Why is Environmental Monitoring Important?

Environmental monitoring is an important job for an athletic field manager. It provides vital data to the sports turf manager about the health of the athletic field and the environmental conditions which must be dealt with. A manager must operate in such a way that is quite similar to a doctor or nurse, checking their patients periodically by recording several vital measurements. For a sports turf manager, this could include such information as:

  • soil temperatures at a 2″ depth
  • air temperature
  • rainfall
  • wind conditions
  • thatch layer thickness
  • root depth
  • visual appearance of turf
  • soil tests (both fertility and physical characteristics)

By collecting and logging such information, a sports turf manager can develop a history of field performance. This history will be a valuable tool as it can show patterns of disease and insect activity, weather conditions at time of fertilizer and chemical applications, turf shoot and root response to fertility programs, and soil problems (compaction, water percolation, pH, etc.). This documentation can also help back a turf manager’s claim that expensive renovations are needed when data shows that the field’s performance is severely declining.

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