This is one of those "if I were a greenkeeper today, this is how I would do it" type of stories.
I was pleased to read the update from Jason Haines about his use of the EIQ (environmental impact quotient) and the results he is getting. He reports that he is ahead on cost goals, ahead on EIQ goals, and that "the greens here have never been better." That sounds like a win-win-win situation.
The EIQ Field Use Rating based on formulation and application rate allow turf managers to identify and choose products based on their predicted environmental impact. From the New York State IPM Program, which administers the EIQ:
By using the EIQ model, it becomes possible for IPM [integrated pest management] practitioners to rapidly estimate the environmental impact of different pesticides and pest management programs before they are applied, resulting in more environmentally sensitive pest management programs being implemented.
Because of the EPA pesticide registration process, there is a wealth of toxicological and environmental impact data for most pesticides that are commonly used in agricultural systems. However, these data are not readily available or organized in a manner that is usable to the IPM practitioner. Therefore, the purpose of this bulletin is to organize the published environmental impact information of pesticides into a usable form to help growers and other IPM practitioners make more environmentally sound pesticide choices.
Jennifer Grant wrote about the use of EIQ Field Use Ratings in research projects at Bethpage State Park. The results there?
Using the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) as the measure, impact was reduced on progressive IPM/alternative culture greens by 33%-85% compared to the conventional pest management/conventional culture greens — almost always without a loss in quality.
The EIQ incorporates the toxicological and environmental impact data for pesticides and makes it easy for turfgrass managers to compare the products they might use, allowing them to choose the one with a lower EIQ — a lower environmental impact.