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MTGF Clippings




The mission of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation is to promote the green industry in Minnesota through support of research, education and outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere.


minnesota turf and grounds foundation



PRESIDENT’S REPORT The Business of Your Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Executive Committee President Susie Johnson Gertens Wholesale

By SUSIE JOHNSON President Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation

Vice President Paul Griffin City of Woodbury Treasurer Steve Balfany Balfany Farms Secretary Dr. Brian Horgan University of Minnesota Ex-Officio David Oberle Excel Turf & Ornamental

The mission of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation is to promote the green industry of Minnesota through support and outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere. I can tell you that our goal is always to look at the best interest of all of the allied associations and provide them with as much research as we can.


MTGF/UM had a successful Grounds Day on August 7. The tracks were well attended and moved quickly. Comments throughout the day were all very positive and everyone felt it had great value.

UM Representative Sam Bauer University of Minnesota MTSC Brent Benike Northern Excellence Seed MAC Kari Bradshaw Minnesota Association of Cemeteries MPSTMA Joe Churchill Reinders, Inc. MASMS Tracy Closson Northfield Schools ISD #659 MSA Kent Honl Rainbow Treecare MSA Manuel Jordan Heritage Shade Tree Consultants MAC Dave Kemp The Catholic Cemeteries MTA Bryan Lawrence Rocket Turf & Nursery MTSC Richard Magnusson Magnusson Farms MGCSA Mike Manthey Midland Hills Country Club UM Representative Dr. Angela Orshinsky University of Minnesota MAC Ralph Pierre Union Cemetery MASMS Tom Redmann Anoka Hennepin ISD #11

This task could never be done without help from the University of Minnesota staff: Brian Horgan, Maggie Reiter, Pamela Rice, Chad Giblin, Garett Heineck, Vera Krischik, Eric Watkins, Matthew Cavanaugh, Madeline Leslie, Jeffrey Hahn, Angela Orshinsky, Garrett Beier, Marla Spivak and Sam Bauer to name a few. I'm always amazed by the talent that we have right here in our backyard. Upcoming MTGF educational opportunities include a Nov. 21 Pesticide Applicators Recertification Session at TIES Conference Center in St. Paul and the 2015 MTGF Super Tuesday on Jan. 13 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The MTGF Board discussed "Pollinators" as the theme. It is our goal that you BEE AWARE of all information that is presented to you on that day. Please spread the word to all of your colleagues to attend on January 13. I can not help but mention in my closing statement how our good friend Mark Stennes will be missed. Mark left us on July 22 after complications with liver cancer. I remember reading Mark's obituary and giggling at one point. The comment was that Mark was ‘passionate about trees’ -- that's an understatement! Mark was the MOST passionate individual I have every met. He would lobby for dollars and research whenever he could. The MSA and the MTGF were so fortunate to have Mark as their ally. Sincerely,

Susie Johnson

Susie Johnson President Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation

MGCSA Jake Schmitz Olympic Hills Golf Club MTGF BUSINESS OFFICE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Jeff Turtinen 952-473-3722 MTGF OFFICE P. O. Box 617 Wayzata, MN 55391 2 MTGF CLIPPINGS ~ FALL / WINTER 2014

The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation, a non-profit organization, is a partnership of seven turf- and grounds-related associations and the University of Minnesota. Members of the following associations are also considered members of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation. 4 4 4 4

Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota

Society of Arboriculture Association of Cemeteries Park & Sports Turf Managers Association Educational Facilities Management Professionals

4 Minnesota Sod Producers 4 Minnesota Turf Seed Council 4 Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association


Field Day Attracts 202 to TROE Center and UFORE Nursery On August 7, University of Minnesota researchers with support from the MTGF held a turf and grounds field day at TROE Center and UFORE Nursery on the UMN St. Paul campus. More than 200 people participated in this event including 22 sponsors. Field Day Highlights 4National Turfgrass Evaluation Trials and breeding of several turfgrass species 4Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease updates 4Improving the winter hardiness of perennial ryegrass 4Evaluation of turf management products for disease suppression, increased turf quality and stress tolerance 4Wetting agent influence on surface firmness and winter injury of putting greens 4Current insect and disease issues associated with horticultural plants 4Using growing degree days to schedule trinexapac-ethyl applications on creeping bentgrass putting greens: new knowledge 4Fine fescue species characteristics regarding divot recovery/response to traffic 4Fertilizer and turfgrass species effects on microbial populations in the soil 4Bee Lawns: new species options for lawns to improve pollinator habitat 4Pesticide runoff from fairways 4Turfgrass species drought evaluations The UMN researchers’ abstracts can be found in the following pages of this issue of MTGF CLIPPINGS. The MTGF thanks the following sponsors for supporting Field Day: Hunter; John Deere Landscapes; Herc-ULift; Twin City Seed Company; TerraMax; CycleWorks Golf Supply; Greenlife Supply; Ramy Turf Products; Healthy Ponds by Bioverse; JRK Seed; Gertens Wholesale; Turfwerks; Jokela Power Equipment; Scharber & Sons, Inc./John Deere; Hirshfield’s; Winfield; Kromer Co.; BMSI; Anoka Technical College; Minnesota State Horticultural Society; Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), Northern Green Expo and the MTGF.

Dr. Eric Watkins, right, addresses a group of green industry professionals at the MTGF / UMN Field Day on August 7 at TROE Center and UFORE Nursery.


JANUARY 13, 2015 BEE AWARE: The Importance of Pollinators In the Landscape

Topics include: Pollinator Friendly Plants; Turf that can Support Flowers and Mowing for Pollinators; Fruit Grower Issues; UM Bee Squad / Hives; Experts from Rainbow Treecare and Davey Tree along with perspectives from National Speakers. Of interest to: Master Gardeners, Garden Centers, Homeowner Associations, Fruit and Orchard Owners, Honey Producers and all MTGF Allied Associations Go to & watch your email inbox for more info! FALL / WINTER 2014 ~ MTGF CLIPPINGS 3

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Memorial Rock Elm Planted Honoring the Mark Stennes Extension Nursery (UFORE). This new memorial garden, designed and managed by Department of Forest Resources students, staff and faculty, will also house a time capsule and new landscape to showcase the rock elm and highlight Mark's lifelong commitment to Minnesota's trees. The memorial tree was propagated

from a large rock elm in Mark's backyard, which originated as a seedling collected by Mark himself in 1983 from Beltrami County. As this tree grows it will become part of the UMN Elm Selection Program and will be screened for Dutch elm disease tolerance and evaluated for commercial release. - Chad Giblin

Photos by Ken Holman, Minnesota DNR Forestry

On August 21st at the University of Minnesota, friends and colleagues joined to honor and remember Mark Stennes, a long-time arborist, plant pathologist and a fixture on the MTGF Board of Directors. A small rock elm - Mark's favorite - was planted in a permanent location at the Urban Forestry, Outreach, Research and

