questions we designed experiments that would measure the quantity of nutrients and pesticides transported with runoff from fairway turf, and evaluate the ability of turf management practices to reduce the transport of applied chemicals with runoff. Both chemical application strategies and cultural practices were evaluated. Chemical loads with runoff from fairway turf receiving either hollow-tine aeration or solid-tine aeration were assessed. Preliminary results for fertilizer transport suggest reduced runoff volume, nitrogen loss and phosphorus loss with hollow-tine aeration relative to solid-tine aeration. Completion of pesticide analysis and statistical analysis of fertilizer and pesticide data will determine the statistical relevance of the initial observed trends. Selective application of multiple water-soluble tracers enabled identification of areas that contribute the most to chemical transport with runoff. This data can be utilized in model simulations to assess potential environmental impacts as well as provide information to determine chemical application strategies to reduce off-site transport of applied compounds. Our overall goal is to identify management practices that maximize fertilizer and pesticide retention at the site of application, thereby improving desired results of turf maintenance and pest control while minimizing environmental impacts.