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In The Field: June 30, 2007 

Our first week of HOT weather departed as quickly as it arrived. Recent samples arriving into the diagnostic center varied depending on the location in New England. In Maine, brown ring patch is still active and causing minor problems for some superintendents. In the extreme southern portions of New England and parts of New York, fairy ring is beginning to appear and the hot weather diseases have made a brief appearance.

Diseases such as Pythium blight and brown patch caused by Rhizoctonia zeae are beginning to develop. No reports of the traditional brown patch have been reported in our lab, but for those of you in the warmer parts of New England, July 4th is usually the time to look out for this disease. Very few cases of summer patch have been reported, but disease incidence is increasing. Anthracnose seems to be in limbo right now as those courses dealing with the early season type of the disease are seeing recovery, while those who traditionally see damage during the summer months are still waiting for the disease to begin.

The major concerns throughout the region are the apparent record numbers of annual bluegrass weevils. According to UMASS entomologist Pat Vittum, "We have seen the highest populations in at least 20 years on virtually every golf course in the Northeast." Click here to read Dr. Vittum's latest insect report...it sounds like it could be a long summer for these pests.

Dollar spot continues to be severe throughout the Northeast and the mild temperatures forecasted for much of early July should make collecting those dollar spot samples for UConn's Dollar Spot Resistance research a snap. If you don't have any dollar spot, please help us by putting down a small (6" x 6") board on a portion of your putting green and fairway prior to your next spray.
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In The Field: June 21, 2007 

Based on samples arriving to the lab this week, Pythium blight, brown patch (caused by Rhizoctonia zeae), and anthracnose are active throughout the region. These diseases can cause severe damage in a relatively short period of time, so preventive applications of an effective fungicide are warranted. Caution should be used when treating for R. zeae as some traditional brown patch fungicides (e.g., thiophanate-methyl) may be ineffective.

Although less widespread than in recent years, anthracnose basal rot has caused significiant damage to select golf courses in the region. Fungicide trials over the last two years at courses in Greenwich, CT have revealed considerable differences in fungicide efficacy. Results of these two studies suggest that selecting an effective fungicide for your course will take some local knowledge. While the QoI's tested in 2006 provided little to no control, they provided the greatest level of suppression in the 2007 study. The two studies were conducted on golf courses only a couple of miles apart.

Finally, remember to assist us in our dollar spot research by sending in dollar spot samples from putting greens and fairways. If dollar spot is not appearing on your course, go the extra step and place a small board (6" x 6") on the back of your putting green or fairway prior to your next spray. Results of this study will assist in determing the level and type of fungicide resistance prevalent in New England.
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In The Field: June 1, 2007 

Disease-related problems have been few due to the lack of rain that we have received throughout the region. In some regions, dollar spot has started to appear. Early season applications of fungicides for dollar spot control, however, still appear to be holding up well.

The few disease issues that we have seen throughout the region include anthracnose basal rot, dollar spot, brown ring patch, and continued cases of fairy ring. We are several weeks away from seeing outbreaks of brown patch and other summer diseases.

Although diseases have been kept to a minimum, weeds are hitting their stride. Crabgrass has germinated throughout the region and in many cases have grown too large for early post-emergence control. Yellow nutsedge has also been seen in the Southwestern portion of Connecticut and probably is starting to germinate in regions farther north as well.
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SEND YOUR SAMPLES to Support Dollar Spot Research 

By John Kaminski

Funded by the New England Regional Turfgrass Foundation, Syngenta Crop Protection and the United States Golf Association, researchers at the University of Connecticut are investigating various aspects of managing dollar spot. Research will focus on improving fungicide efficacy through the proper selection of nozzle-types (see the June 2006 issue of GCM for more information) as well as through unconventional application timings.

In addition to developing improved management strategies, researchers will seek to determine the importance and scope of pathogen resistance to fungicides commonly used to control dollar spot. To participate in this component of the project, please send dollar spot samples from fairways and/or greens to the University of Connecticut (dollar spot samples submitted during the study will not be charged a diagnostic fee).

UCONN Turfgrass Disease Diagnostic Center
c/o John Kaminski
University of Connecticut
1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4067
Storrs, CT 06269

For more information on this research project or disease diagnostic services at UConn, please contact John Kaminski (860.486.0162 or john.kaminski@uconn.edu).
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In The Field: May 23, 2007 

Dollar spot is finally active in several regions across the state and will probably be present throughout the Northeast soon. For those of you who applied an early season fungicide application for dollar spot, you should have a slight delay in symptom development and more time to respond with a follow up application once symptoms do appear. For those who chose not to make an early season application, now is the time for preventive treatments. Waiting for extensive symptoms to develop may lead to more difficult control and higher fungicide use rates.

In discussions with superintendents across the state, aerification appears to be a high priority. Recovery during the next week or two should be quick due to the excellent growing conditions. If you can get away with it, continue to punch holes in putting surfaces with needle or pencil tines or even with star or bayonet tines until the heat of the summer. The benefits of the increased air exchange and increased water infiltration will be seen well into the summer months.

The diagnostic center continues to receive samples of brown ring patch and fairy ring, but have also observed several cases of mechanical damage from mowing wet greens and also chemical burn. Most cases of chemical burn have been attributed to the concentrated dripping of wetting agent tablets during applicaiton. Although symptoms may be several weeks off, preventive applications for the control of summer patch are here. To fine-tune applications to your specific site, experiments by Dr. Vargas at Michigan State suggest applying preventive summer patch control when soil temperatures at a two inch depth at 2:00PM reach 65F for several consecutive days.
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