Showcase: students research possible alternatives for pesticides at sports fields and golf courses

News 8 June 2018
de Enk - HAS Hogeschool

At the moment, there are 5 study programmes working together to come up with chemical-free methods to prevent and combat weeds, diseases and pests.

Whether you enjoy kicking a ball about on a sportsground, or prefer a round of golf, you need grass that stays in tip-top condition. That’s the challenge for groundsmen. Chemical herbicides, pesticides and insecticides help them, but these have a negative effect on the quality of the soil, the water and on public health. Those involved in the Dutch  ‘turf grass sector’, as it’s referred to, recently signed the Green Deal for Sports Fields Without Crop Protection : by 2020, the sports sector may no longer use chemical herbicides, pesticides and insecticides.

Long-term research programme

Considerable research is being carried out into alternatives, including by students at the HAS University of Applied Sciences. The institution has set up a long-term research programme with
De Enk Groen & Golf, an important pioneer in the sector. There are currently 4 final-year projects being undertaken by students, partially subsidised by the Dutch Centre of Expertise Open Cultivation. The aim for all the assignments is clear: proposing and assessing alternative methods and means with a practical application, to ensure that the use of chemicals in the ‘turf grass sector’ can be eliminated.

5 study programmes working together

Working on the assignments are students from no fewer than 5 study programmes. They hope to come up with chemical-free methods to prevent and combat weeds, diseases and pests. These include methods to better regulate moisture measurements and watering, to reduce the potential fungi that grow, as well as tools to better manage the upkeep and maintenance digitally. Innovative methods from precision farming and horticulture play an important role here too. Read more