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Best Management Practices for Application of Turf Pesticides & Fertilizers and YardScaping Gary Fish Board of Pesticides Control 287-2731

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Presentation on theme: "Best Management Practices for Application of Turf Pesticides & Fertilizers and YardScaping Gary Fish Board of Pesticides Control 287-2731"— Presentation transcript:

1 Best Management Practices for Application of Turf Pesticides & Fertilizers and YardScaping Gary Fish Board of Pesticides Control

2 Why BMPs Inappropriate application practices discovered after heavy spring rains of 2005 Water sampling results from USGS and FOCB The Board continues to receive complaints about applications when weather forecasts are for heavy rains

3 USGS National Water Quality Assessment – 2006 Report Insecticides occurred as frequently in urban streams as they did in agricultural streams Herbicides detected in 99% of Urban stream samples

4 USGS National Water Quality Assessment – 2006 Report Phosphorous found in urban streams at similar levels as in agricultural streams 70% of those samples exceeded the EPA level for causing excessive algal growth

5 Aquatic Life Benchmarks Pesticides are present throughout most of the year in streams draining watersheds with substantial urban areas, but are less common in ground water Concentrations of pesticides were greater than water-quality benchmarks for aquatic life and (or) fish-eating wildlife in more than half of the streams with substantial urban areas in their watersheds

6 Friends of Casco Bay Sampling –Pesticide residues detected in surface water in Maine Diazinon up to (2.6 ppb)**Diazinon up to (2.6 ppb)** 2,4-D up to (36.4 ppb)2,4-D up to (36.4 ppb) Dicamba up to (4.1 ppb)Dicamba up to (4.1 ppb) MCPP up to (26 ppb)MCPP up to (26 ppb) MCPA up to (0.45 ppb)MCPA up to (0.45 ppb) Clopyralid up to (0.91 ppb)Clopyralid up to (0.91 ppb) Propiconazole up to (0.075 ppb)Propiconazole up to (0.075 ppb) Chlorothalonil up to (0.22 ppb)Chlorothalonil up to (0.22 ppb) Found Excess Nitrogen & Phosphorous in most samplesFound Excess Nitrogen & Phosphorous in most samples –Pesticide residues detected in sediments Bifenthrin up to (37 ppb)Bifenthrin up to (37 ppb) Permethrin up to (47 ppb)Permethrin up to (47 ppb) **Values in red exceed Aquatic Life Criteria

7 BMP web page

8 The BMPs Site Assessment Initial site visit Turf assessment prior to treatment Thorough periodic assessments Informed Product Choice Pesticides Fertilizers Operating Standards Prior to application Application Customer/Neighbor Relations Notification Customer education

9 Site Assessment Initial site visit Customer expectations Pest problems Site plan and measure Soil characteristics Slope and runoff Soil test Sensitive areas Grass species Intensity of use Sun exposure Record assessment

10 Site Assessment Turf assessment prior to treatment Soil conditions Compacted, eroded, frozen, shallow, saturated, exposed bedrock or ledge? Pest problems Turf health Watering Frequency Intensity

11 Site Assessment Thorough periodic assessment Annually Reassess the initial site visit criteria Customer expectations and desire for service (This is now required) Review management records Every 3 – 5 years Soil test Consider monitoring ground water for nitrates at golf courses or sod farms or other intensively managed areas

12 Informed Product Choice Pesticides Read labels & MSDSs Choose least toxic, least persistent, lowest exposure Use the WIN-PST criteria Check bee warnings Choose selective products Do spot treatments Choose low drift and low volatility products Weed & Feed

13 WIN-PST

14 Select slow release fertilizers GUARANTEED ANALYSIS Total Nitrogen (N)...… ….8.00% 1.0 % Water Soluble Nitrogen 7.5 % Water Insoluble Nitrogen Available Phosphate (P205) ….1.0 % Soluble Potash (K20) …1.0 % Derived from corn gluten, steamed bone meal & sulfate of potash NON PLANT FOOD INGREDIENTS Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus pumulis, Bacillus megaterium, Paenibacillus polymyxa, Paenibacillus durum 275,000 CFU per gram of finished product Look for Water Insoluble Nitrogen (WIN)

15 Informed Product Choice Fertilizers Choose slow- or timed- release N (WIN – Water insoluble nitrogen) Apply at 1 pound/1000 square feet or less Avoid ammonium nitrate or sulfate and calcium nitrate Do not apply quick release N above ½ pound/1000 sq. ft. Use P-Free fertilizer unless soil test indicates need or when establishing seed

16 Operating Standards Prior to application Check site for people & pets Sensitive individuals nearby Toys, sandboxes, pet dishes present? Open windows? 24-hour weather forecast Record current conditions Calibrate equipment frequently

17 Operating Standards Application Base applications on soil characteristics Never apply when there is standing water Never apply to saturated soils Never apply to frozen ground Never apply when temperature exceeds 85°F Follow label temperature requirements