Chris LeConte

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Angela Orshinsky

Brian Horgan Ma Mary Meyer M

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Sam B Bauer Gary Johnson

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Wetting Agent Influence on Surface Firmness and Winter Injury of Putting Greens SAM BAUER Extension Educator-Turfgrass Science University of Minnesota Wetting agents are commonly used in the turfgrass industry to improve soil moisture distribution, water retention and infiltration. Research conducted on wetting agents has mainly focused on differences in volumetric water content and turfgrass quality related to wetting agent applications. In recent years, golf course superintendents have used wetting agents as tools for both increasing surface firmness of putting greens and reducing potential damage related to winter injury; this study investigates both of these factors. Materials and Methods: Treatments were initiated at the Turfgrass Research, Outreach, and Education Center (St. Paul, MN) in early June 2014 with monthly applications of thirteen different wetting agent products or combinations of products and an untreated control in four replications (Table 1) on ‘Alpha’ creeping bentgrass maintained at a 0.125 inch height of cut. The putting green was initially constructed to USGA specifications with a 88:12 mixture of sand:peat. Treatments were applied in a water volume of 2 gallons per 1000ft2 and irrigated with approximately 0.5 inches of water immediately following application. Supplemental irrigation was applied to plots at the sign of stress. Measurements taken on a weekly basis included: turfgrass quality (1-9 scale), chlorophyll index (Spectrum CM1000), volumetric water content (Spectrum TDR 300), firmness (Lafayette Instruments 0.5 kg clegg hammer). Winter injury will also be assessed in the spring of 2015 following a late-fall application. Results: To date there have been eleven weekly ratings. While no statistical differences have been present in any of the data, some trends have been observed.

Firmness: On 5 out of 11 ratings dates, Revolution had softest average for surface firmness and the softest combined average throughout the study. The Cascade Plus treatments were the firmest on average. None of these differences were significant. Volumetric water content: TDR measurements varied from 8% to 25% depending on rating date and treatment type. While no statistical differences were observed in any of this data, Cascade Plus treated plots had the lowest volumetric water content on 10 out of 11 rating dates. Primer Select had the highest volumetric water content on 7 out of 11 rating dates. Turfgrass quality and chlorophyll index: No statistical differences were observed, although quality and color appeared to be related to the moisture status of each treatment; those treatments that held more water received higher color and quality ratings in general. Discussion: Wetting agents are tools that have the ability to reduce the hydrophobic nature of soils and improve the movement of water through saturated soils, creating a more consistent wetting of putting green rootzones. It can be difficult to detect differences in wetting agent treatments on uniform rootzones that are not hydrophobic and/or poorly draining. This is most likely the reason for a lack of significance in the data. We will continue to investigate the use of these products for improving surface firmness and reducing winter injury by replicating treatments on golf courses throughout the Twin Cities region. We will be continuing this current study with a final application in late-October. In the spring of 2015 we will investigate winter performance and recovery of the treated plots.



Rate (oz/1000ft2)

Wetting Agent Type


Aquiflo Aquicare Cascade Plus Duplex Cascade Plus/Duplex Fleet Revolution Primer Select Sixteen90/Dispatch Sprayable Sixteen90 Dispatch Spraybale Tournament Ready Tricure AD Untreated

4 3 4 1 4/1 8 6 4 4/1 4 4 Initial 8, 4 2 N/A

Infiltration Retention Infiltration/Retention Infiltration Infiltration/Retention Infiltration Retention Retention Infiltration/Retention Retention Infiltration Infiltration Retention N/A

Winfield Winfield Precision Precision Precision Harrell’s Aquatrols Aquatrols Aquatrols Aquatrols Aquatrols Kalo Mitchell N/A



Drought Trials MAGGIE REITER Graduate Research Assistant Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota Our worldwide water resources are declining at an alarming rate, both in quantity and quality. Because of this, legislation has been enacted to restrict our water use and the cost of water is increasing. In addition, global climate change assessments predict that our drought events will continue to increase in both frequency and magnitude. We must manage our turfgrass in a way that maintains performance and playability in order to cope with these trends of reduced water availability. We have several field trials in Saint Paul evaluating turfgrass species and cultivars under acute drought. The trials are located under a rainout shelter. The rainout shelter is a state-of-the-art device that allows us to withhold precipitation and impose an experimentally controlled drought on the research area. Our shelter is an automated structure that will move to cover the test area during a rainfall

event and remains off the area during fair weather. The entire apparatus can be moved with a signal from a control box onsite, a cellular text message, or a rain sensor located on top of the shelter. Data is collected before, during, and after the 60-day drought period. Before the drought begins, the entire area is irrigated to uniformly wet the soil. For the next 60 days, the turf plots receive no water from irrigation or precipitation. After the drought, the area is irrigated with 1 inch of water per week and recovery data is collected for 45 days. Data collected through the entire experiment includes visual ratings of turfgrass quality, digital images for color analysis, and chlorophyll index readings to quantify plant tissue health. All plots are mowed at 2.75 inches. Turf species have different responses to drought. Tall fescue is drought avoidant and can withstand the drought conditions well due to a deep root system. Fine fes-

cues maintain adequate quality through the drought conditions because of an overall lower water requirement. The fine fescues have a small leaf area and slower growth rate, so the plant needs less water than other species. Kentucky bluegrass has a moderate drought tolerance. This grass turns brown and dormant but will recover with irrigation. Perennial ryegrass has a poor drought tolerance and usually dies under a 60-day drought period. Furthermore, there is some variation among cultivars within a turfgrass species. Future research with our shelter includes evaluating different management practices to withstand drought, looking at drought tolerance of other species and varieties, and assessing drought performance of shorter-cut turfgrass. Once we can identify the best grasses and management practices to endure acute drought, we can employ these systems to reduce water use and foster a durable turfgrass stand.

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The Effectiveness of a Video Intervention in Changing the Lawn Maintenance Behavior of Homeowners in the Twin Cities Metro Area MADELINE LESLIE Graduate Research Assistant Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

The management of private property in urban areas can greatly influence the levels of pollution that exist in nearby bodies of water. Nutrients contained in fertilizer and soil reduce the recreational and environmental quality of local lakes and rivers by fueling large algae blooms and creating eutrophic conditions that are detrimental to aquatic life. Turfgrass is a prominent component of privately managed landscapes, and as such can play a major role in whether or not water bodies remain polluted or improve over time. Previous research has indicated that members of the public often do not understand the path that water can travel when it leaves their property and the environmental consequences of excess nutrients reaching a lake or river. To assess whether or nor possessing this type of knowledge influences the lawn maintenance behavior of individuals this study will conduct two surveys of homeowners in the Twin Cities Metro area. The first survey has recently been completed and the second survey is currently underway. A total of 359 respondents completed the initial survey, which asked individuals to provide information about the frequency of lawn maintenance activities, their perception of the pathways water travels after leaving their yard, how their activities affect the community they live in, and demographic information. In addition, respondents watched a four-minute educational video that first described nutrient pollution issues in the Twin Cities, explained how lawns can contribute to these issues, and finally provided five tips on how homeowners can alter their lawn maintenance behavior to reduce local water pollution. The second survey has been sent to respondents three weeks after the completion date of the initial survey, and simply asks whether or not the individual did the specific maintenance activities addressed in the video during the previous three weeks. These responses will be compared to the answers in the first survey to assess whether or not a change in behavior has occurred. While data from this study has not yet been analyzed, it is hoped that the results will be able to show whether or not a short online video intervention is an effective educational tool to use when trying to create a change in behavior. It is possible that positive results will only be seen in a certain subsection of the population; however this will still be useful information, as educational efforts frequently consist of many avenues of communication. In the future, the results of these surveys will be used to direct outreach and extension campaigns regarding the development of news species of fine fescue grasses for use in low-input turf situations, as well as other horticultural education. 8 MTGF CLIPPINGS ~ FALL / WINTER 2014


Emerald Ash Borer By GARY JOHNSON Professor, University of Minnesota ERIC NORTH Research Fellow University of Minnesota The UM-Department of Forest Resources Gary Johnson and Eric North, provided information on the establishment of EAB in the Twin Cities Metro, where EAB has been currently identified, and the efficacy of treatments. The presentation also touched on the range of management tactics. Included, as part of the management tactics, was a suitable list of tree species to aid urban forest managers in replanting and diversifying their forests in the face of losing many of the native ash trees.

Pollinators KARL FOORD Extension Educator-Horticulture, University of Minnesota Pollinators are a critical part of our food system and are a keystone species in natural ecosystems. Our commercial pollinator, the honeybee, and native pollinators are both facing crises. There are unsustainable winter losses in honeybee culture, and we are observing the loss of native pollinators, especially certain species of bumblebees. Some scientists believe that the loss of bumble bee species constitutes an early warning that there are serious issues in our ecosystem; the analogy being to that of a canary in a coal mine. One of the critical components of the problem is habitat destruction and accompanying loss of forage for all pollinators. Human “progress” involves the loss of natural areas to farmland and urban housing. In rural areas we humans have created bee deserts with our large monocultures of wind pollinated grains. In our urban areas the majority of the land surface consists of paved surfaces, homes and landscapes dominated by high maintenance turf species, and often low maintenance foundation plantings of either non-flowering species or species whose flowers are poor forage resources for pollinators. These urban areas provide meagre resources for pollinators and again are deserts from the pollinator’s perspective. It is unlikely that we will be able to stop human “progress.” However we can ameliorate the situation by modifying, where appropriate, our high maintenance turf to low maintenance species that incorporate other flowering plants creating a “bee lawn.” We can also aid pollinators by planting flowers attractive to pollinators and by understanding the nesting characteristics of our native bees and providing suitable nesting areas. Attendees are encouraged to learn more about those plants that are attractive to pollinators and to encourage their customers to consider planting these species. Attendees are also encouraged to learn more about the 300-400 species of bees native to Minnesota and how such diversity contributes to the stability of our ecosystem. A stable ecosystem is vital to our own survival.


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Evaluating Growing-Degree-Day Models for Scheduling of Trinexapac-Ethyl Applications SAM BAUER Extension Educator - Turfgrass Science University of Minnesota Introduction: Plant growth regulator use on golf courses has steadily increased over the past two decades. During this time, researchers and superintendents have constantly been looking for ways to improve the application strategies for these products. Trinexapac-ethyl (TE) is a commonly applied gibberellic acid synthesis inhibitor which is used for growth suppression, turfgrass quality, and density improvement. Recent research has demonstrated that the metabolism of TE occurs at a faster rate as temperatures increase in the summer months. For this reason, growing-degree-day (GDD) models have been used to schedule TE applications in an effort to maintain consistent suppression of putting greens. The current model being used by many golf course superintendents is based on 200 GDD (base 0° C) and was developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. These researchers did not find a difference in suppression by increasing the application rate from 0.125oz to 0.25oz (Primo Maxx) per 1000ft2, suggesting that application rates may be too high. This study attempts to validate the 200 GDD model for the 0.125oz application and investigate the differences in rate affect by applying rates below 0.125oz. Materials and Methods: Treatments were initiated in May of 2013 on ‘L-93’ creeping bentgrass at the Turfgrass Research, Outreach, and Education Center in St. Paul, MN. Year 1 of this study looked at applications to both native soil and USGA specified putting greens. In year 2, treatments were only carried out on the USGA specified rootzone. Treatments were applied in a water volume of 1gal per 1000ft2 at rates of 0.031, 0.063, 0.094, and 0.125 oz per 1000ft2 Primo Maxx (Syngenta) applied at four week intervals. Additionally, a 0.125 oz per 1000ft2 rate of Primo Maxx was applied on a 200 GDD application schedule. Clippings were collected from individual plots three times per week with a Toro 800 walking greens mower. Mowing height was set at 0.125 inches and the entire study area was mowed six times per 10 MTGF CLIPPINGS ~ FALL / WINTER 2014

week. Following clipping collection, clippings were dried at 95° F for 48 hours, cleaned of sand and weighed. Data collection also included turfgrass quality and chlorophyll index measurements. Plots received a general maintenance application of ammonium sulfate applied at 0.10 lb nitrogen per 1000ft2 weekly. Results: Results from both year 1 and 2 of this study demonstrate approximately 20 percent suppression from the 0.125oz rate of Primo Maxx. By reducing this rate, a corresponding drop in the level of suppression was observed; lowest rates provided the least amount of suppression. However, the duration of suppression was similar across all rates applied. We observed release from TE applications at between 350 and 450 GDD. This release was followed by a rebound phase in which the TE treated plots grew at a faster rate than the untreated control. This is one of the main reasons why it is desirable to schedule TE applications using the GDD model. The initial response from TE was observed at approximately 100 GDD. The 200 GDD treatment of TE at 0.125oz provided consistent suppression at around 20 percent less growth than the untreated control. Turfgrass quality and chlorophyll index were statistically significant on many rating dates. Initial applications of TE showed a slight reduction in quality when compared to the untreated control. As TE applications became consistent, the 200 GDD treated plots produced the greatest turfgrass quality and chlorophyll index. Discussion: This research validates the 200 GDD model as a good strategy to maintain consistent suppression of creeping bentgrass grown on putting greens. Initially we proposed the idea of using higher rates in the summer months when metabolism occurs at a greater rate, however it appears that increasing the rate will have little effect on the duration of suppression. Higher rates of TE produced a greater level of suppression, but all rates (at or below label recommendations) release from suppression as a certain level of GDD are accumulated; in this study that was approximately 350 to 450 GDD.

Based on this, the current 200 GDD model appears to be conservative or “safe”, meaning that release from TE will not occur within 200 GDD. A more extensive analysis of the data is required to determine if it is reasonable to increase the GDD model for MN to 250 or 300 GDD.


Turfgrass Rhizosphere By CLEMON DABNEY Graduate Research Assistant University of Minnesota Literature on the rhizosphere community structure of cool season turfgrass is limited. The present study looks at five different species of cool season turfgrass; the species of study were kentucky bluegrass, junegrass, hard fescue, tufted hairgrass and colonial bentgrass. Thus the study investigates the differences in the microbes that inhabit the rhizospheres between different species of turfgrass. This study also looked at two different fertility treatments. One treatment was no additional nitrogen post establishment and two pounds of nitrogen per 1000sq ft. In the high nitrogen treatment soil samples were taken pre and post fertigation. This will allow us to determine what happens over time under different fertilizer treatments. This research is important because understanding the association between microorganisms and plants will allow turfgrass breeders to exploit the mutual associations between plants and microbes thus producing grasses that can grow better under low input conditions such as less additional water, fertigation, and pesticides.


Low Input vs. Traditional Turfgrass: Comparing Runoff Quantity & Quality PAMELA RICE Research Chemist Adjunct Professor USDA-Agricultural Research Service and Department of Soil, Water and Climate

BRIAN HORGAN Professor Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

Strategies used to maintain managed biological systems, including golf course turf, often involve application of fertilizer and pesticides to optimize plant health and protection. The transport of applied fertilizers and pesticides with runoff to surrounding surface waters has been shown to result in enhanced algal blooms, promotion of eutrophication or negative impacts on sensitive aquatic organisms or ecosystems. In previous research we demonstrated that changes in cultivation practices (e.g. type and timing of core cultivation) reduced the volume of runoff and the percentage of applied pesticides and nutrients that moved offsite with runoff from creeping bentgrass turf. In the current study we evaluate the influence of turfgrass species on runoff quantity and quality. Experiments are underway to compare the volume of runoff and measure the amount of pesticides and nutrients in runoff from conventional versus low input turfgrasses. Plots (20ft x 80ft) maintained as a golf course fairway (0.5 inch height of cut) were seeded with bentgrass (Dominant Xtreme 7: a 7:3 mixture of ‘007’ creeping bentgrass and ‘SR 1150’ creeping bentgrass) or a fine fescue mixture (equal parts ‘Chariot’ hard fescue, ‘Seabreeze GT’ slender creeping red fescue and ‘Cardinal’ strong creeping red

fescue and ‘Longfellow II’ chewing fescue). Each plot is equipped with runoff gutters, a flume, an automated sampler, and a flow meter to measure flow rates, calculate runoff volumes and collect subsamples of the snowmelt and rainfall runoff. Studies will be performed with fertilizer and pesticides applied at label rates to both the traditional and low input turf, as well as additional studies with pesticides applied at label rate for bentgrass turf and 2/3 label rate for the low input fine fescue turf. To date we have observed the fine fescue mixture produces greater quantities of snowmelt and rainfall runoff than bentgrass (Figure 1). Collected runoff samples have been processed and are being stored frozen until completion of chemical analysis. In our previous studies with creeping bentgrass turf we found that runoff volume was more influential than chemical concentration to the overall mass of chemicals transported off-site with runoff. We are curious to learn if this trend continues with the low input fine fescue mixture or if other influencing factors are of greater importance. Data collected from this study will guide strategies to manage low input fine fescue mixtures in order to provide optimal results for golf course managers, golfers and the environment. Figure 1

Low Input vs. Traditional Turfgrass: Low Input Versus Traditional Turfgrass: 120

June14 14-15, 2014 June -15, 2014 FF Runoff 3.7x > BG Runoff FF Runoff 3.7x > BG Runoff

June 19, June 19, 2014 2014 Runoff 1.8x 1.8x > >BGBG Runoff FFFF Runoff Runoff

Fine Fescue Fine Fescue



Bentgrass Bentgrass


Fine FineFescue Fescue






1 11 21 31 41 51 61 71 81 91 101 111 121 131 141 151 161 171 181 191 201 211 221 231 241 251

Bentgrass Bentgrass


Runoff(m m )



1 11 21 31 41 51 61 71 81 91 101 111 121 131 141 151 161 171 181 191 201 211 221 231 241

Runoff(m m )



Figure 1. Comparing runoff from bentgrass and fine fescue turf. Figure 1. in Comparing runoff from bentgrass and fine fescue turf. hydrographs collected June 2014.


Examples of hydrographs collected in June 2014.



Managing Dutch Elm Disease in Resistant American and Hybrid Elms CHAD GIBLIN Research Fellow Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota

GARRETT L. BEIER Graduate Research Assistant Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota

Introduction: Elm trees are more popular now than ever. Since Dutch elm disease (DED) was introduced to the United States, new selections of American elm and hybrid Asian elms have been selected and released. Now, improved commercial availability of disease-tolerant selections have put young elms back on the streets, in parks, and in backyards across the country. Although labelled “DED-Resistant”, these elm trees are still susceptible to the disease and in some cases can be killed by it. More often, though, their resistance, or more accurately, tolerance of the disease allows them to survive an infection in most cases while their wild siblings succumb and die. Management: Scouting for Dutch Elm Disease • Scan the canopy for signs of wilting, yellow or brown foliage or even leafless branches • Use tools to get a closer look: binoculars, camera, etc. • Know how to differentiate mechanical damage and breakage from DED wilting • If transmitted by root grafts, symptoms may be seen in main stem and lower branches Safely Obtaining a Sample • Collection from the ground – easiest and safest – use pole saw or pole pruners • Collection from a ladder – use required PPE – and always tie in to the tree • Other means - bucket truck, professional arborist Processing the Sample and Diagnosis • Peel bark or scrape with knife and look for vascular staining under the bark • Cross section branches to determine when infected (Continued on Page 9)

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Managing Dutch Elm Disease (Continued from Page 8)

Foliar symptoms of DED in Accolade (above) and Valley Forge (above, center)

Scraped samples of healthy Valley Forge elm (below) and stained, diseased Valley Forge (above right)

Submitting a Sample for Lab Confirmation Plant Disease Clinic UM Dept. of Plant Pathology (612) 625-1275 and DED Diagnosis and Culture - $59 Sanitation Pruning 4 Prune off infected branches, preferably at/before main stem 4 Prune as far beyond stained wood as possible – preferably 5 to 10 ft. 4 Sterilize tools after pruning and between trees with bleach solution or alcohol Fungicide Treatment 4Depends on size and value of tree 4Severe infections in small trees might warrant replacement rather than treatment Follow-Up and Long-Term Goals 4Continue scouting and perform timely sanitation pruning to halt disease spread 4Avoid monoculture, diversify elm plantings with multiple varieties and species 4Water weekly 4Avoid stress and construction damage by protecting root zones.

Follow-Up and Long-Term Goals 4Continue scouting and perform timely sanitation pruning to halt disease spread 4Avoid monoculture, diversify elm plantings with multiple varieties and species 4Water weekly 4Avoid stress and construction damage by protecting root zones.

Cross sections of diseased Accolade elm showing staining in branch (left) and main stem (right)

Peel bark or scrape with knife and look for vascular staining under bark

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Turf Insecticides DR. VERA KRISCHIK Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota Using insecticides preventively in an IPM program: There are many components to an IPM program, including monitoring for pest activity, establishing tolerance levels, and considering cultural and biological control strategies. IPM supports the use of insecticides when a pest population exceeds a threshold level. Turf insecticides differ in efficacy against pests, residual duration, and whether the insecticide is a contact or systemic. For managing white grubs, care must be taken to ensure that the insecticides, such as imidacloprid (Merit) or chlorantraniliprole (Acelepryn), are applied when the grubs are in the most susceptible stage. In certain instances, however, preventive pesticide applications may be preferred to the alternative of waiting until a problem develops, especially when a problem occurred in the same area the previous year. For example, several turf insecticides, including the neonicotinoids and chlorantraniliprole (Acelepryn), provide preventive protection against white grubs and are much less toxic than the older organophosphates that were used for many years. There are not many cultural practices or effective biological control agents that provide reliable control of white grub populations. To be justified in an IPM plan, preventive insecticide applications must be based on scouting or other documentation of the potential for damaging populations from the previous season or seasons. Insecticide resistance: There are several chemical classes of insecticides available to turf managers. Recently the annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) has developed resistance to the pyrethroid class of insecticides. ABW has developed resistance to pyrethroids in some locations, particularly between Hartford, CT and metropolitan NY and south. One of the most effective ways to delay the development of resistance is to avoid using insecticides with the same mode of action. The Insecticide Resistance Action Committee ( has assigned IRAC numbers for each chemical class, and many chemical companies are putting these numbers on labels to make it easier for turf managers to incorporate this information into their decisions on chemical inventories. For example, any insecticide in the neonicotinoid class (e.g., Merit or Meridian or Arena) will have a black box with a white “4A” indicating the IRAC chemical subgroup. Carbamates (class 1A) and organophosphates (class 1B) are in the same group but listed separately because while the chemistry of the two classes of insecticides is different, the mode of action (cholinesterase inhibition) is the same. Most are “older” chemicals and, as cholinesterase inhibitors, tend to be more acutely toxic to vertebrates than some of the newer insecticides. There is a lot of variation in field characteristics: Some are soluble in water while others are not; some are systemic while some are not; some are quite persistent while some are not. For example, trichlorfon (Dylox) and acephate (Orthene) are very soluble in water and can break down quickly when water pH is above 7.5. Neither is very persistent in field conditions. Every pyrethroid available for use on turf is virtually insoluble in water and is bound quickly to organic matter. As a result pyrethroids are effective against insects that are active in the thatch, such as annual bluegrass weevil adults, black turfgrass ataenius adults, bluegrass billbug adults, caterpillars, chinchbugs, and European crane fly. Most pyrethroids begin working three to

five days after application and remain active for three to five weeks. Most pyrethroids are toxic to cats, fish and aquatic invertebrates and some are also toxic to bees that are exposed to direct treatments on flowering crops and weeds. Many pyrethroids are no longer covered by patents, so there are many other products available with different trade names. There are four neonicotinoids (thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, dinotefuran, and clothianidin) currently available in turf, and all of them are systemic through the roots. Even though imidacloprid has been on the turf market for more than 10 years, there have been no reports of resistance in any turf insects yet. Care should be taken when using any neonicotinoid to avoid applications when honeybees are foraging, such as when clover or Creeping Charlie is in bloom. In addition, some labels indicate products are toxic to aquatic invertebrates Some products are now available for commercial applicators that combine a neonicotinoid and a pyrethroid, but in a lower percent of active ingredient. The combination provides protection against soil insects (neonicotinoid) and surface feeders (pyrethroid). Optimal timing of application depends on what the primary insect target is at a given site. For example, if white grubs are the primary target, applications should be made just as adults become active and start laying eggs. If billbugs are the primary target, applications could be made in late May or early June to target adults as they become active. Triple Crown (FMC) contains bifenthrin, zeta-cypermethrin and imidacloprid. Triple Crown works through contact, translaminar and systemic activity. It controls ants, ticks, white grubs, annual bluegrass weevils, billbugs, cutworms, sod webworms, chinch bugs, leafhoppers, and mites. Indoxacarb is in the oxadiazine class, which has very low mammalian toxicity and a new mode of action. It works by blocking the movement of sodium ions into nerve cells. Product labels have the same precautionary language as pyrethroids regarding toxicity to cats, fish and aquatic invertebrates, as well as foraging honeybees. Indoxacarb is particularly effective against caterpillars and is most effective when applications are made targeting eggs and small caterpillars. Chlorantraniliprole (Acelypryn) is in the diamide class and has low mammalian toxicity and a new mode of action. Acelypryn works through contact, translaminar and systemic activity from soil to plant. The EPA did not require a signal word on the label. The label describes chlorantraniliprole as toxic to aquatic invertebrates, but it is relatively insoluble so it is less likely to move to surface water than some other products. It is not toxic to bees, ants, or wasps. It is extremely effective against all the white grub species, but should be applied before early to mid-June to achieve maximum effectiveness against grubs. Spring applications of chlorantraniliprole will not affect grubs that are present in the spring. Acelypryn controls white grubs, annual bluegrass weevils, billbugs, cutworms, sod webworms, and chinch bugs. It has extremely low toxicity to most non-target animals including birds, fish and bees. Another newer class is the spinosyns and the active ingredient spinosad (Conserve), which is derived from a soil actinomycete. The label describes it as highly toxic to bees and to mollusks. It is effective against many caterpillars, including sod webworms, cutworms, and armyworms, as well as caterpillars in the landscape. FALL / WINTER 2014 ~ MTGF CLIPPINGS 15

InvestigatinUNIVERSITY g Methods of InOF corpMINNESOTA orating FlowerTURF ing ForAND bs into Tur awnsRESEARCH to Enhance Foraging GROUNDS Resources for Pollinating Insects. e, I., Watkins, E., Spivof ak, MIncorporating . InvestigatingLanMethods Flowering Forbs into Turf Lawns to Enhance W ththe dec an ee spec w s ate nw ,nePollinating arebe sougInsects ht tohel Foraging Resources for pu s an a ecosystem serv es they prov e.F gm en ducti preserve the esources ) be ved t beone e ke tors bee dec . he T goa ofou ea h on f w ns evelop s to s he qua as th e cons tency MARLA SPIVAK IAN LANE ERIC WATKINS es o urc es c tar an d po n) f s a ng hu m an ted ec ts Professor Graduate Student Associate Professor ds c ap es Department of Entomology Department of Entomology Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

S nce wns are a anaged as monoc e a man ps ourknow ledge beofstmany manag ent nationwide, p duc es iand practices wnswould0facilitate 13 a es f new stratenon seedingsrates forb establishment in With the decline beeem species erie s sought to ts he determ e bestand om c the pa nmature g s turf stands. w w n,theappropria te th gies aresbeing helpto preserve their populations Toedate,tour grasses and seeding ecosystem Fragmentation and reduction of ave onthe seeservices atthey e provide. v pec sys , and the c experiment he twwith ou companion given into how can be foraging believed esresources tab hm (flowers) ent a is w g to o be one . ofInthe add key facwe h rates has d aneus w insight s ara flowering to he p es lawn h designed. In this study we chose a model forb, Kura clover tors in s bee decline. The goal of our research on flowering lawns is ee and p es wou ta en atu tands

(Trifolium ambiguum), and seeded it at different rates into four to develop strategies to increase the quantity as well as the condifferent turf (Midnight SLT), sistency of foraging for pa bees andgrasses how To resources date, o (nectar and enpollen) om an ee d grass species. s has Kentucky n us bluegrass gh to perennial (Beacon), other pollinating insects human landscapes. um and w wnincan be ddominated es ed.In th study w e chose a mod ryegrassK (Apple ura cGL), hard fescueam ) tall fescue (Grande II). This study was seeded in June of 2013 and preSince lawns are typically managed as monocultures, there are ghtS LT), and seeded i tes r s spec . K en k grass liminary data collected this year. We found that Kentucky bluemany gaps in our knowledge regarding best management pracseeded was pe gras s p G es c ue ea c on ) d c ue de grass and hard fescue had significantly higher Kura clover estabtices for introducing non-grasses into turf lawns. In 2013 we inite d th at s an e o 20 13 a nd da ta c ol th a r . W e nd K en tuc k y eg d h lishment compared to perennial ryegrass and tall fescue (Figure tiated a series of projects to help determine the best companion ue had s an appropriate he ura cv es tabthehm en1). t In om c addition, pa pe the nn meansgras s adifferent seeding cue rates of while for the grass for acflowering lawn, the forb seeding rate, 1) n inadd n, ns cutting or the eeKura d cloversfollow a discernable ver pattern, w a d there cernab is no statistically viable forb species this system, and themea effect height ofmseeding on the number of Kura leaves would have on , theth establishment forbs. patte ere ino s and flowering ofan t e Intaddio ee significant g rate effectnu be rate observ ura observed (Figure 2). tion we have 2) initiated a new study this year to help establish Figure 1


