From World Cup Soccer to the Environment and Back Again-A Journey of Turfgrass Science
A story of how creating a unique playing field for World Cup soccer led to development of research and Extension programs to study grasses for sports and environmental stewardship, with impacts ranging from fertilizer rules to the 2026 World Cup.
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[00:00:00.800]The following presentation
[00:00:02.250]is part of the agronomy and horticulture seminar series
[00:00:05.840]at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
[00:00:08.310]All right, good afternoon
[00:00:09.630]and welcome to the Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar.
[00:00:13.697]And it is my pleasure
[00:00:14.930]to introduce my former master's advisor, Dr. John Stier,
[00:00:19.080]who is an associate dean in Academic and Faculty Affairs,
[00:00:23.170]and professor of plant sciences
[00:00:24.750]in the Herbert College of Agriculture
[00:00:26.670]at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
[00:00:29.580]He earned his bachelors and master's degrees
[00:00:31.670]from the Ohio State University
[00:00:33.870]and a PhD from Michigan State University.
[00:00:37.750]He conducted research leading to and managed
[00:00:40.170]the world's first portable tuft grass sports field
[00:00:43.220]used in soccer's 1994 World Cup.
[00:00:46.230]He has authored over 60 peer reviewed
[00:00:48.080]and several hundred extension articles.
[00:00:50.920]He is lead author on the book,
[00:00:52.537]"Turfgrass: Biology, Use, and Management".
[00:00:55.120]Co-founded an online journal
[00:00:57.644]in the Wisconsin Sports Turf Managers Association.
[00:01:01.300]His research is focused on sports turf
[00:01:03.960]and environmental issues associated with turf grasses,
[00:01:06.370]including invasive species, pesticides, fertilizers,
[00:01:09.700]water use, GMOs, greenhouse gases,
[00:01:12.580]and light and cold stresses.
[00:01:14.910]He is a Massengill lecturer
[00:01:16.440]and fellow of the Crop Science Society of America
[00:01:19.960]and a fellow of the Agronomy Society of America.
[00:01:22.470]In 2020, he received the Fred V Grau Award,
[00:01:26.890]CSSA's top award for turf grass science.
[00:01:30.060]He has a COPA PI on a multimillion dollar contract
[00:01:33.250]with FIFA for research and oversight
[00:01:35.660]involving the 2026 Soccer World Cup.
[00:01:39.550]John, take it away.
[00:01:41.570]Thank you, Sabrina.
[00:01:42.403]So thank you all for joining me today.
[00:01:45.310]I wish I could be with you in person,
[00:01:47.040]but I'm there with you in heart.
[00:01:48.980]I have been to the campus before, it's a beautiful campus,
[00:01:52.370]and so I have some nice images in my head
[00:01:55.260]from the last time that I visited campus.
[00:01:59.270]And so what I wanna do today
[00:02:01.170]is take us on a bit of a journey
[00:02:04.300]of how somebody goes through their academic
[00:02:10.040]and career program, basically from graduate school
[00:02:13.430]to where somebody gets mid-career or so,
[00:02:17.860]and how things kind of work out.
[00:02:22.310]back in the mid 90s,
[00:02:23.940]I was working on a PhD in environmental science
[00:02:28.030]at the Ohio State University.
[00:02:30.260]I got a phone call from Michigan State University
[00:02:33.080]asking if I would like to come up and help them
[00:02:37.480]develop a portable turf grass system.
[00:02:41.520]At that time we didn't know
[00:02:42.810]it was gonna be portable turf grass system.
[00:02:44.390]They just said, "You wanna help us
[00:02:46.660]put some grass in the Pontiac Silverdome
[00:02:49.020]for the 1994 World Cup?"
[00:02:52.830]I had played soccer since I was seven.
[00:02:54.860]I was currently coaching a team and playing
[00:02:57.690]and anything to do with soccer sounded good to me.
[00:03:02.800]So this was in 1992 and for the next couple of years,
[00:03:06.830]I started off by building a covered research facility
[00:03:13.410]that simulated the climatic conditions
[00:03:15.570]inside the Pontiac Silverdome, which was a covered stadium,
[00:03:19.890]in terms of light, temperature, air flow,
[00:03:23.970]things of that nature.
[00:03:25.270]And my boss used to like to tell me...
[00:03:28.860]He gave me an unlimited budget and I exceeded it
[00:03:31.400]because I would come home at night
[00:03:32.670]and tell my wife how many tens
[00:03:34.760]or hundreds of thousands hours I had spent on this, that
[00:03:37.810]or another thing.
[00:03:39.290]And then after that facility was built,
[00:03:42.950]we started researching there.
[00:03:45.070]We started driving almost every day of the week
[00:03:48.260]about an hour and a half each way to Pontiac,
[00:03:51.600]especially in late '92 and all the way through '93,
[00:03:55.940]building a sports field
[00:04:01.600]in a modular system
[00:04:03.200]that could be moved in and out.
[00:04:04.480]So the picture in the lower left corner shows the field
[00:04:10.330]as we're removing it inside Pontiac Silverdome
[00:04:12.930]for a run up to the World Cup.
[00:04:14.880]This was for the US Cup in 1993,
[00:04:17.460]about two days after Paul McCartney concert,
[00:04:20.150]which shows the beauty of portable systems.
[00:04:23.490]And then our first game was Switzerland versus the US
[00:04:29.250]in 1994 and when you get, you know,
[00:04:32.420]hot 80, 90,000 rabid soccer fans in a stadium,
[00:04:37.900]you know that you're having an impact on somebody.
[00:04:41.380]And so that really helped marry my love of science
[00:04:45.140]for turf grass, with what we do.
[00:04:47.500]As it turns out turf grass is a big deal.
[00:04:51.490]It covers at least 35 million acres in our country.
[00:04:56.950]20 years ago, the last time it was surveyed,
[00:04:59.220]it was a $40 billion industry I have to manage
[00:05:02.170]and it pushing close to a hundred.
[00:05:04.040]When we did a survey in just Tennessee,
[00:05:07.650]a few years before the pandemic,
[00:05:09.580]it was already a $5 billion industry just in Tennessee
[00:05:12.680]and we've only got five and a half million people.
[00:05:16.760]It employs about 1 million people across the country
[00:05:20.730]and about two thirds of it is in lawns
[00:05:23.900]with the rest in roadside, sports fields, parks,
[00:05:28.010]and just a very little bit less than 3%
[00:05:31.210]in places like golf courses.
[00:05:34.850]What we find is that turf grass is actually useful
[00:05:37.430]for a lot of things.
[00:05:40.330]It helps control erosion.
[00:05:42.720]When we think about where erosion comes from,
[00:05:45.470]it's oftentimes from bear soil,
[00:05:47.620]which is why we have buffer strips along farms and so forth.
[00:05:52.920]Slowing down the water, helps recharge ground water.
[00:05:56.770]It also reduces any surface runoff
[00:05:59.630]and I'll show some research about that in a few minutes.
[00:06:03.800]Suppresses urban effects of heating, noise, glare and dust.
[00:06:08.630]When I talked to people,
[00:06:10.660]especially grew up here in the south, you know,
[00:06:12.880]40, 50 years ago or so before lawns really became a thing
[00:06:16.690]they would talk about how dust
[00:06:18.410]was just always in the house
[00:06:19.830]because there was nothing covering the front yard
[00:06:22.710]except dust and weeds, and sometimes chickens.
[00:06:26.450]It can help remediate contaminated soils,
[00:06:29.630]reduce air pollution, suppress fire.
[00:06:31.870]In fact, in Colorado and other places out west,
[00:06:34.670]one of the fire retardant means that they're using
[00:06:38.880]is actually making sure that there's irrigated lawns
[00:06:41.190]around the houses.
[00:06:42.410]It helps, based on research from Kuo and Sullivan
[00:06:45.750]in Illinois, retard criminal activity.
[00:06:50.580]It provides aesthetics.
[00:06:51.840]The American Realtors Association indicates
[00:06:54.600]that a well-maintained yard, lawn can add 15 to 20%
[00:07:00.280]of a house's property value.
[00:07:03.190]It provides some health and of course,
[00:07:05.140]recreational activities for us in society.
[00:07:10.760]Nonetheless, there's always issues with that.
[00:07:13.120]Anytime we've got something covering this much land mass
[00:07:16.080]and especially something in the urban environment
[00:07:18.370]that people see every day, there's always concerns
[00:07:21.260]and many of them are valid.
[00:07:22.750]And so I'm gonna focus primarily today on the issues
[00:07:26.380]of water-invasive grasses and greenhouse gas emissions.
[00:07:33.470]So working at the University of Wisconsin,
[00:07:36.530]which I did for 14 years,
[00:07:40.340]because Madison, Wisconsin is surrounded by lakes,
[00:07:46.570]especially Lake Mendota on the north end of the city,
[00:07:48.850]Lake Monona on the southern end of the city,
[00:07:51.680]Lake Monona actually being famous
[00:07:53.770]for the lake that Otis Redding's plane went down,
[00:07:58.270]has always been subject to algal blooms
[00:08:01.030]even before European settlers arrive.
[00:08:05.990]However, in these days and age,
[00:08:08.130]any algal blooms or even weeds
[00:08:10.460]is considered unsightly, undesirable,
[00:08:13.950]and completely a result of anthropogenic activities.
[00:08:19.200]We see these issues coming up,
[00:08:21.210]not just in place like Wisconsin,
[00:08:23.750]but in the Eastern Seaboard, along the Atlantic coast,
[00:08:27.720]Chesapeake Bay, New Jersey as an act of regulations,
[00:08:31.430]Pennsylvania, the Pee Dee River Basin in South Carolina.
[00:08:35.690]And even last year in Lake Erie.
[00:08:40.660]An attempt to control algal blooms and weeds
[00:08:44.820]in Wisconsin's lakes,
[00:08:46.720]Wisconsin several years ago developed a proposal
[00:08:50.000]for national resources rule 151,
[00:08:52.070]which eventually did become law.
[00:08:55.020]The early drafts focused on agriculture
[00:08:58.380]and as the discussions kept going,
[00:09:01.210]they included urban environments,
[00:09:03.340]particularly any grass areas.
[00:09:06.380]And the initial plan was to require buffer strips
[00:09:09.530]in urban areas, including innovative pest management plans
[00:09:13.730]for any pesticide application.
[00:09:16.020]Fertilizer applications have been based on soil tests
[00:09:19.050]for nitrogen phosphorus.
[00:09:20.910]We did get that one changed
[00:09:22.410]as we pointed out the difficulties
[00:09:25.204]of actually accurately understanding
[00:09:28.200]what a soil nitrogen test meant
[00:09:30.120]because of the ephemeral nature of nitrogen types
[00:09:33.340]in soil systems.
[00:09:34.590]And then requiring 50 to 75 foot buffers around water bodies
[00:09:38.550]and specifically excluding turf grasses,
[00:09:41.290]such as Kentucky bluegrass.
[00:09:44.060]And I did ask the question at a time,
[00:09:46.380]why would you exclude Kentucky bluegrass?
[00:09:49.820]And they said, "Because it allows erosion to occur."
[00:09:53.650]And I asked them when was last time
[00:09:55.970]you ever saw a lawn erode in a rainstorm.
[00:09:59.160]So they did rethink some of these things,
[00:10:02.210]but at the same time,
[00:10:03.590]it became clear that we needed data on some of these things.
[00:10:07.500]For example, how big of a buffer do we really need
[00:10:10.240]around concrete areas?
[00:10:14.020]The slide at the top shows a low area at the research center
[00:10:20.660]there in Wisconsin.
[00:10:22.220]And when I arrived in the late 90s this was a mobile area
[00:10:28.320]every day of the year.
[00:10:29.770]They built a subdivision across the street
[00:10:32.470]and slightly upstream, and after the subdivision got built,
[00:10:35.820]as it was being built, and every time after it was built,
[00:10:39.310]that it rained, this area would flood
[00:10:41.680]and it was run off from the paved surfaces there
[00:10:45.670]in the subdivision.
[00:10:46.640]This is actually a different subdivision there.
[00:10:49.840]And of course, anytime we get runoff,
[00:10:52.280]we'll get phosphorus and so forth in there,
[00:10:54.100]which can lead to algal blooms.
[00:10:56.370]One of the things we find with a lot of these places
[00:10:59.530]is engineers, urban engineers, civil engineers
[00:11:02.940]have always been focused on moving water fast.
[00:11:05.630]And that means moving it off of paved areas
[00:11:08.280]and oftentimes depositing it into a body of water,
[00:11:11.360]which of course can lead to algal blooms and other things.
[00:11:15.030]So as we started to figure out
[00:11:17.930]how big of a buffer strip do we really need,
[00:11:21.240]worked with Anita Thompson,
[00:11:22.820]a civil and environmental engineer,
[00:11:24.420]and Wayne Kussow and Kurt Steike
[00:11:27.050]who's now a professor at Michigan State University
[00:11:30.490]on how big of a buffer strip
[00:11:31.900]and what type of a buffer strip do we need
[00:11:34.510]to mitigate water runoff coming from pavement, if you will.
