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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Impact Absorption Characteristics on Turf and Soil Surfaces


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 84 No. 2, p. 203-209
    Received: May 25, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. J. N. Rogers III  and
  2. D. V. Waddington
  1. D ep. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Id 48824
    D ep. of Agronomy, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA 16802



Playing quality of athletic fields is critical to an athlete from the safety and performance standpoints. Use intensity and maintenance practices affect playing surface quality and impact characteristics within and among fields. The objective of this study was to quantitatively assess the effects of cutting height, compaction, soil water content (date), and turf cover on the impact absorption characteristics of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) turf. Treatments were four cutting heights (0 [bare soil], 19, 38, and 57 mm), and two compaction levels (with and without) for Exp. I, and three cutting heights (19, 38, and 57 mm), two compaction levels, and three surface types (full turf, no verdure, and no thatch) in Exp. II. Surface impact characteristics measured were peak deceleration, time to peak deceleration, and impact duration. Two hammer weights, 2.25 kg and 0.5 kg, were used to assess impact characteristics on four dates and to obtain data for soil water conditions of 0.263, 0.197, 0.163, and 0.064 kg kg−1. The highest peak deceleration values and shortest time periods were associated with the periods of low soil water and compacted conditions. Only the 0.5-kg hammer detected differences in impact absorption characteristics between cutting heights. Significant cutting height-by-compaction- by-date interactions occurred for each impact characteristic, indicating interdependence of one of the factors on another. It appears that field management practices that influence soil water content, soil compaction, and turf cover are more important than cutting height in altering the impact absorption capability of Kentucky bluegrass turf.

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