Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Turf study to monitor runoff, establish fertilizer management practices

Date:
September 7, 2012
Source:
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Summary:
Improperly applied fertilizer to newly placed sod may result in nutrient runoff into the water supply, but just when is the best time to apply fertilizer and what kind is the best for new turf?

A new turf runoff facility has been built at the Texas A&M Urban Ecology Field Laboratory. A team of Texas A&M AgriLife Research turf specialists are testing and comparing runoff from plots with no fertilizer to those receiving several different nitrogen sources.
Credit: Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo

Improperly applied fertilizer to newly placed sod may result in nutrient runoff into the water supply, but just when is the best time to apply fertilizer and what kind is the best for new turf?

Related Articles


Aiming to answer those questions is a team of scientists from Texas A&M AgriLife Research: Dr. Jacqui Aitkenhead-Peterson, assistant professor of urban nutrient and water management; Dr. Ben Wherley, assistant professor of turfgrass science and ecology; Dr. Richard White, professor of turfgrass physiology and management; and Jim Thomas, senior research associate, all with the department of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University.

"We are looking at the establishment of turf and what nutrients are coming off of that turf in the water runoff after irrigation or rain events," Peterson said.

The study, sponsored by TheScotts Miracle-Gro Company, is being conducted at the Texas A&M Urban Ecology Field Laboratory on F&B Road, College Station.

Results of the entire study will be discussed at the Turf and Landscape Field Day, set for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 10. For more information on the field day or to register, go to https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/ and type in the keyword "turf."

The runoff facility used in the study took a year to construct and consists of 24 individual plots, each 13 feet wide by 27 feet long on native soil that has not been disturbed until planting, all on a 3.5 percent slope. The plots are isolated with vertical plastic barriers between them so that water applied either infiltrates into the ground or runs down the hill where it can be sampled for nutrient content.

"We have the capability of irrigating where we can force a 'rainfall event' but the equipment is always on to also record any naturally occurring events," Peterson said.

The study was planted on Aug. 8 and the first eventmeasured was the following day, they said. The plots are planted to St. Augustine grass, which is most commonly used in new construction in Central Texas, Thomas said.

They will test and compare runoff from plots with no fertilizer to those receiving several different nitrogen sources, applied either immediately or weeks after sod has been laid and rooted in, Thomas said. After a month or two, they will be able to gather conclusions and information on the results.

"This will be the largest runoff facility of its kind in Texas, if not in the country," Peterson said. "We hope to have a lot of long-term projects looking at management practices, water conservation and nutrient conservation."

Turfgrass, she said, is the largest irrigated crop in the country. It is important to have recommendations for the industry.

"Considering the amount of sites that are sodded during new construction, it is important to understand what nutrients are coming off in runoff that could impair surface water quality," she said. "Hopefully we can make recommendations towards science-based best management practices for sod establishment after our study."

Thomas said if turf is managed properly, the fertilizer won't run off and the lawn will still be green. So there is no reason to over-apply. At the same time, he said, abandoned lawns can have as much or more erosion and nutrient loss than a well-maintained lawn.

"Our goal at the end of the day is to understand how these different manipulations of fertilization and irrigation affect the runoff volume and nutrient load and provide recommendations and best management suggestions," Peterson said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M AgriLife Communications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M AgriLife Communications. "Turf study to monitor runoff, establish fertilizer management practices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120907161441.htm>.
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications. (2012, September 7). Turf study to monitor runoff, establish fertilizer management practices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120907161441.htm
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications. "Turf study to monitor runoff, establish fertilizer management practices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120907161441.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pee-Power Toilet to Light Up Disaster Zones

Pee-Power Toilet to Light Up Disaster Zones

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) Students and staff are being asked to use a prototype urinal to &apos;donate&apos; urine to fuel microbial fuel cell (MFC) stacks that generate electricity to power lighting. The developers hope the pee-power technology will light toilet cubicles in refugee camps, where women are often at risk of assault in poorly lit sanitation areas. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Undersea Quake Shakes Taiwan

Raw: Undersea Quake Shakes Taiwan

AP (Apr. 20, 2015) A strong undersea earthquake struck between Taiwan and southern Japan on Monday, sparking a house fire that killed a person outside of Taiwan&apos;s capital. (April 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins