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UM / MTGF Outdoor Field Day Set August 7 at TROE Center 6,271 Attend the 2014 MNLA / MTGF Northern Green Expo The Art of War and Plant Pathology Minimum Wage is on the Rise MTGF Funds $89,000 in 2014 For Turf and Grounds Research


minnesota turf and grounds foundation

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.


MTGF Continues to Support Turf and Grounds Research

Executive Committee President Susie Johnson Gertens Wholesale


Vice President Paul Griffin City of Woodbury

President Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation

Treasurer Steve Balfany Balfany Farms Secretary Dr. Brian Horgan University of Minnesota Ex-Officio David Oberle Excel Turf & Ornamental Directors 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

Beginning this past January, I have the privilege of representing the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation as your President. The Foundation represents all facets of the Green Industry and serves to provide many entities with support through research and development. Since 1993, the contribution provided to our industry by the MTGF has exceeded over one million dollars in grants, fellowships and support of our Green Industry. This year, the MTGF is funding $89,000 towards turf and grounds research. (See Pages 12-18 of this issue to get a feel for the research the MTGF is funding.) I am proud to represent the efforts of the MTGF and look forward to the continued support the foundation has provided. We are unique in our ability to collaborate as a group of associations that function for the benefit to our members. * * * * On behalf of the MTGF, we are pleased to know that Matt Cavanaugh will be joining the University of Minnesota’s Turfgrass Science Team. Matt will be working on MGCSA member-driven research, turfgrass extension programs and with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to refine recommmendations for salt tolerant roadside turfgrass establishment and maintenance. * * * * I look forward to this season -- to work with all of you -- to continue to support our MTGF. Sincerely,

Susie Johnson Susie Johnson President Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation

MASMS Tom Redmann Anoka Hennepin ISD #11 MGCSA Jake Schmitz Olympic Hills Golf Club MSA Mark Stennes S & S Tree Specialists EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Jeff Turtinen 952-473-3722 jeff.turtinen@mtgf.org MTGF OFFICE P. O. Box 617 Wayzata, MN 55391

www.mtgf.org 2 MTGF CLIPPINGS ~ SPRING / SUMMER 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



President’s Report: MTGF Continues to Support Turf and Grounds Research - Susie Johnson


Field Day Set Aug. 7 at TROE Center in St. Paul - Sam Bauer

6 7

Science of (the) Green - Dr. Brian Horgan Minimum Wage is on the Rise - Patrick McGuiness


Northern Green Expo Set Jan. 16-18, 2015

10 The Art of War and Plant Pathology - Dr. Angela Orshinsky

12 MTGF Funding: Turfgrass Program Support 14 MTGF Funding: Greenhouse Gases JOHN GLATTLY, Twin City Seed Co., displaying a variety turfgrass seed mixtures during the 2014 Trade Show at the MNLA / MTGF Northern Green Expo in Minneapolis.

16 MTGF Funding: Chemical Evaluations 18 MTGF Funding: Dutch Elm Disease

In addition to offering Quality Turfgrass Seed Mixtures, we offer: Erosion Control Products Native Grasses & Wildflowers Sustane Organic Fertilizers MN Dot / WI Dot Mixtures Forage / Pasture Seed Blends For more information, visit our website

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UM/MTGF Turf and Grounds Field Day Set August 7 at TROE Center in St. Paul By SAM BAUER Turfgrass Extension Educator University of Minnesota Greetings MTGF members, we are happy to announce that the UM / MTFG Turf and Grounds Field Day will be brought back to the St. Paul campus this year. Over the past two years, we have held this field day in a virtual format with the production of short videos detailing research projects conducted by faculty and staff here at the University of Minnesota. The Virtual Field Days were made possible through the support of the MTGF

“Please join us on Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the St. Paul campus to see these research projects first hand.” National Turfgrass Evaluation Trials and breeding of several turfgrass species along with Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease updates will highlight this year’s Field Day at TROE Center on the St. Paul campus.

and its membership. Virtual Field Day videos from 2012 and 2013 can be found at www.turf.umn.edu and www.mtgf.org. We couldn’t be more excited to be offering the face-to-face field day again, and we look forward to your participation in this education and networking opportunity. Over the past 20 years, the MTGF has supported numerous research projects here at the University of Minnesota. Additionally, we have been

very successful at securing grants related to critical issues in landscape management and sustainability. This funding makes it possible for us to research specific issues that you face on a daily basis. Please join us on August 7, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the St. Paul campus to see these research projects first hand. This is one month earlier than previous field days, and we hope that the timing will be more convenient for attendees. We will be

offering two separate focus areas, turfgrass research or landscape research. Some exciting highlights of this year’s field day include: 4National Turfgrass Evaluation Trials and breeding of several turfgrass species 4Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease updates (Continued on Page 6)

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August 7 Field Day(Continued from Page 5)

Science of (the) Green:

4Improving the winterhardiness 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 golf course 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 and 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 golf course fairways 4Turfgrass species drought evaluations These are just a few of the projects that will be presented this year. Additionally, you will hear about the latest update on “Science of (the) Green: An Initiative to Help Guide Golf’s Future.” Some background on this initiative from Dr. Brian Horgan is at the right. Also, see photos of research turf plots at TROE Center on Page 7.

