Current Turfgrass News and Events

Current Turfgrass News and Events, Turfgrass News Articles.
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Bermudagrass versus the armyworm
The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is particularly destructive to warm-season turfgrass species, including bermudagrass, a widely popular turfgrass predominantly used of golf courses, athletic grounds, and ornamental landscapes across the country and throughout the world. (2020-12-15)

Evapotranspiration in an arid environment
Evapotranspiration is an important process in the water cycle because it is responsible for 15% of the atmosphere's water vapor. Without that input of water vapor, clouds could not form, and precipitation would never fall. It is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces and by transpiration from plants. (2020-12-15)

Trees and lawns beat the heat
As climate change pushes many cities towards dangerous temperatures, planners are scrambling to mitigate excessive heat. One strategy is to replace artificial surfaces with vegetation cover. In water-limited regions, municipalities have to balance the benefit of cooler temperatures with using precious water for irrigation. A new University of Utah study will make those decisions easier for the semi-arid Salt Lake Valley, the largest metropolitan area in Utah located in the northern part of the state. (2020-10-13)

Persistence of forages is dependent on harvest intervals
Research investigates effects of harvest intervals on alfalfa in southeastern United States. (2020-05-14)

Bermudagrass harvest management options with poultry litter fertilization
Managing Harvests of 'Russell' and 'Tifton 44' Bermudagrass Receiving Broiler Litter for Phosphorus Removal and Nutritive Value (2020-04-30)

Pollinator friendliness can extend beyond early spring
A study out of the University of Arkansas investigated whether bulbs can flower and persist in warm-season lawns while providing nutrition for pollinating insects. (2019-11-21)

Urban development reduces flash flooding chances in arid West
Urban development in the eastern United States results in an increase in flash flooding in nearby streams, but in the arid West, urbanization has just the opposite effect, according to a Penn State researcher, who suggests there may be lessons to be learned from the sharp contrast. (2019-11-13)

Mixing grass varieties may reduce insect infestations in lawns
A simple change in the choice of grass varieties for lawns of St. Augustinegrass could be a key tool for fending off fall armyworm infestations, according to new research. While no single St. Augustinegrass cultivar rises above the rest in resisting infestation, mixing varieties may confer some benefits, as fall armyworms clearly preferred single-cultivar plantings in a series of lab tests. (2019-04-22)

The trials of turfgrass breeders
In the United States, turfgrasses occupy 1.9 percent of the continental surface and cover an area three times larger than any irrigated crop. Turfgrasses provide functional benefits such as water quality protection, soil erosion control, and water microclimate moderation. To fulfill the needs of consumers and to contribute to environmental sustainability, turfgrass breeding programs evaluate, develop, and introduce turfgrasses with superior traits. Various turfgrass species have been assessed for pest and disease resistance, climatic region adaptation, drought tolerance, and reduced nitrogen requirements. (2019-02-27)

Golf course managers challenged by fungicide-resistant turf grass disease
Dollar spot -- the most common, troublesome and damaging turfgrass disease plaguing golf courses -- is becoming increasingly resistant to fungicides applied to manage it, according to Penn State researchers. (2018-10-24)

Study could spawn better ways to combat crop-killing fungus
About 21 million years ago, a fungus that causes a devastating disease in rice first became harmful to the food that nourishes roughly half the world's population, according to an international study led by Rutgers University-New Brunswick scientists. The findings may help lead to different ways to fight or prevent crop and plant diseases, such as new fungicides and more effective quarantines. (2018-04-26)

Soil microbes persist through National Mall facelift
It's not every day United States history mixes with microbes in the soil. But when the turf on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was replaced, it offered scientists the opportunity to study changes in the soil microbiome underneath. (2017-08-16)

Mow before you spray, and other tips for protecting pollinators in grassy landscapes
With the right combination of methods, landscape managers can strike an effective balance between pest management and protecting pollinators in turfgrass settings. A new, open-access guide in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management offers an in-depth look at best practices for protecting pollinators such as bees and butterflies while reducing pests in lawns, fields, golf courses, and other managed grass settings. (2017-07-17)

Barley genome sequenced
Looking for a better beer or single malt Scotch whiskey? A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside may have you covered. They are among a group of 77 scientists worldwide who have sequenced the complete genome of barley, a key ingredient in beer and single malt Scotch. The research, 10 years in the making, was just published in the journal Nature. (2017-04-26)

