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What's the Web Saying About Turfgrass, 8-6-10 Edition

August 6, 2010






Enjoy the first part of the weekend before warmer temperatures move in on Sunday and early next week. Here is your list of links to articles regarding turf. Have a great weekend!

MSU Turfgrass Field Day: 8/18/10. The 2010 MSU Turfgrass Field Day is open to all turf professionals regardless of affiliation. Spend a day with the experts and see what cutting edge research can do to make your operation more productive and profitable. We look forward to seeing you there!;-8182010;-golf-course-turfgrass-field-day-140/

Canadian Tour Will Help USGA Test Shorter Golf Balls. Many of the game's experts - most prominently Jack Nicklaus - argue for dialing back golf ball technology as a way to reverse distance gains they believe are bad for the game's future and dismissive of the game's past. Where do you fall in the debate over distance in golf?

Why We Need More Par-Three Courses. Mike Keiser, who commissions everything at the Bandon Dunes complex in Oregon as a golf purist's fantasy, is building a fifth course to add to his famous four. It's something you don't hear about much anymore—a par-three. Construction on the 12-holer, tentatively called "The Bandon Preserve," starts in February.

Golf Course Superintendents Embracing Social Media. Last Thursday, course superintendent Frank Tichenor arrived at work before dawn to discover a potential nightmare: hyperodes weevil. Naturally, Tichenor’s first reaction was to grab his BlackBerry ... and take a picture for his blog. “There’s always something happening on the golf course,” Tichenor said. “So I took a picture of it, put it up on the blog, and tweeted it and said, ‘Look, this is what’s happening and this is how we’re going to handle it.’ ”

Kansas Turfgrass Field Day. Kansas Turfgrass Field Day, Thursday, August 5, 2010, Rocky Ford Research Center, Manhattan, KS, 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Cost: $30.00 (includes lunch), For more information, go to:

Bentgrass and Poa annua greens are hard-hit. Sometimes conditions can become so oppressive on a given site that it overwhelms creeping bentgrass and causes rapid decline, despite the heroic efforts of the superintendent and staff. This information in this article is designed to focus on what can be done amidst this difficult summer.

A detailed labor analysis is effective for tracking costs and making decisions. Golfers, owners, and course officials often have a difficult time understanding how it can take so many people to perform a relatively simple task. So, how many people does it really take to maintain a golf course? Here is the definitive answer: It depends. Accurately forecasting such emergencies is difficult, if not impossible. Read on for a step-by-step procedure showing how to perform a labor analysis at your course.

The career assistant superintendent. It is a tough time to be an assistant superintendent of a golf course in the present job market and economy. It seems to me that if you are fortunate enough to have a job right now, you are holding on to it and riding out this ugly wave.


Field Day Festivities

July 30, 2010

The 2010 All Horticulture Field Day was held yesterday at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station. The weather was beautiful and there was plenty to see ranging from cultivar trials, sports turf seeding rate studies, fertility, disease, and herbicide trials. This has been a great year to evaluate products for their effectiveness against crabgrass will all the weed pressure we’ve experienced. Our crabgrass trial featured a new herbicide from Bayer called Specticle.

Specticle is a preemergence herbicide with some post control and offers promise in controlling crabgrass and Poa annua. Specticle just recently received federal registration and will now be available in the turf market. The active ingredient in Specticle is indaziflam.

One of the highlights of the day was watching Gary Twedt, CGCS, receive the 2010 Distinguished Service to Iowa Horticulture Award. Congratulations Gary on this achievement and all that you do for Horticulture in Iowa. Check out some pictures from the event!








I had a chance to speak about my bentgrass spaced plant trial investigating lateral spread among 24 bentgrass cultivars.








Dr. Christians speaks to a group about different bentgrass cultivars.








Dr. Minner demonstrated various methods to control moles.













Gary Twedt received the 2010 Distinguished Service to Iowa Horticulture Award.


Iowa Turfgrass Field Day Recap, Part 2

July 28, 2011

Below is the second part of the 2011 Iowa Turfgrass Field Day Recap. This article highlights talks focusing on summer seeding methods, updates on moss and algae control on putting greens, apps for turf managers and GPS spraying.

Summer seeding: During this talk, some of the ideas about seeding rates and timing were discussed to give turf managers more tools when deciding when to seed, for what purpose, and how much to seed during different times. The philosophy and science behind traditional seeding rates and higher than normal rates were discussed and a demonstration was in place to show what different seeding rates look like as well as ways to determine how much seed you are putting out without properly calibrated equipment. Lastly, we discussed how higher than normal seeding rates can reduce herbicide inputs by outcompeting weeds.

