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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

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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 BuffersColbert 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 PlantingsColbert 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 IrrigationWater 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 Good Not so good