An Initiative to Help Guide Golf’s Future Today, the game of golf, and thus the industry, is at a crossroads. According to the Environmental Institute for Golf, economic, environmental and regulatory pressures continue to rise. Regulations pertaining to water quality and the costs of doing business are growing. At the same time, restrictions on land and water use are increasing as populations concentrate in urban areas. The University of Minnesota Les Bolstad golf course provides a ready “canvas” on which to pursue new long-term research programs in sustainable golf course design, renovation and maintenance. The University wants to renovate this valuable asset by creating a Science of (the) Green℠ research laboratory to conduct research that will promote sustainability within the golf industry and beyond. The Science of (the) Green℠ concept integrates agronomics, economics and the environment to advance the sustainability goals of environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic viability. Stay tuned in the months to come for more information about this year’s Field Day. For now, be sure to save the date of August 7 and plan to join us for this education and networking event. - Brian Horgan, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Turfgrass Extension Specialist University of Minnesota

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Minimum Wage is on the Rise By PATRICK McGUINESS Zlimen & McGuiness

Tall Fescue

Fine Fescue Fairway Divot Harvest

Fine Fescue Fairway Drought

Turfgrass Species Drought Trials


It’s official. Come August, the Minnesota minimum wage is going up. Governor Mark Dayton signed an increase to the minimum wage into law. It will rise to $8 per hour in August, and by 2016 it will reach $9.50. The new law also pegs the minimum wage to inflation, so it will regularly increase without legislative action. So, how will your business be affected? The Minnesota minimum wage is currently $6.15 per hour, one of the lowest rates in the country. Because it’s less than the federal minimum wage, most employers are required to pay their employees at the national rate of $7.25 per hour. Once the increased state minimum wage takes effect, employers will be required to pay workers at the new, higher Minnesota rate. The minimum wage be implemented gradually, going up every August for the next three years. In 2014 it will increase to $8.00 per hour, in 2015 to $9.00 per hour, and in 2016 to $9.50 per hour. Date of Increase

Big Employer Minimum (over $500,000 gross)

Small Employer Minimum (under $500,000 gross)

August 1, 2014 August 1, 2015 August 1, 2016 January 1, 2018 - onward

$8.00 $9.00 $9.50 Inflation based increase not more than 2.5 percent

$6.50 $7.25 $7.75 Inflation based increase not more than 2.5 percent

The last time the state minimum wage went up was 2005, but you shouldn’t expect the new rate to be the law of the land for the next decade. In a new move, the legislature decided to peg the minimum wage to inflation. Beginning in 2018, the minimum wage will increase once a year by the rate of inflation. However, it will never increase by more than 2.5 percent, and the Department of Labor and Industry will be able to suspend automatic increases if economic data indicates the “potential for a substantial downturn in the state's economy.” About 350,000 Minnesota workers currently earn less than $9.50 an hour, and should see their pay increase as the minimum wage does. Even some employees that earn $9.50 are expected to see wages increases as businesses begin offering higher pay in order to compete with other employers. Are there exceptions? Yes, but they are limited. The new law will increase the minimum wage for the majority of workers, but there are a few exceptions. Small employers currently have a lower minimum wage than their large competitors, and this will still be true once the new law kicks in. Under current Minnesota law, any employer with an annual gross volume of sales less than $625,000 is considered a small employer and is only required to pay employees $5.25 per hour. The new law limits the gross sales small employers can make to $500,000 (in line with the federal standard). It also increases the minimum wage for employees at those companies to $6.50 in 2014, $7.25 in 2015, and $7.75 in 2016. There is also an exemption to the law for a training period for teen employees. During the first 90 days of employment, businesses can pay workers under 20 years old below the minimum wage. The training wage is currently $4.90 per hour. Once the new law goes into effect in August, it will be the same as the small business minimum wage, reaching $7.75 per hour in 2016. (It should be noted that the law bans displaying regular employees by hiring workers at the training wage.) Although it’s unlikely any of the exemptions will apply to your business, there are many other specific categories of workers that are not covered by minimum wage laws — from elected officials to babysitters to seasonal circus workers. (Editor’s Note: This article provides general information on employment law and does not list all prohibitions, exclusions and regulations. Do not rely upon this article as legal advice. A qualified attorney must analyze all relevant facts and apply the applicable law to any matter before legal advice can be given. For more information regarding employment law or other legal matters, contact Patrick McGuiness at Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC at 651-206-3203 or pmcguiness@zmattorneys.com.)