If you ever need to determine how much seed you have put out, there is a simple rule you can follow. If you are sticking to normal seeding rates (1.5 lbs/1000 ft2 for KBG; 8 lbs/1000 ft2 for PR and TF), you can always pick out a 1 square inch area and could how many seeds you see. You should count somewhere around 16 seeds in a square inch for either of the seeding rates listed above.

Higher than normal seeding rates are necessary when we introduce cleated traffic to a turf stand. We don’t hesitate to recommend turf managers putting out an initial rate of at least 20 lbs/1000 ft2 when starting from bare ground to get as much wear tolerant biomass established as possible before traffic starts. This method of seeding at higher rates can also result in an essentially weed free stand of grass, especially with a quickly establishing grass like perennial ryegrass.

Moss & Algae control: Dr. Minner gave a good overview of the different types of moss and algae that can inhabit bentgrass putting greens, or anywhere conditions are right for their growth and development (wet, low mowing height, high N). He also showed preliminary results of a study that uses different methods and chemicals to control silvery thread moss on greens. Two products, MossBuster, and QuickSilver herbicide (carfentrazone), which has labeled rates and instructions for silvery thread moss control, are being evaluated both in combination with each other and on their own at different rates to determine the most effective control of silvery thread moss.

The main problem with the MossBuster product is that it can have an extremely phytotoxic effect on bentgrass, however, it is extremely effective in killing silvery thread moss. Conversely, QuickSilver is effective, but not as effective as MossBuster at finishing off moss populations. So far, a low rate of MossBuster combined with a low rate of QuickSilver, applied frequently (1 week apart), has shown the least phytotoxicity and the moss control is on par with higher rates of each product in combination or on its own. This study is still relatively new and we will continue to monitor the effects of each treatment.

Apps for turf managers: Dr. Marcus Jones has been watching the turfgrass technology front very closely over the past few years and was able to give attendees a short discussion on a relatively new ‘App’. The iStimp is an app that claims to act as a stimp meter on golf greens and is available for Apple devices including the iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad.

Essentially, you set the ball in the small divot of the ‘home’ button on the iPhone, set it on the ground, and lift up until the ball starts to roll. Once the ball has rolled its distance, you use a built in ruler to measure the distance. The phone then calculates what the reading would be on a regular stimp meter. Dr. Jones is working on a research project that will test the effectiveness of this app when compared to the traditional stimp meter. Keep tuned to the iaTURF blog for updates on this project.


GPS spraying: GPS based technology has been around the agriculture field for a few years now and it’s slowly starting to creep its way in to the turf industry. We were fortunate to have a few of the current models on the market present at field day this year. We also saw a demonstration of how the technology works; the sprayer can minimize drift, minimize overlap, steer itself, calculate exact rates of application, and many other things. It’s truly an amazing technology and it probably won’t be long before everyone has some sort of experience with one of these machines.


If anyone has any questions or comments about Field Day 2011, please feel free to contact me, Andrew Hoiberg ( or any of the other speakers. This truly was one of the best field days I’ve been a part of and we owe it to a great turfgrass industry in Iowa. Thanks to the vendors and attendees for a wonderful day! We’ll see you next year!

Andrew Hoiberg
Graduate Student
Iowa State University


Iowa Turfgrass Field Day Review, Andrew Hoiberg

July 27, 2011

Iowa Turfgrass Field Day has returned! Everyone associated with this event are thrilled to have it back and we know the turf industry is as well. We would like to thank everyone who pitched in to help, all the speakers, the vendors, and most of all, the attendees. Without a great industry like we have in Iowa, none of this would be possible.

Below you will find a recap for the first half of the program and some take home messages from the research and demonstrations that were highlighted at this year’s event. A recap for the second half of the program will follow tomorrow.

NCERA Bentgrass Trial: Dr. Christians showed us the NCR Bentgrass variety trial that aims to maintain bentgrass with limited fungicide inputs and to test different cultivars natural resistance to disease pressure, namely dollar spot and brown patch. The trial has 24 cultivars of commercially available creeping bentgrass. This trial is still underway but there are cultivars that are standing out. “Declaration” is cultivar that others are measured against for natural disease resistance. 

Biostimulant Study: Quincy Law, a recent graduate of the ISU turf program, filled us in on his Ajinomoto study. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of an amino acid based fertilizer upon growth and shoot density of "Penncross" creeping bentgrass. Previous work with an amino acid containing product, GreenNcrease, had resulted in higher shoot densities when applied to mature turf. Treatment applications of three natural products at varying rates, along with urea, were made every two weeks to fairway height turf (0.5 inches). Color, dry clipping weight, dollar spot ratings, total nitrogen analysis of clipping tissue, and shoot densities were all recorded monthly.

