Winter 2013

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Page 26 of 31

to those minimum levels." "Turf managers have really found the index to be useful, because it gives them a numerical way to monitor where they are now and to track how they are improving over time," Stowell said. Besides receiving their own personal report, each participant's data will be added to the already sizable database assembled by the Asian Turfgrass Center and PACE Turf from turf soils sampled from all over the world, thus helping to refine the MLSN guidelines and make them more and more robust. Available on the Global Soil Survey webpage, the guidelines and methods for implementing them will be updated periodically and will be accessible, free of charge, to turf managers, researchers and the public. "We see the guidelines and the data they are based on as an incredibly powerful resource for turf managers, researchers and students from all regions of the world," said Woods. "We hope that the Global Soil Survey and the soil nutritional guidelines that it helps to produce is just the first in many participatory efforts that focus on the nuts and bolts of implementing sustainable practices." "We see the survey going on in perpetuity," said Gelernter, "and we will constantly be improving the MLSN guidelines based on the data we receive. It's a tool to let superintendents know where they are now and then come back six months or a year later and do the same soil tests again to find out how much they have progressed." The collective data base has about 17,000 soil samples now, she said. The bulk of the samples in San Diego are from California, Arizona and Nevada. Accumulating several thousands more samples will lead to refining guidelines for turf types in different climates so people can feel safe implementing them wherever they are." "We have both always been impressed by the desire of turf managers to be good stewards of the land that they manage," Gelernter said, "and we've also always admired the industry for its emphasis on sharing information for the betterment of all. The Global Soil Survey gives both of those leadership qualities an outlet, and we're excited to be part of it." WT Dr. Larry Stowell, of PACE Turf in San Diego, is one of the lead scientists behind the Global Soil Survey initiative. Winter 2013 27

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