Energy inputs and carbon dioxide emissions from turf maintenance equipment on a golf course in California


  • Raymond Maestas California State University
  • Athanasios Alexandrou California State University Fresno
  • John T. Bushoven California State University - Fresno
  • Dave Goorahoo California State University, Fresno
  • Diganta Adhikari California State University, Fresno


energy input, carbon emissions, carbon dioxide, golf course, carbon sequestration


The potential negative effects of human activities on global climate have generated significant interests in recent years.  Reducing or offsetting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has been central to such discussion among and between state and federal regulatory agencies.  Although emissions data from industrial, transportation and agronomic systems have been studied extensively, little data exists for managed ecosystems such as residential and municipal landscapes or sports turf facilities.  Even though these intensively managed landscapes are a significant component of modern agriculture in the United States, very little CO2 emission studies have been conducted on these systems.  The objective of this study was to quantify energy inputs and the carbon emissions of a standard size 18-hole golf course in California's Central Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions of the world.  Carbon dioxide emissions from annual maintenance and carbon sequestered by soils and vegetation of such intensively managed ecosystems were also examined.  These analyses included energy inputs required for equipment manufacturing and subsequent annual fuel consumption from the use of equipment during daily operations.  Our estimates indicated that the total energy requirement for this golf course was 1149 GJ year-1 or 13.1 GJ ha-1 year-1.  The carbon emissions calculated utilizing these energy input estimates indicated that this site also sequesters more CO2 than it generates during routine turfgrass maintenance operations.

Author Biographies

Raymond Maestas, California State University

California State University - Fresno, Dept. of Plant Science, M/S AS72, Fresno, CA

Athanasios Alexandrou, California State University Fresno

A. Alexandrou, Ph.D.
Mechanized Agriculture
Associate Professor
Department of Plant Science
California State University - Fresno
2415 San Ramon Av. M/S AS72
Fresno, California 93740-8033
Phone: (559) 278 8824
Fax: (559) 278 7413

John T. Bushoven, California State University - Fresno

John T. Bushoven, Ph.D.
Department of Plant Science
California State University, Fresno
2415 East San Ramon Avenue  M/S AS72
Fresno, CA 93740

Dave Goorahoo, California State University, Fresno

Dave Goorahoo Ph.D.
Assistant Professor- Vegetable Crops Production-Plant Science Department
Soil Scientist -Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT)
California State University, Fresno.
2415 E. San Ramon Ave MS AS 72
Fresno CA 93740-8033
PHONE: 559-278-8448
FAX: 559-278-7413

Diganta Adhikari, California State University, Fresno

Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT)
California State University, Fresno.
2415 E. San Ramon Ave MS AS 72
Fresno CA 93740-8033





IV-Energy in Agriculture