An overview of some of the sports turf issues & events that occurred in Ohio in 2004.
Annual bluegrass (Poa annua, see picture left) continues to be the number one pest in Ohio. Excessive rainfall and mild temperatures in Ohio in 2004 may have contributed to it's increased population. Research into the effects of selective herbicides like Prograss (ethofumesate)and Velocity (bispyrobac-sodium) is on-going, with scientists and field managers alike having varying degrees of success controlling Poa infestations. Rough bluegrass (Poa trivialis) was also a problem on several fields in August. This weed grass is commonly mistaken for a disease because when it goes dormant in hot weather, it looks like large brown patches of dead grass. Unfortunately, there are no selective control options at this time.
There were 3 known instances of the destructive disease, Gray leaf spot (Pyricularia grisea)this year. Field managers with high populations of perennial ryegrass need to be vigilant in late summer when there are high temperatures, high humidity, and wet turf conditions. Rust (Puccinia spp.) continues to be a common disease. If there is a history of rust on the turf and this is unacceptable to field users, make one or two applications of preventative fungicide around mid-August. As a side note, the fungicide Insignia was approved by US EPA for label expansion of site use, which would include all sports grass areas. This fungicide is great for red thread, rust, patch diseases, brown patch, and many others.
Bluegrass billbugs and white grubs continue to be the two pests that occur most readily on Ohio sports fields. Preventative insecticides need to be applied around May-June if fields have a history of pest problems. Dr. Shetlar has a power point presentation for sports field managers "Sport Turf Insect Control Update, 2004" on his web-site that can be viewed HERE. Also note, there is a new insecticide called "Arena" (clothianidin) that will join the two common insecticides (Merit & MACH 2) for pest control. It was another great year for the Ohio Sports Turf Managers Association (OSTMA) and the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation (OTF), culminating in another fantastic OTF Conference and Show last week. Both organizations continue to grow and serve their members in the state of Ohio. Finally, CONGRATULATIONS to OSTMA award winners this year: Shaker Heights City School District 2004 "Ohio Field of Distinction" (see picture left) and Darian Daily of the Cincinnati Bengals - recipient of the prestigious "Founders Award". Congratulations also to Pam Sherratt for being named the 2004 Professional Excellence recipient from OTF. Authors: Pam Sherratt, Joe Rimelspach, & John Street
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