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The Importance of Understanding Product Labels: Reviewing Labels Improves Product Performance

March 23, 2010

The golf season will soon be getting underway as most golf courses in the state are preparing to open. The start of another season signifies the beginning of pest and disease pressure. Areas affected by gray snow mold should begin to recover as the grass begins to grow. Pressure from other mild weather diseases such as pink snow mold and cool-season brown patch will persist longer into the spring. As you prepare your plant protectants, be sure to revisit the product label as this information can change over time.

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

Product labels aren’t the type of reading material that you can snuggle up with—but they’re also not the kind you can ignore or just skim through before filing away.

Labels deserve routine attention beyond the one-time, quick read after purchase. However, it can be common practice to follow use recommendations from colleagues and distributors without analyzing the important details explained on the product’s label. But doing so can save money, prevent injury and help grow better turfgrass by ensuring product performance.

Most people using fungicides, herbicides and insecticides only ask themselves, “What product do I need to control the weed, insect or disease and what rate do I apply?” Rate information is essential, but labels provide a technical breakdown and need-to-know information prior to application. Here are five key areas to read on a label:

1. Mix Mindfully
The tank mixing section of a label lays out exactly how to combine a product with other additives. Glazing over these guidelines can create an un-usable compound, clog application equipment and reduce efficacy.

The basic rule of thumb—mix dry materials first, then add liquids—may not ring true for all products. One must be mindful of variances between generic and patented formulas and know that even though an active ingredient may be the same, its formula could require different a mixing order. So don’t rely on old standards—get up to speed on the label’s specifics before adding each product to the tank.

2. Follow Special Statements
Special statements on a label clearly communicate how to use a product for particular conditions. In uncontrolled climates, weather is an important variable to consider.

Be sure to make note of the rainfast or drying times mentioned in a special statement or you may lose your valuable pest control efforts to precipitation. Retain product effectiveness by making sure spray technicians are also in-the-know about circumstances included in the special statements section.

3. Get to Know Group Numbers
Group numbers help avoid the risk of disease resistance by identifying which fungicides, herbicides and insecticide products operate under the same mode of action. Usually included on the first page of a label, group numbers make it easy to organize products with different modes of action into a rotation program. For example, if you notice signs of resistance after using a fungicide in Group 1, try using a product with a different group number in the next application.

4. Acknowledge Agricultural Use Requirements
Agricultural and non-agricultural use requirements on product labels are important and vary depending on product use. A greenhouse or nursery employee, for instance, may use the same product as a turf professional, but has to abide by a completely different set of rules with regard to protective equipment and re-entry interval. Failing to read this section of a label could harm employees, turf or plants and the environment.

5. Follow restrictions and limitations
Carefully read the “general restrictions and limitations” section on your product labels. Knowing the “do not” statements list can mean the difference between having healthy turf and plants—or damaging an entire fairway or landscape bed with poor application practices. Brushing up on labels you haven’t read since last year can make all the difference.

General suggestions
Making a 10-15 minute investment in reading a label can save a lot of time and hassle compared with the fallout of misusing a product. Schedule a label date once a year where you can carefully re-familiarize yourself with old labels and dissect the details of new updated labels. The best place to obtain current labels is www.cdms.net.

Todd Burkdoll is a Technical Specialist in the Western U.S. for BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals. Todd can be reached at james.burkdoll@basf.com.

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Research Update: Velocity Herbicide

May 26, 2010

Velocity is a postemergence herbicide from Valent Professional Products that is labeled for selective postemergence control of annual bluegrass and rough bluegrass in fairway height creeping bentgrass and perennial ryegrass. Velocity also controls certain broadleaf weeds and provides suppression of dollar spot in creeping bentgrass.

The product label describes three different protocols for converting turf areas: a slow, rapid, or transitional conversion program. The slow and transitional conversion programs are recommended for areas of turf heavily infested with annual bluegrass/rough bluegrass and utilize lower application rates. The rapid conversion program is recommended for areas of turf with light or moderate infestations of annual bluegrass/rough bluegrass and utilizes higher application rates.

I had some Velocity plots setup at Hyperion Field Club this past summer that yielded very positive results. The plots were located on a practice putting green heavily infested with annual bluegrass. I made four applications of Velocity on 14-day intervals starting the beginning of June and concluding the middle of July at 2 oz/A. A fifth and final applications was made on October 1 at the same rate. This spray regime closely follows the protocol of the transitional conversion program.

Velocity does tend to yellow the turf even after one application. The color differences are even more noticeable in this study because of the untreated plots being directly adjacent to the treated plots. Velocity can be tank mixed with a chelated iron product to lessen the discoloration.

