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Fertilizers For Sports Turf

First, some quick hitters…


Why do we fertilize?
Fertilizer Options
“To provide the grass plant with a
and consistent food supply for best growth,
Selecting the Best for You health and appearance” AND
Brad Jakubowski “To Keep our jobs”
University of Nebraska So, then what is our basic rule of
and fertilization?
Tom Samples “To apply the correct amount of fertilizer at
University of Tennessee
the right time to not harm the turf or to not
waste product”

Seasonal Development
When is the best time to fertilize? Warm-Season Grasses

When the grass needs it most


Well, when is that?
Let’s Take a Look

Seasonal Development
Cool-Season Grasses
Nitrogen
Fertilizer Carriers
and their Release
Characteristics

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Fertilizer Release Characteristics
SN Ammonium Sulfate and Urea
WSN SAWSN WIN W
Two of the most widely used
•Urea •PCU •SCU •Urea Formaldehyde
nitrogen sources Solid with
•Ammonium Sulfate •Methylene Urea •IBDU •Organics
No Coatings
•SCU •PCSCU The Rate of Release is Determined by:
Soil moisture
 Completely soluble
 Leach readily
Not Temperature Dependent
Lasts up to 14+ days

© Nu-Gro Technologies, Inc., 2002

SN Sulfur-Coated Urea (SCU) SN Polymer Coated Urea (PCU)


W W
SA SA Plastic
Sulfur Urea Urea
The Rate of Release is Coating
Water penetrates coating
Determined by:
and dissolves fertilizer 1 . Water
In
Temperature Fertilizer diffuses out
Soil moisture through pores in shell
Thin coatings
2 . Nutrient
Breakage of coatings Release rate increases with Out

temperatures
Residual highly variable –
Usually lasts 1 to 2 months
Days to Months

SN Poly Coated Sulfur Coated SN Methylene Urea (MU)


W W
SA Urea (PCSCU) SA
Urea Polymers formed when urea and Solid with
Plastic formaldehyde are reacted No Coatings
Combines both previous Sulfur
Coating
technologies and their The Rate of Release is Determined by:
release characteristics Moisture
Release rate determined by  Releases the unreacted urea as
well as some of the shorter chain
thickness of each layer polymers
Less sensitive to: Microbial Activity
 Temperature, Moisture and pH  Releases the long chain polymers
Residual is similar to PCU but Can last up to 4 months
can be more consistent

2
Isobutylidene Diurea
IN
Urea Formaldehyde (UF) IN
W W ● Reacted, slow release(IBDU)
homogenous N source
Reacted, intermediate and long-chain Solid with ● Of the total N, 80% to 90% is slow release
polymers of methylene ureas No Coatings
Solid with
The Rate of Release is Determined by: No Coatings
• 70% to 90%+ can be water-insoluble
● Moisture present
The Rate of Release is Determined by: ● Particle size
Microbial Activity  larger particle means slower
 Influenced by soil moisture and release…a matter of surface area
temperature ● Not affected by temperature
● Multiple particle sizes are used to
Can last up to 12+ months achieve an even release rate

Organic Fertilizers Release Times for N Sources


IN Composted turkey litter, blood
W Type Earliest Release Residual
meal, manure and sewage Ammonium sulfate minutes 7+ days
Organic-based Good for Spring20and Fall
sludge, etc. Urea minutes days
● 70-85% is WIN Ingredients SCU (sulfur coated urea) 1 day 12
months+
The Rate of Release is Determined by:
Polymer Coated Urea* 3 days 2 months+
● Microbial Activity Andersons (Scotts) Poly-S
Good for Summer
 Influenced by Lesco Poly Plus
Soil Moisture and Temperature Pursell Poly-On or TriKote
● Normally low analysis and low burn MU (Methylene Urea) 4 days 4 months
potential Nutralene, MUtech (Contec), Country Club
* Refers to PCU and PCSCU products
Can last up to 12+ months
UF (Ureaformaldahyde) Good for Summer 12
7 days
months+
Bluechip, Nitroform
Natural Organics 1 day 12
months+
Milorganite, Nature Safe, Sustane

Interpreting Fertilizer Labels


Interpreting Turf Pro 34-3-14
Guaranteed Analysis

Fertilizer Labels
Total Nitrogen (N) ………………………………………...
34% Ammoniacal nitrogen
17.0% release – minutes to days
17.0
17.0% Ammoniacal
Methylene Nitrogen urea nitrogen release – days to weeks
17.0% Methylene urea nitrogen
Available phosphate (P2O5) ………………………………
3%
Soluble potash (K2O) ...…………………………………14%
Sulfur (S) combined ........................................ 3.4%
Nutrient sources: ammonium sulfate, methylene ureas, urea
formaldehyde, MAP, and potassium sulfate
Sample labels from Carrow, Waddington, and Rieke