Overflowing Crowds a Common Sight at NGE Seminars The dates for the 2015 MNLA / MTGF Northern Green Expo are set for Jan. 14-16 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This past January, overflowing crowds in many seminar rooms was a common sight at the 2014 Northern Green Expo (NGE) at the Minneapolis Convention Center in early January. Total attendance for the three day conference was 6,271. The keynote address by John Kennedy was well-received and provided an energetic boost to attendees and exhibitors. The MTGF celebrated 20 years of funding turf and grounds research at the University of Minnesota. The MTGF has donated more than $1,000,000 to help fund research projects that directly impact the green industry in Minnesota and turf and grounds professionals. Compared to 2013, more companies bought more booths to fill the Trade Show hall. Vendors generally seemed pleased with the Trade show traffic, especially on Thursday. The NGE will return to the Minneapolis Convention Center on Jan. 14-16, 2015. In these following figures, attendees were asked to "check all that apply" and consequently the percentages add up to or greater than 100.

Industry Segment Breakdown at NGE Arborist ............................................................... 8.5% Cemetery ............................................................. 2.4% Florist .................................................................. 2.5% Flower Grower .................................................... 5.3% Garden Center ..................................................... 16.6% Gardening Services ............................................. 12.5% Golf Course ......................................................... 14.0% Hardscape Installer ............................................ 20.3% Irrigation Contractor .......................................... 8.9% Landscape Contractor ........................................ 26.0% Landscape Designer ........................................... 20.5% Landscape Management ..................................... 16.5% Non-Profit ........................................................... 1.8% Nursery Grower ................................................... 14.5% Parks/Recreation ................................................ 13.4% School Grounds .................................................. 4.7% Sod Grower ........................................................ 1.4% Sports Turf .......................................................... 7.9% Student ................................................................ 3.1% Tree Care Services ............................................... 7.3% Other ................................................................... 4.8% Geographic Origination Minnesota ........................................................... 87% Wisconsin ........................................................... 5% Iowa ..................................................................... 2% North Dakota ...................................................... 1% South Dakota ....................................................... 1% Other ................................................................... 4%

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The Art of War and Plant Pathology By DR. ANGELA ORSHINSKY Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Pathology University of Minnesota As spring begins and plants come back to life, we will again “Know your enemy go to war with pathogens that threaten their health. Plant disease management is often thought of as a battle. Introductory plant pathology classes describe the conflict between the plant and the pathogen as a genetic arms race. When you’re thinking about management options such as fungicides or bactericides, the genetic arms race is between the pathogen and the chemical, which can result in fungicide resistance. Fungicides and bactericides are labeled specifically for each disease and crop for which they can be used. If you don’t know what pathogen you’re battling, how do you know what fungicide or bactericide to use? The most important part of battling plant disease is to know what pathogen you are up against. The most basic definition of a plant disease symptom is the reaction of a plant to pathogen infection. These reactions can be visible – spots, chlorosis, scorch, mosaic, stunting, etc. They can also be less apparent – loss of yield, reduced photosynthesis. Symptoms are the first step used by plant pathologists to identify the causal agent (pathogen) of disease. Often, these symptoms are not specific to a single pathogen. Just think of how many types of spots you may have seen on your ornamental flowers, tree leaves, or turf. A trained eye can discern subtle differences between these spots: is there a chlorotic halo, is the border purplish or more of a brown color, are there fruiting bodies in the center? In the case of fungal pathogens, it is sometimes possible to make a diagnosis using these visible symptoms and with a glance at the physical features of the fungus under the microscope. Plant disease diagnostics would be very simple if this were always the case. Often, fungal hyphae seen in diseased tissue is not enough to make a diagnosis. In these cases, it is necessary to isolate the pathogen from the plant into pure culture. Growing the fungus in vitro allows us to distinguish even more characters such as pigmentation, sporulation, sclerotia production, rate of growth, the number of nuclei per cell, hyphal branching angles, etc. In REALLY difficult cases, even this is not enough.

