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Kansas field day, plant path conference: turf&donuts


Thanks to everyone who participated in the KSU Turf Field Day in Wichita yesterday. The JC Pair Hort Center was looking fantastic thanks to Dr. Jason Griffin, his staff, and many volunteers. Though it was sprinkling, we were still able to move everyone through the 8 stops. The lightning was menacing by the end and I was happy to move inside and out of danger for lunch--Apparently my hair was sticking up due to static in the air so I was feeling particularly vulnerable. Unfortunately, due to the rain, I didn’t take my camera out to take photos at the event but I saw a few others snapping pics and maybe I can include those later.

As I mentioned at field day, my “top 5” list of plant problems (turf & ornamental) so far in 2009 are:

* root problems due to saturated soils (all plants, from turf to trees to flowers to vegetables)
* brown patch in turf
* cedar apple rusts
* pine problems in general
* Pythium blight in turf


It was actually pretty quiet while I was out of town over the last week. Mild weather has kept the usual stress issues in check. Today and the next few days will be hot, though, so I suspect a few calls will be coming next week.


Like my colleagues have mentioned this week, I spent Aug 1-5 at the national plant pathology conference. What do we do at these conferences (other than eat donuts)? It’s an opportunity for plant pathologists from across the US (and other nations) to get together and talk about recent and ongoing research and to discuss potential projects. People give presentations (usually 15 or 30 minutes) about their work, or they prepare posters (about 3 x 4 feet) to display research findings. The posters (nearly 900) are displayed in a big hall and authors are present at various times. That way, a viewer can stop by, read through a poster, then stop back and meet the author later to ask specific questions.

On the turf side, we had posters and presentations about a variety of topics. Here are some examples (of many):

*There are some new diseases popping up in Florida on warm-season grasses, as Jim mentioned. The researchers are trying to get a handle on the identification of the pathogen.

*There’s also a new leaf spot that has shown up in Mississippi and south Texas on bermudagrass and zoysia.

*Researchers in Arkansas showed some maps of large patch disease in zoysia. From the mapping at one site, it looks like aerification while disease is active definitely spread the disease around.

* Researchers in North Carolina (Lane’s group) are examining the influence of several fertility practices on spring dead spot in bermudagrass.

*On the more “basic” (lab) side of things, researchers at Ohio State are examining proteins that are secreted by the dollar spot fungus and how they might interact with plants at the cellular/molecular level.

That’s just a small sampling. I don’t have the energy right now to include more. Maybe we can explain more stuff later as we post more things to this blog.

Along with the formal presentations and posters, we had a turf meeting where we decided to try to arrange a symposium specifically about new Rhizoctonia diseases in turf for 2010. There are several groups around the US trying to characterize some new Rhizoc diseases in turf and there is a lot to talk about. At the 2010 planning meeting later in the week, I was pleased to discover that the ornamentals committee is also interested in some new Rhizocs in their commodities, and we will try to work with them to make a full day.

3) Donuts

Frank mentioned Voodoo Donuts in his posting. Try to match the pathologist from this blog with the donut(s) they consumed:


1) Frank Wong
2) Lane Tredway
3) Jim Kerns
4) John Kaminski
5) Megan Kennelly


A) pink bubble-gum flavor (this one was hard to choke down. The consumer started choking like they had a hairball)
B) glazed maple with big strips of bacon on top
C) chocolate cake doughnut covered with pink marshmallow glaze and peanut-butter filling
D) cream-filled with chocolate glaze
E) Triple chocolate (chocolate donut, chocolate glaze, covered with cocoa-puffs)
F) Chocolate with Butterfinger
G) Missed donut experience due to Chile trip (missed you, buddy)

One response to “Kansas field day, plant path conference: turf&donuts”

Jill Calabro said...

What??? No one had the Memphis Mafia?!?! It's the best one!

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