[00:11:39.640]And so we had turf grass areas,
[00:11:42.760]as well as, let's call it a bevy of native plants
[00:11:48.070]that are useful for rain gardens.
[00:11:52.050]Conducted a study over a couple years with different ratios,
[00:11:56.030]vegetative buffer strips, one to one, one to two
[00:11:58.830]and one to four ratios with concrete, monitored rainfall.
[00:12:03.800]What percentage of precipitation occurred
[00:12:07.970]at different times of the year
[00:12:09.130]and how much of that precipitation occurred
[00:12:11.140]during frozen soil conditions?
[00:12:13.560]And one of the most interesting things we found
[00:12:15.630]is that when we collected the runoff
[00:12:18.950]at the base at the end slope of the vegetated areas,
[00:12:23.270]all or most of all of the runoff always came
[00:12:27.340]during frozen soil conditions,
[00:12:28.930]no matter what size buffer strip we had.
[00:12:31.990]Meaning that even a small buffer strip
[00:12:34.270]was very effective at preventing runoff,
[00:12:37.580]as long as we didn't have frozen soil conditions.
[00:12:41.060]So the recommendation in a tongue and cheek way there
[00:12:44.520]was to just avoid frozen soil conditions,
[00:12:47.730]which maybe we'll get to in Wisconsin
[00:12:50.250]as climate change continues to happen.
[00:12:53.420]The other thing thing that we found
[00:12:54.540]is that the vegetation type really didn't matter.
[00:12:57.970]When we compared the so-called prairie plants to turf grass
[00:13:01.750]we really didn't see any difference in runoff
[00:13:06.240]in terms of significant differences.
[00:13:08.080]We published that information
[00:13:09.300]in Journal of Environmental Quality.
[00:13:11.540]We also looked at various types of nutrients.
[00:13:14.490]I show two here, total phosphorus
[00:13:17.650]and total suspended solids.
[00:13:19.440]Total phosphorus, we saw a little bit more phosphorus
[00:13:24.540]running off of the prairie ecosystems
[00:13:27.420]compared to the turf grass ecosystems in one year
[00:13:31.040]during non-frozen conditions.
[00:13:32.610]However, at 0.08 kilograms per hectare
[00:13:35.560]it was a very, very small amount.
[00:13:37.590]Probably not really biologically significant.
[00:13:40.830]Total suspended solids was a different character.
[00:13:45.050]We found a tremendous amount, tenfold amount,
[00:13:49.220]more suspended solids running off in the prairie areas
[00:13:52.930]in the first year, not in the second year.
[00:13:56.530]And it's largely because there's a large time period
[00:13:59.760]where the prairie plants are basically dormant
[00:14:02.770]and much of the soil is exposed.
[00:14:05.360]While the vegetation, it is there, is largely dead,
[00:14:09.130]fragmented, and then as the rains came in the late spring,
[00:14:12.810]they would wash those fragments off
[00:14:14.870]resulting in the large suspended solids
[00:14:16.630]whereas we just didn't have those fragments
[00:14:18.620]in the turf grass area.
[00:14:21.070]So the final rule got changed.
[00:14:23.610]The goal was to reduce suspended solids discharge waters
[00:14:27.750]in the state.
[00:14:29.650]And I think ultimately the research and various meetings
[00:14:34.900]allowed the state to end up with a rule
[00:14:37.150]that most people could live with
[00:14:39.300]and this rule has been copied.
[00:14:41.800]It's very similar now to what Minnesota's using,
[00:14:44.690]what New Jersey's using, so on and so forth.
[00:14:49.220]Around this time When Bill Clinton was still in office,
[00:14:54.930]he passed executive order 13112,
[00:14:58.810]which was meant to control and prevent
[00:15:00.680]the introduction of invasive species.
[00:15:02.240]At the time, there were concerns about Asian carp
[00:15:05.410]coming into the great lakes, waterways,
[00:15:08.070]and other invasive animals and plants coming in
[00:15:14.120]and upsetting our ecosystems.
[00:15:18.830]The executive order required every state
[00:15:21.460]to come up with essentially invasive species lists.
[00:15:24.890]And the way this works is once somebody starts developing
[00:15:28.670]a list, it's very easy for others to just take and copy.
[00:15:31.860]So what we would see is states in northern states,
[00:15:36.500]for example, having weeds listed as invasive,
[00:15:41.610]well, let's say like kudzu
[00:15:46.630]that could never even possibly grow up, let's say,
[00:15:49.820]in North Dakota or something like that,
[00:15:51.480]because it's just too cold, but they just copy the lists.
[00:15:54.170]The long, short of this,
[00:15:55.860]most of the turf grasses ended up on these lists too,
[00:15:59.830]because somebody at one point put them on there
[00:16:02.560]because most of our turf grasses are not native.
[00:16:06.650]And so we started various research projects
[00:16:10.560]propelled by the fact that the turf grass seed industry
[00:16:16.120]was interested in developing
[00:16:18.690]and selling genetically modified grasses
[00:16:23.660]for various reasons.
[00:16:25.400]The first reason being to have a grass
[00:16:28.880]that could be roundup resistant.
[00:16:31.790]Another reason, some of which is shown here,
[00:16:35.720]is to have a grass that essentially had the gene
[00:16:40.410]for gibberellic acid knocked out in performance
[00:16:43.250]and so the grass would never grow very tall.
[00:16:45.560]Wouldn't have to be mowed.
[00:16:47.390]They thought it was a good idea.
[00:16:49.450]Save on environmental pollution.
[00:16:51.890]But a number of groups ranging from the Sierra Club
[00:16:55.380]to the Association of Landscape Architects, cried foul
[00:17:01.050]and said they didn't want that.
[00:17:05.370]So when we look at the Invasive Plan Atlas, United States,
[00:17:08.250]which is kind of the master list,
[00:17:10.380]we see the bentgrass is showing up on there.
[00:17:13.910]Bermudagrass, various fescue species, tall fescue
[00:17:19.680]and fine fescues, Ryegrass, Paspalums, Timothy is on there.
[00:17:29.350]Poa annua, various types of Poa including Kentucky bluegrass
[00:17:33.927]and some other southern grasses.
[00:17:36.390]So the impacts the listings in some cases
[00:17:44.905]get to be very reactionary.
[00:17:46.940]Connecticut, for example, in 2004,
[00:17:49.270]when they first start saw this started coming out,
[00:17:51.610]they immediately banned 80 ornamentals on the list,
[00:17:55.800]even before the plants had been vetted
[00:17:57.950]because they did not want to potentially lose
[00:18:00.920]any federal funding for any projects.
[00:18:03.830]Pennsylvania followed suit.