Sometimes, the fungus does not grow well (or at all) on laboratory media and sometimes, - Sun Tzu close fungal relatives are not easily recognized based on fungal features. In these cases, DNA or serological based identification is often necessary. Fungi are not the only microorganisms that cause disease. Let us not forget about bacteria, viruses, phytoplasmas, and nematodes! Bacteria, viruses, and phytoplasmas are particularly difficult to recognize. Bacteria can be seen with a light microscope, but even at the highest magnification (1000 x limit on a light microscope) you will only be able to discern the shape of the bacterium. This has limited use in diagnosis. Even more difficult are the viruses and phytoplasmas that require an electron microscope to look at objects measured in nanometers (1 nanometer is 0.000000038 inches). In these cases, it is almost always necessary to identify the pathogen using DNA methods or serological methods. In these cases, the symptoms provide us with a starting point. DNA and serological tests are very specific to the organism, so you can’t use them unless you know if it is a bacteria or virus and what specific bacteria or virus you think it may be. These methods include things like Agdia test strips and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). To complicate things even more, if you don’t have a specific PCR protocol for the organism in question, you will have to take the additional step of sequencing parts of the pathogen DNA. Whew! This is a lot of work! Lucky for you, the University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic can do ALL of these things! We have the resources to provide you with accurate diagnosis of plant pathogens so that you can know what steps to take to manage them. We have the expertise and tools to recognize subtle differences in plant disease symptoms, identify fungi based on their visible characteristics and apply DNA and serological tests to your mystery pathogens. Every year, the PDC diagnoses disease on trees, ornamentals, fruit, vegetables, grain, and any other kind of plant you can think of.

and know yourself”

(Continued on Page 11)

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UM Plant Disease Clinic-

Here is the description of our new Professional Turf Disease Diagnosis Fees:

(Continued from Page 10)

and apply DNA and serological tests to your mystery pathogens. Every year, the PDC diagnoses disease on trees, ornamentals, fruit, vegetables, grain, and any other kind of plant you can think of. New to the clinic this year, I (Angela Orshinsky) will be teaming up with the plant disease clinic (PDC) to offer diagnostic services specifically to professional turfgrass managers. A recent survey of Minnesota’s golf course superintendents revealed that people submitting samples to the PDC would like recommendations for how to battle turf pathogens. Personal conversations with the same group indicated an interest in a subscription based disease diagnostic service. We listened! Professional turf managers will now have the option of requesting a written report, phone call, or even a site visit through the PDC. Recommendations will be based on a compilation of fungicide testing results from across the country as well as cultural management practices that are based on published, scientific literature.

4Diagnosis with a phone consultation - $100 per sample. 4Diagnosis with written report and phone consultation - $150 per sample. 4Diagnosis with site visit and written report - $250 per sample. 4Subscription 1 – $500, 5 samples. Includes written reports, phone consultations. 4Subscription 2 – $1,000, Unlimited samples. Includes written reports, phone consultations, and one site visit. All samples and payments will be handled by the PDC. You can find out more about the PDC at the following website: pdc.umn.edu. It is the goal of the PDC to help you “know your enemy” so that you can plan appropriate strategies to reduce plant disease in your operation. We look forward to working with you this summer! * * * * (Editor’s Note: The University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic Turf Sample Submission Form is available at www.mtgf.org)


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2014 MTGF FUNDING - $50,000 Turfgrass Program Support

Principle Investigators: Dr. Eric Watkins, Dr. Brian Horgan, Sam Bauer and Dr. Angela Orshinsky University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ment as the virtual field day brought, We are proud of our dynamic and we’re looking forward to bringing the evolving turfgrass program. This sum“Our research was face-to-face field day back to the TROE mary document will describe new presented at four Center this August. Sam will lead this employees (Dr. Orshinsky) and graduate international conferences, effort. We’ve also added more content students, grants (MnDOT), extension 10 state and 12 Minnesota and frequent updates on the Turfgrass programs (Great Lakes School of Science Blog, which you can now subTurfgrass Science), articles published turf conferences reaching scribe to via email (www.turf.umn.edu). and exciting initiatives (Science of the over 7,500 people.” The Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Greensm). Arguably, we have assembled Science is a new online short course that the best turfgrass team in North we’re offering this spring along with 10 America. We are productive and appreciate the relationships we have developed with industry. We work other professors from eight institutions. We feel this will be a great step into a new age of online education. hard to make your jobs easier through innovative programming The turfgrass science program has added one new Junior and cutting edge research. We thank the MTGF for their continScientist, Mario Gagliardi, to work on research projects related to ued support. golf course turf as well as MnDOT sponsored research. Introduction: Angela Orshinsky has had an eventful first 6Five new graduate students joined our program in the past months. She has participated in extension programs, traveled to year. Madeline Leslie is investigating how to best communicate meet horticulture professionals, revamped the plant diagnostic information about low-input turfgrasses to the public. Long Ma is clinic (www.pdc.umn.edu), and hired support staff. Angela has conducting research related to fine fescue improvement; he is become an integral member of our team and is participating with currently evaluating several cultivars for their ability to produced many of our graduate student projects. root exudates that reduce weed growth. Garett Heineck is doing a Sam Bauer has been with our program as an Extension number of projects related to improving winterhardiness in Educator for almost two years. This year he took the virtual field perennial ryegrass, especially the ability of seed production fields day model and brought it to a new level with additional instructors and better quality video production. With as much excite(Continued on Page 13)

