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  Volume 1, Issue 1
May 1, 2007

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UConn Turf News    
  Read The Latest News From UConn And The Turf Industry    
  Planting Seeds For Turfgrass Students, by Karen Singer
Karl Guillard recognized with alumni association award for faculty excellence
Photo by Peter Morenus

Karl Guillard delights in seeing students become excited at watching grass grow. "That look of discovery and that Aha! moment is so satisfying to me," says Guillard, an agronomy professor who specialized in management of turfgrass, those well-manicured patches of grass seen on golf courses, parks, playing fields and commercial lawns. There is a fine art to cultivating and caring for turfgrass and a great demand for those with the expertise, which is why the four-year undergraduate turfgrass science degree program UConn began offering in 1998 has quickly taken root. Guillard helped develop the program, updating the school’s traditional agronomy concentration, which focused on general plant and soil science courses. "We were getting fewer and fewer students interested in a traditional agronomy major as there was a rise of interest in turfgrass and residential landscaping," he says. The department of plant science offers both a four-year degree and a two-year associate of applied science degree in ornamental horticulture and turfgrass management. Guillard says students who elect the associate degree are either recent high school graduates or those experienced in business seeking additional training for a competitive edge.

Visit www.alumnimagazine.uconn.edu/sprg2007/focus.html for the entire story.

  Nor'Easter Floods Local Golf Course , by Alex Putman

Entering into mid-April, golf was beginning to pick up in New England. "Everything was in great shape," said John Ruzsbatzky, CGCS, for opening day at the Country Club of Farmington, CT (CCF) on April 14th. The Nor'easter that arrived the following day, however, spoiled the remainder of opening weekend with 5" of rain.

The Farmington River flows adjacent to three holes on the northwest edge of the course, and may cause some low-level flooding in select areas during heavy storms. This storm on April 15th, however, caused a rise in water level enough to cover half the golf course. "Seven of our greens, including one practice green, were completely underwater," said John. "It was definitely the worst flooding that I have seen here, and the water may have reached the highest level since 1955," he remarked, referring to the Great Flood of 1955.

Those at CCF will be able to draw comparisons to future floods, as waters rose halfway up the Club's recently renovated snack shack, ruining thousands of dollars of new equipment. The 40 foot tall driving range fence was forced over by the rushing water and will need to be replaced. Several driving range mats and walking bridges were carried away by the water. In addition to property damage, sand from several bunkers washed away, and silt built up on several greens.

Persistent flooding ten days after the storm has forced a few holes to remain closed. John remarked that clean up operations have been a setback, but noted his turf has responded well. "The membership has been very understanding," he said, "and we hope to resume normal operations soon."



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


May 1, 2007
Weather has finally warmed up and with the temperatures comes the disease activity, Poa seedhead development, and germination of those summer annual weeds. Most turfgrass managers across the state have treated for Poa seedheads and the application of preemergents for crabgrass control is in full swing.

Temperatures around the region have been and look too be great for growing grass. Temperatures throughout Connecticut are predicted to be in the 60's with a chance of rain on Wednesday. The 7-day outlook for several towns are as follows:

  • Danbury, CT: Low 39, High 69
  • Greenwich, CT: Low of 43, High of 71
  • Hartford, CT: Low of 41, High of 69
  • Norwich, CT: Low 38, High 69
  • Old Saybrook, CT: Low 38, High 66
  • Putnam, CT: Low 38, High 67
  • Torrington, CT: Low 37, High 67
Brown Ring Patch

Based on site-visits and samples received in the diagnostic lab, several diseases are active in the field. Diseases to watch for include anthracnose basal rot, brown ring patch (BRP; aka Waitea Patch), and fairy ring. Reports from the mid-Atlantic indicate that brown ring patch is causing major problems on many golf courses in the Philadelphia area. We have only seen a few cases of BRP this year, however, warmer temperatures are likely to increase the incidence of this poorly understood disease. We appear to be moving towards warmer temperatures, but turfgrass managers should be on the watch for late outbreaks of Microdochium patch (aka, pink snow mold).


Although disease activity and weed pressures are beginning to build up, it is never too early to realize that things could always be worse. Enjoy the early summer season and do what you can to prepare for the summer stretch. Michael Barton, Golf Course Superintendent at Burningtree Country Club, has already realized that some things are just out of your control.

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

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


Photo and Video Dictionary
Need help understanding the turfgrass jargon? Never seen a lawn being aerified? Well check out the photo and video dictionary to SEE the answer.

Aerification [air-uh-fi-key-sh uh n]
The practice of improving the movement of air, water, and nutrients into the soil by making holes or slits in it. Machines are commonly used to remove plugs of soil. Often criticised for disrupting the playability of golf course putting greens, this practice is one of the most beneficial cultural practices for turfgrass managers.

To see more definitions visit www.turf.uconn.edu/dictionary.shtml

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


Turf Program Gets a New Lift, by Stephen Olsen
As our inventory of turfgrass equipment has grown, the need for a small equipment lift had become more and more a priority.  Since the main repair shop, built in 1933, has three small bays, our space is limited and the large garage type lifts would not fit in the small area. After comparing what was available and commonly used, we decided to purchase a Heftee Model 2000 lift in late 2005.  After a complete season of use, I can say it provided a good combination of versatility and utility at a reasonable cost.  This lift has two sliding arms not unlike a forklift truck.  These permit clear access to the undercarriage of the equipment you are working on.  This model will fit everything we use up to a triplex mower. To adapt this for walk behind mowers and smaller equipment, we built a platform to fit on top of the siding arms.   This provides a solid working surface with hooks to strap down equipment if necessary. If you are finding your platform lift is used for storing boxes rather than repairing equipment, I would recommend you consider a unit with sliding arms.

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    

May 6, 2007. University of Connecticut Undergraduate Commencement. Storrs, CT.
May 21, 2007. CAGCS, Scholarship and Research Tournament. Lake of Isles.
May 21, 2007
. GCMA of Cape Cod, Scholarship and Research Tournament. The Ridge Club.
May 29, 2007. GCSA of New England, S&B. TPC Boston.
June 6, 2007. GCMA of Cape Cod & GCSA of New England. Pocasset Golf Club.
June 12, 2007
. CAGCS Monthly Meeting. Rockledge Country Club.

Photo by Dollie Harvey
© 2007 | University of Connecticut | 1376 Storrs Road, U-4067 | Storrs, Connecticut | 06269

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