Golf Course Management

APR 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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04.19 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 83 tions to the entire plot, and site-specific appli- cations occurred only where disease symptoms had previously been present. Plots were 18 feet × 20 feet (5.5 meters × 6 meters) with 20 rep - lications of four treatments for a total of 80 plots per location. Once plots were established in the field, they were built into QGIS global information system software for analysis. Be - cause of the sporadic incidence of spring dead spot, plots were evaluated for disease severity and then randomly assigned one of four treat - ments with a known bias to evenly spread dis- ease severity among treatments. Site-specific applications were made only when spring dead spot symptoms were pres - ent the previous spring. In 2016, our meth- ods included manual analysis of disease maps and dividing our plots into subplots rep - resenting the left, right or center boom of a sprayer. If these subplots met our spring dead spot threshold, the subplots were sprayed in our site-specific treatment. In the fall of the year, plots were re-established in the field, and subplots were flagged for application. is method was labor-intensive and not conducive to practical application. Methods were developed in 2017 to im - prove the automation of site-specific applica- tions using disease incidence maps. In 2017, our methods allowed for maps, built with im - agery captured by unmanned aerial vehicles, to be created and analyzed for spring dead spot symptoms in QGIS. ese disease inci - dence maps were then turned into fungicide application maps in QGIS installed into a GPS-guided Toro Multipro Sprayer with Geo - Link, individual nozzle control and RTK cor- rection. (Note: RTK, or real-time kinematic positioning, is a satellite navigation technique used to enhance the precision of position data derived from satellite-based positioning sys - tems such as GPS). Buffers 3.3 feet (1 meter) long were placed around every spring dead spot patch to cre - ate spray zones for our site-specific treatments. Our team simply operated the sprayer while the installed maps guided the application, based on historical disease incidence. is method was also used for our blanket treat - ments in 2017. Treatments were initiated in the fall of the year when soil temperatures fell below 70 F (21 C), with a second application three to four weeks after the first. e applications took place on Sept. 26, 2016; Oct. 17, 2016; Sept. 18, 2017; and Oct. 17, 2018. Quali- Pro's Tebuconazole 3.6F was used to represent The sprayer used in our research to make site-specific applications in 2017 was a Toro 5800 Multipro sprayer with GeoLink GPS technology, RTK correction and individual nozzle control.

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