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root exudates that reduce weed growth. Garett Heineck is doing a number of projects related to improving winterhardiness in perennial ryegrass, especially the ability of seed production fieldsto produce more seed in year two of production. Clemon Dabney is researching the rhizosphere associated with low-input turfgrasses in order to see if there are differences in how certain grass species affect the soil microbial community. Ian Lane is evaluating the potential of lawns as a beneficial pollinator habitat. For the last two years, our program has been working internally to build a case to renovate the University of Minnesota golf course. This initiative is referred to as The Science of(the) Greens. This initiative builds scholarship into all aspects of the pre- and post-renovated golf course. The resulting model will assist the golf industry as it strives to add sustainable practices around business, agronomics and the environment. We have been given permission by the University leadership to pursue partnerships, vet the vision and fundraise. A full description of the case statement is attached in the appendix. In 2013, our research program published eight scientific papers, two abstracts, and 15 technical articles in magazines or proceedings. Our research was presented at four international conferences, 10 state and 12 Minnesota turf conferences reaching over 7,500 people. As you can see, and we hope appreciate, the $50,000 MTGF gift for 2013 to support the TROE Center gave a stellar return on investment. Environmental Sustainability Environmental issues will continue to be a focus of turfgrass management in the coming years. Research in this area will be an important resource for turfgrass managers as they make changes to help increase environmental sustainability in their communities. Current projects include the Science of (the) Green initiative, management practices to mitigate the loss of nutrients and pesticides in runoff; acute drought stress tolerance; developing a soil test to predict nitrate leaching potential; and use of alternative turfgrass species in an integrative pest management program.

northern United States. Low-input turfgrass varieties for cold climates will have an impact beyond Minnesota. Current projects include: improving winterhardiness in perennial ryegrass, reducing rust severity in seed production fields; increasing allelopathy in fine fescues, developing a better the turfgrass rhizosphere; screening for resistance to snow mold disease; screening cultivars and selections for drought tolerance; and breeding fine fescues for use on golf course fairways. Germplasm improvement efforts will continue with perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, prairie junegrass, tall fescue, hard fescue, sheep fescue, and tufted hairgrass. We are also the lead program on a large multi-institution fine fescue improvement project, and we will continue to work on a number of fine fescue research projects with our collaborators. The main goal of our program is to release cultivars that can be utilized by consumers and the turfgrass industry—in this area we have been quite successful. One of our recent perennial ryegrass varieties, ‘Arctic Green’ has been very popular and is one of the top-selling perennial ryegrass in the country. We have recently released two additional cultivars, ‘Royal Green’ and ‘Green Emperor’, which should be available to consumers in 2015. We will soon have additional perennial ryegrasses to release and hope to release a new hard fescue cultivar in 2014 or 2015. Faculty, staff, graduate students and research projects: Since 2004, a number of University of Minnesota faculty have conducted research at the TROE Center (Appendix II). These interdisciplinary research projects have impacted the turf and grounds industry in Minnesota and around the world. * * * * (Editor’s Note: Credits available at www.mtgf.org.)

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Management and Production Research on general turfgrass management and production will start to build a body of literature on the performance of the best varieties and species of turfgrasses for a range of greenspace uses. The data will be useful for homeowners, professional turfgrass managers and architects for designing, establishing and permitting new or reconstruction projects as it will narrow the potential varieties and mixtures to be considered. The results will also provide guidelines for best management practices for various inputs to turfgrass systems. Current projects include: NTEP trials (perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, with new trials for fine fescue and bentgrass planned for 2014); overseeding and interseeding as effective tools for species conversion; low-maintenance grass selection and evaluations; plant growth regulator usage on golf courses; wetting agent evaluations; and cool-temperature turfgrass maintenance strategies. Breeding and Genetics In the coming years, there may be a need for new species to use in low-input environments. We will be well-positioned to be at the forefront of this process both in Minnesota and across the www.MTGF.org

