Thursday, August 29, 2013

Aeration Tips: Effects of Tine Diameter & Topdressing Incorporation

Dr. John N. Rogers, III
Michigan State University

As summer comes to a close aeration season begins on golf courses.  Follow this link to an article originally published in Golf Course Management reviewing research conducted at the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center on the effects of hollow-tine diameter and topdressing incorporation implements on sand topdressing integration.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Turfgrass Field Day

Dr. Kevin W. Frank
Assoc. Professor & Extension Turf Specialist

The Michigan Turfgrass Field Day will be held August 14 at the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center on the campus of MSU.  Preregistration is available until August 9th.


7:45-8:45                  Registration
8:45-9:00                  Opening Comments
9:00-11:00                Research Tour
11:00-12:30              Lunch (included with registration)
12:30-2:30                Afternoon Workshops & Tours

There will be two research tours for attendees to select from: Golf and Lawn/Athletic Fields. 

Golf Turf Research Tour

1.    Mower studies – impact of bed knife placement on green quality. 
2.    Bacterial etiolation on creeping bentgrass putting greens
3.    Effects of drought and traffic stresses on physiological responses and water use characteristics of creeping bentgrass and Poa annua.
4.    Managing summer stress on Poa annua and creeping bentgrass greens and fairways
5.    A combination of lightweight rolling and sand topdressing programs to decrease pesticide inputs and enhance fairway turfgrass quality
6.    Anthracnose control on greens and fairways
7.    Poa annua control on putting greens
8.    The new Schwartzkopf Field Laboratory and phytohormone responses to Primo application

Lawns and Athletic Fields Research Tour

1.    Spray nozzle dynamics and selection for optimal pesticide efficacy
2.    Nutrient runoff following fertilizer applications
3.    Necrotic Ring Spot cultural and fungicide management programs
4.    National Turfgrass Evaluation Program Kentucky bluegrass athletic field wear test
5.    Rolling athletic fields for improved performance and player safety
6.    New herbicide technology for goosegrass, crabgrass, and nimblewill control in cool-season turf
7.    Postemergence crabgrass control
8.    Insecticide and cultural recommendations for minimizing grub injury

Afternoon Workshops (12:30-2:30 pm)

1.  Disease Walk

The MSU Turf Pathology research team will lead this diagnostic tour for pathogens at the turf center.   If you have difficulty distinguishing between Laetisaria fuciformis and Limnomyces roseipellis on your golf course you definitely need to attend this workshop.  Participants will learn:
1)    How to identify the common turfgrass diseases using both in-field techniques and microscopes
2)    Management options for common diseases including: dollar spot, brown patch, crown-rotting anthracnose, red thread, and pythium blight and root-rot.
3)    How to recognize the symptoms of summer decline of both bentgrass and Poa annua

2. Weed Walk

As the weed walk enters it’s lucky 13th year, the summer of 2012 left some tremendous voids in the turf where weeds were more than happy to fill in.  You’ll tour the turf center and learn identification characteristics of the common turf weeds and the best control practices.  Tour will include discussion of best management practices both with and without herbicides to ensure high turfgrass quality and most importantly customer satisfaction. 

3. MSU Athletic Field Tour (on Campus)

The athletic field tour will visit three sites on the MSU campus to learn about new field establishment and compare two synthetic turf fields.  The field at the DeMartin Soccer Complex was killed following the conclusion of the fall 2012 season and seeded to Kentucky bluegrass on May 13, 2013.  The previous field was contaminated with Poa supina and the desire to have a uniform turf stand capable of withstanding all season use was the primary goal.  Establishment practices for a summer seeding will be discussed including mowing, irrigation, and pest management. 

Following the visit to the DeMartin Soccer Complex the tour will stop by the football practice field which is in the process of installing a new infill synthetic practice field, scheduled to be completed about a week before field day. The construction and maintenance of the infill synthetic field will be discussed. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Top 5 Reasons it’s an Epic Crabgrass Year

Dr. Kevin W. Frank & Aaron Hathaway
Michigan State University

I was recently asked by a lawn care operator to reply via email with 1000 words or less of why it’s an epic crabgrass year, well maybe he didn’t say epic but you get the idea.  I accepted this challenge heartily but decided in the spirit of today’s world of texting and twittering to do it in less than 100 words.

1. Record heat and stress in 2012 resulted in bumper crabgrass crop, plenty of seed, and thinned turf for more opportunities for crabgrass to invade this year.

2. Cold, long spring delayed crabgrass germination, may have escaped early spring preemergence applications.

3. Soil moisture increases soil biological activity, in turn, increasing herbicide degradation. 

4.  Plentiful precipitation in June when young crabgrass was geminating helped with root development.

5. High temperatures in July were perfectly timed for crabgrass to really start competing.  

Crabgrass infested boulevard.