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Faculty & Staff Soil Scientists
Doug J. Soldat
Assistant Professor
BS Soil Science, 2001
MS Soil Science, 2003, University of Wisconsin
PhD Horticulture, 2006, Cornell University
245 King Hall
1525 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
djsoldat@wisc.edu
(office) 608.263.3631 - (fax) 608.265.2595

Teaching and Research Overview
In the fall, I teach Soil Science/Horticulture 332: Turfgrass Nutrient and Water Management - a course that addresses the principals and practical aspects of nutrient and water management for future professionally managed turfgrass areas such as golf courses, athletic fields, and sod farms. In addition, the course covers environmental aspects of turfgrass management such as the fate of applied nutrients and the role of irrigation management in limiting nutrient losses from the root zone.

Research program overview:
Turfgrass accounts for a large percentage of the pervious area in urban/suburban areas. According to a recent study, in Wisconsin, turfgrass accounts for acreage equivalent to that of soybeans. Additionally, turfgrass area is expected to grow as urban and suburban areas continue to expand in Wisconsin and throughout much of the US. These facts draw attention to the importance of understanding the effect of turfgrass and its management on the environment. One primary goal of my research program is to identify water and nutrient management strategies for turfgrass areas that promote healthy turfgrass and minimize the loss of water and nutrients from the root zone. Current research projects include:

  • Evaluation of use of biosolids for improving the economics and environmental sustainability of sod production
  • Analysis of the uptake and utilization of fall-applied nitrogen fertilizer to turfgrass in cool temperatures
  • Evaluation of a water harvesting/drip irrigation system for turfgrass irrigation
  • Use of 18O-labeled phosphate as an environmental tracer to determine soil microbial metabolic rates
  • Use of plant growth regulators to decrease the fertilizer requirement of golf course putting greens

Extension and outreach activities:
My extension program aims to provide research-based information on implementing economically and environmentally sustainable turfgrass management strategies to homeowners, professional turfgrass managers, sod growers, lawn care providers, and county extension agents among others. Every year, I am involved with planning and coordination of separate summer field days for homeowners and turfgrass professionals at the O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research and Education Facility, as well as a winter Turfgrass and Greenscape Exposition, attended by several hundred turfgrass professionals and industry members annually. In addition, my program provides online and face-to-face training for turfgrass managers affected by recent DNR regulations which require nutrient management plans for fertilized turfgrass areas over 5 acres in size.

Recent Publications
Soldat, D.J., A.M. Petrovic, and Q.M. Ketterings. 2009. The effect of soil phosphorus levels on phosphorus runoff concentrations from turfgrass. J. Water Air Soil Pollut. Online First. doi 10.1007/s11270-008-9857-y.

Soldat, D.J., P. Barak, and B.J. Lepore. 2009. Microscale colorimetric analysis using a transparency scanner and automated digital image analysis. J. Chem. Ed. 86:617-620.

Soldat, D.J., and A.M. Petrovic. 2008. The fate and transport of phosphorus in turfgrass ecosystems. Crop Sci. 48:2051-2065.

Soldat, D.J., A.M. Petrovic, and J. Barlow. 2008. Turfgrass response to nitrogen sources with varying release rates. Acta Horticulturae 783:453-462.

Petrovic, A.M., J. Gruttadaurio, J. Barlow, E.Z. Harrison, J. Bonhotal, M. Schwartz, and D.J. Soldat. 2008. Influence of site conditions on soil responses to manure-based compost applications on athletic fields. Acta Horticulturae 783:415-424.

Petrovic, A.M., J. Gruttadaurio, J. Barlow, E.Z. Harrison, J. Bonhotal, M. Schwartz, and D.J. Soldat. 2008. Turfgrass response to manure-based compost applications on athletic fields. Acta Horticulturae 783:425-436.

Soldat, D.J., and A.M. Petrovic. 2007. Soil phosphorus levels and stratification as affected by fertilizer and compost applications. Online. Applied Turfgrass Sci. doi 10.1094/ATS-2007-0815-01-RS.

Petrovic, A.M., D.J. Soldat, J. Gruttadaurio, and J. Barlow. 2005. Turfgrass growth and quality related to soil and tissue nutrient content. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 10(2):989-997.

Williamson, R.C., A.T. Waltson, and D.J. Soldat. 2005. Influence of organic-based fertilizers and root zone mixes on the incidence of black turfgrass ataenius (Coleoptera scarabaeidae) infestations on golf courses. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 10(2):803-810.

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