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Best Management Practices on the Golf Course

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1 Best Management Practices on the Golf Course
Dr. Matt Fagerness KSU Turfgrass Extension

2 Golf Courses are Vulnerable to:
Soil erosion (especially during grow-in) Surface runoff (rain, uneven irrigation) Movement of fertilizer and pesticides offsite Improper use of fertilizers and pesticides

3 This Seminar: Is not intended to criticize course management practices
Is intended to offer new perspective(s) on familiar concepts Will hopefully increase awareness of the many practices which affect golf course ecosystems

4 Seminar Breakdown Part I: Basics of Best Management Practices
Part II: Integrated Pest Management Part III: Practical Applications of IPM Environmental and Pest Monitoring Pesticide Selection Criteria Applicable Strategies for Reducing Pesticide Input

5 Part I: What are BMPs? Practices implemented before and during management to protect natural resources both on and off the golf course.

6 Four Primary Goals of BMPs:
1) Identify potential for and reduce or eliminate offsite transport of sediment, nutrient, and pesticides. 2) Use strategic, biological, and mechanical soil and water conservation practices 3) Control the rate, method, and types of inputs used 4) Reduce total chemical use through an IPM approach

7 Goals of BMPs 1) Identify potential for and reduce or eliminate offsite transport of sediment, nutrient, and pesticides. (LU, SP) 2) Use strategic, biological, and mechanical soil and water conservation practices 3) Control the rate, method, and types of inputs used 4) Reduce total chemical use through an IPM approach

8 Environmental Planning
A proactive environmental approach to golf course construction and management can mitigate future problems. Step I: examine characteristics of the site Step II: identify site’s position relative to watershed drainage basins Step III: identify environmentally sensitive areas Step IV: determine management practices which will help protect sensitive areas

9 Step I: Site Description
Topography Major surface water features streams and ponds/lakes Soil physical and chemical characteristics Climatic history Water quality assessment Surveys of native plant and animal populations

10 Step II: Watershed Drainage Basins
Mapping the routes and locations of all watershed drainage basins allows: determination of the effects of golf holes where surface and subsurface drainage are installed determination of turfgrass acreage within each drainage basin

11 Step III: Identifying Sensitive Areas
Environmentally sensitive areas: those natural resources that are susceptible to change and subsequent alteration of the ecosystem Surface water sources and associated habitats are the most noteworthy examples

12 Step IV: Protection of Sensitive Areas
Land use BMPs to minimize pollutant input Careful selection of fertilizers and pesticides (one place where IPM plugs into the BMP scheme) Restricted use management zones e.g. reduced or no-spray zones around bodies of water

13 Two Main Types of BMPs Land Use BMPs: Practices engineered and incorporated into course/landscape design and construction. Source Prevention BMPs: Practices implemented during management of a golf course.

14 Land Use BMPs Two main categories: Vegetative practices
Structural BMPs

15 Land Use BMPs-Vegetative Practices
Vegetative filtration: naturally filters surface water flow and reduces pollutant load Examples: conservation areas or buffers critical area plantings grassed swales or berms vegetated filter strips grassed waterways

16 Conservation Areas or Buffers
Areas where it is critical to maintain/establish natural perennial cover to protect resources. Usually directly adjacent to water sources since the most sensitivity is at the erodible edge Suggested specifications: 25’ in width from fairways and tees 50’ in width from greens combinations of reduced width natural areas + roughs

17 Buffer Benefits Reduces erosion at water’s edge and reduces sediment pollution Intercept chemical pollutants in surface water coming from maintained turf areas Moderate temperature of incoming surface water Offer an area immediately adjacent to water where potential pollutants aren’t directly added

18 Golf Course Buffers Colbert Hills

19 Critical Area Plantings
Planting of vegetation on eroding or highly erodible areas Very important during course construction or earth-moving renovation projects May include the use of sod e.g. Colbert Hills (wall to wall sod for fairways, tees, and roughs) with steep slopes, shallow soils, and sensitive creeks running through the property

20 Critical Area Plantings Colbert Hills

21 Grassed Swales or Berms
Added topographical features of a site that serve to divert surface runoff Can either promote movement of water away from wet sites or prevent water from leaving dry sites via surface movement Can attenuate surface runoff and erosion, particularly on sloped golf holes

22 Vegetated Filter Strips
Natural or constructed flat areas which separate managed turfgrass areas from undisturbed areas Can be composed of grasses, woody plants, or trees To be effective as BMPs, filter strips should be at least 25’ wide and not exceed 15% slope more slope, more the need for grasses instead of trees