18 Operating Standards Application – continued Never apply until soil warms to °F at 3” soil depth Never apply between December 1 and April 1 (unless fungicide for snow mold) Consider forecasted rains Avoid application when wind is below 3 mph or above 10 mph Do not apply pesticides if rain or irrigation is imminent, unless specified by label Do not apply if moderate or heavy rain is imminent regardless of label statements Never apply to impervious surfaces

19 Operating Standards Application – continued Never apply near areas prone to runoff, i.e., culverts, drains, drainageways or wells Never apply to bare ground unless establishing seed Cover seed to prevent erosion Clean up spills immediately Never leave materials on impervious surfaces Lightly water-in fertilizers When the label directs, assure that pesticides are watered in as directed

20 Operating Standards Application – continued Fill spreader on hard surface Use a drop spreader near sensitive areas Leave a 25-foot buffer of untreated vegetation near water bodies Manage pests with spot applications

21 Customer/Neighbor Relations Notification Remind customer annually about right to request labels and SDSs When requested, always provide labels and/or SDSs When requested always notify customers and/or neighbors at least 24 hours prior to applications After application inform customers/neighbors about treatments Need for watering Re-entry period

22 Customer/Neighbor Relations Customer Education Customers must know when their expectations are too high and should know the limitations like: Soil depth & texture Soil pH and nutrient imbalances Grass species limitations Proper mowing & watering Soil compaction & thatch depth Need for buffers around wells, water, etc. Low risk control options Slow-release & P-Free fertilizer options

23 25-foot buffer zone required next to waters and wetlands Applies to all terrestrial “Broadcast” applications Except stinging insect and arthropod vector control, and Man-made Ag wetlands, e.g., Cranberry bog areas Variances may be granted if the Board approves and protections are reasonably equivalent

24 Regional Lawn Nutrient Recommendations–U-Conn/Cornell Nitrogen Standards If the existing lawn is acceptable, no need for fertilizer Do not apply before spring green-up and no later than September 15 th (NNE) or October 15 th (SNE) Apply no more than 1/2 to 1/3 of a pound of nitrogen in any 1 application Slow release formulations are preferable When a soil test indicates adequate P or K, use N only On lawns that are 10 years or older apply a maximum of 2 lbs N/1000 per season Newer lawns may require 3 lbs N/1000 per season

25 Regional Lawn Nutrient Recommendations - continued When seeding a new lawn amend the soil to get organic matter up to 3% to 5% Mow high (3 inches) and return clippings Choose tall or fine fescues because they require less nutrients and water – Avoid KBG Maintain soil pH levels between 5.5 and 6.5 Consider introduction of white clover or other low growing legumes to provide natural nitrogen Start testing soil for nitrates and base application rates on need (this is experimental right now) Avoid using combination fertilizer and pesticide products

26 Regional Lawn Nutrient Recommendations - continued Phosphorus Standards If the existing lawn is acceptable, no need for fertilizer Soil test for P – do not guess Frank Rossi at Cornell says P is only needed on the poorest of soils Avoid P fertilizers on bare ground or low density lawns, unless seeding Use P-free next to water unless soil test shows very low phosphorus

27 Regional Lawn Nutrient Recommendations - continued Avoid application of P prior to heavy or moderate rains Maintain pH between 5.5 and 6.5 Never apply to saturated or frozen ground Soil test annually for P if using organic fertilizer or composts Avoid combination fertilizer and pesticide products

28 YardScaping… for a healthy Maine Gary Fish, Coordinator Maine YardScaping Partnership (207)

29 The Partnership is very diverse!

30 YardScaping A new paradigm?A new paradigm? Some call it “Sustainable Landscaping” or “Ecological Landscaping”Some call it “Sustainable Landscaping” or “Ecological Landscaping” We want to keep it simpleWe want to keep it simple

31 YardScaping Mission To inspire Maine people toTo inspire Maine people to –create and maintain healthy landscapes –through ecologically based practices that –minimize reliance on water, fertilizer and pesticides

32 Have we finally hit the top of the curve? Includes lawn and tree care company applications

33 The Ten-ets of YardScaping Promote buffers Promote buffers Promote appropriate plants - native plants and non-invasive alien plants Promote appropriate plants - native plants and non-invasive alien plants Reduce lawn area Reduce lawn area Reduce runoff Reduce runoff Reduce reliance on pesticides, fertilizers and water Reduce reliance on pesticides, fertilizers and water Promote low input lawns and landscapes Promote low input lawns and landscapes Promote YardScape diversity Promote YardScape diversity Create wildlife habitats Create wildlife habitats Right plant, right place, right use Right plant, right place, right use Commonsense pest management (IPM) Commonsense pest management (IPM)