Late in the fall just before winter arrived, the plots that had received the Velocity applications were noticeably lighter green in color compared with the other plots. This could have indicated the beginning of the transition from a mixed stand of annual bluegrass/creeping bentgrass to solid stand of creeping bentgrass.

Early in the spring as the plots began to green-up the differences in the amount of annual bluegrass between the treatments were striking. The majority of annual bluegrass had been removed from the plots treated with Velocity. Based upon visual inspection, the control plots had approximately 60% annual bluegrass. We estimated the coverage of annual bluegrass in the plots receiving Velocity had been reduced to around 20%.

This study is entering its second year and will be conducted again this year to see if the results can be duplicated. More information about Velocity herbicide, including product research and additional literature, can be found by visiting the Valent website.

Marcus Jones
Graduate Research Assistant

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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.

Location
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.

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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.

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Fall is in the Air

September 20, 2010

A change of seasons is upon us.  The leaves are beginning to drop from some trees and the day lengths are getting noticeably shorter.  September has brought with it cooler day and nighttime temperatures and average 4-inch soil temperatures even dipped into the high 50’s yesterday.  These favorable environmental conditions have allowed existing turf the chance to recover and newly sown seed the opportunity to germinate and begin to cover.

The fall is also a great time to clean up unwanted creeping bentgrass.  Because of all the rainfall and submerged conditions we experienced during the summer months, creeping bentgrass had an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage and may have spread into areas where it wasn’t present before.  Luckily, creeping bentgrass can be controlled with Tenacity herbicide.

Tenacity is a systemic herbicide with pre- and post-emergence activity on many grass and broadleaf weeds.  Tenacity is also capable of selectively removing creeping bentgrass from Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall and fine fescue.  Multiple applications of Tenacity are required for complete control of creeping bentgrass.  

Tenacity works by inhibiting HPPD enzymes which aid in the synthesis of carotenoids.  Carotenoids help to protect the plant from excess light energy received from the sun.  Without these protective carotenoids, the excess energy causes new growth to turn "bleach" or turn white and eventually kills susceptible plants.

I have done quite a bit of work with Tenacity.  Below are some pictures from my research and from golf courses who have used the product. 

Plot of turf adjacent to a creeping bentgrass putting green after recieveing one application of Tenacity herbicide.  The bentgrass (susceptible) turns white, while the Kentucky bluegrass remains unaffected.
Here, Tenacity was applied to an intermediate cut of Kentucky bluegrass to clean up creeping bentgrass that had invaded from the fairway.  Bleaching of the bentgrass appears after just 1 application.
Applying tenacity next to monostands of creeping bentgrass needs to be done with caution.  Here, spray drift from the adjacent treated turf caused bleaching symptoms on a creeping bentgrass green.  Bentgrass will not be completely controlled after one application but the "bleaching" symptoms can be unsightly in the wrong spot.
Multiple applications of Tenacity are needed for complete control of bentgrass.  Here, three applications have killed the majority of creeping bentgrass in a stand of Kentucky bluegrass. 

 

For more information about Tenacity herbicide and its various uses visit the Syngenta Tenacity page.

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Herbicide Tolerant Turfgrasses: Where are we now?

May 25, 2011
Roundup Ready creeping bentgrass trial conducted at Iowa State University in 2004.  The border roads were conventional bentgrass and were killed by glyphosate while the Roundup Ready turf plots remained unharmed.

Editors note: This is the first part of a series of articles that will review the history of roundup ready turfgrass and the current state of herbicide tolerant turfgrasses.

Do you remember when the topic of herbicide tolerant turfgrasses was all the rave? After all, it’s been since the mid ‘90’s since the development of Roundup Ready creeping bentgrass (RRCB) began. Heck, it’s been almost 10 years since we conducted our first RRCB trials here at ISU.

The Regulatory Process
Many of the studies at ISU were conducted as part of an intensive evaluation process known as an environmental impact statement (EIS). The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is the branch of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsible for evaluating plant biotechnology products to evaluate their plant-pest potential. At the time RRCB was being developed it was the first perennial biotech plant to be reviewed by APHIS.

The environmental impact statement conducted on RRCB included projects that investigated seed germination studies, competition studies, flowering and pollen studies, morphological studies, and nutrient studies. The results of these projects showed that RRCB possesses essentially the same characteristics as conventional creeping bentgrass. Despite these findings, RRCB has faced opposition by groups not wanting to see it registered for release.

The groups in opposition to RRCB generally focus on three major concerns. The first concern is that the herbicide resistant gene will grant the plant a competitive advantage and enable the plant to migrate into areas where it is not wanted. The second concern is that the introduced gene may spread from creeping bentgrass to other closely related species through pollen transfer, therefore making them resistant to glyphosate. The third concern involves the development of resistance in weed populations.