23 Grassed Waterways Most useful in concentrated flow areas where erosion and/or surface runoff are significant concerns Often constructed and graded to receive certain amounts of flow Less effective at intercepting eroded sediment but can be a very effective “transition” areas between surface runoff sources and surface waters

24 “Non-grassed” & “Grassed” Waterways

25 Efficacy of Vegetative BMPs
Total suspended solids in sampled surface water Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency

26 Efficacy of Vegetative BMPs
Total phosphorus in sampled surface water Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency

27 Efficacy of Vegetative BMPs
Total nitrogen in sampled surface water Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency

28 Efficacy of Vegetative BMPs
Chemical oxygen demand in sampled surface water Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency

29 Structural Land Use BMPs
Designed or conserved features that control and/or filter surface or subsurface drainage water Examples: directed subsurface drainage water quality basins wet retention ponds protected wetlands and riparian zones constructed wetlands

30 Directed Subsurface Drainage
Used to reduce leaching and/or runoff from greens Can be used to manipulate a water table Directing drainage paths into vegetative areas or infiltration basins can control losses of nutrients or pesticides

31 Water Quality Basins Provide a “first line of defense” against pollutants in surface runoff Allow for settling of sediment and, with addition of certain plant materials, can also filter nutrients and pesticides Installed drainage beneath these basins can either be routed away after “filtration” or allowed to vertically drain and recharge groundwater.

32 Wet Retention Ponds More permanent collection areas for runoff allow high removal rates of pollutants consistent plant and microbial populations Larger ponds are more efficient “scrubbers” of runoff water since there is more “clean” volume Provide recreation and habitats for wildlife May buffer streams from high storm input

33 Protected Wetlands and Riparian Zones
Natural means of filtering runoff inputs Need to be minimally disrupted by landscaping and kept continuous to be most effective Provide habitats, attenuate flooding, stabilize erodible areas, and recharge groundwater Constructed ponds, basins, etc. need to be segregated from natural areas to preserve them

34 Constructed Wetlands Can support fauna and flora like natural wetlands but are specifically designed and positioned for water purification Highly effective for filtering nutrients and sediment or other particulate matter Often used “downstream” from equipment washpads

35 Efficacy of Land Use BMPs
Total suspended solids in sampled surface water Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency

36 Efficacy of Land Use BMPs
Total phosphorus in sampled surface water Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency

37 Efficacy of Land Use BMPs
Total nitrogen in sampled surface water Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency

38 Efficacy of Land Use BMPs
Chemical oxygen demand in sampled surface water Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency

39 Land Use BMP Effectiveness
How well land use BMPs remove pollutants is based on the following three interrelated factors: removal mechanism employed by the BMP, including physical interception, biological uptake or breakdown, and chemical breakdown fraction of runoff treated by the BMP characteristics of the pollutant being removed Multiple land use BMPs offer the best chance of overall success

40 Summary: Land Use BMPs While entities like the EPA may not require all these measures yet, some are required in many sensitive watersheds and are likely on the way. Implementation of land use BMPs: exacts a positive (or prevents a negative) impact can proactively address possible future mandates demonstrates to the media swayed public and to regulatory or funding agencies that we’re on track

41 Goals of BMPs 1) Identify potential for and reduce or eliminate offsite transport of sediment, nutrient, and pesticides. 2) Use strategic, biological, and mechanical soil and water conservation practices 3) Control the rate, method, and types of inputs used 4) Reduce total chemical use through an IPM approach

42 Source Prevention BMPs
Proper irrigation: right time, frequency, & amount Proper fertilization and pesticide use: correct rates, types, and timings Monitoring water sources: pesticide, nutrient levels

43 Improper Irrigation Water can carry a lot with it!

44 Strategic Water Conservation
Use of effluent (recycled, reclaimed, non-potable) irrigation water Concerns: Effluent water quality (salts, sodium, nutrients, heavy metals, particulate matter, pH changes) Leaching salts from effluent treated soils

45 Benefits of Using Effluent Irrigation
Not an absolute replacement for potable water Potable water can be use to flush out unwanted salts Cost effectiveness Less water treatment before use, less $$ Future concerns: Demand for potable water doubles every 20 years Effluent water use may be mandated, not optional

46 Biological Soil and Water Conservation
Turfgrass!! Turf is an excellent soil stabilizer and is an efficient user of water, especially certain species Mulch Helps with soil water retention and stabilizes bare ground Other plants Can offer a buffer to prevent excessive surface movement of water, soil, etc.

