Custom Search

Give a Caption, Win a Compendium

UPDATE: Check out the 5 finalists here.

Welcome to the Turf Diseases first contest giveaway. The rules are simple.
  1. "Like" us on Facebook or "Follow" us on Twitter or the Blog.  You must do at least one of these and must let us know who you are/which your following in the comments section (see #2)
  2. Give the photo below an appropriate caption. Captions must be left in the comments section of the blog. Captions will be accepted until Sunday October 3, 2010 at 8PM.
  3. Vote for your favorite caption on the Blog. The Turf Diseases authors will select their top 5 captions and create an online poll for the readers to select the ultimate winner. Voting for the final winner will end on Sunday October 10th at 8PM.
Turf Diseases Giveaway

      One winner will receive a copy of the Turfgrass Compendium. In addition, our sponsor Syngenta has donated funds to the APS Turfgrass Pathology Student Travel Fund.  Money for this helps to support graduate student travel to present research findings at our national pathology meeting.

      Sponsor Logo

      So what are you waiting for...start thinking of that caption!

      Rules, Legalese, etc.
      Winners must 'like" us on Facebook OR "Follow" us on twitter or the blog. We have big egos and like to see our numbers rise. Captions must be left in the comments section of the blog and participants must also tell us where they follow or like us. Any captions left on our Facebook Page or Twitter will be admired, laughed at, and joked about, but WILL not count towards the official contest. The top five captions will be selected by individual turf disease authors and they reserve the right to select any caption they want for any reason. Bribes will not be accepted, but donations to the Turf Pathology Travel Fund are highly encouraged. The winner will be announced after final voting has ended on Sunday October 10th. The winner of the contest will receive a copy of The Turfgrass Compendium directly from our Sponsor.

      Large patch season slowly on the rise

      Hello from Kansas,

      I've been slacking a bit in my postings the past 2 weeks. I have had some travels and some other things going on. The ornamentals side of my personality was pretty excited to host Margery Daughtrey, the ornamentals pathologist from Cornell, for a few days here at KSU last week to talk about new diseases in the greenhouse world.

      AND, it's been fairly quiet on the diagnostic side of things, turf and otherwise.

      My travels, a much-needed couple of days off, led me to Colorado for some vigorous, stress-relieving hiking at Rocky Mountain National Park, with nearly 50 miles of trails under my boots by the time we came home. While there, I learned that this:

      .... was once a golf course. The park employee said that when the land got converted over to a national park, they excavated the old putting greens and brought in native soil because the native plants did not want to grow on the putting green mix. Decades later, the plant composition on those particular sites is still a little funky.

      Back home in Kansas, dollar spot is still chewing away on putting greens, and one superintendent mentioned seeing the first initial symptoms of large patch. We are having wide temperature fluctuations, with highs on some days in the 70's, and on other days in the 90's, so on some days it still feels like summer and on other days it feels like fall (large patch season). The first apps in our large patch trials are out, with a few more to go. We have trials here at KSU and at one golf course a bit farther east.

      Products that have worked well for large patch in trials here and/or elsewhere include Prostar, Bayleton, Tartan, Headway, Banner Maxx, and Heritage. This list is not exhaustive. For the most part we are talking flutolanil, DMI's, and QoI's.

      Finally, for those of you managing trees and shrubs on the course, you might enjoy a review of how horticultural practices such as watering, fertilizing, and mulching affect insect and mite pests on those plants. Check it out HERE.

      PCNB Watch 2010-More Suggestions and Timing Issues

      In response to the stop sale order against PCNB, the UW Turf Pathology Program sent out suggestions for alternatives to PCNB. These alternatives were designed to meet the needs of golf course superintendents that traditionally relied on PCNB in their snow mold programs. Most of the suggestions we put forth included mixing a contact fungicide (i.e. chlorothalonil or Medallion) with a localized penetrant (iprodione), and/or acropetal penentrant (thiophanate methyl or a DMI fungicide). Our basis for putting together these suggestions were to help golf course superintendents find a substitute for PCNB quickly. Typically we do not make such specific suggestions, but we felt more specific suggestions were warranted under the circumstances. By no means are these suggestions all inclusive, there a multitude of options when considering snow mold programs. We simply narrowed the focus a bit based on data from snow mold trials dating back to 2001.

      A few points to keep in mind, PCNB is a contact fungicide and had decent activity against all three snow mold pathogens. However we consistently heard about many breakthroughs when PCNB was the sole fungicide used for snow mold. The strengths of PCNB were cost and ease of use. There was very little thinking involved when using PCNB because it was fairly effective and could be applied relatively early, late or both. By losing PCNB this year, now the game has changed slightly because we are incorporating systemic fungicides with contact fungicides. Therefore it is imperative to have the systemic fungicides down before the plant goes dormant (metabolic activity stops). Unfortunately I do not have specific answers on when dormancy occurs, but I do think that most golf course superintendents know when dormancy occurs.

      Another question that has come up is how many applications should I make? In our trials the vast majority of our applications are made just once late in the season. For example, at Wawonowin the final applications are typically applied just before Halloween. This was a problem at Wawonowin in 2009 and 2010 because the first snowfall came much later than normal. Thus some mixtures failed that typically have performed well under this intense snow mold pressure. At Sentryworld, final applications in our trials are typically applied the week before Thanksgiving and we observe excellent snow mold suppression. Basically stick to what you've done in the past with regard to the number of applications. Just be sure that the systemic fungicides are deployed before the plant goes dormant. To help clarify questions about timing and number of applications, we are initiating a timing and application study this fall. I will present our initial results from this study in Spring 2011, so stay tuned!

      Finally when selecting an alternative to PCNB, take into account what your golf course expectations are. There is no need to try to achieve perfection if that was not the goal in previous years. I have inserted a few graphs to illustrate differences among treatments at Sentryworld Golf Course in Stevens Point, WI in 2009-2010. The goal is to find a program that meets the expectations of membership or golfer without overextending the budget even more. I have included a link to our snow mold trials once again, just in case you want to look over more data before making a decision. Be sure to check out the images in order to see what 20 to 30 % disease looks like in our trials. I also encourage everyone to sit down with your local fungicide sales representative before making a decision because there is a lot options with regard to pricing of different active ingredients.

      If you want more information on snow mold and alternatives to PCNB, please tune in to the Bayer Back to Basics Webinar Series on September 21 or come to the iTurfExpo (Midwest Golf House, Lemont, IL) on September 22.

      Shout out to cooler temps and those nice folks in the south

      Well, I just returned from a trip to what I call the Deep South and can't tell you how happy I am not to be living there!  Holy man was it hot out.  Here we are in mid-September and the high temps were in the upper 90's and my car temperature gauge was reading 102.

      Having returned last night in a deep fog that nearly had our plane crashing into the runway, I realized how nice it is to be back in the Northern US where night time temperatures are finally cooling off and creating some great grass growing conditions.  It's interesting to see how quickly things can change.

      Not much on the disease front
      In terms of diseases that have been active in the region, fairy ring was on a roll in many part of the region as temperatures were hot and dry.  Recent rains to some of the region has seemed to squelch that, but now dollar spot is looking to make its famous fall resurgence once again.  We were hearing reports of gray leaf spot a few weeks ago, but the chatter has quieted some.  Caution, however, as you are getting your orders of seed ready.  For those of you planning on pummeling the perennial ryegrass into those bare areas this fall, just be aware that these seedlings will remain highly susceptible to gray leaf spot as we head into the end of September and even into October for those of you farther south.

      As Jim has stated in a few recent posts, it is about that time to start thinking about your snow mold applications for the year.  For New England and even into the mid-Atlantic region, Microdochium patch (aka Fusarium patch or pink snow mold) may start to show up in the next few weeks if we get some cool and overcast weather.  Don't mistake this for some other disease just because it's not prime snow mold weather.  I have seen this disease as early as September and as late as June...and that was in Maryland!

      Those nice folks down South
      I gave a faculty seminar at Auburn on Thursday and got to see the what happens at Toomers Corner when the Screaming Eagles win.  Check out the photo below.

      Apparently, it's tradition to TP some big tree at Toomer's Corner after every win at Auburn.
      As for my home team? OK, so Penn State took the much expected bitch-slap from the good ole folks at the University of Alabama.  I have to admit, the people were very gracious and welcomed us with open arms.  However, when I asked about how we would be received someone from down there replied, "They will treat you very nice and then talk bad about you when you leave; just like all good Southerners."  Not sure if that statement holds true or not, but we had a great time and welcome the Tide to State College next year.

      Check out the slideshow from Auburn and the University of Alabama below.

      Recent Developments Surrounding PCNB

      We just recently caught wind of a recent development with PCNB sales for this year. Basically the US EPA had reason to believe that there were impurities in the pesticide that could have toxicological significance. Consequently the US EPA ordered a stop sale, use or removal order effective immediately for all products containing PCNB or derived from Technical Grade PCNB. The company who manufactures Technical Grade PCNB sued the US EPA in order to have the stop sale order temporarily lifted, but was denied on September 3rd. Here is an article if you want more specific information about this issue.

      It is imperative to understand that this is not a permanent halt on PCNB distribution and sales. The company is seeking other alternatives within the legal system and it was emphasized in the aforementioned article that this issue is fluid. However, I do think it is important to think of an alternative to PCNB for this year. This is difficult situation because PCNB is a great snow mold product and it is inexpensive. I do think there are alternatives though. Not to beat a dead horse, but the best thing to do is to review our snow mold trials from this year.

      One thing to consider is thiophanate methyl. This a.i. is frequently overlooked, but is an excellent snow mold product. Products such as Instrata and Interface have performed exceptionally well in our trials, but some course may have the budget to apply these to fairways. Mixtures of chlorothalonil, iprodione and propiconzole or chlorothalonil, iprodione and myclobutanil have performed well in our trials. Other a.i.'s that stand out are triticonazole (Trinity, BASF and Triton FLO, Bayer) and metconazole (Tourney Valent BioSciences). Unfortunately I do not know what these products cost, so my suggestion is to sit down with our reports and your local salesperson to figure out what will work for your course and budget.

      This is rather unfortunate development for this year considering the condition of the economy. However, we here and willing to help develop solutions to this unfortunate situation. Please do not hesitate in contacting myself or the Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab if you need assistance!

      Below are images of a non-treated control, a plot treated with Tourney and Chipco 26GT and a plot treated with chlorothalonil, iprodione, and propiconazole. These pictures were taken this year at Sentryworld Golf Course in Stevens Point, WI.

      What's happening in Scotland this week?

      The Swilcan Bridge and R&A in the background.
      I recently had the opportunity to visit several golf courses in Scotland on a trip to speak to greenkeepers of the Central BIGGA (British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association) region of Scotland. As in keeping with the theme of the blog, there was no shortage of diseases appearing in the region, but the attention and importance of the diseases was anything buy high.

      One of the amazing things that I have noticed in my recent trips to the UK is the lack of importance many of the diseases play when it comes to turf management.  Dollar spot and red thread (yes red thread) caused significant symptoms to much of lean fairway turf found in the region.  Unlike in the states, however, the dollar spot always seemed to be superficial and only caused spots and lesions to the turf. Red thread symptoms were similar, but would generally be considered much more severe than what we see on golf courses in the states.

      Dr. Dernoeden getting photos for his collection
      Fairy ring continues to be obviously one of the biggest problems on the golf courses in the region.  Many golf courses were now starting to utilize wetting agents as a means to manage the problem and prevent hydrophic conditions from setting in.  In severe instances, fungicides like azoxystrobin were being applied in combination with the wetting agents to combat chronic cases of fairy ring.  Another disease that we observed causing significant damage was take-all patch.  Not new to the UK, the disease continues to cause problems for greenkeepers in the region particularly in years with a wet spring.

      Probably the most interesting "disease" found on some of the courses was the presence of what was referred to as dry patch.  This was different from localized dry spot, but basically was described by the greenkeepers as a sunken depression in the turf in which the thatch was being broken down by a basidiomycete fungus similar to what we see with fairy ring.  The patches, however, resembled take-all patch, but a quick smell of the thatch area gave the clear indication of the presence of a mushroom fungi.

      The use of PGRs has become more common in the UK.
      In most cases, the diseases observed were more of an unsightly nuisance.  The differences in management practices, the acceptance of brown conditions (as long as playability was not compromised), and the lack of golf carts on the courses were significant.  It continues to be my feeling that golf course management in the UK and the United States is gradually getting closer together.  The increased use of products like wetting agents, PGRs, and select fungicides by those in the UK and the relatively new trend of "firm and fast" and "brown is the new green" by those in the US seem to have the two management styles on a crash course.  It kind of reminds my of politics where you have a lot of people in the middle, but there will always be those taking an extreme right or left side.  Either way, it should keep things interesting over the next decade and beyond.

      Check out Facebook or YouTube for a bonus video from Dr. Dernoeden.
      Related Posts with Thumbnails