Last week I traveled to Davenport, Maquoketa, Dubuque, and Waterloo/Cedar Falls. I saw very diverse conditions throughout my travels; however, there were some collective issues. Davenport offered similar circumstances to central Iowa, with large areas of rye and Poa annua winterkill. Overall greens are looking better, but are still a little behind with our consistent nights in the low 40’s. As I moved north to Maquoketa, I observed less widespread winter damage, and golf courses coming out of the ruthless winter well.
Across the state, turf managers are struggling to find windows for their liquid preemergence applications. The weather has not cooperated, with consistent winds in the 15+ mph range and extensive rainfall. Friday morning, we were finally able to apply our preemergence herbicide at the research farm (latest application to date during Dr. Christians tenure at Iowa State). I would remain aggressive in an attempt to apply a preemergence herbicide and believe you will receive some control. Nearly all preemergence herbicides offer a little post control with the best being dimension (dithiopyr). Yesterday, I talked to Dan Smith at Carroll Municipal golf course after our IGCSA event and over the years he usually applies his preemergent about May 10th and receives great control. Only time will tell the overall efficiency of our mid-May applications. I have attached a picture (Photo 1) below of some crabgrass emergence at the ISU turf research facility from yesterday.
In Davenport (Palmer Hills) and Dubuque (Bunker Hill), I was presented with a new challenge on the amount of damage caused by cross-country skiers. Both public golf courses deal with dead turf in fairways each year from skier traffic. The below pictures are courtesy of Tim Johansen at Palmer Hills. Tim mentioned that the turf does not usually recover until late June. I have also noticed extensive damage to many of the evergreen trees/shrubs in Iowa and I will address options in future blogs.