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We don't swim in your toilet, don't P in our pool. I mean, no P in our soil.

I have some quick news today, just passing along two links about recent fertilizer legislation in Michigan and New Jersey.

According to the articles linked below, golf courses in New Jersey are exempt. In Michigan, it appears that P is allowed if a soil test shows that it is needed, for golf, home lawns, farms, or other sites.

Any comments from those of you in those states? Or in states like Wisconsin or Minnesota where legislation has been on the books for awhile? It is not anything like the complex regulations John talked about for Ontario, but I'm curious how these things are affecting your operations or might in the future.

Michigan: For article click HERE
New Jersey: For article click HERE

2 Responses to “We don't swim in your toilet, don't P in our pool. I mean, no P in our soil.”

As a GCS in Minnesota for 25+ years, I can offer some insight regarding the MN law. There were definitely positives that resulted from the legislation as you stated. But...I would also point out that the original intent of the law - to improve surface water quality - is unlikely to be attained as a direct result of this law. I have long maintained that the monies associated with this program should have been directed towards public service announcements and increased street cleaning efforts. Teaching the public to keep grass clippings and leaves out of the gutters combined with increased and improved street sanitation procedures would have been far more productive in cleaning up our surface waters, IMHO.

Dr. Brian Horgan's research revealed that, by far, the majority of P moves off site from frozen soils. And as common sense would suggest, P movement increases with decreasing health of a turfgrass stand. Therefore, this would indicate that timing of P applications is critical and maximizing turfgrass health would do wonders to limit P runoff.

From a golf course management perspective in MN, the law has had little effect on fertility practices. The certification program allows us to use P as necessary. Over the past 20 years, I don't think P has been a significant component of fertilizers used on GC's (except for starters) and I believe, more recently, even less is used. With recent market price instability for the macros, there is also a financial incentive to use less P.

I believe this legislation passed as "feel good" policy regardless of the science available at the time. I guess I should not be surprised that other states are lining up behind Minnesota's example. After all, we "changed the world" when we put a professional wrestler in our governors office! Sorry for the book!

Megan said...

Paul, thanks for your detailed comments. We don't mind long comments... quite the contrary!

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