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Turfgrass Research and Extension

UCR Turfgrass Reports on Topical Issues

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Water Use Water Quality Fate o Pesticides in the Environment
Fertilization Trends in the Southern CAlifornia Turfgrass Industry  

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Water Use [top]
"Cash for Grass" - A Cost Effective Method to Conserve Landscape Water? [S. Addink]
  Paper addressing whether offering rebates for the conversion of turf to xeriscape is a cost effective and environmentally friendly method to achieve water savings, including examining the effectiveness of several "Cash for Grass" programs.
Background and Evaluation of Weather-sensing Landscape Irrigation Controllers [D.J. Merhaut and D. Pittenger]
  A summary of a study which used selected weather-sensing irrigation controllers to determine the climatic data the controllers use, how easy they are to setup and operate, and how closely their irrigation regimes match landscape irrigation needs established by previous field research.
What We Know About Landscape Water Requirements
[V. Gibeault, D.J. Merhaut and D. Pittenger]
  This article emphasizes the continuing need of research-based information when considering landscape water requirements.
Trends in Golf Course Water Use and Regulation in California
  A paper that compares an annual water budget based on reference evapotranspiration (ETo) x landscape area (in acre feet) with estimated annual irrigation water use (in acre feet) for hypothetical 18-hole golf courses located in three southern California climates: southern coast marine climate (a golf course located in Irvine); transition climate between marine and desert climates (a golf course located in Riverside); and southern California desert climate (a golf course located in Indio, Palm Springs area).
Best Management Practices for Turfgrass Water Conservation
  The purposes of this document developed by the University of Georgia and the GCSAA are to foster development and implementation of site-specific water conservation plans on golf courses and other turf areas based on the Best Management Practices (BMPs) approach and to foster the adoption of the BMP approach to water conservation by regulatory agencies.


Water Quality [top]
Surface Water Quality (Runoff)
Landscape Pesticides and Surface Water Quality
  Article from the Winter 2006 issue of WaterWise which presents a brief overview of a study examining the effect of landscape planting covers on the persistence of two commonly used landscape herbicides: 2,4-D and dicamba. The study was part of an overall effort to identify strategies for minimizing pesticide runoff from residential areas to urban streams.
The Runoff Rundown
  The newsletter of the Water Education Foundation, first published in Spring 2005, which focuses on "how stakeholders and regulators are using creative strategies to address the challenges posed by nonpoint source pollution." The newsletter is meant to be a "forum for sharing real-world experiences that have contributed to reducing nonpoint source pollution."
TMDLs - A New Approach to Water Quality Regulation
[B. Cuttler]
  "The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) term refers to a regulatory program, numeric water-quality standards, the process to set those standards, and a new approach to regulating water-quality. The TMDL approach is different from past water-quality regulation because it focuses on improving the quality of a water body rather than limiting the concentration of pollutants coming out of the end of a pipe. Furthermore, the TMDL approach is designed to limit pollution from both point and non-point pollution sources. Finally, the TMDL program's goal of improving the quality of water bodies necessitates a watershed-wide pollution-reduction strategy."
Groundwater Quality (Leaching)
Nitrogen leaching and best management practices for overseeded bermudagrass fairways
  Summary report of a study which investigated the effect of soil type (sandy loam or loamy sand), annual nitrogen-fertility program, and irrigation amount on nitrate leaching.
Development of BMPs for fertilizing lawns to optimize plant performance and nitrogen uptake while reducing the potential for nitrate leaching
  Summary report of a study which investigated the effect of soil type (sandy loam or loamy sand), annual nitrogen-fertility program, and irrigation amount on nitrate leaching.
Movement of Nitrogen Fertilizer in a Turfgrass System
  Article from California Turfgrass Culture (Vol. 48, Nos. 1&2, pages 1-4) discussing the results of a study to monitor the movement of nitrogen below the root system of cool-season turfgrasses when applied at high rates and frequent intervals.


Fate of Pesticides in the Environment [top]
Contact Transfer of Pesticides from Turf: Refocusing Default Assumptions on Reality
  Article from Better Turf Thru Agronomics (December 1999, pages 1-2) that discusses the need for the turf industry to be aggressive in determining the levels of human exposure of chemicals from turf, or face being regulated by unvalidated default assumptions made by regulators with little, if any, information or familiarity with turfgrass.
Further Evaluation and Modeling of Pesticide Partitioning Data from the UCR Putting Green Lysimeters
  The objectives of this study were to measure site-specific critical water flow and pesticide transformation and to simulate pesticide fate of two fungicides and two insecticides using measured hydraulic properties and pesticide parameters as model inputs and to compare model outcomes of the simulations with measured field data.


Fertilization [top]
Turfgrass Fertilizers and Fertility Programs for Tall Fescue
  General information regarding feritilizer types and fertility programs for managing tall fescue.