[00:18:05.900]So the Fred Grau Award, which I won two years ago,
[00:18:10.700]was named after Fred Grau,
[00:18:13.310]one of the first true turf grass agronomists.
[00:18:16.680]Worked in Pennsylvania back in the 1930s
[00:18:20.180]and did a lot of research on tall fescue's benefits
[00:18:23.630]as a turf.
[00:18:24.950]And yet Pennsylvania banned tall fescue
[00:18:28.270]for use on Pennsylvania roadsides,
[00:18:30.780]again because it was starting to show up
[00:18:32.790]on some invasive species lists and they didn't want to lose
[00:18:36.180]potential federal highway funding.
[00:18:40.610]What we really need is a long term successionary study,
[00:18:46.670]but in these time periods, when funding comes through
[00:18:50.090]for one, two, three years at a time
[00:18:53.670]and realizing that plant species compositions change
[00:18:58.240]over a long period of time,
[00:18:59.710]we really don't have time or the wherewithal
[00:19:02.130]to set these things up.
[00:19:03.740]So one of the things we did is look for defunct golf courses
[00:19:07.070]in the Midwest that were at different ages
[00:19:11.090]in order to look at plant succession,
[00:19:13.250]because one of the thoughts
[00:19:15.140]was that these grasses are invasive
[00:19:17.280]and they just take over once they get a foothold.
[00:19:20.040]So for example, we went to Four Winds Golf Course,
[00:19:22.700]which had closed in East Lansing, Michigan
[00:19:24.610]several years prior and assessed the turf grass cover
[00:19:31.060]on the old putting greens, fairways, tee boxes and roughs.
[00:19:36.560]It was to the point it was so overgrown
[00:19:39.010]that we had to go get the architect,
[00:19:42.730]the landscape architect,
[00:19:44.730]and have him come out to the site with us
[00:19:47.140]even though we had maps of the golf course
[00:19:48.960]because we quite frankly couldn't locate some of the holes
[00:19:51.470]that were so overgrown.
[00:19:53.770]What we found is that creeping bentgrass,
[00:19:56.140]which initially had been planted on all 18 putting greens,
[00:20:00.070]we found a little bit, maybe on one green
[00:20:03.530]right from where we thought the scent of the green was,
[00:20:05.960]which actually would've still been on the green.
[00:20:07.860]Couldn't find it on any other area of the course.
[00:20:13.220]We found very little Kentucky bluegrass,
[00:20:15.470]which is what would've been planted in the rough
[00:20:17.670]and the fairway at that golf course.
[00:20:20.220]That's shown in the light pink.
[00:20:22.190]We found a lot of forbs which were not planted
[00:20:26.730]and also a lot of woody species,
[00:20:29.470]which were not planted, of course, in the fairways
[00:20:33.290]or the roughs at the time,
[00:20:34.970]showing that plant succession was taking place
[00:20:38.180]even within five years after management operation seized,
[00:20:42.380]i.e, mowing seized.
[00:20:45.010]In a different study with the USDA,
[00:20:49.190]we looked at the golf courses
[00:20:50.390]as a source of potentially invasive C3 grasses.
[00:20:55.401]The hypothesis was that the abundance
[00:20:58.410]these grasses would decline
[00:21:00.340]as one got further away from the golf course.
[00:21:04.360]And then we also wanted to correlate
[00:21:06.370]the abundance of the grasses off the golf course
[00:21:09.290]with the age of the golf course,
[00:21:10.880]thinking that the golf course could be a recruiting ground,
[00:21:13.550]for example, for the grasses
[00:21:15.650]and other aspects of the ecology.
[00:21:20.150]So we assessed 12 golf courses in the state of Wisconsin
[00:21:25.770]in three age brackets, less than 15 years, 25 to 35 years,
[00:21:29.470]which is considered a mature golf course,
[00:21:31.680]and then 75 years plus, which are very old golf courses.
[00:21:36.730]We also looked at the historic vegetation
[00:21:39.150]and then split it up into North, Central
[00:21:41.600]and Southern Wisconsin.
[00:21:43.810]We ran transects from the edge of the fairways
[00:21:48.210]at pre-determined locations using maps,
[00:21:50.490]and then using quadrats at various stages
[00:21:54.400]on those transects, assessed the vegetation in those.
[00:21:59.150]One of the ways we would work on this is taking aerial maps
[00:22:03.090]and using a randomized number generator
[00:22:06.910]after putting this on grids.
[00:22:08.370]Figure out where are we going to put our transect?
[00:22:10.520]So when we would go to the golf course
[00:22:13.680]using GPS coordinates,
[00:22:15.050]we could start the transect at one location
[00:22:18.460]and then fan out from there.
[00:22:21.720]Use the Daubenmire cover class rating
[00:22:24.330]to identify the abundance
[00:22:26.290]of various classifications of plants,
[00:22:28.660]whether they were turf grasses or other things.
[00:22:33.300]Ran a large number transects.
[00:22:34.810]Found a few oddities.
[00:22:37.040]For example, in one dormant reed canary grass area,
[00:22:43.090]quite some distance from the golf course,
[00:22:46.320]we found a number of tussocks
[00:22:49.160]covered with Kentucky bluegrass.
[00:22:52.058]Until we talked to entomologists, that we realized
[00:22:54.990]that the ants had likely recruited the Kentucky bluegrass
[00:22:58.600]from the golf course and brought it to their nests.
[00:23:04.500]Found one bentgrass plant on a decaying log
[00:23:07.810]in the middle of the woods
[00:23:09.180]with some, of course enough, sunlight for it to grow there.
[00:23:12.840]That was one of the few bentgrass plants we found.
[00:23:17.000]And so when we looked at the amount of Kentucky bluegrass,
[00:23:20.500]creeping bentgrass, and fine fescue all which are C3 grasses
[00:23:23.850]commonly used in golf course in places like Nebraska,
[00:23:27.850]we found that with Kentucky bluegrass
[00:23:30.220]as one got away from the edge of the golf course
[00:23:32.870]the abundance of Kentucky bluegrass seemed to decline.
[00:23:38.240]Creeping bentgrass we really didn't find very much overall.
[00:23:42.420]Fine fescue also seemed to decline
[00:23:45.060]as we got away from the golf course.
[00:23:49.800]There was also a good correlation
[00:23:51.590]in many cases with the pharmacology of the area.
[00:23:57.580]Kentucky bluegrass was most likely to be found
[00:24:00.910]off the golf course.
[00:24:03.620]In areas that had had formerly been prairie...
[00:24:06.890]Now, keep in mind, Wisconsin prior to European settlement
[00:24:12.400]was likely largely wooded.
