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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #219369

Title: Use of Turf Management Practices to Reduce Nutrient and Pesticide Loads with Runoff from Fairway Turf

item Rice, Pamela

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2007
Publication Date: 9/12/2007
Citation: Rice, P.J., Horgan, B.P. 2007. Use of Turf Management Practices to Reduce Nutrient and Pesticide Loads with Runoff from Fairway Turf. 2007 University of Minnesota Turf and Grounds Field Day. p. 15-17. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The use of fertilizers and pesticides in highly managed turf systems has raised questions concerning their off-site transport to surrounding areas. To address these questions we designed experiments to measure the quantity of fertilizers and pesticides transported with runoff from turf plots managed as a golf course fairway. Three cultural practices: hollow tine aerification, solid tine aerification, and hollow tine aerification with vertical slicing were evaluated during two field seasons to determine their capacity to reduce surface runoff and chemical transport with runoff. During the initial field season, fertilizer and pesticides were applied 2 days and 63 days following aerification. Runoff volumes were reduced in fairway turf plots managed with hollow tines relative to solid tines; demonstrating a 25% reduction at 2 days and a 10% reduction at 63 days. Measured quantities of nutrients and pesticides revealed reduced off-site transport of applied chemicals with runoff from plots managed with hollow tine aerification. Enhanced infiltration with vertical slicing was observed during the 2006 season. Seven days following hollow tine aerification half of the plots received vertical slicing to further manage the thatch. Quantification of runoff volumes and examination of hydrographs revealed the addition of vertical slicing to hollow tine aerification increased water infiltration and further reduced quantities of water and applied chemicals leaving the turf plots with runoff. 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.