Plots receiving applications of GreenNcrease, an Ajinomoto product, had significantly higher shoot densities. GreenNcrease applied as a biostimulant along with a regular fertility regime may increase shoot density. An increased shoot density provides for a more competitive turf stand and better playing surface. The trial completed in 2010 is being repeated on the same plots to investigate the effect of these products when used over time.


Imprelis update: As many of you know, Imprelis herbicide has been in the news a great deal this year as it is suspected of causing damage to White Pine and Norway Spruce trees. It appears as though the herbicide could be moving downward into the soil and being absorbed by mature root systems that extend well beyond the traditional drip line cutoff for spraying. If you have had problems with Imprelis, it is recommended that you contact DuPont. Dr. Christians also spoke about an Imprelis trial examining the efficacy of the herbicide on grassy and broadleaf weeds when applied at various timings in the spring/early summer. The results of this trial will be available this fall. Also, stay tuned for further updates concerning Imprelis as more information becomes available.

Nitrogen based establishment: This trial is attempting use increased rates of nitrogen during establishment of both Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass hasten the production of aboveground plant mass and improve the wear tolerance during traffic stress. So far, we have been able to detect differences in nitrogen rates as far as fill in and plant maturity, especially when compared to the untreated controls. From what we have seen thus far, it looks like applying 0.25 lbs N/1000 ft2 per week for 8 weeks of establishment for a total of 2 lbs of N produced the most aesthetically pleasing perennial ryegrass with regard to color and density. Incremental increases beyond 0.25 lb N per week caused ryegrass to grow excessively, which could potentially increase mowing requirements.


For Kentucky bluegrass, more nitrogen is necessary to achieve a dense stand that can withstand traffic. We have also had to use 4 applications of Tenacity herbicide at 4 oz/A spread throughout the spring and summer to keep weeds at bay and give the bluegrass a chance to establish enough for cleated traffic. It appears that at least 0.5 lbs N/1000 ft2 per week for 8 weeks during establishment is necessary to achieve maximum density. However, as we continue to collect data on this study, we may find out that rates of 0.75 or even 1.0 lbs N/1000 ft2 per week are best for rapidly establishing bluegrass.

Andrew Hoiberg
Graduate Student
Iowa State University



January 11, 2013

Here is a post by Dan Strey, research technician at the Turfgrass Research area.  It is about a new tee complex that he constructed in the fall 2012.  it will be used in future years for research and demonstration purposes at the station. (Nick)

(From Dan)
I think we can all say that 2012 was certainly an interesting and difficult year. Most of us are probably glad to see the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.

During the heat of last summer, the crew at the research farm constructed a new tee complex that will be used for research and demonstrations. The process took approximately two months from start to finish. Some of you may have seen it mid-way through construction during field day.

Golf Tee Complex at Turf Research

Golf Tee Complex at Turf Research

The existing site was built to USGA specifications which included; 12” of sand, 4-6” of pea gravel, and drain tile laid into the subgrade. Both the sand and gravel were stripped off in layers using a Bobcat T-190. The materials were kept separate and stockpiled to reuse for the construction of the tee complex.



After the sand and gravel was removed, the subgrade was reshaped to match the new contours. This process required a cut and fill approach, since all of the material had to stay on site and be reused. Once the subgrade was formed, a 4-6” pea gravel layer was then installed and followed by a 12” layer of sand. The surrounding areas were constructed using native soil from the site. The project was completed without requiring the need of transporting materials; all materials were used from the existing site.




The irrigation system that was previously installed was removed prior to the excavation and used for parts to reduce the cost of the renovation. A new system was required to be able to control both the green and tee individually.  Golf course greens and tees require different amounts of moisture throughout the year. New lateral lines (2-1/2” Sch. 40 PVC) were installed and attached to the two existing valves. The eight existing heads (Toro TR70) were cleaned and reinstalled. 

The seedbed was prepared using a Toro Sand Pro 5040. This smoothed the area while still providing a firm surface. Both the tee and green were seeded with 007 creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) on October 1, 2012. The cultivar was chosen for its ability to resist dollar spot disease and heat tolerance. The areas were seeded at a rate of 1.75 lbs/1,000 ft² using a Scotts SS-2 drop spreader. After seeding, the same Toro Sand Pro was driven over the surface repeatedly to provide seed to soil contact. A starter fertilizer was applied at a rate of 1 lb. of phosphorus/1,000 ft²

The area was covered using permeable grow covers to maintain soil temperatures during the fall months. Germination was observed 10 days after seeding. The grow covers were removed four weeks after germination to allow the seedlings to harden off before winter.