[00:24:15.890]When the European settlers arrived
[00:24:18.610]they tried farming the state,
[00:24:21.300]and in the Southwestern Corridor state
[00:24:25.250]known as the Driftless area
[00:24:26.640]where the glaciers really kind of skirted
[00:24:29.520]around this elevated region,
[00:24:32.700]the soil was too thin for good farming
[00:24:35.000]and so the trees were removed and the area was grazed.
[00:24:40.710]But in any place else in the state
[00:24:42.330]where prairies had been perhaps as a result of fire
[00:24:45.880]maybe by native Americans,
[00:24:48.980]Kentucky bluegrass was most likely to be found.
[00:24:51.430]We hardly found any Kentucky bluegrass
[00:24:53.898]in any other former hardwood or pine or mixed areas.
[00:25:01.330]We also found some correlation with age,
[00:25:06.200]especially with the medium to older golf courses.
[00:25:09.400]We were most likely to find Kentucky bluegrass
[00:25:11.550]close to the golf course.
[00:25:12.950]As one got at some distance away from the golf course,
[00:25:16.030]Kentucky bluegrass faded to virtually nothing.
[00:25:18.860]Although young courses,
[00:25:21.020]there was no correlation with distance
[00:25:24.240]and showing that when a golf course is young,
[00:25:27.430]it's able to essentially serve as a recruiting ground
[00:25:30.460]for Kentucky bluegrass quite some distance away,
[00:25:32.940]but those plants just never really survive very well
[00:25:36.740]on their own in the long term.
[00:25:40.143]And then one of the projects we worked with Sabrina Ruis on
[00:25:44.090]was the abundance of Kentucky bluegrass and invasive species
[00:25:47.000]and Prairie ecosystems.
[00:25:48.180]And so Sabrina had the pleasure of identifying prairies
[00:25:53.700]in several states in the Midwest.
[00:25:56.470]And then wadding through tall vegetation,
[00:26:02.280]forwarding rushing rivers,
[00:26:05.210]and trying to identify different types
[00:26:08.790]and amounts of Kentucky bluegrass in these areas,
[00:26:11.700]which it seemed like old or restored prairies
[00:26:15.960]were most likely to be conducive to Kentucky bluegrass.
[00:26:21.230]She correlated the Kentucky bluegrass to the environment
[00:26:23.770]and the history.
[00:26:26.460]Used grids and transects.
[00:26:31.660]We also had fingerprinting of the plants
[00:26:35.270]that she would collect so that we could be assured
[00:26:37.660]they were Kentucky bluegrass, poa pratensis
[00:26:40.220]rather than some other sort of poa.
[00:26:42.280]If you've ever worked with grass you know
[00:26:44.200]that visually one species can look much like another,
[00:26:49.360]even to somebody who's been trained in it for some time.
[00:26:54.410]Regression trees were used
[00:26:56.320]to tease apart the effects of different ecological factors.
[00:27:04.100]She looked at 52 parameters in the models
[00:27:12.800]the presence of sedges and rushes
[00:27:14.840]turned out to be one of the greatest explainers
[00:27:19.200]of why Kentucky bluegrass would be in a place
[00:27:22.670]they both require or do well in moist,
[00:27:27.530]highly enriched soils.
[00:27:31.000]But as we can see,
[00:27:32.970]it didn't explain a lot of the variability,
[00:27:34.900]which shows that there's just a lot of reasons
[00:27:36.850]why Kentucky bluegrass may or may not be some place.
[00:27:40.600]It was perhaps compounded by the fact
[00:27:42.980]that we really didn't find
[00:27:44.600]very much Kentucky bluegrass at all.
[00:27:50.050]And most of the times that we did find it,
[00:27:52.060]it was singular plants or very small patches.
[00:27:55.000]And this has impact
[00:27:57.930]when we think about the invasive species rule
[00:28:00.440]requiring invasive species to be controlled
[00:28:02.580]because by definition
[00:28:04.340]an invasive species has to non-native
[00:28:09.990]and contributing to environmental and or human harm.
[00:28:16.250]And so one has to really scratch their head,
[00:28:18.480]how much harm is really going on in some of these cases?
[00:28:22.910]When we looked at other physical factors,
[00:28:25.960]slope explain a lot of it.
[00:28:28.740]We were most likely to find the Kentucky bluegrass
[00:28:32.080]at the lower end of a slope or in a more flat area,
[00:28:36.160]rather than in an upland situation.
[00:28:38.520]Soil type, again, rich soils.
[00:28:41.720]And then years since a burn
[00:28:45.100]really did not correlate very much.
[00:28:48.500]So what we concluded is that it was present
[00:28:51.050]but did not behave like a notorious invader
[00:28:55.090]causing ecological or environmental harm.
[00:28:59.203]And this research, as well as other research we did,
[00:29:03.990]resulted in its removal from the invasive species list
[00:29:07.760]by the way Wisconsin DNR.
[00:29:09.940]And so as one works in extension,
[00:29:14.780]we're constantly assessed by the impact that we have
[00:29:17.740]and so this was very much an important impact.
[00:29:21.400]Based on the size of the turf grass industry,
[00:29:24.380]the seed industry for turf grass in fact, as it turns out,
[00:29:27.330]is the second largest seed industry in the United States,
[00:29:30.450]second only to seed corn.
[00:29:33.290]So research continues, interest in this continues.
[00:29:38.500]There's reports of colonial bentgrass on Long Island.
[00:29:41.550]Well, we know that when Europeans first settled Long Island,
[00:29:45.630]they brought cattle
[00:29:46.520]and they brought what they would've called bent grass
[00:29:50.890]back then and it was likely colonial bentgrass.
[00:29:54.110]We know that there's Kentucky bluegrass in the Western US,
[00:29:56.340]but we also know it's planted.
[00:29:59.420]People in the national park system
[00:30:00.780]point out well, there's tall fescue
[00:30:01.880]in the Great Smokey Mountains.
[00:30:03.260]And now that I live here, I go there frequently, I see it.
[00:30:07.370]And the only place I've seen tall fescue
[00:30:09.080]is alongside the roads where it's planted
[00:30:11.240]or in a pasture in a place called Cades Cove,
[00:30:15.360]where the settlers likely planted it
[00:30:17.390]and where it continues to be mowed occasionally
[00:30:19.990]and as well as all grazed.
[00:30:21.823]Then of course, Bermudagrass
[00:30:23.280]which if somebody wants to argue that's invasive,
[00:30:26.800]I'm probably right there with them.
[00:30:28.310]I'm constantly battling to keep Bermudagrass out.
[00:30:31.070]We know it's not from United States.
[00:30:34.150]So the research also resulted in the de-listing
[00:30:39.970]of perennial ryegrass from the invasive plant list.
