Best Management Practices on the Golf Course. Dr. Matt Fagerness KSU Turfgrass Extension. Golf Courses are Vulnerable to:. Soil erosion (especially during grow-in) Surface runoff (rain, uneven irrigation) Movement of fertilizer and pesticides offsite
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Best Management Practices on the Golf Course Dr. Matt Fagerness KSU Turfgrass Extension
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
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
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
Part I: What are BMPs? • Practices implemented before and during management to protect natural resources both on and off the golf course.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Land Use BMPs • Two main categories: • Vegetative practices • Structural BMPs
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Efficacy of Vegetative BMPs • Total suspended solids in sampled surface water • Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency
Efficacy of Vegetative BMPs • Total phosphorus in sampled surface water • Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency
Efficacy of Vegetative BMPs • Total nitrogen in sampled surface water • Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency
Efficacy of Vegetative BMPs • Chemical oxygen demand in sampled surface water • Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Efficacy of Land Use BMPs • Total suspended solids in sampled surface water • Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency
Efficacy of Land Use BMPs • Total phosphorus in sampled surface water • Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency
Efficacy of Land Use BMPs • Total nitrogen in sampled surface water • Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency
Efficacy of Land Use BMPs • Chemical oxygen demand in sampled surface water • Data courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Water Conserving Turfgrasses Bermudagrass Tall fescue Buffalograss Zoysia
Turfgrasses Requiring More Water Kentucky bluegrass Perennial ryegrass
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.
Good and Bad Soil Conservation Good Not so good