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 email@example.com
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.
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).
UConn Graduate Takes Knowledge to Hawaii
By Thomas Barry
I graduated from the University of Connecticut’s turfgrass science program with a Master of Science degree in December of 2006. Upon graduating, I took the position of Assistant Superintendent at Elleair Maui Golf Club in Kihei, Hawaii working under Head Superintendent, Bryan Taylor. Elleair is an 18 hole public golf course currently undergoing some major renovations to the design and layout with an ongoing attempt to improve its reputation. My experience working in Hawaii has been a positive one and I owe much of my success to the University of Connecticut. The turfgrass science program at the University of Connecticut is geared towards producing well-rounded students. Emphasis is placed on both classroom education and field experience. Internships are considered extremely important by the turfgrass faculty and every student is assisted with finding the right internship for their interests. Students are encouraged to aim high and follow their passion when finding a job upon graduation.
As a graduate student in the program, I was given the chance to teach the Introductory Turfgrass Science course and also serve as a Turfgrass Technician at the University’s research farm, assisting faculty members with research projects. The transition from student to Assistant Superintendent has been a smooth one on account of my educational experience at the University of Connecticut. The field experience I gained through internships and classroom education has certainly made me a more qualified and confident turf manager. I have moved from working with cool-season grasses to an all bermudagrass golf course with little difficulty. Management skills and business savvy I acquired at UConn have been vital to decision making and crew supervision which I encounter every day. The personal relationships I made during my time at the University of Connecticut have made me a better individual. I owe a debt of gratitude to the program and the great individuals who helped me along the way.
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."