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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #219383

Title: Management Practices Reduce Nutrient and Pesticide Loss with Runoff from Fairway Turf

item Rice, Pamela

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/23/2007
Publication Date: 12/31/2007
Citation: Rice, P.J., Horgan, B.P. 2007. Management Practices Reduce Nutrient and Pesticide Loss with Runoff from Fairway Turf. 2007 USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Summary. p. 53. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Excess nutrients and multiple pesticides have been detected in surface waters of urban and rural areas; raising questions concerning their source, potential environmental and health effects and the need to reduce these chemical inputs. Fertilizers and pesticides are used in the management of home lawn and recreational turf. We designed experiments to measure the quantity of fertilizers and pesticides transported with runoff from golf course fairway turf, and to evaluate the ability of management practices to reduce the transport of applied chemicals with runoff. Creeping bentgrass turf plots were managed as a golf course fairway following a standardized protocol and replicate samples of surface runoff water were collected for analysis to determine levels of pesticides and/or nutrients removed from the site of application with runoff. We found aerification of fairway turf with hollow tines reduced runoff volumes, nutrient loss with runoff, and pesticide loss with runoff compared to management with solid tine aerification. In addition, the inclusion of vertical mowing to hollow tine aerification increased water infiltration, further reduced quantities of water leaving the turf plots as runoff, and decreased the off-site transport of nutrients (soluble-P, nitrate nitrogen) and pesticides (flutolanil, chlorpyrifos) 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. Results of this research will provide information that will allow for informed decisions on best management practices that are both environmentally responsible and provide quality turf.