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Mistakes Happen MATTHEW CAVANAUGH Scientist, Department of Horticultural Sciences University of Minnesota interesting from the 19 different demo treatments that were conducted. These include issues that may arise from plant growth regulators (PGR’s) and foliar fertilizers applied at too high of a rate and a common golfer mistake leading to consequences thatnone of us like. All “mistakes” were applied to a V-8 creeping bentgrass putting green mowed at 0.125 inches six days a week. Mistake #1: Two of the most commonly used PGR’s are trinexapac-ethyl and paclobutrazol. Both are labeled for greens, tees and fairways. I chose to use these two as a mistake application because I hear at least one time per year of an excessive rate of a PGR being applied to a putting green. Trinexapac-ethyl was applied using the “Edging/Banding” rate of 44 oz/Acre which is 7.33 times higher than the 6 oz/Acre “Golf Course Greens” rate. Paclobutrazol was applied using the high fairway rate of 32 oz/Acre versus the 6.4 oz/Acre low greens rate. I was actually fairly surprised the turf did not show more yellowing than it did by 2 weeks after application. The plot actually looked just fine, but it was not growing at all. This lack of growth would most certainly be a problem in a real world golf situation with the amount of traffic received, but few issues were seen on the research green. Also keep in mind that this area was 100% creeping bentgrass. If the plot would have had any Poa annua in it, it would have looked much worse. When we make mistakes we immediately want to find a way to rectify the situation. There is a huge urge to be proactive and find a solution to maintain turfgrass health. The two PGR’s above provided an interesting opportunity to do just that. Trinexapac-ethyl and paclobutrazol are both gibberellic acid synthesis inhibitors. So, I start to think, if the product I just applied is preventing the plant from synthesizing gibberellic acid, why don’t I just give it some gibberellic acid? Seems logical, right? Gibberellic acid is associated with several plant processes, but it is most involved with cell elongation and cell division. If I have applied a product that inhibits the synthesis of gibberellic acid then applying gibberellic acid to the plant will surely solve my problem. I applied this gibberellic acid product on the same plots that received high rates of trinexapac-ethyl and paclobutrazol at 3 and 7 days after application at 12.0 oz./acre. When gibberellic acid was applied at 3 days after PGR application there was a very quick response. Within 24 hours there was noticeable growth within the plot area. Great right? Well, along with this growth there was significant yellowing. This may be attributed to the plant growing much faster than the plant wants to grow resulting in very spindly growth and subsequent yellowing. Gibberellic acid application 7 days after PGR application was initially a little different. For the first 4 days I did see a rebound in growth, but no yellowing. I thought I was on to something. However, on day 5, the plot areas began to yellow and went down the same path as gibberellic acid Picture 1. Turf twoweeks after application treated with: Right: Trinexapac-ethyl alone. Middle: applied to the plots 3 days after application, Trinexapac-ethyl followed by gibberellic acid applied 3 days later. Left: Trinexapac-ethyl followed by spindly, yellow growth (Picture 1 ). gibberellic acid applied 7 days later.Trinexapac-ethyl was applied at 44.0 oz./acre and gibberellic acid was applied at 12.0 oz./acre. (Continued on Page 18) During the MTGF Field Day I asked “How many people here have ever killed grass because of a product they applied or a mistake they had made”? Naturally, few raised their hand out of fear of being embarrassed. I then told the crowd that “if you did not raise your hand you were lying.” This may be an overstatement, but many of us have killed grass, or at least severely injured, grass because of a mistake we made. There are many decisions to be made as a turfgrass manager and some of them revolve around the products used to maintain the health of the turf you manage. With these decisions comes the possibility of making mistakes. Because I have made several product related mistakes this got me thinking that it would be very informative to put together a little demo that would revolve around potential mistakes turfgrass managers have made, almost made, or contemplated “what would happen if I do this”? Unfortunately, in the turfgrass industry, a mistake can cost an individual their job and looking at a few examples of mistakes allows discussion of possible outcomes, remedies, and things that could have been done to mitigate the problem. Mistakes with products can happen for a number of reasons: 4Not understanding the product you are using 4Reading the label incorrectly 4This can include many things such as compatibility issues, retreatment intervals, application rate issues, etc. 4Incorrect calculations including putting the decimal point in the wrong place 4Calibrating equipment incorrectly 4Applying a second product to try to remedy the initial mistake causing an additional mistake (Yikes) 4Storage of products (i.e. freezing or heat) I’m highlighting two of the mistakes that I thought were most



White Clover with Herbicides MATTHEW CAVANAUGH Scientist, Department of Horticultural Sciences, University of Minnesota White clover (Trifolium repens L.) is one of the more common weeds we see in a mowed turfgrass situation and it is also one of the more difficult ones to control. White clover is a low growing cool-season perennial with creeping stems (stolons) that are able to root at nodes. This creeping ability allows it to be more persistent as adequate coverage of herbicide onto the plant can be difficult. This cool-season perennial also thrives in low fertility environments due to its nitrogen fixing ability. Many turfgrass managers continue to look for the best option in controlling white clover, but the amount of herbicide choices can make the decision difficult. Understanding how some of these products perform alone and in combination will allow you to make better choices when selecting a white clover control product. My hope is you can find your lucky charm with this little demo. Feel free to come take a look at what the controls look like today.

Herbicides Used: 1. 2,4-D 2. MCPP 3. Dicamba 4. 2,4-D, MCPP, Dicamba 5. Clopyralid 6. Triclopyr 7. Clopyralid, Triclopyr 8. 2,4-D, Clopyralid, Dicamba 9. Fluroxypyr 10. 2,4-D, Fluroxypyr, Triclopyr10. 11. Carfentrazone 12. Sulfentrazone 13. Quinclorac 14. Carfentrazone, 2,4-D, MCPP, Dicamb 15. Sulfentrazone, 2,4-D, Quinclorac, Dicamba 16. Sulfentrazone, 2,4-D, Triclopyr, Dicamba 17. Mesotrione 18. Topramezone 19. Iron-HEDTA

Mistakes Happen (Continued from Page 17)

What I have concluded from this is that being proactive and looking for a quick fix of my mistake resulted in a much worse situation. Also keep in mind that the gibberellic acid product used is only labeled for bermudagrass greens and thus I had to make a guess at what rate would be best for creeping bentgrass. Although I was getting very little growth from the plot areas receiving high rates of PGR, it did not kill or even turn these areas yellow. Letting the plant metabolize the PGR would have been the best decision in this situation. Sometimes doing nothing is the best option. Mistake #2: Ammonium sulfate is commonly used on creeping bentgrass putting greens applied both as a granular and as a liquid. Ammonium sulfate provides a very quick response, even in cooler temperatures, and is often used to acidify the soil. However, ammonium sulfate has a high burn potential making it difficult to use in some situations, especially during the summer. I decided to look at two rates of ammonium sulfate, 0.50 lbs. N/1000 ft2 and 1.0 lbs. N/1000 ft2 applied as a liquid and not watered in. Most liquid applications of ammonium sulfate to creeping bentgrass putting greens would not exceed 0.20 lbs. N/1000 ft2. Both rates of ammonium sulfate quickly burned creeping bentgrass. Within 24 hours there was moderate tip burn and within 48 hours there was severe tip burn at both treatment rates. However, by 72 hours after application some of the tip burn was getting mowed off, especially from turf fertilized with 0.50 lbs. N/1000 ft2 rate. By 6 days after application the plot areas looked great. The initial burn quickly grew out and was mowed off. This is another case of letting time solve the “mis18 MTGF CLIPPINGS ~ FALL / WINTER 2014

