Epidemic in Turf Management: Herbicide Resistance in Annual Bluegrass

by Patricia McDaniels, University of Tennessee
Annual bluegrass is one of the most common weeds of turfgrass on golf courses, sports fields and sod farms, not to mention residential and commercial lawns. Unfortunately this nemesis of pristine landscapes has also developed resistance to many common herbicides. Researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture are participating in a national effort to address what many landscape managers call an epidemic of herbicide resistance in annual bluegrass plaguing managed turf systems.
As part of a $3.2 million, 15-state USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant, UTIA turfgrass researcher Jim Brosnan will lead a team of Tennessee weed scientists in sampling annual bluegrass populations across the state. The team will travel the state’s three grand divisions to take samples from golf courses, sports fields, both residential and commercial lawns, as well as sod production farms. The sampled specimens will then be propagated in a controlled laboratory setting and tested for resistance to commonly used herbicides. The goal is to quantify the scope of herbicide resistance in annual bluegrass populations across Tennessee. Additionally, Brosnan’s team will also be developing new diagnostic assays to detect herbicide resistance in annual bluegrass, researching annual bluegrass seed persistence in soil, as well as the effects of turfgrass cultural practices on annual bluegrass infestation.

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Be on the lookout for brown patch, large patch diseases this fall

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

Cases of the turfgrass disease commonly identified as brown patch — more likely large patch in most warm-season turfgrasses — have spiked during a cool September that broke rainfall records across parts of the state, according to specialists with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Large patch and brown patch are caused by different groups of Rhizoctonia solani, a fungal pathogen, said Dr. Becky Grubbs, AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist in College Station. The group associated with brown patch in cool-season grasses follows a different life cycle from the one responsible for large patch in Texas’ most common warm-season grasses, including St. Augustine and zoysiagrass.

Diagnosis by a certified nursery professional or turfgrass specialist is the best option for accuracy, Grubbs said. Continue reading

New turfgrass specialist begins at Texas A&M

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

Efficient varieties and informed management practices can help Texans make the most of turfgrasses’ natural human health and environmental benefits, said the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s new turfgrass specialist.

Dr. Lindsey Hoffman assumed her post at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas July 9. She said her public outreach initiatives will deliver holistic approaches for coaxing maximum benefit from turfgrass use. Continue reading

New newsletter has helpful tips to keep your lawn looking great

The Texas A&M AgriLife Texas Lawn Companion is a new newsletter with tips for homeowners, golf course administrators, school administrators and others who manage any type of turfgrass. In the first quarterly edition of the newsletter, editor Becky Grubbs includes articles on the following topics: Continue reading

MS/PhD assistantship available to work on bermudagrass mite

The turf and ornamentals entomology program at Clemson University is looking for a MS or PhD student to work on a project developing management approaches for bermudagrass mite in turfgrass system. A MS project will evaluate integrated cultural and chemical management approaches against bermudagrass mite, whereas a PhD project will include additional studies  to understand the life cycle and seasonal biology/pest status of bermudagrass mite. Most project activities will be conducted at Pee Dee Research and Education Center (in Florence, SC), and sod farms and golf courses along the coastal plains of SC. Continue reading

General tips for turfgrass health

These tips by a turf expert at Texas A&M AgriLife can be applicable to most states.

Article by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

Springtime is a good time to prepare lawns for a healthy summer as warm-season grasses come out of dormancy and begin to green up, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Continue reading

Getting the Best of Pests Webinar for January 17, 2018

Proper Pruning for Healthy and Beautiful Landscape Shrubs and Small TreesRick Smith, Pruning Guru, Inc. – Acworth, Georgia and Boxwood Blight: Identification and Management Strategies; Patrick Mawhinney, Prestige Shrub Tree & Turf – Atlanta, Georgia Continue reading

Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education Annual Research Symposium: Turf Trends for Changing Times

The turf industry is facing many challenges in terms of changes in climate, regulations, pest populations, technology. The objective of this symposium is to present and discuss what these challenges will be in the future and how the industry is positioning themselves to overcome them. Speakers have been chosen to represent a broad range of disciplines.

In the afternoon, research conducted by graduate students and post-docs associated with the Center for Environmental Research and Education at NCSU to address some of these issues will be presented. See the website for more information. Continue reading

Graduate Student Assistantship – University of Georgia

Position: The Department of Entomology at University of Georgia is looking for a Ph.D. student to study insect-plant interactions in the turfgrass system. This position provides an exciting research opportunity for hands-on experience in learning various integrated pest management (IPM) tactics such as host plant resistance, chemical and biological control in laboratory, greenhouse and field settings. The student will have access to all the research facilities in the campuses and experimental stations in Georgia.

Location: Griffin Campus Continue reading

How to maintain a thirsty lawn

The following recommendations were developed by Extension specialists at the University of Georgia. However, they are general enough to be relevant to every state on the East coast that is affected by the drought this summer. Click here for the original article, written by Mary Carol Sheffield.

Water correctly. In the absence of rainfall, established lawns need about 1 inch of water a week. Because the soil cannot absorb that much water at one time, which results in runoff, smaller volumes of water totaling 1 inch may need to be applied at separate times during the week. For example, two half-inch applications could be made three to four days apart. Continue reading