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AT THE BALLPARK
Turf Tips (Source: The Brickman Group)
- Sewage Sludge (i.e. MilorganiteŽ)
These organics have been around the longest. The material is dried, heated, and palletized for easy dispersal during fertilizing. There is a slight odor problem with these products, but the drying process greatly reduces this nuisance. There is no concern for disease organisms because of the heating process, so these types of organics are "disease free". Heavy metals in the sewage can cause serious turf or soil health problems which is why many producers monitor their levels to be within standards. Sewage sludge has a very low burn potential and is an excellent slow release nitrogen source. However, the low nitrogen content means that the shipping costs per pound are much higher.
- Animal By-Products (e.g. bone meal, blood meal, poultry manure)
Agriculture has been using animal manure for centuries, but its incorporation into the turf industry is new. The processing and manufacturing of these materials has produced easy to disperse and odor free fertilizers. Like the sewage sludge, they have a low burn potential, slow release of nitrogen and uniform growth. Blood meal is the most concentrated form of organics at 14% nitrogen. Poultry manure ranges up to 12%. These products provide excellent uniform turf response and are normally mixed together to make them easier to use. As with Sewage Sludge, the shipping costs will be higher when compared with synthetic fertilizers.
- Plant By-Products (i.e. corn gluten meal, soybean protein)
These fertilizers originate as by-products from the grain milling industry and are primarily plant proteins. The plant protein products have similar turf response as the animal by-products and sewage. Most contain up to 10% nitrogen on a dry weight base. Corn gluten meal has been known to be a natural herbicide and is marketed for weed control as well as a nitrogen source in turf. The cost is higher, but it has been in the industry since the 1990s.
- Calcium (i.e. calcitic lime, dolomitic lime, gypsum)
Calcium is not normally considered an organic fertilizer, but is just as important for soil fertility. In the turf plant calcium strengthens cell walls increasing wear resistance and disease resistance. In the soil it can help relieve compaction, make other nutrients more available to the plant and is commonly used to buffer pH. In fact, calcium plays such a significant role in the soil that it is highly recommended to consult a soil testing lab to determine the correct amount and type of calcium to use.
Permanent Outdoor Stadium Lighting Tips (Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy)
- Because outdoor lights are usually left on a long time, using Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy. Most bare spiral CFLs can be used in enclosed fixtures that protect them from the weather.
- CFLs are also available as flood lights. These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures. Most though, cannot be used with motion detectors.
- Look for ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures that are designed for outdoor use and come with features like automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors.
Stadium Lighting Resource:
Musco Sports Lighting, LLC offers Outdoor Sports Lighting for recreation and athletic facilities for a more energy conscious generation. The "Light-Structure Green" program cuts operating costs in half through improved reflector technology. The technology reduces offsite spill light by 50 percent.
Visit the Musco Website »