(Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2007) Beginning in January of 2008, golf course managers around the country will have an opportunity to participate in a survey of their pest and turf management strategies. The three-month survey is part of a larger project, which also maps water use, conservation efforts and playing surfaces. Conducted by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the Golf Course Environmental Project is sponsored by Toro and The Environmental Institute for Golf (EIG).
The pesticide phase, the fourth of the project, which concludes in March 2008, will be submitted to the journal Applied Turfgrass Science for review and publication, according to EIG. Information included in this survey will be “regarding pest management and associated practices on golf courses throughout the United States,” such as product use and integrated pest management programs.” The third phase, which has been completed, gathered information on fertilizer and nutrient programs.
According to EIG, “GCSAA and the golf industry need information specific to the environmental attributes of golf courses. This will include natural resource inventories, management inputs and current environmental stewardship practices. This information will provide baseline data for documenting changes in environmental practices over time and help to set priorities for education, research, member services and other environmental programs. The data will also help us respond to governmental inquiries and to answer the public’s questions about environmental issues.”
As EIG explained, the data gathered from this survey, particularly with regards to fertilizer and pesticide use, will fill important informational gaps in how golf courses approach integrated pest management. Golf courses have been shown to use much higher levels of pesticides than are used in agriculture, some of which have been repeatedly linked to cancer and other health effects. For previous Daily News stories on golf’s environmental and health effects, click here, here, here, here, and for a look at an organic golf course, here. For more information on golf course management, visit our Golf Program Page.