Potential Management of Environmental Microbiology and Ground Water Quality on Minimizing Detrimental Environmental Issues

Little potential exists for contamination of ground water and air from fertilizers and pesticides applied to turf in a golf course environment if management practices that minimize detrimental environmental impacts are used.

Fertilizers and pesticides applied to turf on golf course greens and fairways do not contaminate ground water or air if management practices that minimize detrimental environmental impacts are used, according to the results of a simulation study conducted by Marylynn Yates, Environmental Microbiology and Ground Water Quality Specialist at the University of California, Riverside (UCR).

Management practices in the study included nitrogen fertilizer applied once every 2 weeks as sulfurcoated urea or urea at rates of 1.0 and 0.5 lb N/1,000 ft2 per month to the green and fairway plots, respectively. Irrigation was 100% or 130% ET.

Since fairways are similar to many general turfgrass sites, the results can be extrapolated to general turf situations if similar management practices are used, Yates said.

The 12 putting green test plots were constructed with a typical greens sand with 15% sphagnum peat moss and sodded with Penncross creeping bentgrass. The 24 fairways test plots consisted of 12 sandy loam and 12 loamy sand soils sodded with Tifway Il bermudagrass.

Nitrate-N, phosphates, 2,4-D, and carbaryl (Sevin) concentrations were analyzed weekly in samples collected from drains and soil-water samplers in each of the 36 plots. The mass of pesticide and nutrients leached and the amounts volatilized were also determined.