SportsTurf

January 2018

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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www.spor tsturfonline.com 44 // January 2018 quick release nitrogen in 2015 and 66% quick release nitrogen in 2017. The UW's Integrated Turf Program used fewer pesticides than the City's Program, a higher percentage of slow release nitrogen, but the products cost approximately 50% more than what the City Program used. The UW Program was $60 per acre cheaper than the Organic Program. This demonstration tracked the agronomic, environmental, and economic performance of four turfgrass management programs at Racetrack Park over a 3-year period. While this was far from a scientifi c study, the three programs that received inputs of fertilizer were able to maintain acceptable turfgrass quality over the study period. The Organic Program (which mistakenly received an extra fertilizer and herbicide treatment at the initiation of the study) was above reasonable threshold levels for weeds by the middle of 2017. The Organic Program had the greatest cost per acre, followed by the UW Integrated Turfgrass Management Program. The City Program was the lowest cost program of the three with fertilizer inputs, and was less than half of the cost of the Organic Program system. For the two programs where weed control products were used, the UW Integrated Turfgrass Management Program had a 3-5x lower environmental hazard score compared to the City's Program. Overall, this demonstration was useful for highlighting that maintaining functional turfgrass can be achieved in different ways. The Organic Program was able to maintain acceptable quality for 3 years, given an initially weed free starting point. After 3 years, weeds are above or approaching most reasonable thresholds. The City of Stoughton Program met turfgrass quality goals and minimized costs; however this program had the highest pesticide hazard scores. The UW Integrated Program used a combination of lower toxicity herbicides and a fertilizer with a high percentage of slow release nitrogen. This system had an intermediate cost relative to the Organic and City programs. We hope that this demonstration will be useful for future conversations about turfgrass management in Stoughton, WI and elsewhere. Collaborators/supporters WeedMan donated their equipment and labor to make the fertilizer and herbicide applications to field 2 in 2015; Chick Magic donated the fertilizer used on fi eld 1 in 2015; Dow AgroSciences donated the Confront herbicide for fi eld 2 in 2015 and 2017; Bruce Company donated their equipment and labor to make the fertilizer and herbicide applications to fi eld 2 in 2017; and Milorganite donated the fertilizer used on fi eld 1 in 2017. /ST/ Doug Soldat is Professor/UW-Extension Specialist, Dept. of Soil Science, UW- Madison; Paul Koch is Assistant Professor/ UW-Extension Specialist, Dept. of Plant Pathology, UW-Madison; Chris Williamson is Professor/UW-Extension Specialist, Dept. of Entomology, UW-Madison; Kurt Hockemeyer is Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab Manager, Dept. of Plant Pathology, UW-Madison; and Nick Bero is Research Specialist, Dept. of Soil Science, UW-Madison. Table 5. Estimated costs of the products used in each of the four programs. These costs were estimated from discussions with local turfgrass suppliers and applicators. Field# Management Program Approx. Fertilization Cost per acre, per year Approx. Herbicide Cost per acre, per year Total Cost per acre, per year FIELD 1 Organic $250 $0 $250 FIELD 2 City of Stoughton $70 $46 $116 FIELD 3 Integrated Turfgrass Management $170 $22 $192 FIELD 4 Mowing Only $0 $0 $0 Research Scientist Nick Bero evaluates weed cover using the grid method. Continued from page 12

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