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When would we apply Amazing Turf 28-3-18

Turf Pro 34-3-14? Guaranteed Analysis


Total Nitrogen (N)
………………………………………….. 28%
If we apply 1 lb N / 1000 ft2 we add: 0.50% Ammoniacal nitrogen
2.80% Urea nitrogen
 0.50 lb WSN / 1000 ft2 (1-4 weeks) 14.75% Water insoluble nitrogen
9.95% Other slowly available water soluble
 0.50 lb SAWSN / 1000 ft2 (4-16 weeks) nitrogen*
 Moisture dependent Available phosphate
(P2O5)…………………………… 3%
 Microbial dependent (what does this tell us about Soluble potash
temps?) (K2O)……………………………………… 18%
Nutrient sources: ammonium sulfate, urea formaldehyde,
So, when do we apply this? urea, methylene ureas, monoammonium phosphate,
potassium
1 . If you apply 1 lb sulfate.
of N / 1000 ft2 how much of each type of
Nitrogen*9.95%
will you apply?
slowly available nitrogen from methylene ureas
2 . At what time of year would be the best to apply this fertilizer?

How much of each fraction are


present?
1 lb N / 1000ft2
Ammoniacal
0.12 lb
Min. to Days Particle Sizes
0.50/28 = 2% x 1lb = 0.02 lb
Urea
2.80/28 = 10% x 1lb = 0.10 lb
0.33 lb
Days to Weeks
and
Water Insoluble
14.75/28 = 53% x 1lb = 0.53
0.53 lb
Weeks to
Months
Uniformity
lb
Other SAWSN
9.95/28 = 35% x 1lb = 0.35 lb

Uniform Particle Distribution –


Fertilizer Terms to Know Sizing: Size Guide Number
Mixed Fertilizer – a fertilizer 27-3-11 (SGN)
containing two or more
materials
Size Guide Number
Complete Fertilizer – a mixed .85mm
fertilizer containing each N,P,  the “average particle
and K diameter” of the product
expressed in millimeters
Blended Fertilizer – a mixed 1.5mm
multiplied by 100
fertilizer produced by
27-3-11
mechanically mixing the solid For Example:
materials A product with an
Homogenous Fertilizer – a mixed average particle size of 2.3mm

fertilizer with all of the 1.5mm will have an SGN


nutrients combined into each of 150
individual granule

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Uniform Particle Distribution – Uniform Particle Distribution -
Sizing: Size Guide Number (SGN) Spreadability: Particles Per Square
SGN 80 (0.80 mm) SGN 100 (1.00 mm)
Inch (PPSI)
What are the impacts of SGN 150 ≈6 PPSI

PPSI?
 Fertilizers
 Establishment
 Pesticides
 Herbicides SGN 215 ≈2 PPSI
SGN 150 (1.50 mm) SGN 215 (2.15 mm) SGN 240 (2.40 mm)
 Fungicides
 Insecticides

Particles Per Square Inch (PPSI) What is the estimated SGN of your
Spreadability Test sample?
4 lbs Product / 1000 ft2 of
Preemergence product
Raise funnel above crosshairs 1 2
70% X SGN 320
until completely visible
(about 8”)
3
30% X SGN 240
4

Gently shake contents into 7

one side of funnel 5 6 1. 7 X 320 = 2240


Count number of particles per
numbered square
8
2. 3 X 240 = 720
Calculate average for each 9
10
2960 / 10 = SGN 296
SGN

Uniform Particle Distribution – Uniform Particle Distribution –


Sizing: Uniformity Index (UI) Uniformity Index: Blends
More Examples UI Ranges For Blended Products
(BBs)
UI 50 means
the smallest
particle is Excellent
1/2 the size
Average of the 50+
Large largest particle.
Streaking
Particle Good
Size
40
Average
Small Questionable
Particle
Size 30 Speckling
UI 33 UI 50 UI 100

5
Uniform Particle Distribution – Uniform Particle Distribution –
Flowability: Hopper Flow Spreadability: Particle Flight
Product Flowability: Varying particle sizes and density:
How well the product moves through the spreader Causes irregular ballistic behavior resulting in inconsistent
hopper prior to hitting the impeller delivery of product
Non-Uniform Uniform Uniform
Uniform particle size helps assure smooth product flow,
Blend Blend Homogenous
thus eliminates:
Severe
funnel-flow Rat holing Bridging Uniform flow

and
provides

Uniform Particle Distribution – Uniform Particle Distribution –


Sizing: Segregation Analysis Sizing: Segregation Analysis
Acceptable Unacceptable
Acceptable Unacceptable

Sieve Box Test

Great Pretty Good


Any
Questions?
Good Not Horrible

Not Good Poor

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Interpreting
What is it you really want to
Soil Test know?