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2014 MTGF FUNDING - $5,000

Research: Various fertilizer sources and cultivation practices for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and potentially mineralizable nitrogen on Creeping bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass turfgrass Principle Investigators: Kristina Smith Walker, Ph.D., and Katy R. Nannenga, Ph.D. University of Minnesota - Crookston The concentration of carbon contribution of turfgrass ecosysâ&#x20AC;&#x153;The expected results from this study will dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere tems to climate change (Zhang et provide information about turfgrass management is increasing at an unprecedental., 2013). Fertilization of turfed rate, due primarily to fossil grass has been shown to increase practices that minimize greenhouse gas losses fuel burning and land use soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emisand mineralizable nitrogen for cool-season change. The increased awareness sions ranging from 0.5 to 6.4 kg turfgrasses which can be utilized to evaluate of this global problem, has led to N ha-1 yr-1 (Guilbault and the environmental efficacy of our current increased pressure by society to Matthias, 1998; Kaye et al., cultural management practices.â&#x20AC;? minimize the impacts of elevated 2004; Bremer, 2006; Groffman atmospheric concentrations of et al., 2009; Livesley et al., 2010; greenhouse gases (GHG). Townsend-Small and Czimczik, Nutrient cycling on golf courses has the capacity to sequester 2010; Zhang et al., 2013). Maggiotto et al. (2000) found that GHG through the accumulation of soil organic carbon (Qian and urea-based fertilizers minimized N2O emissions and indicated Follett, 2002; Milesi et al., 2005). However, cultural management that long-term effects of slow-release urea based fertilizers still practices can offset sequestration by mitigating GHG emissions need to be studied. directly (fertilization) or indirectly (maintenance equipment) Choice of fertilizer release (fast versus slow release) and mech(Bartlett and James, 2011). anism of fertilizer break-down needs to be considered as a Fertilizer application, irrigation, and other turfgrass managemethod for mitigating GHG emissions. Therefore, the purpose of ment practices have the potential to contribute to emissions and this project is to determine the impact (i) fertilizer source (Urea, mitigation of greenhouse gases, leading to uncertainties in the net (Continued on Page 15)



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Greenhouse Gases(Continued from Page 14)

Encapsulated Polyon, and Milorganite), (ii) turfgrass species (Agrostis stolonifera L. and Poa pratensis L.), and (iii) site location (wet and dry locations in the topography) have on GHG (carbon dioxide [CO2], methane [CH4], and nitrous oxide [N2O]) emissions and overall turfgrass quality. MATERIALS AND METHODS Sampling was initiated on June 2013 and occurred weekly throughout the summer and fall of 2013. At each sampling date, gas samples were taken using a vented closed gas chamber that was placed over the plots for 40 minutes following the USDA-ARS GRACEnet methods. Samples were taken from the same location throughout the summer as the anchors for the gas chambers were tamped into the ground flush with the soil surface at the beginning of the season. To ensure a good seal, the tops of the gas chambers were also tapped in after they were placed over the anchors (Figure 2). Gas samples were taken at 0, 20, and 40 minutes post closure of the chamber (Figure 3). This method allows gas concentrations to build up inside of the chamber, and a flux rate of the gases from the surface to be calculated based on the change in concentration over time. In addition, at each sampling date, we collected air temperature, soil temperature, soil moisture, turfgrass quality and canopy greenness data. Turfgrass quality is a visual rating of 1 to 9 where 1=bare soil, 6=minimally acceptable, 9=optimum uniformity, density, and greenness. Canopy greenhouse was assessed using a CM 1000 (NDVI Meter; Spectrum Technologies) chlorophyll meter. During the final sampling date in October 2013, soil cores were taken to determine potential nitrogen mineralization. PRELIMINARY RESULTS We have done some preliminary data analysis on the first four sampling dates in June 2013 (June 6, June 12, June 19, and June 26). Preliminary results show a trend (p<0.1) indicating higher CO2 emissions on the green than on the two rough sites. In addition, preliminary results also show CH4 emissions significantly (p<0.05) higher in the control than in the encapsulated polyon treatment across all sites. In addition, site showed significant (p<0.001) influence on N2O emissions; although treatment effects were not significant. On the four sampling dates analyzed, the rough in the dry location showed significantly higher N2O emissions than the other two sites; this trend was consistent across sampling dates. Interestingly, on the first sampling datethe rough in the wet location showed a negative flux of N2O, suggesting at times this location can act as a sink for N2O which is a potent greenhouse gas. For turfgrass quality, there were significant differences (p<0.05) in site location for the June 6 sampling date. Turfgrass quality was lower on the green (6.9) than either site locations in the rough (7.4). In addition, turfgrass quality was significantly (p<0.0001) higher for the encapsulated polyon and milorganite treatments (8.4) compared to the control (6.8) for the June 12 sampling date (Figure 4). Sampling will begin again in May 2014. CONCLUSIONS The expected results from this study will provide information about turfgrass management practices that minimize greenhouse gas losses and mineralizable nitrogen for cool-season turfgrasses which can be utilized to evaluate the environmental efficacy of our current cultural management practices. * * * * (Editor’s Note: Credits available at www.mtgf.org.) www.MTGF.org

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2014 MTGF FUNDING - $4,000

Research: Evaluation of turf management products for disease suppression, increased turf quality and stress tolerance, and genetic upregulation of plant defense reactions Principal Investigator: Dr. Angela Orshinsky