New paper published in Phytobiomes may lead to novel methods of Rhizoctonia solani control
In a research paper just published in Phytobiomes, a fully open-access journal of The American Phytopathological Society, University of Florida researcher Ken Obasa and colleagues identified a novel and important biological aspect of R. Solani while investigating brown patch infected cool-season turfgrasses: R. solani isolated from diseased tissue were persistently associated with bacteria during growth on solid media, leading them to uncover the impact of a bacterium on brown patch disease. (2017-02-23)

Scientific societies send 'scientific integrity' letter to President Trump
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), and the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) sent an open letter today to President Trump, asking that he 'protect and defend the scientific integrity of federal scientists.' (2017-01-30)

High-intensity light promotes anthocyanin accumulation in rough bluegrass
Researchers determined optimal light conditions necessary for inducing large quantities of anthocyanins in rough bluegrass. Experiments showed that anthocyanin content increased by 100-fold (on average) when exposed to high-intensity white light. Blue light (at intensities between 150 and 250 mmol·m-2·s-1) was the only wavelength that increased anthocyanin content. When red light was applied with blue light at 30 percent or 50 percent of the total light intensity, anthocyanin content was increased compared with blue light alone. (2016-12-27)

Crop Science Society celebrates two UTIA turf specialists
Among the awards presented by the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) at its November 6-9 annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, were two significant honors for UTIA members John Stier and Jim Brosnan. (2016-12-21)

Handheld, mobile data technologies compared for turfgrass
Researchers compared handheld and mobile data acquisitions of soil moisture, soil compaction, and turfgrass vigor of four natural turfgrass sports fields using two sampling grid sizes. Differences between the grid sizes were minimal, indicating that sampling with handheld devices using a 4.8 x 9.6-m grid would achieve results similar to the smaller grid size. Minimal differences were observed between devices when measuring soil moisture and turfgrass vigor, and both technologies had demonstrated advantages. (2016-11-28)

Cultivation technologies benefit ultradwarf bermudagrass
Experiments determined the best combination of dry-injection (DI) cultivation technology with modified hollow-tine (HT) aerification programs for ultradwarf bermudagrass putting greens. The researchers recommended DI used in combination with HT 1.3- or 0.6-cm-diameter tine sizes to improve soil physical properties. The results showed that the DI + HT 0.6-cm-diameter tine size treatment resulted in minimum surface disruption while still improving soil physical properties compared with the noncultivated control. (2016-11-28)

Spooky new fungal disease on southern golf courses unmasked
A turfgrass disease that looked like an ink spill on many southern golf courses has been identified and all but blotted out, according to a plant pathologist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The disease occurs on short-cut Bermuda and Zoysia grasses. (2016-10-31)

Seed coating effective on turfgrass under deficit irrigation
Researchers used low-dose applications of a surfactant film coating (SFC) in experiments with two species of turfgrass. Perennial ryegrass density, cover, and aboveground biomass from the SFC were ≈47%, 48%, and 46% greater than untreated seed, respectively. Tall fescue density, cover, and aboveground biomass from the SFC seeds were ≈22%, 23%, and 28% greater than untreated seed, respectively. The study demonstrated that SFC can promote seed germination and enhance turfgrass establishment under deficit irrigation. (2016-10-19)

New UTIA center to provide weed diagnostic tests
Employing both whole-plant and molecular methods, specialists at the University of Tennessee Weed Diagnostics Center provide a wide range of services from basic weed identification to herbicide resistance tests using DNA screening. (2016-10-10)

Blending wastewater may help California cope with drought
Researchers at UC Riverside have developed an economic model that demonstrates how flexible wastewater treatment processes which blend varying levels of treated effluent can create a water supply that benefits crops and is affordable. (2016-08-25)

Aesthetic appeal of dormant Zoysiagrass enhanced with colorants
Scientists quantified the impact of colorants applied in autumn on zoysiagrass in the transition zone. Persistence of green color increased with application volume, but differences among colorants were limited. Compared with tall fescue, colorant-treated zoysiagrass had significantly higher color ratings for 98-112 days at 80 gal/acre, 112-154 days at 160 gal/acre, and 138-154 days at 240 gal/acre. Results showed that duration of acceptable color on zoysiagrass lawns can be enhanced by increasing colorant application volume. (2016-08-08)