Reports and How much fertilizer should I apply and how


often?
Do I need amendments? B & T Analytical Labs

Building
200 Smith Road, Joneston, MM, 98765

Test Results Rating


 Sulfur C.E.C 2.1 meq/100g Sand
Soil pH 5.90 Low

 Lime Buffer pH
Soluble Salts
7.65
0.24 mmhos/cm Low/Optimum
Calcium 298 ppm Low

Fertilizer
 Gypsum Magnesium
Sodium
45 ppm
28 ppm
Low
Low
Phosphorus (P) 70 ppm High

Do I need phosphorus? Potassium (K)


Sulfur (S)
47 ppm
29.0 ppm
Low
High
Zinc (Zn) 1.7 ppm Low

Do I need micronutrients? Manganese (Mn) 21.8 ppm


Copper (Cu) 1.0 ppm
Optimum
Low

Programs
Iron (Fe) 84.6 ppm High

Do I need anything else?


% Cation Saturation
K 5.3 Optimum
Ca 52.7 Optimum
Mg 12.7 Optimum
 Potassium H
Na
23.3
6.0
Optimum
High

 Calcium
 Magnesium

1. How much fertilizer should I


apply and how often? Determine
B & T Analytical Labs
200 Smith Road, Joneston, MM, 98765
Soil Test Reports your soil type
Test Results Rating
C.E.C 2.1 meq/100g Sand
B & T Analytical Labs
Soil pH 5.90 Low 200 Smith Road, Joneston, MM, 98765 Ask Yourself:
Buffer pH 7.65
Test Results Rating What type of soil do I
Soluble Salts 0.24 mmhos/cm Low/Optimum C.E.C 2.1 meq/100g Sand
Calcium 298 ppm Low Soil pH 5.90 Low have?
45 ppm Low Buffer pH 7.65
Magnesium
Sodium 28 ppm Low Soluble Salts 0.24 mmhos/cm Low/Optimum  Look for the Cation
Phosphorus (P) 70 ppm High Calcium 298 ppm Low
Exchange Capacity
Magnesium 45 ppm Low
Potassium (K) 47 ppm Low
Sodium 28 ppm Low section.
Sulfur (S) 29.0 ppm High
Low
Phosphorus (P) 70 ppm High
 1-8 Sand, etc.
Zinc (Zn) 1.7 ppm Potassium (K) 47 ppm Low

Manganese (Mn) 21.8 ppm Optimum Sulfur (S) 29.0 ppm

1.7 ppm
High
Low
How does CEC affect
Copper (Cu) 1.0 ppm Low Zinc (Zn)

Iron (Fe) 84.6 ppm High Manganese (Mn) 21.8 ppm Optimum your fertility program?
Copper (Cu) 1.0 ppm Low
% Cation Saturation Iron (Fe) 84.6 ppm High  Influences rates per
K 5.3 Optimum % Cation Saturation application and frequency
Ca 52.7 Optimum K 5.3 Optimum

Mg 12.7 Optimum Ca 52.7 Optimum  Sandy soils – possible


H 23.3 Optimum Mg 12.7 Optimum lower rates applied
H 23.3 Optimum
Na 6.0 High
Na 6.0 High
frequently
 Clay soils – higher rates
applied less frequently

2. Do I Need Soil Amendments? 3. Do I have Sodium/Salts problem?


Determine soil pH Let’s Look at Soluble Salts First
Do I have a soluble salts
B & T Analytical Labs B & T Analytical Labs problem?
200 Smith Road, Joneston, MM, 98765 Ask Yourself: 200 Smith Road, Joneston, MM, 98765

Test Results Rating Test Results Rating  Requires EC of 4 or higher


C.E.C
Soil pH
2.1 meq/100g
5.90
Sand
Low
What is my soil pH? C.E.C
Soil pH
2.1 meq/100g
5.90
Sand
Low  Fields should have white
Buffer pH 7.65 Buffer pH 7.65
appearance
Soluble Salts 0.24 mmhos/cm Low/Optimum Do I need to add lime Soluble Salts 0.24 mmhos/cm Low/Optimum
Calcium 298 ppm Low Calcium 298 ppm Low  Grass droughty when wet
Magnesium 45 ppm Low or sulfur? Magnesium 45 ppm Low
Sodium 28 ppm Low Sodium 28 ppm Low Do I need to improve drainage?
Phosphorus (P)
Potassium (K)
70 ppm
47 ppm
High
Low Do I need to focus on Phosphorus (P)
Potassium (K)
70 ppm
47 ppm
High
Low  You Bet! Salt and Sodium
acidic or non-acidic problems usually result
Sulfur (S) 29.0 ppm High Sulfur (S) 29.0 ppm High
Zinc (Zn) 1.7 ppm Low Zinc (Zn) 1.7 ppm Low
Manganese (Mn) 21.8 ppm Optimum Manganese (Mn) 21.8 ppm Optimum from poor drainage
Copper (Cu) 1.0 ppm Low fertilizers Copper (Cu) 1.0 ppm Low
Should I check my water
Iron (Fe) 84.6 ppm High Iron (Fe) 84.6 ppm High