[00:30:47.720]So as we're moving along,
[00:30:51.260]greenhouse gas emissions, climate change,
[00:30:53.000]global warming starts to become a hot and heavy topic
[00:30:56.120]in the late two 2000s.
[00:30:59.540]And one of the first places that we can look for the effects
[00:31:03.540]of turf grass on global warming or climate change
[00:31:09.230]is using what's called the CENTRUY model,
[00:31:12.310]which was developed out of Colorado State.
[00:31:16.330]And one of the first papers on this turf grass
[00:31:22.660]beginning about five years after establishment
[00:31:25.150]would actually start sequestering soil
[00:31:27.940]depending on the soil type and the management,
[00:31:30.160]whether it was fertilized or whether it was irrigated.
[00:31:33.330]It could continue to accumulate soil
[00:31:35.870]for about 30 to 50 years
[00:31:39.680]before soil organic carbon accumulated
[00:31:43.600]to such an extent that it really was not possible
[00:31:49.130]to accumulate much more.
[00:31:51.730]What we were really interested in from my standpoint
[00:31:54.270]was, well, what about that five year mark?
[00:31:58.160]How well do turf grasses really capture carbon dioxide
[00:32:04.240]or CO2 to in the soil as their developing?
[00:32:07.340]So we established both field tests and greenhouse tests
[00:32:11.700]to start figuring this out.
[00:32:14.720]Sabrina was involved in one of the studies.
[00:32:18.400]The graphs here show the gross photosynthetic efficiency
[00:32:27.880]as well as the respiration rates down here,
[00:32:31.150]and then the net environmental efficiency here.
[00:32:38.080]But it showed that even right away,
[00:32:40.500]we were able to start capturing some carbon
[00:32:43.890]as the turf grasses grew.
[00:32:47.600]We took this out actually
[00:32:48.750]to at least two different field sites.
[00:32:50.220]One was a sod farm for a multi-year study.
[00:32:52.880]Those data have been published in another series of papers.
[00:32:56.310]And then Randy Jackson, also assessed the ability
[00:33:00.570]to sequester carbon by turf grasses, prairie grasses,
[00:33:07.050]and other forbs, both in managed and unmanaged settings.
[00:33:12.040]And so we went into a site that had been farmed
[00:33:15.210]for about 150 years, oftentimes manured.
[00:33:18.690]And then for the last 15 to 20 years
[00:33:21.510]had been in a turf grass system.
[00:33:25.400]And then we till the soil and planted either fine fescue,
[00:33:29.850]Kentucky bluegrass, reed canary grass,
[00:33:32.520]prairie forbs or prairie grasses,
[00:33:35.430]monitored the soil carbon stocks over a period of years.
[00:33:41.610]And for three years straight the system,
[00:33:46.800]whether we mowed it, fertilized it, or left it alone,
[00:33:51.110]did nothing but bleed carbon.
[00:33:53.130]Carbon just exhausted out in the air.
[00:33:55.890]By the fourth year,
[00:33:56.930]we were starting to see the carbon stabilize,
[00:34:02.050]even in some cases some carbon additions back into the soil.
[00:34:08.140]A little bit with fine fescue in a control group,
[00:34:11.000]Kentucky bluegrass where we were mowing it
[00:34:13.880]was starting to put some carbon back in the soil.
[00:34:17.350]And then the Prairie forbs
[00:34:18.710]and turfs that we were fertilizing,
[00:34:22.010]started to put some carbon back in the soil,
[00:34:26.200]but that research has been an ongoing thing.
[00:34:31.320]Three years ago, now I guess, after I moved down here,
[00:34:33.750]we continued that line of research
[00:34:38.240]assessing the effect of row crops, continuous corn.
[00:34:44.550]A corn-soybean rotation with winter wheat in between
[00:34:48.200]and a continuous soybean rotation.
[00:34:51.780]turf grasses, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass,
[00:34:53.907]and Bermudagrass and unmanaged grasses,
[00:34:57.610]which were mainly crab grass, dallisgrass,
[00:35:00.860]a little bit of tall fescue and various other weeds
[00:35:04.990]in unmanaged woodlands here in East Tennessee.
[00:35:08.320]Which if you're not familiar with it is the transition zone.
[00:35:13.970]Hot, humid, temperate climate.
[00:35:16.340]As one of my colleagues says we can grow all grasses
[00:35:20.970]equally poorly here.
[00:35:23.500]And we monitor that in different situations.
[00:35:27.680]The first graph here shows the soil organic carbon stocks
[00:35:31.600]at a zero to five centimeter depth,
[00:35:33.770]the middle graph of 5 to 15 centimeter depth,
[00:35:37.280]and the third graph at a 15 to 30 centimeter depth.
[00:35:41.970]And largely what we found is that,
[00:35:46.557]especially at the near the surface, the unmanaged areas
[00:35:50.720]continue to have the highest carbon stocks
[00:35:54.050]followed by the turf grass here
[00:35:56.460]as the cool season turf grass areas.
[00:35:58.890]The Bermudagrass not so much.
[00:36:00.480]With the lowest carbon stocks being in the areas
[00:36:03.870]that were tilled annually.
[00:36:05.690]Probably not a big surprise here.
[00:36:07.710]What did surprise some people
[00:36:10.330]knowing as vigorously as Bermudagrass grows,
[00:36:14.480]it bled carbon just like the annual crop system did.
[00:36:21.100]And it's largely because Bermudagrass goes dormant
[00:36:26.510]as temperatures approach about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
[00:36:29.890]50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
[00:36:32.570]Which means it's dormant about half the year
[00:36:35.130]and yet the soil temperatures here in Tennessee
[00:36:39.030]are high enough
[00:36:40.140]for a relatively high amount of microbial activity
[00:36:43.900]for almost 12 months of the year.
[00:36:46.440]So even though the Bermudagrass wasn't growing
[00:36:49.170]the microbes were very active,
[00:36:51.440]essentially chewing up whatever carbon stocks
[00:36:54.450]were in the soil, releasing that in the soil.
[00:36:56.550]Whereas the cool season grasses,
[00:36:58.330]tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass,
[00:37:00.430]they're actually growing 9 to 10 months of the year
[00:37:03.907]and so there's only about two months of the year
[00:37:05.720]that they're really quiasonal.
[00:37:09.980]And then of course, water.
[00:37:13.820]As students are graduating these days
[00:37:15.470]wondering what they want to do,
[00:37:17.000]they wanna do something meaningful.
[00:37:18.440]They wanna make sure that their work is needed.
[00:37:21.960]I urge them to consider working in water.