Collaborator: Sam Bauer

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Recently, turf managers have defense activator classification. The been subject to heavy marketing for fungicide resistance action commit“The use of fungicides for plant a group of products called defense tee (FRAC) currently only accepts health purposes as opposed to activators, such as Civitas and five molecules as defense activator plant disease control could Daconil Action and the biopesticide, compounds. These include benzothcontribute to a hastening in Rhapsody. Other fungicide products iadiazole (BTH, acibenzolar), probethe development of fungicide claiming to increase plant health nazole, tiadinil/isotianil, laminarin, resistance by important plant parameters include strobilurin and giant knotweed extract (FRAC, pathogens as well as an increased fungicides such as Insignia SC and 2013). Other compounds that are cost to turf managers.” Interface as well as Signature commonly promoted as having (Fosetyl-Al). Acibenzolar-s-methyl, plant defense activating activity an ingredient in Daconil Action has include mineral oil compounds and been shown to increase salicylic acid-mediated pathways in phosphonates, which are classified as having “unclassified” and numerous crops. Bacillus subtilis, the ingredient in Rhapsody, “unknown mode of action”, respectively (FRAC, 2013). has demonstrated ability to promote induced systemic resistance Despite the classification of these compounds by FRAC, severin various cropping systems. However, the genetic components of al manufacturers promote plant defense activation on their label. plant defense activator responses have not been demonstrated in There is evidence that these compounds can induce plant defense the field. A recent survey of the Minnesota Golf Course responses. For example, Cortes-Barco et al. (2010) found that Superintendents Association membership indicated that many markers of the ISR response were upregulated after pathogen superintendents are not clear about what products are plant challenge when treated with the isoparaffin molecule component defense activators versus fungicides claiming plant health effects. of Civitas. However, this study was conducted using grass grown Of the 143 MGCSA members responding to the survey, 75 % are in a contained, sterile environment where the lack of natural applying these products. Many (12 %) are applying these prodmicroflora and environmental stresses could have affected the ucts for the claimed plant health benefit, and 39 % of members degree of differences in gene expression between treated and do not know if the products are working. This study will evaluate untreated grasses. There is also evidence for increased defense these products by investigating plant health parameters including responses by some phosphonate compounds (Daniel and Guest, root length and density, canopy temperature, turf quality ratings, 2006; Jackson et al., 2001), but there is no confirmed response of canopy greenness, and suppression of brown patch disease. The increased transcription of plant defense genes with these comstudy will also measure the expression of genes required for plant pounds. defense reactions. The results of this study will assist in educating Another group of fungicides are promoted as having plant turf managers about plant defense activators and to confirm health or stress protecting activity. These fungicides include plant health effects of newer fungicide formulations. Insignia SC IntrinsicTM (pyraclostrobin) and InterfaceTM (iprodione and trifloxystrobin). The plant health or stress guard claims RATIONALE FOR RESEARCH are associated with proprietary formulations. The brochures for these products demonstrate noticeable improvement in root Defense activators are compounds that upregulate either the length and density and canopy temperatures that could be associsystemic acquired resistance (SAR) or induced systemic response ated with improved plant health. This claim has not been suffi(ISR) responses in plants. Compounds with direct fungicidal ciently confirmed in peer-reviewed literature. activity are by nature fungicides and are not included in the plant (Continued on Page 17)

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Chemical Evaluations-


(Continued from Page 16)

TURF AND GROUNDS MANAGERS A survey of MGCSA members this past winter established that 73 % of respondents are using plant defense activators. When asked what plant defense activators they were using, a majority of respondents identified Civitas and Daconil Action while some respondents identified chemicals that are not considered plant defense activators (Orshinsky, 2014). This demonstrates a clear need for educational materials and outreach to the MGCSA members to ensure a proper understanding of these chemistries. However, the real concern is that when asked if the plant defense activators worked, 3 % of respondents answered no and 37 % did not know if the plant defense activators worked (Orshinsky, 2014). Furthermore, it is important that we establish a clear role for fungicides that are being promoted for increasing plant health and stress tolerance in addition to disease suppression. The use of fungicides for plant health purposes as opposed to plant disease control could contribute to a hastening in the development of fungicide resistance by important plant pathogens as well as an increased cost to turf managers. This study aims to produce publishable results that clearly demonstrate plant health and plant disease suppressive activity of these compounds. The results of the study will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, Plant Disease. Furthermore, the results will be demonstrated this year at the UMN Turf Science field day. Finally, this study will aid in the development of turf management recommendations by the principle investigator.

