Vermont Golf Course Information & Resources

Since 1991, Golf Course Permit Program has reviewed and established guidance for the use of pesticides on Vermont's golf courses with respect to potential impacts on groundwater, surface water, the public, and environmentally sensitive areas. No pesticide shall be used on any golf course in Vermont without a permit from the Secretary of Agriculture.  The permitting program requires golf courses to submit an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan which includes site information describing their use of pesticides, pests controlled, methods to reduce pesticide use, historical pest problems, buffer zones between pesticide applications and sensitive areas and justification for use of pesticides which may be mobile in the environment.

In 2017 golf courses were also required to have a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP), perform soil testing, nutrient recordkeeping and reporting, and apply fertilizers based upon soil test results and University recommendations. 

Questions about Vermont Golf Course Permits should be directed Matthew Wood, Golf Course Permit Specialist, 802-828-3482, matthew.wood@vermont.gov

The Permit Process

Starting in 2018, the process of permitting golf courses changed, including the annual renewal of all golf course permits. Pesticide active ingredients that were currently approved for use on a course remained approved, and did not need to be re-applied for.

Each Fall, Vermont golf courses must report their fertilizer and pesticide use, and sign the renewal form, to renew their permit for the following year.  The pest control products and amounts currently on the permit will be carried forward to the coming year, but if the use of a new active ingredient is desired or an increase in the amount of a currently permitted active ingredient is needed, then the “Vermont Golf Course Dilution Worksheet” below should be used to request that (see Pesticide Information below).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q:  How many soil tests do I need to do?

A:  Golf course managers only need soil sample results from areas of the course that will receive fertilizer, so for example, if fairways will receive no fertilizer, then they do not need to be soil tested.

Samples should be representative, so if all greens were constructed the same way and have been managed the the same way, then one could sample from some of those and combine into one sample.  On the othert hand, if some greens are “push up” native soil and others are sand based, then combine soil from samples of the similar greens to make a representative sample of each type.  One combined sample from a few of the push-up greens and another combined sample from a few sand based ones would be appropriate.  Same for tees and fairways.  You, the superintendent, would know best which ones are similar in soil and management and therefore can be combined, but you must explain this reasoning in your nutrient management plan write-up.

The requirement is that soil test results be no more than 3 years old, so as long as you do it every 2-3 years, then you will always have recent soil test results to base your fertilizer use upon.

Q: Do I need to use UVM soil testing lab?

A: No, we do not require that you use the UVM Ag. testing lab for your soil testing, but the benefit of using UVM is you will get the Vermont-specific golf course turf fertilizer recommendations built into your soil test report when you get it back from UVM.  As long as you use the proper crop codes to indicate golf course turf there will be no need for you to then interpret the results and figure out how it translates into acceptable fertilizer use on the golf course.

Q: Do I send my soil test results in to the Agency of Ag. when I renew my Golf Course Permit?

A: No, please DO NOT send soil test results in to the Agency of Agriculture.  When you receive results of your soil tests, review them carefully, base your fertilizer use upon those results, and keep those soil test reports in a file with your golf course Nutrient Management Plan (NMP).  The golf course permit inspector will want to review those soil test results, along with your nutrient management plan and pesticide use records, when a routine inspection is conducted.  Golf course inspections may be un-announced.

Resources for Golf Course Superintendents

Golf Course Regulations (Excerpt from the Vermont Regulations for Control of Pesticides in Accordance with 6 V.S.A Chapter 87)

Golf Course Regulations (PDF) – These are the current Golf Course Pesticide Regulations in Vermont.

Pesticide Information – How to request an amendment to your golf course permit
 

Vermont Golf Course Dilution Worksheet (updated March 2019 - Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet)  -  performs calculations needed to amend golf course permits with non-prescreened products (can also be used to request prescreened products). Please follow instructions on the first tab of this spreadsheet carefully before submitting this to the Golf Course Permit Specialist.

Pre-Screened List (pdf) (Updated April 2019) - The list of pesticides that can be used on a Verrmont Golf Course without performing the dilution calculations.  Use is limited by the product label if all active ingredients in the product are PRESCREENED.  One must still apply to the Golf Course Permit Specialist to add these to your Golf Course Permit by submitting the following information:

  • product name and all active ingredients contained
  • EPA Registration number
  • location of application (tees, greens, fairways, roughs, etc.)
  • proposed application rate
  • proposed number of acres per treatment
  • proposed number of applications per year

(You may use the dilution calculations spreadsheet above to request prescreened products, but not required)

Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) Information

For a list of all requirements, see “Golf Course Regulations” above.

Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) Help – The NMP part of the regulations, with tips on how to write that section following each.  Also use the fertilizer recommendations for golf turf below to help in writing your nutrient management plan narrative.

Fertilization and Nutrient Management Guidelines for Golf Turf in Vermont
Dr. Sid Bosworth, Extension Professor, University of Vermont: Sid.Bosworth@uvm.edu

UVM’s Agricultural and Environmental Testing Lab Website (A great place to get your soil tested): http://pss.uvm.edu/ag_testing/

You are not required to use UVM, but this lab will test soil and provide fertility recommendations for golf course turf in VT.  Forms can be downloaded from this site. Coses to indicate 'golf course turf' can be found on the back of the order form.

Nitrate Leaching Index Information Sheet - how to find yours in 12 easy steps!

Natural Resources Atlas Website: http://anrmaps.vermont.gov/websites/anra/

Forms

These are not required, but using them and completing them properly will ensure that you are following the pesticide and fertilizer record keeping requirements under the new regulations.  Remember these records need to be maintained for 5 years. Updated December 2017:

VT GC Daily PESTICIDE Records (pdf) – for printing and keeping paper records
VT GC Daily PESTICIDE Records (xls) – excel spreadsheet to download for keeping electronic records.

VT GC Daily FERTILIZER Records (pdf) – for printing and keeping paper records
VT GC Daily FERTILIZER Records (xls) – excel spreadsheet to download for keeping electronic records.

 

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901
802.828.2430

Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.2431
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory               802.522.3502
  • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
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  • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures                            802.828.2433
  • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
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    • Enforcement                                802.828.2431
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431