Turfgrass fertilization is a primary component of golf course management that directly affects turfgrass health and playability, the maintenance budget, and environmental quality. A golf course nutrient management program that promotes optimal turfgrass health while safeguarding environmental quality and frugal use of budget dollars is efficient.
Safeguarding water quality with nutrient use efficiency
Protection of both groundwater and surface water resources is a primary environmental goal within golf course management. Strategies to reduce nutrient leaching and runoff are considered best management practices and include the use of buffer strips of unmaintained and/or higher cut vegetation adjacent to waterways, soil amendments that reduce leaching potential, avoidance of overloading the turf system with nutrients, working closely with climate and weather data, appropriate irrigation practices, soil testing, accurate application methods and proper product selection.
Grigg Brothers® Proven Foliar™ fertilizers have been tested for foliar nutrient uptake at four U.S. universities on three different turfgrass species (creeping bentgrass, annual bluegrass, hybrid bermudagrass), and research data clearly indicate that turfgrass plants can absorb greater than 80% of applied nutrient through the leaves when the fertilizer is properly formulated and the nutrients properly chelated. (see graph)
Nutrient runoff and the subsequent eutrophication of surface water has led to the ban of phosphorous fertilization of turf in many communities across the U.S. and Canada *. Researchers at Auburn University have documented that leaching of phosphorous may occur in sand root zone putting greens †.
Phosphorous is a main component of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), an energy compound used for many metabolic processes within plants, and is thus critical to plant survival. While soil tests may indicate ample phosphorous availability in some locations, phosphorous deficiency can occur in others, particularly sand root zone putting greens with calcareous pH and/or cool soil temperatures throughout much of the growing season ‡.
Utilizing a chelated phosphorous source fertilizer in light and frequent application will minimize risk of phosphorous loss to the environment, and maximum nutrient use efficiency will be lead to optimal agronomic conditions. Research with Grigg Brothers Proven Foliar fertilizers indicates greater than 85% phosphorous uptake by the turfgrass plant §.
By following recommended rates for Grigg Brothers Proven Foliar fertilizers, very little phosphorous would be available for loss to the environment, and most not immediately absorbed by the turfgrass leaf tissue would be taken up by the plant roots, fixed in the soil or used by microorganisms.
Only Grigg Brothers has the documented nutrient uptake data to demonstrate the efficiency of advanced fertilizer formulation technology and its related benefit to the environment. Using the most efficient fertilizer available enables turf managers to apply less total nutrient per unit area across the growing season to achieve agronomic objectives while safeguarding environmental quality by minimizing the potential for nutrient loss.
Agronomic solutions, budget efficiency
Efficient golf course fertilization strategies should involve the use of products with proven agronomic results, the highest level of uptake efficiency, and reduced risk to the environment. Grigg Brothers Proven Foliar fertilizers utilize naturally occurring, plant-derived organic chelating and complexing agents that provide nutrients to plants in the proper ionic form. The documented uptake efficiency optimizes agronomic programming and minimizes the risk of nutrient loss to the environment.
University research has shown that Grigg Brothers Nutritional IPM™ fertility plans and Proven Foliar™ products can help reduce pesticide inputs and maintain quality turf conditions and playing surfaces. This type of proven efficiency, agronomic performance and negligible risk to the environment is why Grigg Brothers® fertilizers represent a modern approach to nutrient management for turfgrass managers.
For more information concerning products, research and the company, visit www.griggbros.com. Find out why Grigg Brothers® is the leader in foliar fertilizer science, production and environmental awareness.
* Vavrek, R. 2005. Phosphorous under fire. USGA Green Section Record. Vol. 43 (4), 1-6.
† Guertal, E. A. 2007. Phosphorus leaching from sand-based putting greens. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online 6(16): 1-6
‡ Carrow, R.N., D.V. Waddington, and P.E. Rieke. 2001. Turfgrass soil fertility and chemical problems. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ.
§ Gaussoin et al., 2009. Foliar absorption of liquid applied nutrients in a turfgrass system. The Proceedings of the International Plant Nutrient Colloquium” (Pro IPNC) Sacramento, CA (submitted and under review).