Fast facts:

Video summarizes research examining sand topdressing strategies

Video can be found here:

FAYETTEVILLE — Earthworms are an important part of soil health, but their habit of pooping on the soil surface, commonly called casting, has made them a difficult-to-manage nemesis to golf course superintendents charged with keeping greens and fairways smooth and playable.

Research Graphic Option 1

Still from a video summarizing research on sand topdressing and earthworms. (U of A System Division of Agriculture image by Nick Kordsmeier)

“While managing earthworms is a common issue for golf course superintendents, it hasn’t been studied much,” said Mike Richardson, professor-horticulture and turfgrass expert with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Bumpers College of Agricultural Food and Life Sciences. “Which means there’s somewhat of a vacuum of best management practices in this area.”

However, Paige Boyle made this conundrum the subject of her graduate studies at the University of Arkansas, examining how sand topdressing affects worm cast, or vermicast, production. She’s now continuing her ecological studies with a Presidential Dissertation Research Fellowship at Utah State.

Her Arkansas findings are documented in a new video produced by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, with support from the United States Golf Association:

“Paige’s work has been well-received by the golf course industry as it provides clues to solutions where there hadn’t been any,” Richardson said. “This video neatly summarizes her findings just in time for spring turf management routines.”

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