Control Results Initial curl, but then regrowth. 0-10% control. Initial curl, but then regrowth. 0-10% control. Fair control over time. 50-75% control. Initial curl, but then regrowth. 25-50% control. Great control over time. 90-95% control. Good control over time. 75-90% control. Great control over time. 90-95% control. Great control over time. 90-95% control. Good Control over time. 75-90% control. Fair control over time. 50-75% control. Initial curl, but then regrowth. 0-10% control. Initial curl, but then regrowth. 0-10% control. Great control over time. 90-95% control. Good control over time. 75-90% control. Great control over time. 90-95% control. Fair control over time. 50-75% control. Great control over time. 90-95% control. Fair control over time. 50-75% control. Initial curl, but then regrowth. 0-10% control.

take.” Using iron or a pigment to mask the burn would have been unnecessary as I was very surprised how quickly the turf bounced back. There are many mistakes that can be made as a turfgrass manager and many of them revolve around the products we use. I suggest doing several things when mistakes do happen. 1) Check and double check all product labels and application rates. Understand the products you are using and how they affect the plant to which they are applied. Make sure your equipment is calibrated correctly. Read, read and re-read the label and make sure you are using the appropriate rate and volume necessary for the product. There is also valuable information on tank mixing issues and do’s and don’ts on many product labels. Have a second person verify the products that will be used. 2) If a mistake does happen communicate with your superiors, staff, and parties of interest as soon as possible. This will allow you to control the information and reduce the amount of misinformation if someone finds out about an issue secondhand. 3) Seek help and advice. Talk with peers, extension specialists, vendor reps, anyone you think can help. Get as many people as you can to understand the situation who then may provide a solution or at least a timeline of how long the problem will persist. 4) Be patient. Although we all want to be proactive, there are some situations where the grass just needs time to recover and there is not much we can do the hasten the recovery time. It is hard to do, but sometimes doing nothing is the best approach. Other mistakes implemented and their outcomes: 1) High rate of a DMI fungicide during the heat of the summer: Propiconazole, 4 oz/1000 ft2. a. No plant injury occurred. (Continued on Page 19)


Improvement of Critical Traits in Perennial Ryegrass For Superior Turf Quality and Seed Production GARETT HEINECK Graduate Research Assistant, Plant Breeding and Molecular Genetics Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota

Perennial ryegrass plays a critical role maintaining turf on sports field, overseeding golf courses and is commonly a significant portion of lawn seed mixes. To meet the demand for quality perennial ryegrass seed, producers must be provided with quality varieties, which have the genetics along with effective agronomics to produce economically viable yields. The most effective breeding program must not exclusively focus on turf quality alone, but also traits and agronomics which maximize seed yield in a given production area. Traits commonly important in perennial ryegrass turf quality such as winter hardiness and rust resistance are also important in ryegrass seed production. However, focusing on exclusively traits such as steaminess and color may not lead to a variety that produces economically viable yields. This leads to low production and scarcity of that particular variety. Northern Minnesota currently has approximately 40,000 acres of perennial ryegrass grown for seed annually. Presently University of Minnesota has provided producers with varieties, which have the ability to produce one year of high yielding rye-

Mistakes Happen (Continued from Page 18)

2) High rate of micro nutrient package: Sulfur, iron, manganese, boron, copper, molybdenum, zinc. a. Slight yellowing occurred 3) High rate of iron applied too frequently: 4 oz/1000 ft2 7 days apart. a. Very dark green color, but not plant injury. 4) Herbicide application not labeled for greens: 2,4-D, MCPP, Dicamba, 1.5 oz/1000 ft2. a. Quick yellowing and lasted longer than 3 weeks after application. 5) High rate of mineral oil: 64 oz/1000 ft2. a. No plant injury occurred. 6) Plant growth Regulator applied at correct rate and volume. Paclobutrazol, 6.4 oz/Acre at 0.5 gallons/1000 ft2. a. No plant injury at correct application. 7) Plant growth regulator applied at incorrect volume resulting in 4 times the label rate application. Paclobutrazol, 25.6 oz/acre at 2.0 gallons/1000 ft2. a. Yellowing started to occur by 2 weeks after application. 8) Light rate of granular fertilizer. a. Mottling occurred. 9) Using a fertilizer on a mowing with high dew when label indicates not to use on we turf. a. No plant injury occurred. 10) Bug spray applied to creeping bentgrass. a. Complete plant death by 24 hours.

grass. These fields are generally seeded in the spring with wheat and allowed to vernalize over the winter months. The following summer seed is harvested; post harvest the field will be tilled or burned making the current ryegrass system a biennial. Ryegrass producers currently do not have the agronomics and plant genetics to produce ryegrass in a perennial system. Current research is underway which is improving agronomics as well as key traits such as winter hardiness and rust resistance, which may be factors in the lack of ryegrass perennially in northern climates. Improving these two traits and perfecting agronomics in seed production fields could lead to multi-year perennial ryegrass seed production. This will simultaneously lower inputs and decrease environmental impact of seed production. The turf manager will also share the benefits of this breeding approach. Improving the winter hardiness and disease resistance of perennial ryegrass varieties will allow more persistent stands of ryegrass in sports fields and home lawns.

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Plant Defense Activator and Plant Health Product Assessment ANGELA ORSHINSKY Assistant Professor, Extension Specialist Department of Plant Pathology University of Minnesota

MATTHEW CAVANAUGH Scientist Department of Horticultural Sciences University of Minnesota

Defense activators are compounds that upregulate a plant’s defense-related genes to suppress disease symptoms. New products have been introduced that report having plant health and/or defense activator properties. In a recent survey of Minnesota golf course superintendents, 75 % of the respondents said that they are using plant defense activators in their program. The primary activators used by respondents are Daconil Action and Civitas. The products are most frequently being applied for disease management; however, superintendents are also applying these products to increase plant health. Notably, a large portion of superintendents did not know if the product was working for them. Experiments directly demonstrating the activation of defense genes in response to treatment with defense activator product have been conducted primarily in laboratory settings. In this case, treated plants likely lacked natural microflora commonly associated with leaves and roots of plants grown under field conditions. Naturally occurring rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria and fungi have been shown to prime defense related genes in plants. The objective of this study is to monitor various plant health parameters, disease suppression, and defense gene expression in


