Golf Course Management

AUG 2014

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

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08.14 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 81 ing creeping bentgrass (seven or more days after the last application). It also can be used as a post-emergence control for smaller per - centages of Poa, while transitioning to desir- able turfgrass. Ultimately, Mason said, the product would eliminate Poa annua, which could lead to less pesticide use due to a possible reduction in dis - ease and insects on our fairways. My initial thought: If it works, Xonerate will certainly help in fairway and tee use at Centre Hills. And there's also the possibility of using this same product on greens (although our initial focus is fairways at this time; we used it in an experimental trial on our nurs - ery green). We have 27 greens at Centre Hills, and all three nines have very different percent - ages of Poa annua mixed with the Penncross, Penn A-1/A-4 and T-1 creeping bentgrass, so if it works as well as I hope it does, this prod - uct could slowly reduce the Poa population in high percentage greens. Cultural practices on the greens also help: core aerifcation in the spring with ¼-inch tines and in the fall with ½-inch tines to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, verticutting every two to three weeks, light topdressing every one to two weeks, needle-tining (with 0.3-inch solid tines so the holes close quickly) every three to four weeks, and lightweight rolling fve days a week. Our goal is to achieve a consistent creeping bentgrass/Poa annua ratio across all 27 holes. And the science behind this herbicide made sense for us to use at Centre Hills. The product contains the active ingredient amicar - bazone, which selectively inhibits photosyn- thesis in annual bluegrass and causes death of Poa annua over a 14- to 28-day period (our treatments at Centre Hills occurred over 14- The treated fairway areas at Centre Hills CC are pictured three weeks after the third application of Xonerate. We realize we have a little too much Poa annua in the cleanup areas, which will need a slower approach to eradicate it. ing with single-row fairway irrigation to main- tain bentgrass, which contributes to stressed fairway edges. Noting these challenges, we had been using paclobutrazol on fairways to control our Poa annua issues. In response, the Poa pop - ulation had held steady with this treatment program. So, what comes next in fghting this Poa predicament? I frst learned about a herbicide called Xonerate (Arysta LifeScience) from Keith Perl with Walker Supply. In discussing the opportunity to try the herbicide at Centre Hills, I then worked with Todd Mason, with the turf and ornamental team at Arysta Life - Science, to gain further information. Mason shared some basics with our team. He told us that Xonerate doesn't just manage or suppress Poa annua on turfgrasses, it elimi - nates it. Mason said studies have shown this product to be 90 percent effective in control - ling Poa. Comparing it to current products, we liked the product's greater application fexibility. There are fewer nutrient requirements, as well as less time spent watering and mowing. Ad - ditional benefts included selective removal of Poa annua and a shorter wait before reseed -

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