Iowa Turfgrass Field Day - July 23, 2015

July 2, 2015

Turfgrass Research is Highlight of July 23 Field Day near Ames

Homeowners and professionals will find turf tips on sod and pest management

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station is host for the annual Iowa Turfgrass Field Day, July 23, 2015, from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year’s program includes demonstration projects for those interested in lawn and turfgrass research presented by Iowa State University experts and ISU Extension and Outreach specialists. The annual event offered to golf course maintenance crews, athletic field managers, lawn care companies and homeowners present the opportunity for earning continuing instructional credit for their commercial pesticide applicator license.

“The field day will highlight athletic field and golf course turf, sod production, general lawn care and several other areas of turfgrass management,” said Dan Strey, research associate in horticulture with Iowa State University and turfgrass manager at the Horticulture Research Station north of Ames.

Strey noted, “We’re offering educational sessions for golf course, sports turf and lawn care professionals. Even homeowners and master gardeners can benefit from Iowa State’s lawn care research.” Learning opportunities for homeowners will feature use of Midwest grass species, different mowing heights, weed control, fertilization, thatch and aerification techniques and grass seeding options.

“Kentucky bluegrass is the most common grass species used for Iowa lawns,” according to Ryan Adams, lecturer and Extension turfgrass specialist with Iowa State University. “The best time of the year to sow grass seed is mid-August and September. Iowans have become accustomed to using the same treatments for every lawn even though they may have different grass species and maintenance requirements,” Adams said.

Specific topics for the master gardener and homeowner program include fertilizing with organics, pollinators, ash tree replacements, mowing maintenance, grass alternatives, rain barrel irrigation, pest management and tour of a home demonstration garden.

ISU scientists and Extension specialists from horticulture, agronomy, plant pathology and entomology as well as visiting certified sports field managers will offer expert advice for turf, lawn and landscape professionals. Research information presented will include herbicide and rhizomatous tall fescue studies. There will also be a chance to view a variety of trials on creeping bentgrass, buffalograss, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass.

Presentation topics for turf professionals include, information on the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program and working with administrators, research results on ornamental grasses and rhizomatous tall fescues, treatment options using Group 27 herbicides, T-1 green management, fertilizers, phosphites, Integrated pest management, mitigating localized dry spot and diseases, maximizing granular and foliar applications. There will also be examples of sports field construction, golf course mound building, level lift and irrigation tips and options for ash tree replacements. Field day demonstrations will highlight fraise mowing and painting athletic fields. See the

program schedule for sessions and presenters.

Pesticide Applicator Training sessions start at 10 a.m. and include, Drift Reduction/Calibration/Safe Application, Phytotoxicity, Weed Walk and Right-of-Way. Continuing instructional credits are being offered to certified pesticide applicators for recertification of commercial or private licenses in categories 3O (Ornamental Pest), 3T (Turf Pest), 3OT (Ornamental and Turf Pest), 6 (Right-of-Way) and 10 (Research and Demonstration).

Registration Options

Check in opens at 8 a.m. on Thursday, July 23 at the ISU Horticulture Research Station, 55519 170th St. Ames, IA 50010, program sessions begin at 8:45 a.m. and pre-registration is preferred.

·         Homeowners and gardeners registration fee is $30. To pre-register, download, print and complete the registration form, and send with payment to the Iowa Turfgrass Institute office at 515-635-0306 or Registration after July 20 is $40.

·         Turf and lawn care professionals must pre-register using the on-site registration form; cost is $30. If registering for the Pesticide Applicator Training (PAT), cost is $50.

·         Student registration cost is $10; with PAT: $30.

All registration fees include morning refreshments, a catered lunch by Hickory Park and session materials. Credit cards, purchase orders and checks made payable to Iowa Turfgrass Institute are accepted.Questions? Contact the Iowa Turfgrass Institute office at 515-635-0306 or

Iowa State University sponsors the field day in cooperation with Iowa Turfgrass Institute, Iowa Professional Lawn Care Association, Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association and Iowa Sports Turf Managers Association.


Related links:

Yard and Garden FAQs — Lawns

Iowa Master Gardener Program

iaTURF: A Glimpse of All Things Green

Related publications:

Click for related Turfgrasspublications at the ISU Extension and Outreach online Store.



Photo Caption & Credit:

Grading of the new athletic field at the ISU Horticulture Research Station will be one of the presentations at the upcoming Turfgrass Field Day, July 23.