[00:37:27.070]The picture I took here was in Arizona several years ago
[00:37:30.970]in Phoenix when I was at a conference.
[00:37:33.670]And of course, one wonders,
[00:37:35.560]where is all this water coming from?
[00:37:37.580]Where does it need to be the going?
[00:37:39.880]How are we really using our water resources in this country?
[00:37:43.830]Which I think is something
[00:37:44.840]we'll continue to have to grapple with
[00:37:47.210]as places like the Ogallala Aquifer in some cases
[00:37:52.490]continue to run drier rather than wetter,
[00:37:55.850]and yet a lot of that wheat that we're growing off of it
[00:37:58.910]we may be wanting to export.
[00:38:02.600]Turf grass of course are not immune to water consumption.
[00:38:05.380]The majority of turf grass being in urban areas indicates
[00:38:09.700]that it's always going to be catching people's eye.
[00:38:13.150]Anytime there's a sprinkler system
[00:38:14.770]that has the water hitting the pavement inside of the grass
[00:38:17.980]that's always a red flag,
[00:38:19.870]or when sprinkler systems are active when it's raining.
[00:38:24.310]And so even in wet areas like Tennessee here,
[00:38:29.050]this is from about five years ago,
[00:38:31.220]we were going through the second major drought
[00:38:33.880]that I've seen in the 10 years that I've been here
[00:38:36.650]to the point where we now have some watering restrictions,
[00:38:39.550]especially in the Western part of the state.
[00:38:41.370]Places like Dallas, even Minnesota
[00:38:45.030]have all been developing watering restrictions
[00:38:48.560]or water banns in the last few years.
[00:38:53.650]Because of these things
[00:38:58.610]I put a team together from across the country
[00:39:05.920]to actually measure, not just estimate,
[00:39:10.870]but actually measure how much water,
[00:39:13.330]different turf grasses really needed.
[00:39:15.670]The rule of thumb that's out there in the industry
[00:39:18.350]is that turf grasses need about an inch of water a week.
[00:39:21.740]And so somebody quickly assumes, okay,
[00:39:23.440]they need 52 inches of water a year to grow
[00:39:26.920]and that's a lot of irrigation.
[00:39:30.690]But that does not take into account the rainfall
[00:39:34.230]and the soil water-holding capacity.
[00:39:38.670]And so I put together Jason Henderson
[00:39:40.680]from University of Connecticut.
[00:39:42.240]Eric Watkins, turf breeder researcher,
[00:39:45.670]University of Minnesota.
[00:39:47.430]Kelly Kopp who serves
[00:39:48.790]on a number of EPA WaterSense type committees
[00:39:54.990]at the national level out of Utah state.
[00:39:57.430]Jim Barrett, University of California, Riverside,
[00:39:59.950]which has a very hot, dry Mediterranean-type climate.
[00:40:03.860]And then Matt Elmore and Ambika Chandra at Texas A&M.
[00:40:10.400]And then we had Doug Karcher
[00:40:13.510]who was at the University of Arkansas at the time
[00:40:18.600]as our statistical analysis.
[00:40:21.970]Because if you start looking at the disparate climates
[00:40:25.870]and grass types and other factors,
[00:40:29.990]it starts to quickly get beyond
[00:40:31.910]any one of our normal researchers' statistical capabilities.
[00:40:36.190]Fortunately, Doug was able to handle that.
[00:40:38.890]So we established sod at all the sites in 2015
[00:40:45.130]and grew the plots in over the next several months
[00:40:49.790]and then collected data in 2016 and 2017.
[00:40:55.320]Not surprisingly, there was a huge disparity
[00:40:58.700]in terms of irrigation, water needs.
[00:41:02.470]Southern California needed by far and away,
[00:41:04.530]the most amount of water.
[00:41:06.030]They cannot go a week.
[00:41:07.910]They really can't go more than a few days there
[00:41:10.340]in Southern California without watering
[00:41:12.440]during the summertime.
[00:41:13.560]The wintertime is a different matter,
[00:41:14.960]but in the summer it needs water almost every day.
[00:41:19.350]Utah oftentimes needed water.
[00:41:21.560]Now, Utah state's up in the Northeastern corner
[00:41:25.430]so it's actually classified as a temperate region,
[00:41:29.900]not a hot aired region.
[00:41:33.320]Tennessee, some variability between years.
[00:41:37.390]Texas, some variability between years.
[00:41:39.350]Eastern Texas, so humid area there.
[00:41:42.200]Minnesota variability between the years.
[00:41:45.170]More needed in the first year,
[00:41:47.210]hardly anything at all needed in the second year.
[00:41:49.390]Connecticut, two years, high population density.
[00:41:54.080]A lot lawns never needed any irrigation.
[00:41:59.940]Natural rainfall and soil water-holding capacity
[00:42:02.410]were sufficient for the grasses to grow.
[00:42:05.020]And I will say that we used the grasses
[00:42:07.730]that are suitable for the area in all states.
[00:42:11.970]And then we used the extension recommendations
[00:42:15.430]to manage the grasses at all sites, like we would for lawn.
[00:42:23.830]tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass used the most water,
[00:42:27.620]regardless of whatever year it was.
[00:42:29.640]That was not a big surprise to us.
[00:42:31.730]We've always known that the southern grasses,
[00:42:33.557]the C4 grasses, used less water.
[00:42:37.230]What was a bit of a surprise was that Bermudagrass,
[00:42:40.845]which is oftentimes towered as using less water
[00:42:43.267]and is very commonly used here in Tennessee
[00:42:47.340]and in surrounding states as lawns and parks
[00:42:50.460]and roadside grasses, at least in the first year actually
[00:42:54.050]used more water than zoysia grass,
[00:42:55.960]which is not very commonly used for lawns.
[00:42:59.140]It's used a little bit on some golf forces,
[00:43:01.680]but with some new varieties coming out,
[00:43:05.830]this is potentially a much better choice for lawn grass
[00:43:11.250]This also not as invasive into flower beds
[00:43:13.970]and other places as Bermudagrass is.
[00:43:19.230]So one of the things I've learned of course
[00:43:21.640]through this whole process is be aware of politics.
[00:43:25.750]I remember being summoned into a state legislator's office
[00:43:31.740]some years ago in Wisconsin,
[00:43:34.360]and he had a stack papers and documents
[00:43:39.790]that had been assembled regarding lawn nutrients
[00:43:45.307]and algal blooms.
[00:43:46.890]And he said, "Dr. Stier, I've read,
[00:43:50.320]or at least skimmed through, a lot of what you've written.
[00:43:54.340]I understand it.
