December 2015

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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FIELD SCIENCE 26 SportsTurf | December 2015 M ost of us, or perhaps all of us as sports turf managers, have been using foliar iron on our natural grass sports fields for many years. We use foliar iron products either by itself, or, as a combination product with other important micronutrients. We use it as a means to help "mask" off the bronzing effects of plant growth regu- lators and herbicides, as well as an aid to improve turf color. We sometimes use granular fertilizers that contain iron as well, but for the most part, we rely on foliar iron products because granular iron sources are of minimal use because they get "tied-up" in the soil, especially if the soil pH is on the alkaline side, waterlogged, or poorly aerated. Excessive phosphorous in clay soils will drastically limit iron uptake from the soil as well, which is a com- mon occurrence because phosphorous easily becomes immobile. As a sports turf manager, and former golf course superintendent over the past 26 years I have used many different foliar products from various iron sources and various chelating sources, either by itself, or in combination with other micronutrients. BENEFITS OF IRON Iron plays a crucial role in metabolic processes, as it is a metal cofactor of many enzymes that carry out oxida- tion-reduction reactions involving photosynthetic electron transport, nitrate reduction and assimilation, turf metabolism, and chlorophyll biosyn- MOLECULAR AND BIOCHEMICAL PATHWAYS OF FOLIAR IRON IN SPORTS TURF ■ BY JEFF HAAG

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