Traditional turfgrass management programs rely heavily on the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. In response to increased public scrutiny and legislation, organic and biological alternatives are becoming more accepted, but research indicates that these alternatives have not been widely adopted by either homeowners or the lawn care industry. Results of a new study that compared common but disparate turfgrass management approaches may help lawn care professionals to evaluate, market, and implement alternative management programs.
Purdue University researchers reported on a field study that evaluated and compared the aesthetic and economic characteristics of four turfgrass fertility and pesticide programs. In a recent issue of HortTechnology Victoria A. Caceres, Cale A. Bigelow, and Douglas S. Richmond noted that the reasons that homeowners and professionals do not adopt organic alternatives "primarily revolve around a combination of high aesthetic standards and a perceived lack of reliability or cost effectiveness associated with biologically based alternatives." For the study, the researchers compared four turfgrass fertility and pesticide programs in an effort to provide a framework for lawn care professionals. Programs included a consumer program (CP), an integrated pest management program (IPMP), a natural organic program (NOP), and a no-input program (NIP). The researchers measured aesthetic characteristics such as canopy greenness and turfgrass quality (color, density, and uniformity) and determined economic aspects by recording the cost of materials and labor associated with each fertility and pesticide program.
"Results of the experiments showed that all programs significantly improved visual appearance compared with the no-input program (NIP), and, although the integrated pest management program and consumer programs consistently had the highest ratings, the natural organic program produced lawns of similar quality on the majority of rating dates", stated Purdue's Caceres. "The no-input program also resulted in canopy greenness levels similar to or significantly greater than those provided by the IPMP and CP on most dates. Aside from the NIP, the lowest total maintenance costs were associated with the IPMP during both study years."
Although homeowners and professionals still have choices when it comes to turfgrass management, results of the study may help to clarify some of the impacts and potential benefits associated with different approaches. The researchers added that "the results highlight how incorporation of scouting into different fertility and pesticide programs may provide short-term economic benefits without any significant aesthetic impacts."
The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortTechnology electronic journal web site: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/20/2/418
Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org
Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy
New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy