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  Volume 1, Issue 4
 
August 6, 2007
 
         

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UConn Turf News    
  Read The Latest News From UConn And The Turf Industry    
   
  Robert A. Ruszala Elected NERTF President, by Gary Sykes
NERTF President

The New England Regional Turfgrass Foundation announces that Robert A. Ruszala, golf course superintendent of Hickory Ridge Country Club in Amherst MA, has been elected president for the 2007-2008 fiscal year. Bob has been serving on the NERTF Board of Directors since 2000 as a delegate of the Golf Courses Superintendents Association of New England (GCSANE) which he served as president of in 2000 & 2001. He replaces Ted Maddocks of Ekwanok Country Club, Manchester VT, who will continue to serve on the board as the immediate past president. William R. Morton, CGCS of The Misquamicut Club (Watch Hill, RI) will serve as vice-president, Bob A. Matthews, CGCS, CIA, of White Cliffs Country Club (Plymouth, MA) will serve as secretary, and Michael A. Buras, of Longwood Cricket Club (Chestnut Hill, MA) will serve as Treasurer. The foundation has recently enjoyed its 10th Educational Conference and Trade Show at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI. More than 3000 individuals attended the 4 days of education conference and trade show activities. The 11th Annual New England Regional Turfgrass Conference and Show will take place on March 3-6th, 2008. The NERTF has funded more than $763,000 in Turfgrass Research in the New England area since being organized in 1996. More information may be obtained concerning the foundation, the conference & show and turfgrass research funded by the foundation, by visiting our website @ www.nertf.org.

             
In the field    
  Get The Latest Information From UConn's Diagnostic Center    
       
 

August 6 , 2007
After a relatively easy summer so far, the last two weeks have shown many turfgrass managers why this is such a stressful profession. A number of turfgrass disease samples were brought into the diagnostic lab in the past few days. In almost every case, the problem appears to be less related to disease issues (although Pythium may be present) and more an indication of the poor growing conditions on individual greens. The general thinning experienced throughout the region is almost always prevalent on push-up putting greens grown in areas with poor morning sunlight and limited air movement. To exacerbate the problem, drainage is limited to old aerification holes filled with sand, but no internal drainage. As you can imagine, this combination is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, although poor growing conditions are the obvious cause of the problem, golf course superintendents are given little help in correcting the underlying problems. Thus, the problems will continue to be seen in subsequent years. Below are a few things that will likely assist in improving the overall health of putting greens grown in a poor growing environment.

The most obvious solution is to improve the growing environment by improving air movement and sunlight penetration. This is often accomplished by selectively removing problematic trees and underbrush surrounding pocketed greens. While this is often the most controversial solution, it is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve chronic problems with pocketed putting greens. In addition to tree removal, the addition of portable fans can drastically improve air circulation. It is important to note that these fans need to be as large and as close to the putting surface as possible. Although seen as a distraction by some golfers, the ability to putt on healthy greens usually wins out when compared to putting on dirt. Finally, another factor is the poor drainage on putting greens. In a recent Tee to Green article, I mentioned some of the problems associated with push-up greens in the Northeast. Although topdressing has resulted in a buildup of sand and improved infiltration, the lack of internal drainage leaves the water at the soil-sand interface and limits its movement from the putting green. Various companies now offer a quick solution to the problem by installing internal drainage in older greens with little to no disruption to the putting surface. Taking action this year by removing problematic trees, improving air circulation and installing internal drainage should quickly result in a more durable and healthier putting surface.

Visit www.turf.uconn.edu/diagnosticcenter.shtml for more information.

 

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In the field    
  Explore The Depth of UConn's Turfgrass Website    
       

More Than Just Disease Diagnostics
Although much of the information contained within the context of the University of Connecticut's Turfgrass Science website is geared towards professional turfgrass managers, the University offers a variety of other services that may be helpful. You can see an overview of some of these services below:

H&G Center
The Home and Garden Center is the place to go for all of you home lawn related questions. The Center has a variety of services including diagnosis of home lawn and landscaping problems including diseases, plant and weed ID, insect identification and a host of other information.

Soils Lab
The primary purpose of the laboratory is to provide lime and fertilizer recommendations for commercial agriculturalists and homeowners. The facility is also expanding its services to assist members of the commercial turfgrass industry. The laboratory analyzes about 17,000 soil samples annually.

In the field    
  News From The Plant Science Research and Education Facility    
       
 
Sprayers

Spraying Systems Spray Nozzle Height Info, by Stephen Olsen
For years, the Spraying Systems TeeJet Product catalogs had charts that listed the suggested “minimum spray heights” or “suggested spray heights” at which your boom sprayer nozzles should be set.  New information has now allowed them to replace these with one listing “optimal spray height.”

For example, our boom sprayers are setup using 80 degree flat fan nozzles spaced at 20” apart.  The previous minimum or suggested spray height was 17” to 19” off the crop surface.  The new optimum height for the same boom is now 30” off the crop surface.

The higher height provides less chance for skips since the area each nozzle covers is wider, but you may also experience more off target drift since your boom is placed higher off the ground.  We have found that some booms need to be relocated higher on the sprayer frame to obtain the new optimum height.

Stephen Olsen is the Manager of the Plant Science Research and Education Facility and can be contacted at stephen.olsen@uconn.edu

 
     
  In the field    
  Keep Current on UConn and Turfgrass Industry Events    
       
 

August 15, 2007. CAGCS Meeting, Great River GC - Invitational.
August 16, 2007
. CGMA of Cape Cod Meeting, Paul Harney's Golf Club.
August 21, 2007 . GCSA of New England Meeting, Marlboro, Individual Championship.
August 22, 2007
. University of Rhode Island Field Day, Kingston, RI.

 
     
         
 
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