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Coming Soon to the Iowa Turf Market

July 24, 2009

MaxTerra and GeMax, both companies of MaxYield a cooperative in the state of Iowa, are in development of a new pelletized organic fertilizer with an analysis of 4-2-2. I have a limited supply of this product, but would furnish up to 200 pounds to several different courses for your insight and research on how the product can help you with some issues on your courses.

Larry Arndt
Marketing Director & New Business Development
Cell Phone 712-320-7448


Wakonda Modification

March 1, 2010

Here are a couple of items our chief fabricator, John Phillips, has made for our operation at Wakonda Club.

1. Spray- hawk caddie for the front of our Toro 300 gallon sprayer.

2. Stands for our 200 gallon workman sprayer.








3. He's now working on a steel jig for a router so we can route our logo into our hand- made tee markers.

The sprayer stands are a great improvement. We use the workman with the high- flow hydraulics for our top dresser and for a Vicon fertilizer spreader so we are constantly switching attachments. Before this we had to hoist the sprayer off of the workman using our bobcat and some log chains. Not very safe or secure. Now we just raise it up using the four jack stands he purchased at Northern Tool and modified to fit existing slots in the sprayer. The top dresser is a TyCrop which came with its own, similar system. Cost: $400 for the stands and some scrap steel he had laying around.

John Temme, Jim Sedrel, and Taylor Eischen

Wakonda Club


Do-It-Yourself Research: Simple, Effective DIY Tips to Improve Your Course

July 13, 2010

I often write about some of the various research projects that I have going on for the blog. While research is a big part of what we do at the University some of the best research is done by the end users, golf course superintendents themselves. On-course research is a great way to test new products or re-evaluate existing ones.

Editor’s note: The remainder of this article was submitted by Todd Burkdoll, BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals Technical Specialist.

Every product used to manage a golf course is tested extensively before it ever gets to the maintenance building. But experienced superintendents know that products researched in other locations with different conditions may perform slightly differently on their course. To more completely understand a product’s performance on your course, do as the university experts do. Research it.

Do It Yourself (DIY) turf management research doesn’t need to be costly or complicated. Simple, scaled-down yet strategic techniques can assure you that you’re using the best tools to meet your course’s unique needs.

Common Research
Just about any golf course management technique or tool can be researched. Here is a short list of typical research subjects:

• Turf varieties – What grows best on your fairways, colonial bentgrass, creeping bentgrass or perennial ryegrass? Which variety of Kentucky bluegrass should you use in your roughs? Testing grass varieties side-by-side will help you learn what the top performers are on your course.

• Herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and plant growth regulators – Research can compare different products or one product with varying timing, rates or growing conditions.

• Fertilizers – What kind, when, where and how much?

• Cultural practices and equipment – Testing some of the many methods of aeration, top dressing, mowing, rolling and de-thatching should show you what works best for your course.

Data Collection Basics
Similar to turf test plots at universities, you should visibly mark trial areas. Extensive mowing schedules make it nearly impossible to come back to your on-course research area two or three days later and know where you applied a fungicide or tried a different setting on an aerator. Identifying plots with marking paint and routinely re-marking them so they can easily be found is crucial. It’s also important to keep a written map of all trials.

Another recommendation is to replicate research. Say for instance you want to evaluate Insignia® fungicide for summer patch control on fairway turf. Replicating the application two or three times allows you to evaluate the average of the results for a more accurate view of performance.

Always follow label instructions and use products during the same time period you would normally do so, especially for chemical products. The goal of DIY research is to learn how products work under your real-world conditions.

There are several things to consider when choosing where on your course to conduct research. First and foremost, consider what you’re studying and what the worst-case scenario might be. It may not be smart to test a new herbicide on a highly visible area of your course. Would you want to risk discoloring the Hole 18 fairway?

Choose areas representative of your course as a whole in order to fairly evaluate products. When testing fungicides or herbicides, it’s better to avoid areas with high or low disease or weed pressure. Utilizing an area that’s typical of your course will make positive results easier to replicate on a larger scale when you start using a product in earnest. Similarly, avoid areas that are topographically unique. If only one portion of your course is hilly, for example, you probably don’t want to do your testing there.

Research Partners
Don’t let the term “do-it-yourself” limit you. DIY research doesn’t have to be done without help. You have limited time and resources, and seemingly unlimited responsibilities so consider working with others – be it university researchers, manufacturing representatives or nearby superintendents. Partnering with others is a great way to continue learning and improve management techniques without being overwhelmed.

Working with university researchers can be particularly beneficial. Collaboration provides another set of trained eyes that can monitor results, provide recommendations and give insights into the latest turf management trends. It also gives university researchers a real-world venue to conduct studies. All the while it improves your course for golfers. Everybody wins.

Other Tips
• Conduct research on small plots. You don’t want to tie up a lot of the course with research plots.

• Communicate results. Post informal research results on your Web site or in your newsletter so members are aware of your efforts to improve the course.

• Beg, borrow and steal research ideas from nearby courses. Introduce yourself to other superintendents in your region and pick their brains about what they’re doing on their course. Chances are they’re doing something you should try.