Chemical treatments to be evaluated in this study include Civitas-Harmonizer (Suncor Energy), Daconil Action (Syngenta), Daconil Weatherstick (as a control, Syngenta), Intrinsic fungicide (BASF), Interface with Stressguard (Bayer), Rhapsody biopesticide (Bayer Environmental Sciences), Fosetyl-Al (Chipco Signature), and a water control. The experimental objectives include: 1) Evaluate chemical treatments on plant health parameters including plant root length and density, total root mass (fresh and dry weight), canopy temperature, and turf quality. 2) Evaluate the disease suppressive activity of the treatments on pathogens for which they are labelled. The pathogens used will be Rhizoctonia solani (brown patch) and Pythium aphanidermatum (Pythium blight; specifically for Signature). 3) Determine the ability of chemicals to upregulate plant defense genes using relative real-time reverse transcription (RTPCR) both prior to and after pathogen challenge inoculations. 4) Observe pathogen-challenged leaves of treated plots to identify observable differences in the prevention of pathogen infection and plant resistance responses. MATERIALS AND METHODS All experiments will be conducted in 2014 and 2015 to satisfy a two year minimum of field trial results required for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Each treatment described will consist of four 1.5 m x 1.5 m treatment replicates arranged in a randomized complete block design. * * * * (Editor’s Note: Credits available at www.mtgf.org.)

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2014 MTGF FUNDING - $20,000

Research: Selecting American Elms for Resistance to Dutch Elm Disease Principal Investigators: Robert A. Blanchette, Benjamin Held, Gary Johnson and Chad Giblin University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Dutch elm disease (DED) was first found in Minnesota in 1961. Since that time, the disease has killed millions of elm trees and the losses have been a tragedy. The American elm is an excellent tree for urban areas and is also a very important forest species. The elm tolerates salt, pollution and other stresses better than most other tree species. It also is an important component in the ecology of Minnesota’s forests. Continued heavy disease pressure from the aggressive strain of the fungus, Ophiostoma novo-ulmi is still occurring and trees continue to die. Of great interest are the few trees that remain alive in areas of heavy disease pressure. With the help of arborists and foresters we have been able to identify elms that appear to have disease resistance. To determine if these trees truly have resistance it is necessary to propagate the trees and test them by inoculation with the fungus. Field testing of these trees is also essential. For this long term research to be successful continued support is needed. This proposal continues the screening of potentially DED resistant elm selections, both in the greenhouse and field and it also supports work to find more rapid methods of propagation and screening. This joint effort between professors Blanchette and Johnson and among Forestry, Plant Pathology and Horticulture at the


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University of Minnesota is showing great promise in obtaining DED resistant elm cultivars that will grow well in Minnesota and across the northern United States. BENEFITS TO GROUNDS MANAGERS In an effort to combat DED and keep American elms in our landscapes, resistant selections are being used with increasing frequency in urban areas. This has been a positive trend toward the reestablishment of the American elm. However, the DED pathogen has hybridized in the recent past and Ophiostoma ulmi has been displaced by the more virulent strain Ophiostoma novoulmi (Brasier 2001). Because the resistance mechanisms in elm are not currently understood, it is not clear how today’s resistant varieties will tolerate the pathogen if its’ virulence changes in the future. The resistance of particular elms to DED will last only as long as the virulence of the pathogen remains the same or lower. In this light, it is important to have a variety of genotypes of resistant elms to protect against losing large populations of trees with similar genetic background. Furthermore, it is exceedingly important that newly-identified trees and putatively-resistant trees are thoroughly tested before they are marketed as “resistant”. The objective of our research is to identify and test putative resistance of selected elms in an effort to bring disease resistant, cold hardy, aesthetically pleasing Minnesota elms that grounds managers can utilize back into our landscape. We currently have about 50 elm selections of interest, collected from various locations throughout Minnesota. These trees have been identified by interactions with individuals, landowners, city officials, arborists and foresters throughout Minnesota to identify candidate elms for our program. An interactive map has been developed and is on-line to show the locations for the various elms that have been identified around the state of Minnesota. The map can be found at http://elms.umn.edu/elm-map. Many of these elms are currently being propagated and will be ready for screening this summer and over the next few years. American elm (Ulmus americana), rock elm (U. thomasii), and red elm (U. rubra) are all wellrepresented in our collections. Detailed information about these trees has been obtained and a few examples of the identified trees are listed below along with a photograph of the tree. OBJECTIVES

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1) Search for and propagate additional selections of elm from the Minnesota landscape. 2) Greenhouse screening trials using putatively resistant selections from the Minnesota landscape and grafted material. 3) Inoculate trees in the field. 4) Determine ploidy of selected Minnesota elms and others used in trials. 5) Study mechanisms of resistance in elms to Dutch elm disease. * * * * (Editor’s Note: Credits available at www.mtgf.org.) www.MTGF.org


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ABOUT THE COVER The UM / MTGF Field Day will take place August 7 at TROE Center on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus. (See story on Page 5)





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