By Nicole Wise on Jan 30, 2013 12:21:00 PM
Behind the Science of Holganix
Utilizing Fewer Pesticides on Turf with the Same Great Results
After attending a seminar in Indianapolis hosted by the local Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Holganix representative, Matthew Siebel, had a couple key takeaways he found especially relevant to our industry and to Holganix users. The presenter was Dr. Frank Rossi of Cornell University whose research has been focused in “reduced fertilizer and pesticide use” (Cornell). The presentation, however, was focused on a true integrated management system for golf course turf. His view was developed from research done with the Bethpage State Park golf courses during the last 13 years in an effort to reduce or eliminate pesticide use. Here are a few of Matthew’s key takeaways:
- Going “off the grid” or eliminating pesticides doesn’t work. The best way is an integrated approach using reduced impact chemistry along with organic products to extend the efficacy of the synthetic fertilizers.
- According to Dr. Rossi, “We have been over fertilizing for 50 years.”
- The industry has become “product based” not “practical based” in our thoughts regarding turf maintenance.
- Due to budget cuts in golf, we should start looking at the needs of our turf, from a “minimalist” approach. What is the minimum we have to do to sustain acceptable turf?
Nobody is recommending a whole scale abandonment of pesticides, just challenging the industry to see what we could really do without or use less of. Today, folks are being taught that more fertilizer is not the answer and high-end, high-cost foliar programs are not the solution either. Making use of what we have in the soil and adding only what is needed is where we are headed.