Alfalfa to the Rescue?
Currently RRCB is still awaiting approval by the APHIS and there appears to be no end in sight. However, a recent ruling by the USDA concerning roundup ready alfalfa could provide a glimmer of hope. How could a ruling concerning alfalfa help RRCB? All of the Roundup Ready crops currently on the market are annuals (corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beet, cotton and wheat). Alfalfa is a perennial crop just like creeping bentgrass and many of the concerns raised with RRCB also exist with Roundup Ready alfalfa. The deregulation of Roundup Ready alfalfa was a long process that was eventually settled in the courts.

Roundup Ready alfalfa was originally deregulated by APHIS in 2005. Shortly after this decision, a lawsuit was filed and in 2007 a court issued an injunction prohibiting the sale of Roundup Ready alfalfa and the genetically engineered alfalfa lines returned to regulated status. Then in 2008 the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, CA upheld the 2007 court decision to halt the selling and planting genetically engineered alfalfa until an EIS could be completed. The EIS was completed in December of 2010 and earlier this year APHIS announced its decision to grant non-regulated status for Roundup Ready alfalfa.

What Now?
Traditional breeding practices have greatly advanced the quality and performance of turfgrass species primarily by improving the color, texture, density, and architecture of the plant. The next generation of traits likely to be targeted for improvement includes herbicide, insect and disease resistance along with increased salt tolerance. While these traits would be difficult to develop using traditional breeding methods, they are likely possible using biotechnology.  The roadblock to their release is deregulation from APHIS. There is no doubt that Roundup Resistant turfgrasses would give turfgrass practitioners their most potent weapon against annual bluegrass and could result in reduced chemical loads if used properly. The possibilities could truly be endless…but until deregulation becomes a reality we wonder, and wait.

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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

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When do I apply my Crabgrass Preventer?

April 23, 2014

A key to the successful control of annual grasses (such as crabgrass) in established turf is the correct application timing of preemergence herbicides. Preemergence herbicides should be applied by May 1st in central Iowa. Dr. Christians has noticed that this date does not vary much from year to year, after monitoring germination dates for the last 34 years.

 

 

In addition to timing: application uniformity, using recommended product rates, and the requirement of (1/2 inch) irrigation within 3-5 days of application can play a vital role in crabgrass control. 

Several products are available for effective annual grass emergence control. These products vary slightly in mode of action, length of control, specific weed efficacy, desired turfgrass seed inhibition, and early postemergence control. Benefin, benefin + trifluralin,bensulide, oxadiazon, siduron, pendimethalin, mesotrione, prodiamine, isoxaben, and dithiopyr are preemergence products available in the market today. 

Please note that some products are not labeled for certain turfgrass species. For example, oxadiazon is not recommended for use in fine fescue; however, oxadiazon provides   excellent goosegrass control in Kentucky bluegrass. Always read thoroughly and follow the label directions. Remember, the label is the law.

Dithiopyr and prodiamine have the longest window of effectiveness and can control weeds for up to 16 weeks. Dithiopyr and mesotrione offer early postemergence control when applications are made following weed emergence. Siduron and mesotrione have a unique property that allows herbicide application to seeded areas. Siduron selectively controls weedy annual grasses such as crabgrass, foxtail, and barnyardgrass, while allowing the desired turfgrasses to grow.  Mesotrione is only labeled for preemergent use on newly seeded Kentucky bluegrass lawns. All of the other preemergent herbicides kill the seeds of the cool-season grasses and cannot be used at the time of seeding.

Fertilizer-herbicide combinations are sold at most retail stores. This allows homeowners to combine the two operations into one application. A disadvantage of the combination is that the proper time for weed control often does not coincide with the optimum time to fertilize. Combinations with preemergence herbicides are generally effective in controlling annual grass weeds as long as applications are made at the appropriate time and recommended amount.

In addition to annual grassy weeds, a spring application of a preemergence herbicide will control annual broadleaf weeds, such as prostrate knotweed and spurge. A second application at a reduced rate may be necessary for season-long control.

Paying attention to herbicide timing, application uniformity, product and rate, and ensuring (1/2 inch) irrigation within 3-5 days of application will help prevent annual grass (crabgrass) invasion. Below you will see two pictures of crabgrass in an early leaf-stages.

The last picture is a general guide of preemergence application dates via Quali-Pro's Prodiamine label:

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Name That Patch – Early Spring Brown Spots

March 28, 2011

Parts of the Midwest are getting hit with another round of snow but there is no denying that spring continues to inch closer by the day. In fact, before this last blast of winter weather, spring activities were slowly getting underway. Trees were beginning to break dormancy, bulbs were peaking through the soil, and lawns were starting to green up.

