August 2012

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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gram to avoid wasted fertilizer that could potentially pollute. Many granular technologies are based around the timed "re- lease" of nutrients. Some are controlled by chemical formulations, some have special "coatings," and others use basic mineralization. All of these different release methods provide turfgrass managers with control over the quantity of each nutrient they want to pro- vide a growing turfgrass plant. The fertilizer's known technology, along with historical data for soil temperature fluctuation and weather conditions, can be com- bined using computer graphs to create an efficient, season-long granular program, eliminating waste and over-fertilization. In addition, regular soil testing provides a base line of plant available nutrients in the soil and will supply the estimated nitro- gen release (ENR) from organic matter present. Soil testing 4-5 times a season can illustrate to a manager the need for macro and micro- nutrients. Tracking the ENR provides the ability to cut back on nitrogen inputs as the soil microbes break down the or- ganic matter and release nitrogen. The slow release technologies, accompanied with regular soil Foliar fertilizers are readily available for the plant to absorb and use quickly and efficiently to reduce the total amount needed. Fo- liar fertilizers are able to supplement fungicide programs and help the grass plant withstand diseases and traffic as well. Bio-stimulants provide an avenue of natural, healthy growth that reduces the need of mineral fertilizer. Because of environmen- tal stresses (drought, excess rain, heat) and physical stresses (traf- fic, mowing, compaction), the turfgrass plant is not always able to perform its natural growth and development processes. Bio-stimu- lants are organic products that use plant hormones to promote growth while aiding in plant metabolic processes such as respira- tion and photosynthesis. Overall, the usage of foliar fertilizers and bio-stimulants gives managers the ability to grow a stronger, healthier plant by using less material and providing non-harmful, naturally plant-occurring compounds. testing provide managers the ability to reduce their over all inputs and ultimately reduce costs on fertilizers and on fungicides needed to control plant diseases caused by deficient or excess fertilizers. Liquid fertilizer and bio-stimulant use is growing in the sports field maintenance industry because of the increased growth con- trol they provide to managers. PESTICIDES Environmental Impact: Historically, some pesticides have been non-selective in the "good" or "bad" pests that they can kill, earn- ing a connotation of fear for the word "pesticide." Evolution Potential for Maintenance Programs: Fungicides are important in the battle to combat turfgrass dis- eases. Stress conditions from weather and foot traffic make the grass plant susceptible to invasion from disease pathogens. Fungi? SportsTurf 9

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