[00:43:55.570]I think you're probably right, but I have to vote this way
[00:44:01.380]because I'm up for election this year
[00:44:04.040]and my constituents have said if I don't vote this way,
[00:44:07.470]I'm not going to get reelected."
[00:44:10.050]And in the room with me was another legislator
[00:44:14.910]who owned a nursery business, but he said,
[00:44:18.257]"But if this bill passes, it's going to prevent me
[00:44:22.740]from fertilizing all of my nursery stocks.
[00:44:25.020]I'm gonna go out business."
[00:44:26.720]And the first legislator said, "Don't worry.
[00:44:30.610]As soon as my bill passes, I'll introduce a bill
[00:44:36.200]to exempt all nurseries from the bill."
[00:44:40.140]And so that's an education in politics.
[00:44:43.620]We learn to work early with advocacy groups and regulators,
[00:44:47.120]and especially make sure
[00:44:48.220]extension communications are clear cut
[00:44:52.000]and understandable to the general public.
[00:44:54.270]I have lost track
[00:44:56.160]of the number of municipal and state meetings I've been in.
[00:45:01.910]Those of you who are in extension
[00:45:03.350]have probably similar stories.
[00:45:06.310]So fortunately I'm at the point in my career
[00:45:09.280]where I get to continue doing things that are fun.
[00:45:13.530]And because we've always continued
[00:45:16.250]some sports turf research
[00:45:18.010]and I worked with one of the world's best
[00:45:19.760]sports turf grass researchers, John Serapin,
[00:45:23.130]who I had hired as an undergraduate
[00:45:25.950]to work with me at Michigan State for the first World Cup,
[00:45:29.700]FIFA came to us about about a year ago
[00:45:33.970]and started discussing the 2026 World Cup.
[00:45:39.070]And as it turns out,
[00:45:40.770]they've decided that the World Cup will be played
[00:45:45.060]across Canada, United States and Mexico in 2026.
[00:45:47.910]It'll be the largest land area for the World Cup ever.
[00:45:53.070]The only time that three countries have been used.
[00:45:56.860]There will be 16 stadia
[00:45:58.680]representing a multitude of climatic zones and soil types
[00:46:05.680]and about 150 training pitches along with those 16 stadia.
[00:46:11.000]Some of the stadiums will be covered.
[00:46:13.590]Some will be partially covered.
[00:46:15.160]Some will be open air.
[00:46:16.450]Some will be at close to sea level.
[00:46:18.910]Others like the one in Mexico city
[00:46:21.290]will be very high up in the mountains
[00:46:24.890]subject to even though it's a area
[00:46:28.110]that one would think is normally hot,
[00:46:29.830]we're thinking we can probably grow a cool season grass
[00:46:33.428]in that location.
[00:46:35.880]And so we've signed
[00:46:39.650]a five and a half million dollar contract with FIFA
[00:46:42.880]for Tennessee to lead the research and the oversight
[00:46:47.010]for all the stadia and all the training pitches.
[00:46:50.220]We're hiring turf grass technicians, assistants.
[00:46:55.700]And as we go along, of course, probably communicators
[00:46:59.320]to help with communications
[00:47:01.780]across the different stadiums, so forth.
[00:47:04.840]We're also building covered research facilities,
[00:47:09.780]both in Tennessee and in Michigan to investigate lighting.
[00:47:14.520]Of course, one of the things we got now
[00:47:16.160]that we didn't have 25, 30 years ago are LED lights.
[00:47:20.280]So I was spending some time today in a greenhouse
[00:47:22.580]looking at some new LED lights that we're putting in.
[00:47:26.580]We're looking at airflow and quality over the air
[00:47:29.120]in terms of CO2.
[00:47:31.430]We're looking at soil types, sod types, management.
[00:47:35.120]Which includes things like growth regulators
[00:47:38.030]to inhibit gibberellic acid biosynthesis,
[00:47:43.410]I'll tell you, I have never seen such disease pressure.
[00:47:46.320]A person can apply the max amount of fungicide
[00:47:50.110]in one of these enclosed stadias in one day.
[00:47:54.870]And within 48 hours,
[00:47:56.530]the grass can be covered with a fungus disease.
[00:48:00.060]And then of course also looking at irrigation.
[00:48:02.560]So we've got some very exciting times
[00:48:05.040]coming over the next couple years,
[00:48:06.940]followed by the actual games in 2026.
[00:48:11.800]And with that, I'm gonna stop sharing
[00:48:14.200]and take any questions or comments that people have.
[00:48:18.220]Okay, thank you, John.
[00:48:20.800]I have a question for you, John.
[00:48:23.370]One of the things that you touched on
[00:48:27.800]a little bit early in your presentation
[00:48:29.380]was about nutrients in turf.
[00:48:33.170]Can you talk a little bit about nutrient losses
[00:48:35.780]from turf grass?
[00:48:39.170]Yeah, so the easy thing to say
[00:48:41.060]is that when we fertilize turf grasses,
[00:48:44.410]we tend to what we call spoon feed them.
[00:48:49.030]When one is growing annual crops like corn or soybeans
[00:48:53.010]or wheat, there's really only about one or two times
[00:48:56.450]during the life cycle that one can truly fertilize.
[00:48:59.160]And so we tend to put down the bulk
[00:49:01.040]or all the fertilizer at one shot
[00:49:03.130]before the plants oftentimes have even grown
[00:49:05.350]and can't take it up.
[00:49:08.440]But turf grasses, we're fertilizing a living,
[00:49:13.330]And instead of applying,
[00:49:14.680]let's say 196 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare at one shot,
[00:49:18.870]we're maybe applying 12 or 24.
[00:49:23.100]And so as the nitrogen in that case becomes available
[00:49:27.320]for plants, a lot of it will be taken up.
[00:49:30.580]There are still out there.
[00:49:33.050]We've done a little bit,
[00:49:34.100]but there's better studies out there
[00:49:36.010]that show that a fair portion of the nitrogen, for example,
[00:49:39.740]can actually volatilize and become potential greenhouse gas.
[00:49:47.150]Phosphorus of course, doesn't volatilize
[00:49:51.338]in the low rates which we use it,
[00:49:53.840]especially if we're using urea fertilizer,
[00:49:56.010]which has no phosphorus to speak of in it.
[00:50:00.380]Really does not move from the turf grass system.
[00:50:03.470]And then we'll use potassium.
[00:50:06.230]There's no known environmental issues with that to speak of.
[00:50:09.870]And the other nutrients we use in such low quantities
[00:50:13.413]or if at all, that it's just not an issue with any of those.
[00:50:18.209]Okay, well, thank you, John.
[00:50:20.150]And thank you for spending part of your afternoon with us.
[00:50:25.210]And I hope everybody has a great weekend.
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