Golf Course Management

DEC 2012

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

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cutting edge Research in progress by wet soil conditions. Pythium root dysfunction is not associated with root necrosis, and is more prevalent in well-drained soil profiles on younger creeping bentgrass greens (<5 years). Misidentifi- cation of the two diseases may be leading to incor- rect fungicide selection or application timing. An improved method of identifying Pythium species and confirmation of pathogenicity is needed to allow for effective design of preventive programs. Collection and isolation of Pythium isolates were initiated in May 2012 and will continue through the next two seasons. Aggressiveness assessment began in October 2012, and the most aggres- sive species will be selected for inoculation into microplots for field management studies. — J.B. Workman, G.L. Miller, Ph.D. (; B.F. Fresenburg, University of Missouri; and J.P. Kerns, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin Photo by O. Kostromytska Plant host resistance to annual bluegrass weevil Annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) is a serious These research projects are being funded by the Environmental Institute for Golf. and expanding pest of short-cut turfgrass. Pres- ently, chemical control is the only effective and commonly used management strategy. However, ABW's development of resistance to pyrethroids has made it clear that reliance on a single manage- ment strategy is no longer sustainable. The main focus of our study is to investigate plant host resis- tance/tolerance among existing bentgrass cultivars as a sustainable ABW management option that will suppress ABW populations. A series of labo- ratory, greenhouse and field studies will be con- ducted to determine attractiveness and/or suitabil- ity of bentgrass cultivars for ABW oviposition and larval survival, growth and development. Bent- grass cultivars and annual bluegrass (Poa annua) will be exposed to the same larval feeding pressure to compare tolerance levels. Results will provide superintendents with the knowledge needed to select more sustainable turfgrasses that will replace P. annua, be less prone to damage (more tolerant) and, ideally, will also suppress ABW populations (resistant). — Albrecht Koppenhöfer, Ph.D. (koppen, Rutgers University and Olga Kostromytska, Photo by G.L. Miller Root-infecting Pythium species in creeping bentgrass greens Impairment of root function by Pythium spe- Teresa Carson 92 GCM December 2012 cies can lead to rapid decline of creeping bentgrass during summer stress. Pythium root rot causes blackening of affected roots and is exacerbated Deficit irrigation and traffic affect bermudagrass fairways Texas has endured a significant and pro- longed well drought, considerable to make cutbacks as as rapid popu- lation growth. As a result, water purvey- ors have forced super- intendents when water is criti- cal to turfgrass health and survival. Research is under way to evaluate impacts of season-long deficit irrigation and traffic on quality, persistence and recovery of bermuda- grass fairways. Four irrigation levels (60%, 45%, 30% and 0% ETo) and two simulated traffic regimes are being evaluated. UgMo wireless sen- sors are used for relating turf quality responses to soil moisture. Divot recovery time is evaluated in each treatment. During the initial season, irriga- tion levels *30% ETo were adequate for support- ing acceptable season-long turf quality. Where traffic was received, irrigation levels of *45% ETo were needed to produce acceptable fairway turf. Divot recovery time is considerably longer with decreased irrigation. Full irrigation levels are cur- rently being applied to all plots to assess fall recov- ery. — Ben Wherley, Ph.D. (; Reagan Hejl; Richard White, Ph.D.; and Jim Thomas, Texas A&M University Photo by B. Wherley GCM Teresa Carson ( is GCM's science editor.

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