Find out what grass species to use in Iowa and which are native to North America (Kentucky bluegrass isn’t one them) at the next Turfgrass Field Day, July 23.

Photos by Christopher Gannon, Iowa State University



July 18, 2014

The annual turfgrass research field day will be held at the Horticulture Research Station north of Ames, IA on July 24, Thursday of next week.  

We have a number of new things to show this year, including our work on nematodes in a sand-based golf course greens.

For more information, contact Jeff Wendel at the Iowa Turf Office at, phone 515-635-0306.  The web site is at  See the links below for registration and a map to the site.

July 24th - Iowa Turfgrass Field Day - Horticulture Research Station - Ames
Host: Dan Strey
8:00 Registration
8:45 Introductions - Registration Tent
9:00-11:00 Blue and White Tours (see tour schedule here)
10:00-11:00 Red Tour (required for Pesticide Applicator Training)
11:00 Turfgrass Insect, Weed & Disease ID Tour & Phytotoxicity Demo (required for PAT)
12:00 Lunch
Registration Deadline: July 17th. *Onsite Registration available for additional fee*
Registration Fee: $30.00 (includes Lunch)
Registration with Pesticide Applicators Training: $50.00 (includes Lunch)
Call 515-635-0306 with questions or to Register

Registration Form

Online Registration
Exhibitor Registration Form



August 2, 2013

Nick Christians
August 2, 2013

Thank you to Damian Richardson (pictured below) and the others from John Deere Landscapes #249 in Clive, Ia for donating 2000 lbs of fertilizer for use by the ISU turf club.  Damian brought the fertilizer to the annual field day at the research station yesterday, August 1.  The field day went very well.  We had perfect weather for the event and attendance was good.  Thanks to everyone who was there.

Damian can be reached at:

Damian Richardson
John Deere Landscapes, CSSR I
9289 Swanson Blvd, #4 Clive, IA 50325
(W) 515-222-5344
(F) 515-222-5345


The group at branch 249 are as follows:  Thanks again to the whole crew.


·         John Matthies – Branch Manager

·         Damian Richardson – Customer Sales and Service Rep

·         Jay Goughnour – Customer Sales and Service Rep

·         Steve Lindner – Outside Sales Rep



July 31, 2013

Here is a news release from Iowa State on tomorrow's field day.


Iowa State University
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Editor's note:  This release, sent Wednesday, left out the field day's starting time. It is 8 a.m.


Nick Christians, Horticulture, (515) 294-0036,
Ed Adcock, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service, (515) 294-2314,

Aug. 1 Field Day Brings Turfgrass Specialists to Iowa State University Research Station

AMES, Iowa — Turfgrass specialists who work with golf courses, athletic fields and lawn care services will meet at 8 a.m. Aug. 1 for an annual field day at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station.

Faculty and staff from Iowa State departments of horticulture, agronomy, entomology and natural resource ecology and management will present informational sessions along with speakers from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Indian Hills Community College. Topics include pond management, pesticide application, weed management and turfgrass insect, weed and disease identification.

The field day includes a Pesticide Applicator Training session to meet requirements for applying pesticides. Suppliers of turfgrass products will exhibit at the field day.

Registration information is available at The Horticulture Research Station is located at 55519 170th St., Ames, which is three miles north of Ames on Highway 69, and east on 170th Street about 1.5 miles.

Iowa State sponsors the field day with the Iowa Turfgrass Institute, the Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association, Iowa Sports Turf Managers Association and the Iowa Professional Lawn Care Association.


On the Web: This and all other Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences news releases and related photos are available at




July 16, 2012

The annual turfgrass field day is this Thursday, July 19.  Registration is at 8:30 and the program starts at 9.  For more details, see the Iowa Turfgrass Institute web site at

Iowa Turfgrass Field Day
July 19, 2012
Horticulture Research Station - Ames, IA
Sponsored by ITI, Iowa GCSA, ISTMA, IPLCA & Iowa State University

 Iowa Turfgrass Field Day Program

July 19 - ITI Turfgrass Field Day Turfgrass Research Station, Ames
Host: Dan Strey
$30 Per person
Pesticide Training available for additional $20 fee
8:00 AM : Registration with Coffee and Donuts
8:45 AM : Introduction - Registration Tent
9:00 AM : Blue and White Tours Begin
10:00 AM : Red Tour (PAT) Begins or Switch Blue and White Tours
11:00 AM : Turfgrass Insect, Weed & Disease ID Tour(must attend for PAT Credit)
12:15 PM : Lunch and visit the Vendor Trade Show