Eco-Friendly Insecticides Highlight New Greenskeeper Technology

Perhaps one of the most overlooked features of any golf course is the hours and hours of labor, science, and other technologies that help keep our favorite courses playable.  Numerous technological advancements have made their way throughout the world and are currently being used on both top-rated courses and even your local municipal track.  Recent environmental concerns have prompted additional research into less-abrasive pesticides and other course chemicals that could be making their way to a course near you. According to Dr. Rick L. Brandenburg, co-director of the Center For Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education at North Carolina State University, many new products are being implemented by greenskeepers across the globe.  For example, one of the most frequent issues seen on golf courses is insect infestation, which can differ from one climate to the next.  New products such as Arena, Allectus, Provaunt, Aloft, and Meridian insecticides are making insect-control a little more manageable throughout the year.  Critters such as mole crickets, fire ants, billbug larvae can be a menace to many courses, often causing holes and burrows in greens and fairways.  However, the use of these new insecticides are said to be more effective than ever in controlling the populations of these enemies to the course.

Other companies have also ventured into the combination-therapy realm for golf course maintenance.  For example, many insect-control products are now found on fertilizer carriers, which is a great way for many courses to cut costs of purchasing both separately.  Depending on the type of insect your local course is accustomed to seeing every season, the combination of a insecticide-fertilization agent is a concept that can also save hours or labor this golf season.

Many companies are also testing “organic” insecticide and fertilization agents on golf courses as a means to stay more eco-friendly while maintaining a properly-manicured course.  For example, Conserve has been distributing a new “organic” golf product for the control of caterpillars that is more biodegradable and environmentally-friendly than products commonly used in the past.  Many of these chemicals are also less-abrasive to human skin, which could otherwise cause allergic reactions or irritation in some golfers.

While not typically seen as the most exciting aspect of a golf course, the products addressed above do suggest that continued activity in the area of course management will insure that your course’s fairways and greens will remain in good condition for years to come.