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Turf study to monitor runoff, establish fertilizer management practices
Date:9/7/2012

COLLEGE STATION Improperly applied fertilizer to newly placed sod may result in nutrient runoff into the water supply, but just when is the best time to apply fertilizer and what kind is the best for new turf?

Aiming to answer those questions is a team of scientists from Texas A&M AgriLife Research: Dr. Jacqui Aitkenhead-Peterson, assistant professor of urban nutrient and water management; Dr. Ben Wherley, assistant professor of turfgrass science and ecology; Dr. Richard White, professor of turfgrass physiology and management; and Jim Thomas, senior research associate, all with the department of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University.

"We are looking at the establishment of turf and what nutrients are coming off of that turf in the water runoff after irrigation or rain events," Peterson said.

The study, sponsored by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, is being conducted at the Texas A&M Urban Ecology Field Laboratory on F&B Road, College Station.

Results of the entire study will be discussed at the Turf and Landscape Field Day, set for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 10. For more information on the field day or to register, go to https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/ and type in the keyword "turf."

The runoff facility used in the study took a year to construct and consists of 24 individual plots, each 13 feet wide by 27 feet long on native soil that has not been disturbed until planting, all on a 3.5 percent slope. The plots are isolated with vertical plastic barriers between them so that water applied either infiltrates into the ground or runs down the hill where it can be sampled for nutrient content.

"We have the capability of irrigating where we can force a 'rainfall event' but the equipment is always on to also record any naturally occurring events," Peterson said.

The study was planted on Aug. 8 and the first event measured was the follo
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Contact: Dr. Jacqui Peterson
jpeterson@ag.tamu.edu
979-845-3682
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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