Getting the Most Out of Your Fairway Fertility Program
Posted on June 14, 2021
Getting the most out of your fertility program, especially for fairways, your largest maintained areas, is of paramount concern. Fairway fertility programs have a large effect on both turfgrass summer stress management and budget management.
Doing more with less is important for your bottom line. With that in mind, it is important to utilize a fairway fertility combination that provides an economical and complete foliar nutrient package, simplifies the application process, and builds healthy turfgrass capable of withstanding summer stress. The ideal tank mix? A combination of nitrogen, humic acid, and micronutrients.
WHY INCLUDE HUMIC ACID?
Soil organic matter consists of plant and animal residues at various stages of decomposition. As much as 80% of this material is represented by humic substances, a highly-reactive, carbon-rich material that is recognized by most soil scientists and agronomists as the most important component of a healthy, fertile soil.
Humic substances provide many benefits, including increasing soil microbial life, boosting cation exchange capacity (CEC) to prevent nutrient leaching, and improving water holding capacity. This results in enhanced nutrient uptake, improved rooting, and healthier, stronger plants.
A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
When thinking about proven results and adaptability for fairway-based nutrition, sprayable urea is a cost-effective mainstay. Humic Coated Urea (HCU® 44-0-0) offers all the advantages of sprayable urea coupled with the soil-enriching benefits of a potassium humate coating, which provides a rich carbon source to feed soil microbes.
Foltec® SG Minors - a proprietary combination of dry, 100% soluble granules that contains selected secondary and minor elements, along with sea plant extract and humate. With easy-to-understand coverage and application rates, Foltec SG truly allows you to spray smarter.
Combining HCU and Foltec SG Minors creates an economical and complete foliar nutrient package, sprayable at 0.1 to 1.0 lbs N/M, while also delivering sea plant extract and humates that contain sugars, enzymes, and proteins to help increase turfgrass stress tolerance. The carbon-rich HCU material provides a boost to soil microbial activity, also helping to control thatch accumulation.
Multiple university research trials found that applying HCU at 0.75 lb N/M achieved the same turfgrass quality and color compared to standard fairway fertilizers applied at 1.0 lb N/M. Replicated across locations and years, these trials show the benefit of HCU to fairway fertility program. Both HCU and Foltec SG Minors are 100% soluble and mix well with other products commonly used in creeping bentgrass or bermudagrass spray programs.
Foltec SG Minors has been tested and shown to be very soluble with adequate agitation, typical of that provided by most self-contained spray units. When applying Foltec SG products with other active ingredients, it is normally recommended that Foltec SG be placed in the mixing tank first. When mixing with Humic Coated Urea, however, Foltec SG Minors should be added only after HCU dissolution. Follow the steps below to ensure proper mixing of the two products.
Add HCU to water. DO NOT pour directly into the tank. Can be solubilized using an inductor, rinsed through a basket strainer, or prepared in a bucket slurry.
Add Foltec SG Minors. Can be poured directly into the tank, solubilized using an inductor, or rinsed through a basket strainer.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
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Ben Pease is the Agronomist for The Andersons Turf & Specialty business, responsible for research, service, and technical support. Ben received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin, and earned his doctorate degree from Iowa State University. Ben has also served as the Assistant Superintendent for Cherokee Country Club (Madison, WI) and Whistling Straits Golf Courses (Sheboygan, WI). To contact Ben, click here.
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