Trends in the Southern California Turfgrass Industry [top]
Economic Impacts of Environmental Horticulture in California, South Carolina, and the U.S.

ABSTRACT: Information about the economic impacts of environmental horticulture is important for better government and business decision-making. Californians spent $8.52 billion on marketed and in-house environmental horticulture, managed at least 1.37 million acres of horticultural landscapes, and generated $10.1 billion of related sales in 1995. These sales directly supported 128,842 jobs. According to preliminary estimates, golf course superintendents and their staffs spent $864 million and worked 14,210 full-time-equivalent jobs to care for 145,386 acres of landscapes at golf courses in 2000. The area of facilities with golf courses and real spending to care for these landscapes both grew 2.1% per year during 1995-2000. Employment in golf course maintenance grew 1.1% per year during the same period. In South Carolina, retail sales of marketed goods and services for environmental horticulture grew from $513 million in 1994 to $948.5 million in 1999. Adjusted for inflation, these sales increased 10.6% per year. Employment associated with the production and sale of these products grew from 18,478 full-time equivalent jobs in 1994 to 24,710 in 1999, or 6.0% during the period. Although the direct economic impacts are larger in California than South Carolina, they are larger relative to traditional agriculture in the Palmetto state than the Golden state. The greater relative importance of environmental horticulture in the farm economy of the Palmetto state coincides with the greater proportion of land that South Carolinians have converted land into residential and commercial real estate. In the U.S., retail expenditures on marketed goods and services of this industry were $54.8 billion in 1998. Estimates of expenditures and sales associated with not only marketed but also in-house environmental horticulture at the end-user level were $93.5 billion and $92.9 billion in 1995 for the U.S. Adjusted for inflation but not for any economic or demographic growth, these estimates would have been $103.7 billion and $103.0 billion in 2001. Researchers should focus on not only estimation of economic impacts but also analysis of the behavioral determinants of these impacts.

Economic Impacts of California’s Golf Course Facilities in 2000

Facilities with golf courses in California enable people to golf, play other sports, dine out, and participate in other social activities. People spent $4.350 billion in 2000 at these facilities. These expenditures included $1.679 billion in golf membership dues, green fees, car fees, and related charges, $963 million for food and beverages, $797 million for lodging, and $250 million for merchandise from on-site golf shops. Golfers played 39.5 million 18-hole equivalent rounds in 2000. Net of imports, expenditures at these facilities represented $4.251 billion of sales to final demand in the same year. These 'direct' sales became $2.464 billion in personal income to Californians. The total sales, income, and tax impacts on the state economy were $7.872 billion, $4.546 billion, and $1.370 billion in 2000. Direct sales of $4.251 billion directly supported 62,173 jobs and, through indirect and induced sales impacts, an additional 37,609 jobs. The direct sales and jobs impacts in California were almost identical to those in Florida. The total value-added impact accounted for 0.4% of the California's gross state product in 2000.

In 2000 superintendents and their staffs spent $824 million and worked the equivalent of 13,799 full-time jobs to care for 113,672 acres of the state's 977 golf courses. Real spending on golf course maintenance increased 0.8% annually and the number of jobs associated with this maintenance increased 0.5% per year during 1995-2000. Superintendents used 340,160 acre-feet of water to irrigate 87,693 acres in 2000. Revenues per acre-foot of applied water and per acre of land were, on average, 8.6 and 6.8 times larger at golf courses than agricultural crop farms.

Survey data were used to estimate direct impacts of the facilities on sales and jobs. These estimates are conservative. Indirect and induced impacts on sales and jobs, all value-added impacts, and all tax impacts were estimated with the IMPLAN input-output model of California.

A Survey of Professional Turfgrass Managers in Southern California Concerning Their Use of Turfgrass Best Management Practices
  ABSTRACT: Turfgrass management best management practices (BMPs) encompass a wide variety of activities, including fertilization, irrigation, mowing, pest control, and soil management. Little attention is given to determining just how effective information regarding BMPs is being assimilated and used by professional turfgrass managers. The objectives of this study were to assess the current perception and implementation of selected turfgrass BMPs and to determine whether or not those perceptions and implementations differed 1) between turfgrass advisors and managers and 2) between general and sports turfgrass managers. Professionals from the turfgrass industry, with an average of 13 years of experience and largely comprised of decisionmakers (88%), were surveyed at the University of California, Riverside, Turfgrass Research Conference and Field Day in Fall 1998 and 1999. Turfgrass managers, especially sports turfgrass managers, were found to be the most committed to implementing the BMPs in the survey. Overall, survey respondents considered BMPs to be important and not highly difficult to implement. Limitations to the adoption of BMPs were a lack of financial backing, employee education, and necessary time-all of which could be remedied with a sufficient commitment of resources by the turfgrass industry.