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!
“How trees coexist” – new findings from biodiversity research published in Nature Communications
21.03.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden
Earlier flowering of modern winter wheat cultivars
20.03.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
21.03.2018 | Life Sciences