Golf Course Management

SEP 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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86 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 09.14 Effects of dew removal on the incidence of Microdochium patch Rolling is far more effective than other forms of dew removal in reducing Microdochium patch. Dew on turfgrass leaves provides humid conditions that are conducive to fungal growth (1). In some cases, the morning mois - ture on the leaf surface is a mixture of dew and guttation material consisting of amino acids and sugars that further enhance fungal devel - opment (2,5). As a result, golf course superin- tendents have often taken measures to remove dew as a cultural practice for reducing turf - grass diseases. Dew whips, brushes, mowers, rollers, hoses, chains, fans, blowers and wet - ting agents are all common techniques for dew removal. Because of the environmental conditions in the Pacifc Northwest, northern Europe and western Canada, golf courses in these re - gions will likely spend more time and money managing Microdochium patch (caused by the fungal pathogen Microdoc ium nivale) than any other disease (7). The determining factors for disease incidence are a temperature range of 46 F to 68 F (8 C to 20 C) and humid conditions at or above 90% for more than 24 hours (3), which are typical winter conditions in the geographical regions mentioned above. Indeed, when the turf canopy has dried out, often as a result of warm and sunny condi - tions, Microdochium patch is no longer active (6). Because Microdochium patch requires humidity, dew removal practices would be a logical tool for dealing with the disease. Research objective To explore this hypothesis, two differ- ent feld research projects exploring differ- ent dew removal techniques and their effects on Microdochium patch were conducted in C. Mattox A. Kowalewski, Ph.D. B. McDonald, M.S. Dew removal treatments are: daily whipping (top), rolling using a Tru-Turf roller (left), and blowing using a Buffalo Blower with Sandevil attachment (right) in 2013 at the Lewis-Brown Farm in Corvallis, Ore. Photos by Brian McDonald (top) and Clint Mattox

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