Golf Course Management

DEC 2013

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

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THE INSIDER: turf Teresa Carson Six-legged villains Both annual bluegrass weevils (top) and mole crickets continue to be persistent problems on golf course turf. Photos by Davis Held and Richard Cowles "Caddyshack" aside, if a movie were to NEWS & notes PBI-Gordon Corp. has a new website, GordonsProfessional. com, that provides a centralized, updated source of information about the company's professional products. Product information includes technical specification sheets, product labels, and distributor and sales rep locators. The site has resources for professional turf and ornamental managers such as sprayer calibration guides, product application schedules, a trimming-cost calculator, product registration listing by state, a weights and measures conversion chart, and links to industry resources such as WeedAlert.com. The new site separates information for the professional chemical market from PBIGordon.com, which had previously served as the Web presence for the company's corporate information, professional and consumer products. Presented in partnership with Barenbrug 38 GCM December 2013 be made about a superintendent's worst enemies, many of them would have six legs. Researchers from across the United States who specialize in the insects that specialize in turf gathered in Rhode Island in late August to discuss their recent research. Although the insects of interest often remain the same from year to year, their habitats frequently expand as does the body of information about their life cycles, feeding habits and the methods used to control them. Insects of interest in 2013 include annual bluegrass weevils, chinch bugs, billbugs, mole crickets, crane fies, earthworms, caterpillars, ants (including fre ants), nematodes, various chafers, mealybugs, black cutworms, sod webworms, armyworms, white grubs, oriental and Japanese beetles and green June beetles. Among the hot topics at the meeting were protecting bees and other pollinators; insect resistance to pesticides (especially in annual bluegrass weevil, southern chinch bug and fall armyworm); and controlling insects in the most environmentally friendly way possible. A few highlights of the meetings follow. Annual bluegrass weevil. In the northeastern United States, the annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) continues to be more than a nuisance, and it has expanded its range as far south as North Carolina. It is also present in Ohio (north and east of Cleveland to Wheeling, W.Va.) as well as Virginia, Delaware and Maryland. In some areas, the ABW consumes creeping bentgrass — although creeping bentgrass tolerates three times as many ABW as does annual bluegrass. Pat Vittum, Ph.D., at University of MassachusettsAmherst; Ben McGraw, Ph.D., at SUNY Delhi (N.Y); and Albrecht Kopenhoffer, Ph.D., at Rutgers are all studying ABW. Recent studies have shown that fecundity in ABW is higher than expected and that overwintering adults are still out in June and July. Learning more about the ABW life cycle is extremely important because more and more areas are reporting resistance to insecticides. Mole crickets. At Auburn (Ala.) University, David Held, Ph.D., and his graduate students David Bailey and Yao Xu have been studying the tunneling behavior and eating habits of mole crickets. In his feldwork, Bailey found that long tunnels in sandy and loamy soils increase water infltration rate and that infestations of mole crickets may cause the pesticide applications to control mole crickets to move more quickly to groundwater. Yao Xu has found that mole crickets prefer animal diets to plant-based and are much smaller when fed only a plant-based diet. Held says that mole crickets cause more root damage to turf when worms are present even though the mole crickets are eating the worms and very little turf. IPM. For 13 years, Jennifer Grant, Ph.D., at Cornell University has been working on alternative cultural practices and pest management systems that lead to reduced chemical use on golf courses. The publication "Reducing Chemical Use on Golf Course Turf: Redefning IPM" by Bob Portmess, Jennifer Grant and Frank Rossi (available at www.hort.cornell.edu/turf/pubs/ manual.html) is based on long-term research at Bethpage State Park's Green Course that can help superintendents become less reliant on pesticides and fertilizers. A short document, "Reducing the Risks of Golf Course Management: The Bethpage Project" is available without charge on the Cornell website (www.nysipm.cornell.edu/ publications/red_risk_golf/default.asp). More information related to the 2013 Turfgrass Entomology Workshop will appear in subsequent issues of GCM. GCM Teresa Carson (tcarson@gcsaa.org) is GCM's science editor.

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