34 Use site appropriate, non-invasive plants Native plants are often well adaptedNative plants are often well adapted –Fewer problems, less work, more rewards, but not all are problem free, e.g., viburnums Invasive plants are easy to grow but crowd out native vegetationInvasive plants are easy to grow but crowd out native vegetation –Our local forest habitats are changing rapidly –Invasive plants can ruin wildlife habitat Beautiful Native Shadbush Problematic Native Viburnum Deadly Invasive Oriental Bittersweet

35 Right plant, right place, right purpose Choose plants based on the area to be planted not just for their colorChoose plants based on the area to be planted not just for their color Select plants that thrive under existing conditions rather than trying to alter the conditions to meet the needs of a plantSelect plants that thrive under existing conditions rather than trying to alter the conditions to meet the needs of a plant Minimize disturbance of the existing landscapeMinimize disturbance of the existing landscape Wild Cranberry Bog

36 Right plant, right place Beach plum – dry sunny site Partridgeberry – wet shady site Staghorn Sumac – large open dry bank

37 Use a diversity of plants & grasses Monocultures lead to disastersMonocultures lead to disasters Diversity leads to less noticeable damage from pests and diseaseDiversity leads to less noticeable damage from pests and disease –Incorporate many layers of plant types TreesTrees ShrubsShrubs Ground coversGround covers Perennials, andPerennials, and LawnsLawns

38 Create wildlife habitats Diversity and plant layers go hand in hand with habitat creationDiversity and plant layers go hand in hand with habitat creation Add nectar and fruit producing plantsAdd nectar and fruit producing plants Strive for continuous bloomsStrive for continuous blooms Add water, walls, feeders, woody debrisAdd water, walls, feeders, woody debris

39 Reduce lawn area ReducesReduces –Water & air pollution –Water usage –Maintenance –Costs GivesGives –More free time One hour on riding mower = 400 miles Mower exhaust = 11 small cars’ exhaust

40 Use low input plant varieties Fine fescue or tall fescue instead of Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrassFine fescue or tall fescue instead of Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrass Pagoda dogwood vs flowering cherryPagoda dogwood vs flowering cherry River birch vs paper birchRiver birch vs paper birch Fine fescue Tall fescue

41 Protect lakes & streams with buffers Preserve existing landscapePreserve existing landscape Winding pathsWinding paths Don’t mow to lake’s edgeDon’t mow to lake’s edge Leave the duffLeave the duff

42 Reduce runoff Reduce amount of pervious (hard) surfacesReduce amount of pervious (hard) surfaces Create rain gardens or install rain barrelsCreate rain gardens or install rain barrels Direct water into vegetated areasDirect water into vegetated areas Porous pavement

43 Reduce reliance on pesticides, fertilizers and water Grow plants that are resistant to insects & diseasesGrow plants that are resistant to insects & diseases Use plants that tolerate low fertilityUse plants that tolerate low fertility Use drought resistant plantsUse drought resistant plants Sweet Fern White Fir

44 Use common sense pest management Integrated pest managementIntegrated pest management –Know your pest –Pick it, trap it or exclude it –Know the good bugs –Mow, prune or water –Use pesticides as last resort

45 Weed Control Approach (BASIC STRATEGY - dense, tall turf tends to reduce weed invasion) Seed is the best weed control! Mow high, 3 inches MINIMUM Promote root growth – fertilize in early fall Reduce wear and compaction - encourage foot traffic away from turf; core aerify twice per year and overseed at same time Overseed or slit-seed open areas ASAP ! Spot treatment with herbicides only when necessary.

46 Are there alternatives? Corn gluten meal has demonstrated pre-emergent herbicide activity Rather expensive and a weak herbicide Most action - nutrient value from meal breakdown - added fertility thickens turf and reduces weed germination Weed flamers and spikes “Punto” Hot water foam and steamers Mostly used in cities where herbicides have been banned Punto

47

48 Choose the right grass varieties for Maine

49 Insect toleranceSomeSomeExcellentGood Disease toleranceSomeSomeGoodGood

50 Plant or over-seed with low maintenance grass types Fine Fescues %Fine Fescues % –Creeping Red –Hard –Chewings Tall FescueTall Fescue Common Kentucky BluegrassCommon Kentucky Bluegrass Endophyte enhanced perennial rye or fescuesEndophyte enhanced perennial rye or fescues Plant grass seed in late summer/early fallPlant grass seed in late summer/early fall Avoid sodAvoid sod YardScaping Mix 40% Endophyte Enhanced Creeping Red Fescue 10% Southport Chewings Fescue 30% Endophyte Enhanced Perennial Ryegrass 20% Kenblue KBG

51 Low Maintenance Lawn Benefits – 2000 CMHC study of 30 residences Residents with low- maintenance lawns spentResidents with low- maintenance lawns spent –50 per cent less time, –85 per cent less money, and usedused –50 per cent less fuel, –85 per cent less fertilizer, –100 per cent less water and –100 per cent less pesticides per year

52

53 Sustainable plant selection

54 Where to learn more

55 YardScaping booklet that you can download

56 Where to learn more

57 YardScaping… For a healthy Maine


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