Mulching plus remediation corrects contaminated lawns
A study compared the effectiveness of combining mulching with remediation for reseeding lawns damaged by diesel and hydraulic fluid spills. Reseeding perennial ryegrass and mulching with peat pellets after remediation with either humic amendment or activated charcoal resulted in acceptable turf quality six weeks after fluid spills. The method was determined effective and recommended for use with other cool-season turfgrasses. (2016-07-28)

Winter overseeding and colorant treatments compared for bermudagrass
A two-year study evaluated effects of winter treatments on performance, turfgrass injury, and spring transition of bermudagrass under a supplemental irrigation schedule. Overseeding reduced bermudagrass spring transition by up to 50% compared with untreated and colorant-treated plots. Fall colorant treatments did not accelerate bermudagrass transition compared with untreated plots. Analyses showed that seasonal environmental differences can impact relative benefits derived from colorant applications, as well as performance of annual and perennial ryegrass. (2016-07-20)

To save water on lawns, throw some shade
How much water does your lawn really need? A University of Utah study re-evaluated lawn watering recommendations by measuring water use by lawns in Los Angeles. The standard model of turfgrass water needs, they found, lacked precision in some common urban southern California conditions, like the Santa Ana winds, or in the shade. (2016-07-13)

How cool-season turfgrasses respond to elevated UV-B radiation
A study investigated the effects of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) light on cool-season turfgrasses (tall fescue, creeping bentgrass, and perennial ryegrass). Experiments demonstrated that exposure to UV-B resulted in a decline of growth rate and color in cool-season turfgrasses within two weeks. Coarse-textured turf grasses (tall fescue and perennial ryegrass) had higher growth rates compared to finer-textured varieties, and the coarser-leaved plants maintained acceptable color levels compared with the finer-textured creeping bentgrasses. (2016-06-27)

United States Golf Association taps Danforth Center to improve course sustainability
Research will advance the development of salt-tolerant turf varieties. (2016-06-13)

Genetic engineering report findings supported by Crop, Agronomy Societies
The recent NAS report on genetically engineered crops aligns with statements from Agronomy and Crop Societies: Scientific research overwhelmingly shows GE crops are safe and pose no significant health or environmental risks. (2016-05-19)

A new resource to help manage billbugs in turfgrass
Billbugs are a major pest of turfgrass, a crop that brings in tens of billions of dollars in annual revenues. A new article in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management sheds light on how to manage this damaging insect. (2016-05-02)

Open-access article on masked chafer grubs in turfgrass explains management techniques
An article in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management explains the biology of white grubs, also known as masked chafers, and discusses options for managing them. (2016-03-30)

Media advisory: Insect scientists to meet in Raleigh, NC
Members of the media are welcome to attend the 90th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Branch (SEB) of the Entomological Society of America, March 13-16, 2016, in Raleigh, NC. (2016-03-07)

Crop Science Society sending students to Zambia for conference
The Crop Science Society of America is sending ten graduate students to Zambia to learn more about dry bean research and increase international knowledge of this important crop. CSSA worked in collaboration with the US Agency for International Development and Feed the Future's Knowledge-Driven Agricultural Development project to select and fund the students. (2016-02-22)

Kansas State University researchers staying ahead of wheat blast disease
Kansas State University researchers have received $6.5 million from the US Department of Agriculture since 2009 to keep a devastating wheat fungus out of the country's farm fields. (2016-02-11)

2016 named International Year of Pulses
Crop scientists are celebrating these nutritious, sustainable beans. (2015-12-17)

'Déjà vu all over again:' Research shows 'mulch fungus' causes turfgrass disease
Inadvertently continuing a line of study they conducted about 15 years ago, a team of Penn State researchers recently discovered the causal agent for an emerging turfgrass disease affecting golf courses around the world. (2015-07-02)

Recycled water, salt-tolerant grass a water-saving pair
Plants need water. People need water. Unfortunately, there's only so much clean water to go around -- and so the effort begins to find a solution. One strategy is to use treated wastewater, containing salt leftover from the cleaning process, to water large areas of turf grass. Researchers have found ways to breed salt-tolerant turf that can withstand this irrigation. (2015-06-24)

Fertilization regimen reduces environmental impact of landscape palms
A study showed that areca palms can be grown in a native sand soil or in a calcareous fill soil without supplemental phosphorus, and with no nitrogen applied during the rainy summer months (June-September) in southern Florida. The study also demonstrated that the negative effects caused by high nitrogen:potassium ratio turf fertilizers can be mitigated by adding a controlled release palm fertilizer that contains no nitrogen or potassium. (2015-05-26)

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