• Invest in – and use – a decent digital camera. Before-and-after and side-by-side photos come in handy when evaluating research results. It’s also a great way to show off your work to your board of directors or Greens Committee.

Keep Improving
DIY research is an excellent way to make your course the best it can be without breaking the bank. It’s an efficient way to test new products, equipment and techniques so you know exactly what to expect when you incorporate them full-scale into your course management plan.



September 6, 2013

The Iowa State Turf Club members apply fertilizer and pesticides to the Reiman Garden Lawns each year.  Reiman Gardens is a beautiful  facility managed by the ISU foundation.  It is located just south of the football stadium on campus.

The late summer application of 18-0-3 fertilizer at a rate of 1 lb nitrogen/1000 sq ft was applied yesterday, Sept. 5.  It has been a rough year for lawns in Ames because of the drought.  While much of Reiman Gardens is irrigated, the parts that are not watered are under quite a bit of stress.  Hopefully, we will get some rain and cooler conditions soon.

Thanks again to Damian Richardson and the others from John Deere Landscapes #249 in Clive, Ia for donating the fertilizer to the club for this falls applications (see blog from August 2, 2013).  This is a fund raiser for the club and the money will be used to travel to the sports turf managers meetings in San Antonio and to the golf course show in Orlando early next year.

These donations make it possible for the club members to participate in the turf contests at these meetings.  Any other donations of fertilizer or pesticides would be greatly appreciated.




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 5, 2013

On June 26, I posted the two pictures below about what appeared to be a strange organism growing on urea pellets.  Several experts at Iowa State looked at the pictures and could not determine what the problem was.  Last week, we received a sample of the material.  To everyone's surprise, this was not an organism at all, but a formation of chemical crystals that appear to be biological but are in fact chemical in origin.  They are even green in color and look exactly like an organism.  We have no idea what conditions can lead to the formation of these crystals of this type on urea.  If anyone has any further insights, let me know.

Fertilizer Organisms



June 26, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a picture of coral fungus from a lawn in Iowa.  That prompted the following pictures from a reader of the blog.  This is a strange organism growing on urea pellets.  I had not anything like this before, so I sent it on to Melissa Irizarry at the Plant Disease lab.  Melissa decided that it is not a coral fungi, but was not sure what it was.  She sent to Leonor Leandro in plant pathology.  Leonor doesn't think that it is a fungi at all, but that it may be a bryophyte or maybe an unusual moss.  She sent it on to Jim Colbert, an expert in these types of organisms.  Jim says the following:

  1. They aren't coral fungi
  2. They could be lichens in the genus Leptogium, some of which look a bit like this (  when they're wet. Were these specimens wet?
  3. The specimen in the center of "fungi 2.jpg" looks very much like an acrocarpous moss.
  4. Fertilizer pellets would be a pretty unusual habitat for either of these types of organisms...

We are getting a sample to study in more detail.

Has anyone else out there seen this type of organism growing on urea (or any type of fertilizer) pellets?



Fertilizer Organisms



April 29, 2013

The Iowa State University turf club has had a busy week leading into the end of the semester.   On Thursday April 25, they applied preemergence herbicide and fertilizer to the university botanic garden, Reiman Garents.

They followed that up with a semester end golf tournament at Veenker Memorial Golf Course on ISU campus.

Nearly everyone will be leaving for a summer internship at the end of next week.  They will be back on campus the 3rd week of August.



January 25, 2013

The post below is from August 9 during the peak of the drought of 2012.  We applied some lawn care treatments to turf areas at the research station to see if there would be any damage from applying treatments to dormant turf.

It rained shortly after the treatments and we had recovery on all of our non-irrigated turf .  We saw no damage from applying these treatments to dormant turf.  In every case, we saw an improvement in the turf where we applied treatments during the drought in August.

iaTURF: FERTILIZING LAWNS DURING DROUGHT STRESS-2012: Nick Christians August 9, 2012 On Friday July 20, 2012, I put up a blog post about some 1988 work that we did with an Iowa lawn care...



August 15, 2012

Here is a post form Neric Smith, Landscape and Turfgrass Instructor at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa.  It is my first contact on white grubs for the season.  They generally begin to appear in early August and continue into October.  If anyone else is seeing them, send me some pictures.  I'm counting on less grubs this season because of the heat and the dry conditions, but I may be wrong.

Neric has a growing turf program at Indian Hills.  For those of you from that area that may be interested in his program, here is his contact information.

Neric D. Smith
Landscape and Turfgrass Instructor
Indian Hills Community College
525 Grandview Ave.
Ottumwa, IA 52501
Office Phone: 641-683-5194


From Neric:

The Heat is one thing to deal with, but add white grubs and things get worse.  Attached are pictures of grub damage found this week August 5th on a softball field here at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA.  It is a Kentucky bluegrass field that was treated on June 4th with a granular fertilizer and Merit insecticide.  The field does have plenty of thatch and the application was at the low rate of product.  It doesn’t take long with 100 plus temperatures(yesterday) for things to turn brown even with syringing.  Dylox will be applied and life will go on!  Just thought that I would share and see if anyone else was seeing white grub damage yet?