Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Leachate Water Quality from Golf Greens: A Data Base for Turf Nutrient Management.

J. Gaebe1, S.-K. Chong1, R. Boniak1, and Terry Wyciskalla2. (1) Dept. of Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901, (2) Wyciskalla Consulting, Inc., P. O. Box 267, 981 S. Washington St., Nashville, IL 62263

Healthy turf requires adequate moisture and nutrients. The main fertilizer used for turf growth is nitrogen, followed by phosphorus, potassium, and iron. The contribution of applied fertilizer to turf on surface and groundwater pollution is not well documented. In order to protect our green industry as well as our environment, further investigation and understanding about the transport of N and P via leaching and surface runoff is warranted. This research was conducted on existing golf greens. Three golf courses (one USGA, one California, and one push-up construction style green) were selected and four greens per course were randomly selected in the study.  In each green, a zero-tension micro-lysimeter was installed below the root zone for leachate collection. The green was managed under normal practices. Date, type and quantity of any agri-chemicals and irrigation application as well as rainfall and management activities such as aerification were recorded. Leachate samples were collected from the lysimeters periodically and/or 24 hours after each storm event. Soil samples for nutrient analysis were collected from the area immediately surrounding the lysimeters. In addition, water infiltration and turf quality were scored periodically. Preliminary results indicated neither nitrogen nor phosphorus concentration in leachates collected from the golf greens exceeded the USEPA drinking water standard.