47 Water Conserving Turfgrasses
Bermudagrass Tall fescue Buffalograss Zoysia

48 Turfgrasses Requiring More Water
Kentucky bluegrass Perennial ryegrass

49 Practical Considerations: Summer Turfgrass Water Requirements
Most turfgrasses will perform better when irrigated. The distinction comes when a species can or can not survive without water. Buffalograss can survive without any water. Bermuda and zoysia can survive extended time periods without water with limited visual impact. Tall fescue can survive reasonable amounts of time without water but will show signs of drought stress. Perennial ryegrass and bluegrass will die without water.

50 Good and Bad Soil Conservation
Not so good

51 Soil Conservation: How to Tell How You’re Doing During Grow-in
Visual signs (previous slide) Testing water samples for sediment levels Changes in stream depth, direction changes Compositional changes in sediment collecting at the bottom of lakes, collection/irrigation ponds

52 Goals of BMPs 1) Identify potential for and reduce or eliminate offsite transport of sediment, nutrient, and pesticides. 2) Use strategic, biological, and mechanical soil and water conservation practices 3) Control the rate, method, and types of inputs used (SP) 4) Reduce total chemical use through an IPM approach

53 Types of Inputs Fertilizer Water Pesticides Other
Natural and synthetic, pH modifiers Water Natural and intentional (effluent water use) Pesticides Herbicides, fungicides, insecticides Other e.g. soil sterilants, fuel

54 Sloppy Fertilization “feast or famine”

55 Fertilizer Analysis Sequence of three numbers that reflect the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium respectively.

56 What’s in the Bag?: Primary Turf Nutrients
Nitrogen - Used for above-ground growth and good green color (soil mobile, nitrate contamination) Phosphorus - Used for root growth and formation of seeds and fruit (less mobile in soil but can contaminate watersheds like nitrate) Potassium - Used for basic plant growth and helps plants withstand stress (soil mobile)

57 Tips to Manage Fertilizer Input
Determine exact amounts for specific areas Avoid the tendency to give the turf “a little extra” Avoid overshooting onto cart paths or parking lots Be as precise as possible with spreader spacing

58 Area Determination the Wrong Way
150’ Total: 3.62 acres 450’ 600’ 150’

59 Area Determination the Right Way
120’ Total: 2.32 acres 250’ 550’ 120’ Area=(b*h)/2 ~100’x100’/2=5000 sq. ft.

60 Tips to Manage Irrigation Input
Water in morning or evening to maximize turf use Try to minimize irrigation water hitting paved surfaces (surface runoff) Deep, infrequent irrigation instead of light, frequent irrigation, when possible!! (improves root system)

61 Irrigation Tips - Soil Wetting

62 Irrigation Tips - Turf Use

63 Irrigation Tips: Practical Considerations
As shown previously, deep infrequent irrigation is ideal but only if root growth can match it. Golf greens in summer have declining root systems so irrigating too deep exceeds where the roots are. Spring Summer Fall Shoot growth Root growth Irrigation amount

64 Tips to Manage Pesticide Input
Know your pests! Improper diagnosis of a problem can lead to unnecessary pesticide use. Let the pesticide do its job- Be patient! Avoid pesticides prone to drift Follow label specifications!!!

65 Improper Diagnosis What caused this problem? Not disease or insects but dull mower blades. The solution should be a trip to the backlapper, not a pesticide.

66 Other: Petroleum Contamination aka Gas Spill

67 Goals of BMPs 1) Identify potential for and reduce or eliminate offsite transport of sediment, nutrient, and pesticides. 2) Use biological and mechanical soil and water conservation practices 3) Control the rate, method, and types of inputs used 4) Reduce total chemical use through an IPM approach

68 Seminar Breakdown Part I: Basics of Best Management Practices
Part II: Integrated Pest Management Part III: Practical Applications of IPM Environmental and Pest Monitoring Pesticide Selection Criteria Applicable Strategies for Reducing Pesticide Input

69 What IPM Isn’t Impulsive Panic Mongering
Contrary to what may be thought about IPM, it does not promote the proactive environmentalism that is often portrayed in the media and that has sometimes targeted golf courses

70 What is IPM? Integrated Pest Management Objectives:
Develop healthy turf that can withstand pest pressure Use chemicals judiciously and efficiently Enhance populations of natural, beneficial organisms Tackle pest problems when pests are most vulnerable

71 IPM is Part of the BMP ‘Train’ Approach
Non ‘Train’ Approach ‘Train’ Approach Integrated Pest Management Green Drain Line 25’ Rough Buffer 25’ Natural Area Lake Green Drain Line Lake

72 Six Basic Approaches to IPM
Genetic * Regulatory * Cultural Physical Biological Chemical * Represent IPM approaches at the planning stage, not active ways to manage pests

73 Planning Stage IPM Genetic approach: Regulatory approach:
Selecting improved turfgrass varieties which do well in the Kansas climate and show resistance to both environmental stress and pest problems Regulatory approach: Using certified seed, sod, or sprigs to optimize genetic uniformity and prevent unwanted weed contamination

74 Genetic Approach: Blending Tips
Overall quality of a blend will reflect the “lowest common denominator” e.g. four good varieties with one poor one will appear worse than five good ones Avoid the tendency to “use up” older or low quality seed if you blend yourself and watch for commercial blends which may do the same

75 Regulatory Approach: Seed Label
** Look for % other crop seed, % weed seed, and % germination Good Not so Good

76 Active IPM Approaches Cultural: proper mowing, irrigation, fertilization, and aerating make pest control much easier. Physical: hand weeding, cleaning mowers and tools to avoid spreading disease and weed seeds Biological: promoting natural pest predators (e.g. bird houses, bird baths)

77 Active IPM Approaches Chemical: often necessary but to supplement rather than replace other approaches Steps to take: Identify the pest properly Identify and correct site conditions promoting the pest Implement other IPM approaches to augment pest control Select a pesticide suitable for the pest Apply the pesticide as directed and when the pest is most vulnerable

78 Components of the IPM Approach
Monitoring pest populations and their habitat Determining injury levels and establishing thresholds Deciding upon and implementing one or more of the six basic approaches Educating personnel about selected approaches Timing and applying selected treatments Evaluating the results of applied treatments

79 Seminar Breakdown Part I: Basics of Best Management Practices
Part II: Integrated Pest Management Part III: Practical Applications of IPM Environmental and Pest Monitoring Pesticide Selection Criteria Applicable Strategies for Reducing Pesticide Input

80 Four Types of Monitoring
1) Reconnaissance- periodic observations 2) Surveillance- in compliance with enforceable regulations (application record keeping) 3) ** Subjective- spot-checking for broad or open-ended exploration of problems (pest scouting) 4) ** Objective- to provide data for future decision making processes (environmental monitoring)

81 Pest Scouting: Pros and Cons
early detection of potential pest problems regular structured observation of the course builds experience and observation skills in the scout long-term assessment of pest control in problem areas Cons: requires staff time and effort subjective approach may lead to misdiagnoses

82 Environmental Monitoring
Indicates sources and extent of pollution and can be used as the basis for future decisions Three phases, related to golf course development: Phase I: pre-development to provide background levels of pollutants to compare later results to Phase II: construction and immediate post-development (most sensitive time for golf courses) Phase III: normal operations testing (decision basis)

83 Environmental Monitoring Places to Measure
Surface water Lake/pond sediments Ground water Each source should be sampled during dry and wet periods to avoid misleading results

84 Environmental Monitoring Water Quality Measurements
pH- range from 6-8 OK for most aquatic organisms temperature- can vary vertically so sample carefully dissolved oxygen- necessary for aquatic organisms specific conductance- water salinity nutrients- N and P excesses promote algae, bacteria total dissolved solids- gives an idea of habitability turbidity- measure of suspended solids in water pesticides- choose most risky from your list

85 Nitrogen and Water Quality

86 Phosphorus and Water Quality

87 Phase I Environmental Monitoring Background Information
Prior to any course construction Minimum of two surface water sampling sites: e.g. Point of entry and exit of golf course for a stream More sampling sites are desirable with surface water branches or unique drainage patterns Mark sampling sites for sampling in Phases II&III Spring, summer, and fall (dry and wet conditions)

88 Phase II Environmental Monitoring Construction and Development
Direct assessment of construction and immediate post-construction activities on water and sediment quality Same sites and timings as for Phase I Like for Phase I, fertilizer or pesticide analysis not relevant for this stage of monitoring Terminate when turf grow-in begins

89 Phase III Environmental Monitoring Post Development/Daily Operations
Starting at grow-in and continuing at regular seasonal intervals to determine trends Same sites as for Phases I & II, with relevant additions Includes Nutrient and pesticide analyses for water Includes soil testing for fertility requirements Sampling timings should be adjusted to coincide with fertilizer or pesticide applications

90 Phase III Environmental Monitoring Post Development/Daily Operations

91 Pesticide Selection Should be based upon:
Effectiveness Economics Environmental Impact Site Characteristics Safety One or more of these criteria are often ignored.

