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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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In The Field: 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

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).
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UConn Students Earn Pesticide License 

By Steve Rackliffe

A collaborative effort between the Connecticut DEP and the UConn Turfgrass Science program was established to provide students the opportunity to take the Connecticut Pesticide Operators exam on the Storrs campus. Students taking and passing the exam will be issued a Connecticut Operators license. Graduating students, and students preparing for field internships that have obtained their operators certification will be qualified to apply pesticides under the direction of a licensed supervisor. The Operators Certification focuses on pesticide safety, reading pesticide labels, and Connecticut pesticide law. UConn graduates holding a pesticide operators license will be much more competitive in the job market. Licensed interns would be able to apply pesticides on their internships. The collaborative effort between DEP and the University of Connecticut Turfgrass Science Program benefits both the student and the field supervisor. It is our goal to have UConn graduates and interns enter the workforce with the education and credentials that will allow them to be competitive and successful.
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UConn Turfgrass Research Featured on TurfNetTV 

The University of Connecticut's Turfgrass Science Program is featured this month on TurfNetTV. Filmed in February, TurfNetTV visited UConn's Turfgrass Research Facility and discussed current nozzle research with John Kaminski, Assistant Professor of Turfgrass Pathology.

Highlights of the interview include an overview of the Turfgrass and Soil Science Program initiated by Dr. Karl Guillard back in 1998 and its rapid growth in recent years. Dr. Kaminski discusses the growth of the University's Turf Program over the last few years incuding the hiring of three new faculty members, the construction of a new Turfgrass Resource Unit, and the expansion of field and research plots at the Plant Science Research and Education Facility.

Results of an ongoing study conducted in a collaborative research effort with Dr. Michael Fidanza, Associate Professor of Horticulture at Penn State Berks and Dr. Kaminski are also featured. Ongoing research has focused on the proper selection of nozzle types in an effort to improve fungicide efficacy for controlling dollar spot of golf courses. Dollar spot, a foliar disease caused by the pathogen Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, is one of the most common and chronic diseases found on golf courses in the United States. Results from this ongoing study found that disease suppression can be improved with proper nozzle selection. Although more research is needed, potential benefits include a reduction the overall quanitity of pesticides used to suppress dollar spot and a reduction in application interval.

It is clearly an exciting time of growth and expansion in Storrs. To find out more about the UConn Turfgrass and Soil Science Program, please visit our www.turf.uconn.edu.

Click here to view the video.
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