399-13 The Effect of Aerification Timing and Frequency on Soil Compaction of Community Sports Fields.

Poster Number 610

See more from this Division: C05 Turfgrass Science
See more from this Session: Stress Tolerance, Diseases, Cultural Practices, and Environment
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall ABC
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Gerald M. Henry1, Chase M Straw2, Becky Grubbs2, Josh Andrews3, Tommie Burch3 and Kevin Tucker4, (1)3111 Miller Plant Sciences Bldg, University of Georgia-Athens, Athens, GA
(2)University of Georgia-Athens, Athens, GA
(3)University of Georgia, Athens, GA
(4)Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Aerification is a common cultivation practice conducted by athletic field managers to alleviate soil compaction from excessive wear and traffic. However, both aerification timing and frequency are often affected by field use, labor, time, and monetary constraints. Therefore, research was conducted in GA to geospatially evaluate the long-term impact of aerification timing and frequency on a large plot scale. A two year study was initiated in the spring of 2013 on soccer fields at North Oconee High School (NOHS) and Herman C. Michael Park (HCMP) in Watkinsville, GA. Sites were chosen to reflect high levels of traffic typically observed on community sports fields. The NOHS field was comprised of ‘Tifton 10’ bermudagrass, while the HCMP field consisted of ‘TifSport’ hybrid bermudagrass. Both fields were mowed at 2.54 cm three times per week and received fertility in the amount of 49 kg N ha-1 per growing month. The NOHS field was sand based, while the HCMP field was constructed on a sandy loam soil. Plots (6.1 m x 15.2 m) were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Treatments included a single aerification event (spring or mid-summer) or multiple aerification events (2, 3, or 4 times) throughout the growing season. Aerification treatments were applied using an open spooned aerifier towed behind a tractor with a tine spacing of 15.2 cm x 15.2 cm. Soil cores were removed to a depth of 7.6 cm and left to dry on the turf surface. Data were collected in spring (May) and fall (October) of 2013 and again the following spring (May) of 2014 using the Toro Precision Sense 6000. This device is a mobile multi-sensor data acquisition unit that is capable of simultaneously collecting volumetric water content (VWC), penetration resistance, and normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI), all geo-referenced. The PS6000 was towed with a utility vehicle and traversed the field collecting data on a 2.4 x 2.4 m grid. Therefore, approximately 32 data points were collected per plot. ArcGIS software was used to analyze penetration resistance spatial data and create maps of each field. Treatment efficacy was determined by comparing maps obtained in May of 2013 with those created in May of 2014. This research is being conducted on the same plots for a second year in order to better understand the long-term effects of aerification practices on athletic field soil compaction.

See more from this Division: C05 Turfgrass Science
See more from this Session: Stress Tolerance, Diseases, Cultural Practices, and Environment