Karl Guillard, Professor of Agronomy at the University of Connecticut gives his insight into a wide variety of research in turf grass management utilizing proper measurements of nitrogen within soil.
In turf grass management there are no routine available tests for looking at nitrogen and giving turf grass managers a recommendation on how much nitrogen they need. And so that’s a lot of the work I want to do is to try to refine that and give them more of a scientific-an objective based system. Now we have many good ways to measure nitrogen in soils. That’s been found for many years. But no one has really looked at developing any specific routine test that could be applied. For a turf grass manager to come in and take a soil sample and send it into the lab, we do get recommendations. They will do that, but the recommendations aren’t based on necessarily any calibrations to what’s in there.
So that’s the work I’m looking at, trying to get these test so we can calibrate those to some sort of turf grass response, so the numbers will mean something. So I’m looking at initially being able to break a site into maybe three categories: high response, medium response, and low response in terms of what one would see if we put nitrogen fertilizer on that. So if I can get these tests and if they correlate out to some measure of either turf grass color, turf grass density, turf grass clippings yield, turf grass nitrogen concentration or uptake, then I’ll be able to then take those numbers and start breaking those into categories based on the responses we had.
Right now we are just at the initial stage of that so we are collecting, this is the first year data, we’ve gotten funded initially for two years of data collection, so it’s a long step process. First we got to get it correlated. If it does correlate then the next step would be calibration. And then the third step would then be developing our recommendations.