SAM BAUER Extension Educator Turfgrass Science University of Minnesota

response to treatment with turf health products under field conditions. Our aim is to determine if the difference in gene expression levels between treated and untreated grasses grown in the field varies in magnitude from the differences in gene expression between treated and untreated grasses grown under controlled laboratory conditions. This study is being conducted on creeping bentgrass ‘L93’ on both native soils and USGA sand-based greens. Greens were maintained at 0.125 inch and nitrogen was applied biweekly at 0.1 pounds per 1000 ft2 as ammonium sulfate. The product treatments used in the 2014 study included ReeCourse (SumaGreen); Signature (Bayer); Mirage (Bayer); Interface (Bayer); Insignia (BASF); Daconil Weatherstik (Syngenta); Daconil Action (Syngenta); Civitas (Suncor); ArmorTech 44 + Optimizer (United Turf Alliance); and a water control. The products were applied on a 14 day interval and the plots were evaluated one week after application. At each evaluation date, plots were assessed for chlorophyll index, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), soil moisture at 3 inches depth, surface temperature, and dollar spot loci. After the fourth treatment, on July 16, a soil profiler was used to sample roots from the USGA plot to measure root length, total root area, and dry weight. To investigate the expression of plant defense genes, cores from USGA plots were taken for RNA sampling and pathogen inoculation in the lab. Dollar spot pathogen was used on all of the treatments except for Signature, which was inoculated with Pythium aphanidermatum. The results to date indicate that there are little differences in the effect of the tested products on plant health indicators such as chlorophyll index and NDVI when measured one week after treatment application. None of the treatments were found to impact root length. Pathogen suppression by treatments was likely obscured due to incubation of the samples under conditions that heavily favored pathogen growth, although the Signature treatment significantly suppressed Pythium blight throughout the 10 day incubation and evaluation period. The study will continue throughout the fall to evaluate gene expression patterns induced by these turfgrass products. This study is planned to continue into next year with the addition of several treatments and with refined evaluation protocols. Plant defense activators and some plant health products significantly impact expression of plant defense genes and plant health indicators under laboratory conditions. Establishing methods to monitor gene expression under field conditions will lay the foundation for future studies to monitor how application methods, timing, and other environmental variables impact the degree to which the turf products increase defense gene expression and plant health. This will assist in the development of both cultural and chemical/biological application recommendations that maximize the impact of each application and reduce overall inputs.


Insect IPM - Insects Sighted During 2014 JEFFREY HAHN Extension Entomologist University of Minnesota During late winter and early spring, arborists noticed an odd damage to burr oak and swamp white oak. The bark had been removed on branches, with a series of small holes found underneath. In some cases the injury was quite severe. The oaks were generally small trees, usually less than 5” dbh. This damage was the result of woodpeckers feeding on cynipid wasps that produced galls on the branches. While the formation of galls is usually conspicuous, these galls were small enough that their presence was not noticed on the branches until after the woodpeckers attacked. Unfortunately there isn’t any practical management. Japanese beetles have been a minor problem this year in most places where they occur. They also emerged late with many sites only just finding significant numbers now (i.e. late July/early August). Although last year’s winter is not likely to have had much impact on general numbers because the grubs were protected from the cold under the snow, the low populations could still be a lingering consequence of drought experienced from 2005 – 2012. There are a variety of management tactics for Japanese beetles, such as hand picking and contact insecticides. Avoid using neonicotinoids on plants that are attractive to bees.

European pine sawfly has been noticed at some sites. These insect hatch about mid-May and feed on old needles. The insects grow to about one inch long and have black heads with dark green and green gray stripes on its body. However, these sawflies blend in well with the pine needles so the first evidence of an infestation may be missing needles. Scouting is critical. When European pine sawflies are not anticipated, they are often not detected until they are nearly full grown and their feeding is finishing. Dogwood sawflies are periodically found on dogwoods, especially gray dogwoods. Adults are active any time from late May through July. When they first hatch, the larvae are covered with a whitish material. The young larvae skeletonize leaves. Older larvae consume the entire leaf except for the midrib. Mature larvae are about one inch long with green – yellow spotted bodies. When fully grown, the larvae wander off to look for rotted wood to bore into in order to pupate. They have been known to bore into homes and decks. Most contact insecticides are effective against dogwood sawflies.



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Evaluation of Fine Fescue Cultivars For Use on Golf Course Fairways ERIC WATKINS Associate Professor Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

BRIAN HORGAN Professor Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

Golf course fairways in Minnesota primarily consist of species that can require high inputs of water, pesticides, and nitrogen fertilizer. Golf course superintendents continue to be affected by governmental regulations restricting the use of chemical and water inputs on managed turfgrass. We believe that future restrictions will impact golf course management in a very significant way and that one solution to the problem of inputs on golf course fairways will be the use of lower-input grasses. Low-input fine fescue species should be able to withstand the pressure from typical turfgrass stresses while producing acceptable turf and excellent playing qualityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all with fewer overall inputs of pesticides, water, and fertilizer. Due to limited research on these species in fairway settings, superintendents are wary to begin using fine fescues. Our research program is investigating a few key areas where research-based information is lacking. This project aims to provide golf course superintendents with fairway per-

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MAGGIE REITER Graduate Research Assistant Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

formance data for individual fine fescue cultivars and selections. The fine fescues included several species, primarily strong creeping red fescue, slender creeping red fescue, hard fescue, Chewings fescue, and sheep fescue. The fine fescues provide a number of traits that would be useful in a low-input golf course fairway situation. Compared to Kentucky bluegrass and creeping bentgrass, fine fescues require fewer nitrogen inputs. Fine fescues tend to have a slower vertical growth rate than other fairway species, which would lead to a lower mowing requirement. Another important stress tolerance trait provided by these grasses is drought toleranceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;these species tend to stay green longer during drought conditions than many of the other cool-season grass species. Some of the fine fescues have been shown to be allelopathic, which means they release chemicals from their roots that suppress the growth of weeds. Finally, fine fescues can be infected with endophytes, which results in reduced insect feeding and in some cases, increased disease resistance. A turfgrass trial was established at the Turfgrass Research, Outreach, and Education Center at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul in order to evaluate fine fescue cultivars for use on golf course fairways. Forty-four fine fescue cultivars and selections were established as turfgrass evaluation plots on native soil in June 2012. Plots were 1.4 m2 and the trial was a complete randomized block design with 3 replications. The plots were maintained under lower-input conditions after establishment (no pesticides, a single fertilizer application in the fall, no supplemental irrigation after establishment, mowing height of 1.90 cm). Beginning in June 2013, half of each plot received traffic stress from a golf cart traffic simulator at a rate of six passes per week (two passes on each of three days). Traffic treatments ended in early September. Data was collected on overall turfgrass quality for both trafficked and non-trafficked plots. Results from 2013 indicate that a number of cultivars and selections show promise as low-input fairway grasses in Minnesota (all data from 2013 is available at: Although the hard and slender creeping red fescues tended to perform better, there were a number of cultivars of most fine fescue species that performed well in the trial. Data has also been collected through 2014 and similar trends are being seen. Our results show the importance of utilizing cultivar trial data when selecting fine fescues for use on lower-input golf course fairways. This project was funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture through the United States Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Block Grant Program. The USGA is funding several related studies in our research program.


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Why Athletic II with RPR Self-repairing Excellent green color Fast establishment Dense turf High seed quality The varieties used in ATHLETIC II are:

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Athletic II with RPR One tough turf! - St. Paul (800) 882-5704

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PRESORTED U.S. Postage PAID Permit #32324 Twin Cities, MN

P. O. Box 617 Wayzata, MN 55391

MTGF CLIPPINGS ADVERTISERS FALL / WINTER 2014 ANCOM Covermaster Cycle Works Golf Supply Frost Inc. Gertens Wholesale JRCO, Inc. McCarthy Well Company Northern Green Expo PBI Gordon Corporation Plaisted Companies Inc. TerraMax, Inc. The Tessman Company Twin City Seed Company UM Diagnostic Lab Ziegler Rental


9 24 14 22 12 19 2 5 8 13 21 23 7 20 4

ABOUT THE COVER: The MTGF / UMN Field Day took place August 7 at TROE Center and UFORE Nursery on the St. Paul campus.


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A magazine for Green Industry professionals in Minnesota. This issue focuses on turf and grounds research being conducted at the University...

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