“I love Nature Safe on greens and tees, but I just can’t afford to use it on my fairways.” New research data from Michigan State University suggests that the exact opposite is true. You can’t afford to not use Nature Safe on fairways.
The study conducted by Michigan State University showed that bentgrass turf fertilized with 1/2 lbs. of Nitrogen from Nature Safe 8-3-5 on a monthly basis suffered over 61% less damage from Dollar Spot versus similar plots fertilized with a 18-5-9 turf fertilizer at the same rate of N per month. Compared with a 15-3-15 liquid product, the Nature Safe plots suffered 66% less damage. A similar study also showed a significant reduction in Summer Patch when Nature Safe was applied at the same rate. That could translate into some big reductions in the cost of fairway maintenance for your customers and make it less expensive for them to use Nature Safe than any other fertilizer.
Many turf professional have seen similar reductions in disease on their golf courses and have not correlated it with the use of Nature Safe. One superintendent, after having the data explained to him, said “Oh yeah, I’ve seen that on my own golf course. I used Nature Safe on my tees and had very little Dollar Spot, but I had it crawling up my legs on the fairways, where I used a synthetic fertilizer.” You could see light bulbs going off as he grasped the significance of what he was being told.
Dollar Spot control is easily the single most costly item in most golf course budgets. Using very conservative estimates, a golf course could easily reduce the cost of Dollar Spot control by 25% or more. If that is the case, a superintendent can pay for a Nature Safe program on their fairways and have quite a bit of money left over for other uses. You will benefit from stronger, denser, better-rooted turf that is far easier to maintain under stress conditions than in the past.