92 Pesticide Effectiveness
Environmental concerns are indeed important However, first and foremost, IPM dictates we must select a pesticide that will actually work When environmental considerations are placed before effectiveness, we end up like Seattle

93 Pesticide Economics Several factors to consider:
Actual cost of pesticide (highly variable) Labor costs (training, time spent mixing, physically spraying, recording specs, cleaning up) Frequency need for applications Established pest thresholds (At what point does the cost of the pesticide become less important than the “cost” of pest infestation?)

94 Environmental Effects of Pesticides
Two main areas of concern: Surface water Groundwater Numerous factors affect potential for pesticides to reach either of these areas

95 Pesticide Movement to Surface Water
Usually via runoff Depends on the following: Pesticide characteristics (solubility, adsorption, persistence) Soil characteristics (texture, permeability, water holding capacity, pH, organic matter content) Site conditions (slope, climate, proximity to water) Management (pesticide selection, rates, timings, application methods, irrigation management)

96 Pesticide Movement to Ground Water
Usually via leaching Depends on the following: Soil characteristics (texture, permeability, water holding capacity, pH, organic matter content) Pesticide characteristics (reactivity with soil, persistence, rate and timing of application) Site conditions (climate, depth to water table) Management (irrigation management, pesticide application method)

97 Pesticide Safety Environment and People
Risk assessment: It’s all relative, based upon our perception We can approach risk in a structured fashion Risk = hazard*exposure Hazard=probability that harm will result from prescribed use Exposure=extent (amount or frequency) of use

98 Risk from Pesticides and Pesticide Selection
Can we conclude that reduced risk may come simply from using less hazardous pesticides, from reducing exposure to a given pesticide, or both? Yes, but: How do we define baseline exposure levels and any subsequent changes? How do we define how hazardous a pesticide is?

99 Three Steps in Pesticide Selection
Identify pest problems Experience and scouting Identify potential pesticides Experience and labels **Fit pesticides to models to determine which ones meet effectiveness and environmental safety criteria (list formation)

100 Modeled Pesticide Parameters
Acute toxicity- toxic effects over the short-term Chronic toxicity- toxicity effects over the long-term Aquatic toxicity (LC50)- chemical concentration in water that kills 50% of test organisms Terrestrial toxicity (LD50)- chemical concentration that kills 50% of test organisms in an oral dose Adsorption potential (KOC)- how well pesticide binds to soil particles

101 Modeled Pesticide Parameters
Field half-life (T1/2)- time required for 50% breakdown Health advisory level (HAL)- amount of pesticide which does no harm over a lifetime of consumption (70 yrs.) Leaching potential- ease with which pesticide moves through soil profile Runoff potential- ease with which pesticide moves over land surfaces Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)- highest surface water concentration safe for aquatic organisms

102 Interpretation of Pesticide Hazards
Toxicity type parameters are of greatest interest when human contact and terrestrial or aquatic wildlife will receive exposure Toxicity and health related parameters should definitely be included in decision making processes for insecticides and fungicides

103 Interpretation of Pesticide Hazards
For less toxic materials like herbicides, use of a “quadrant” model gives a good hazard indication. Short half-life Low hazard potential Moderate hazard High hazard Long half-life Low mobility High mobility

104 Recommended Pesticide Lists
List all pesticides for certain pest categories (e.g. diseases) and their corresponding hazard potential Facilitate decisions as to whether or not a certain pesticide (even if it is registered by EPA) should be used on the golf course or perhaps in a specific area on the course

105 Pesticide Lists Should be developed based on the following four factors: Pesticide characteristics (solubility, adsorption, persistence) Soil characteristics (texture, permeability, water holding capacity, pH, organic matter content, depth to water table) Site conditions (slope, climate, proximity to water) Management (pesticide selection, rates, timings, application methods, irrigation management)

106 Ways to Reduce Pesticide Input
Know your pests! Improper diagnosis of a problem = unnecessary pesticide use. Knowing pest characteristics allows for application timing to be optimized Use pest life cycles to your advantage: hitting them when they’re most vulnerable increases overall effectiveness

107 Ways to Reduce Pesticide Input
Follow label specifications!!! Proper rates and specifications for application Proper timing of application Proper intervals between applications Proper conditions in which to apply pesticides Pitfalls which may diminish effectiveness These things may together help reduce inputs.

108 Summary The point of BMPs and IPM is not to foster criticism of how things are currently done but rather to promote “better” or “safer” ways to manage golf course inputs. Education is just as important a goal of BMPs as are all the specific steps previously covered. Awareness is the first step towards progress.

109 ----------------The End---------------


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