ON THE SURFACE
Efforts to control heat stress on bentgrass putting greens continue and researchers are helping to create a more accurate formula for reducing the stress. Surface fans are generally accepted as beneficial for reducing heat stress, but what if subsurface fans were installed? Researchers at Clemson University studied the effects of surface fans, surface fans with mist and subsurface air movement. Their results confirmed that surface fans do significantly reduce heat stress and the addition of mist to the fan's air stream amplified the effect. They were able to reduce soil temperatures by approximately 10°F to 15°F. While this looks good, in some situations it may not be enough to completely avoid heat stress. Benefits were limited to the first 5 meters away from the fan — larger greens may need more than one fan to achieve the same benefits. They were surprised that subsurface air did not reduce air temperatures in the first inch of soil. The use of mist with fans should be carefully administered, as the risk of disease and algae may increase with increased mist use. Use only enough mist to help with temperature reduction — you don't want dew forming on the turf while fans are in use.
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