This process has already started across parts of the Midwest and some of you may have noticed patches, or areas of brown in your lawn. It’s typical to receive a number of questions from your clients about the cause of these brown spots during spring green-up. There are a number of reasons why these patches can appear and this article will address some of the most common reasons and discuss what action, if any, is needed to remedy the situation.

Dormant warm-season grasses
Most lawns in the upper Midwest contain cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall and fine fescues. Occasionally lawns, or parts of the lawn, will contain warm-season grass species. Examples of these could include zoysiagrass, buffalograss, or nimblewill. Whereas cool-season grasses grow best in the spring and fall, warm-season grasses prefer the mid-summer months and will remain dormant (brown) longer into the spring until warmer temperatures arrive.

If zoysiagrass or buffalograss are the cause of your brown spot there isn’t much you can do other than exercise patience until warmer weather arrives. Nimblewill can be selectively controlled with Tenacity herbicide. Tenacity herbicide will be made available to homeowners later this spring. Consult a lawn care professional for more information about Tenacity herbicide.
 

Dormant patches of nimblewill are very noticeable early in the spring.  Nimblewill can be selectively controlled with Tenacity herbicide.  Consult with a lawn care professional about the availability and use of Tenacity herbicide.

 

Warm-season grasses such as buffalograss are still brown while cool-season grasses such a fine fescues begin to green-up.

Leftover annual grassy weeds
Annual weeds such as crabgrass are always a concern and last year they seemed to be particularly troublesome. In lawns that had severe outbreaks, some of these annual grassy weeds may still be present. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about controlling leftover annual weeds. They have completed their lifecycle and are no longer alive. They did however drop seed and you may consider using a pre-emergence herbicide for the upcoming season.

 

Goosegrass, an annual grassy weed, is still present from the previous growing season. 

Snow molds
Damage from pink and gray snow mold is most evident shortly after the snow melts. The grass will usually appear off-color and be matted down. Chemical applications to control snow molds in the spring are seldom recommended as most of the damage has already taken place. You can help your lawn by raking up the matted areas of grass with a leaf rake. Chances are there is some live turf hiding underneath. The picture below shows an area of gray snow mold on the Iowa State University central campus.

 

Gray snow mold on the Iowa State University campus. 

Dog spots
Damage from animal urine will definitely create brown spots in the lawn. Where you can usually count on some recovery from snow mold damage, dog spots are very effective at killing grass. The best course of action is to remove the dead grass, break up the soil with a hand trowel or rake and re-seed the area. Note: Seed will not germinate and grow if a pre-emergence herbicide is to be used. The exception to this rule is when Tenacity or Siduron herbicides are used. Consult with a lawn care professional for more information about these products.

 

Man's best friend.  Undoubtedly charming, but damaging to grasses.

Salt damage
De-icing materials that contain sodium can be quite harmful to turf. Brown patches or areas of turf along driveways, sidewalks, or streets could be caused from salt damage. Depending on the severity of damage, reseeding may be necessary. Aerification and watering (or rainfall) can help flush salts through the soil profile and improve the conditions of the site.

Marcus Jones
Graduate Research Assistant

Nick Dunlap
Undergraduate Research Assistant

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BERMUDAGRASS CONTROL IN COOL-SEASON TURF.

June 24, 2013

Here is some information from former graduate student, Nick Dunlap, on some work he is doing with bermudagrass control in ryegrass in Virginia. 

From Nick Dunlap:
The images show the effect of topramezone on bermudagrass in bentgrass and ryegrass 4 days after treatment.  Bleaching typical of HPPD inhibitors is easily seen on the bermudagrass.  Topramezone was applied at 0.25 oz/acre and 0.75 oz/acre on bentgrass fairways and ryegrass shortcut, respectively.  Both applications were applied through a carrier volume of 2 gal/acre.

Nick has been having pretty good luck turning the bermudagrass white, he will keep us posted about control. 

I did some checking on this new product labeled as Pylex from BASF.  Here is what I found at http://betterturf.basf.us/products/pylex-herbicide.html.
 
Pylex™ herbicide is the standard for the control of Bermudagrass and goosegrass in cool-season turf, providing unmatched performance on these difficult-to-eliminate weeds. It has also shown excellent control of nimblewill, crabgrass, clover, speedwell, and others. Pylex™ herbicide should always be used with a crop oil concentrate (COC) to improve herbicide coverage, resulting in improved weed control.
 

Pylex™ herbicide has shown it is safe to most cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass.  It has shown varied tolerance on bentgrass (moderate to severe injury) and annual bluegrass (minimal to moderate injury) at labeled use rates. Warm-season turfgrass is sensitive to Pylex herbicide, with the exception of centipedegrass, which is tolerant.

The web indicates that it should be available by mid-June.

 

 

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