Come join us for the 2019 Mizzou Turfgrass & Landscape Field Day to be held on Tuesday, July 30th at South Farms in Columbia, MO. The full schedule is complete, and with the new alternate year schedule includes a ton of great informational presentations. We even have to get started a little earlier to cram it all in. Twelve stops in the morning sessions followed by three specific seminars in the afternoon that will lead you through Jefferson Farms (Horticulture), calibration and lawn disease control in lawn care, and a tour of the MU athletic facilities for those in the sports turf realm. Also don't worry golf, we'll give you plenty to chew on throughout the morning with putting green management, technology, billbugs, weed control, etc. See the full schedule below!
Attendees, sponsors and exhibitors can all register by visiting https://extension2.missouri.edu/events/2019-mizzou-turfgrass-and-landscape-field-day.
A little different portal and login, but 2017 was so two years ago. We also still have the previous website to list sponsors and quickly update more detailed information - http://mufieldday.com.
Wasn't May Temps That Got Our Attention
May temperatures were just a few degrees above the long-term average, and nothing to get too worked up about from a plant standpoint. Cool season lawns, roughs, sports fields, etc. are growing just fine this spring, perhaps too much so in some cases. This mild pattern thankfully looks is forecasted to continue into early June.
The real story is the rain. May 2019 may likely set the all-time record for wettest May, and if it doesn't it'll be a close second. The brunt of the precipitation has fallen in the west and southwestern portion of the state. Kansas City had the wettest May on record at 12.81 inches (a mere 7.59 inches above normal) and third wettest month for ANY month in 131 years of record keeping. All of this precipitation to the west and north in combination with the snowmelt has unfortunately resulted in intense and disastrous flooding in the region. This isn't just a problem for the traditional row crop farmers, but also is having implications on the turfgrass industry as noted below in regards to winterkill.
Rain, Rain Set to Go Away?
Brown Patch & Large Patch Active
Winterkill Apparent & Obvious
Dollar Spot and Red Leaf Spot Pounce in Late May
Poa annua Problems
As a turf manager told me during a recent visit, "it seems that nematodes are all the rage these days!" While I don't think concerts from the Raging 'Todes will be selling out this summer, he had a point that it seems our consciousness of these critters has reached a fever pitch.
Now to make it clear, in Missouri and much of the region nematodes have only been found to be a problem on turfgrass in sandy soils. Since we are predominantly loam or clay in this region, this includes golf course putting greens and some sports fields constructed on a sand base. The reason for the sand-based rootzone is drainage, drainage, and drainage enabled by large pore sizes, which also unfortunately provide ample space for nematodes to migrate and reproduce. Also note that in both situations, the turfgrass needs to be mowed lower for playability which in turn reduces the root length and effective population of plant parasitic nematode that can be tolerated.
Several species have been found to be an issue in Missouri. Much to my surprise and the unfortunate demise of putting green health, sting nematodes (Belonolaimus longicaudatus) have been detected on several courses with bentgrass putting greens in Kansas City and now several ultradwarf bermudagrass greens in northern AR and southern MO. Due to its large stylet and aggressive feeding activity, this large nematode can do considerable damage at low populations (1-10 per 100 cc of soil) and in some instances over 200 were detected. As detailed in previous reports, we also have detected lance nematodes (Hoplolaimus spp.) the second largest plant parasitic turfgrass nematode that can feed outside the root or burrow itself inside. Some of these samples had lance in the thousands when the threshold sits in the hundreds.
We also have sampled a few sand-based sports fields in the past year, and surprisingly have found high counts of ring (3600 per 100 cc) and spiral nematodes (4000+ per 100 cc) in poorly performing areas. On sports fields, this population of ring nematode although above threshold wouldn't normally be of concern since the grass isn't mowed too incredibly short, but in combination with another nematode species well above threshold a reduction in root length and turf quality was apparent.
In something has seemed amiss or is going wrong now, a nematode sample is recommended, particularly since we now have some tools (i.e. Indemnify, Divanem, etc) to suppress nematode populations. If the problem is going on now and the area is relatively small, take a 4-inch deep cup cutter plug from the edge of the damaged area (not the middle) and one from a good performing area for comparison. If you are just checking across a larger area or if a larger area is performing poorly, take samples like you would for a soil fertility analysis. Use a zig zag pattern across the area and take 12-16 samples with a 0.75 inch soil corer and mix them together for a single sample leaving the verdure on. For more information on the MU nematode analysis service see https://scndiagnostics.com/nematode_testing/#hideTurfNem. If you would like me to see the results and discuss with you, please write a note on the sample submission form.
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Extension Turfgrass Pathologist
University of Missouri