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Evaluation of Golf Turf Management Systems with Reduced Chemical Pesticide Inputs 2000

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This project is a systems-based approach to golf course greens management, with the goal of providing information on the costs, feasibility and performance of golf course turf managed with few or no chemical pesticides. Various cultural and pest management regimes are being imposed on a large sand-based, bentgrass putting green area at the Cornell University Turfgrass Research and Education Center in Ithaca, NY. The cultural management systems are: 1) the current industry standard, or 2) a set of alternative practices modified to reduce turfgrass stress. They are implemented in all possible combinations with three pest management systems: 1) an unrestricted industry standard, 2) IPM, or 3) non-chemical.

Plots were established and cultural practices implemented in 2000. We have also begun adapting an Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) to turfgrass management systems for use as a risk assessment tool for the IPM treatments. Use of the EIQ and implementation of the full compliment of pest management practices and evaluation procedures will begin in 2001. We expect that results from this project will enhance golf course superintendents appreciation of specific cultural and biologically based approaches to reduce chemical usage. In addition, golfers, lawmakers and environmental advocates will gain a science-based understanding of the consequences of restrictive pesticide legislation.

*In addition to this project being conducted at a research facility, we have received funding from the USGA to conduct a sister project on the greens of an operational golf course on Long Island.