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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309377

Title: Low input verses traditional turfgrass: Comparing runoff quantity and quality

item Rice, Pamela
item HORGAN, BRIAN - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/22/2014
Publication Date: 9/3/2014
Citation: Rice, P.J., Horgan, B.P. 2014. Low input verses traditional turfgrass: Comparing runoff quantity and quality. MTGF Clippings. Vol. 22, No. 2, p. 11.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Strategies used to maintain managed biological systems, including golf course turf, often involve application of fertilizer and pesticides to optimize plant health and protection. The transport of applied chemicals with runoff to surrounding surface waters has been shown to result in enhanced algal blooms, promotion of eutrophication or negative impacts on sensitive aquatic organisms or ecosystems. In previous research we demonstrated that changes in cultivation practices (e.g. type and timing of core cultivation) reduced the volume of runoff and the percentage of applied pesticides and nutrients that moved off-site with runoff from creeping bentgrass turf. In the current study we evaluate the influence of turfgrass variety on runoff quantity and quality. Experiments are underway to compare the volume of runoff and measure the amount of pesticides and nutrients in runoff from conventional versus low input turfgrasses. To date we have observed the fine fescue mixture produces greater quantities of snowmelt and rainfall runoff than bentgrass. Data collected from this study will guide strategies to manage low input fine fescue mixtures in order to provide optimal results for golf course managers, golfers and the environment.