K
% Cation Saturation
5.3 Optimum
Do I have a sodium K
% Cation Saturation
5.3 Optimum
quality?
Ca 52.7 Optimum
problem? pH 8.5+ Ca 52.7 Optimum  Yes! Soluble salts are often
Mg 12.7 Optimum Mg 12.7 Optimum
H 23.3 Optimum H 23.3 Optimum added by irrigation
Na 6.0 High Na 6.0 High
Do I need to apply Gypsum?
 Not really, gypsum is
needed for SODIC soils

7
3. Do I have Salts/Sodium problem? 4. Determine Phosphorus (P)
Now Let’s Look at Sodium Levels
Do I have a sodium problem?
B & T Analytical Labs B & T Analytical Labs Ask Yourself:
200 Smith Road, Joneston, MM, 98765
 Sodic soils require pH 200 Smith Road, Joneston, MM, 98765

Test Results Rating (8.5) and SAR of 12 or Test Results Rating Are my P levels
C.E.C 2.1 meq/100g Sand
5.90
higher C.E.C 2.1 meq/100g Sand
excessively high?
Soil pH Low Soil pH 5.90 Low
Buffer pH 7.65
 ESP of 15 or higher Buffer pH 7.65
 Optimum is 30-37 ppm
Soluble Salts 0.24 mmhos/cm Low/Optimum Soluble Salts 0.24 mmhos/cm Low/Optimum
Calcium 298 ppm Low  5%+ of Cation Saturation Calcium 298 ppm Low
What if my P levels are
Magnesium 45 ppm Low 45 ppm Low
Magnesium
Sodium 28 ppm Low Do I need to improve drainage? Sodium 28 ppm Low
High?
Phosphorus (P) 70 ppm High Phosphorus (P) 70 ppm High
 Yes! Sodium and salt
Potassium (K) 47 ppm Low
Potassium (K) 47 ppm Low
 Core aerate
Sulfur (S) 29.0 ppm High
problems usually result Sulfur (S) 29.0 ppm High
Zinc (Zn) 1.7 ppm Low
Optimum from poor drainage Zinc (Zn) 1.7 ppm Low  Watch your total P inputs
Manganese (Mn) 21.8 ppm Manganese (Mn) 21.8 Optimum
for the year (apply 0.5lbs
ppm

Copper (Cu) 1.0 ppm Low Copper (Cu) 1.0 ppm Low
Should I check my water
Iron (Fe) 84.6 ppm High
Iron (Fe) 84.6 ppm High
of P2O5 or 0.25lbs of P)
% Cation Saturation quality? % Cation Saturation
K
Ca
5.3
52.7
Optimum
Optimum  Yes! Sodium is often
K
Ca
5.3
52.7
Optimum
Optimum
Do I need micronutrients?
Mg 12.7
23.3
Optimum
Optimum added by irrigation Mg 12.7 Optimum
 >48 ppm can tie up Mn,
H H 23.3 Optimum
Na 6.0 High
Do I need to apply Gypsum? Na 6.0 High Zn, Cu and Fe
 If sodium is a problem you
may need to aerify and
apply gypsum

5. Do I need anything else? 6. Putting it all together


B & T Analytical Labs Ask Yourself:
200 Smith Road, Joneston, MM, 98765 Ask Yourself:
Test Results Rating What is my N budget?
C.E.C 2.1 meq/100g Sand
Do I have high stress
Soil pH 5.90 Low
What time of year is it?
Buffer pH
Soluble Salts 0.24
7.65
mmhos/cm Low/Optimum
areas?
Calcium 298 ppm Low Recommendations?
Magnesium 45 ppm Low Traffic Heat Cold
Sodium
Phosphorus (P)
28 ppm
70 ppm
Low
High
Drought Suggestions from the gallery
Potassium (K) 47 ppm Low
Sulfur (S)
Zinc (Zn)
29.0 ppm

1.7 ppm
High
Low
 Potassium may be Given my situation and the climate,
Manganese (Mn) 21.8 ppm
Copper (Cu) 1.0 ppm
Optimum
Low
needed in larger  What type of fertilizer should I apply?
Iron (Fe) 84.6 ppm High
amounts  How much should I apply?
% Cation Saturation
K 5.3 Optimum
 1:1 or 1:2 N:K ratios
Ca 52.7 Optimum
Recommendations?
Mg 12.7
23.3
Optimum
Optimum
are recommended
H
Na 6.0 High Suggestions from the gallery

Any !
u
Questions? yo
ank
T h