Turf Field Day: Another Hot Day in the Sun

Thanks to all the 459 attendees and 32 exhibitors who attended the Midwest Regional Turfgrass Field Day Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at the W.H. Daniel Turfgrass Research Center in W. Lafayette, IN. We had golf and lawn research tours in the morning, two different afternoon tours, and two afternoon workshops and addressed many current topics including new products, drought, fertilizer burn, diseases, and more. We heard many good comments regarding the field day and the education provided. The only bad comments were about the 99° F temperature outside. We hope to have a cooler day in 2013.
On behalf of the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation, thank you to all of those who attended!

If you didn’t get a chance to attend this year, we encourage you to pencil in Tuesday, July 9, 2013 on your calendar and attend next year. We will be meeting one week earlier than normal in 2013 to avoid a conflict with an International Turfgrass Research meeting that many in the Purdue Turf Team will be attending. Numerous research tours and workshops in addition to an outstanding trade show will be available again in 2013.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for 2013 let us know:
biehlj@purdue.edu or ajpatton@purdue.edu

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist and Executive Director of the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation

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Drought Outlook and Water Restriction Updates

An updated drought map of Indiana was released on July 26, 2012. Drought is rated as D0=abnormally dry, D1=moderate drought, D2=severe drought, D3=extreme drought, and D4=exceptional drought. Eighty-seven percent of the state is D2 or worse with 18.7% of the state in exception drought, with another 40% rated as extreme drought.

Water Restrictions/Bans
Because of the drought and lack of water in some areas, Marion county instituted a “water ban” on July 13, 2012 and many other communities have issued “water use restrictions” or “water conservation ordinances”.  The state issued a water shortage warning last week and asked those who use more than 100,000 gallons of water a day to cut back 10 to 15 percent on their water usage. Many other communities are asking for a voluntary reduction in water use. If you live in an area with a watering ban, there is little that you can do at this point other than to keep traffic off your lawn and to pray for rain. In you still can water, the below links will provide some helpful guidance.

•    Irrigation Practices for Homelawns discusses how much (and how) lawns should be watered
•    My Lawn is Brown and Crunchy… Is it Dead? What do I do now? explains how "brown and crunchy" grass might not be dead
•    Specialist: Controlling lawn weeds in drought carries risks explores whether herbicides are safe to use on lawns during drought
•    Your Lawn in Times of Drought (video)

What’s Next?
We are working on creating some information for homeowners and turf professionals to answer some of their frequently asked questions regarding how to recover turf following drought.

How long will the drought last?
If crystal balls actually worked or if we had a lifeline to Joseph of the old testament we might be able to predict when this drought might end and how to respond to it best. Even our best experts don’t know for sure when rains might return. A drought forecast map from NOAA released July 19, 2012 does not look promising and forecasts drought to persist in Indiana until October 31, 2012. IF this holds true, drought will continue to impact our fall management (fertilization, seeding, and weed control) programs.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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2012 Pesticide Clean Sweep Information and Planning Form

WHAT: An Indiana Pesticide Clean Sweep Project designed to collect and dispose of suspended, canceled, banned, unusable, opened, unopened or just unwanted pesticides (weed killers, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, miticides, etc.) is being sponsored by the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC). This disposal service is free of charge up to 250 pounds per participant. Over 250 pounds there will be a $2.00 per pound charge. This is a great opportunity for you to legally dispose of unwanted products at little or no cost.

WHO: All public and private schools, golf courses, nurseries, farmers, ag dealers, cities, towns, municipalities and county units of government or others receiving this notice are eligible to participate.

WHEN: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Local Time

WHERE: August 7, 2012: Vigo County Fairgrounds in Terre Haute, IN
August 9, 2012: Dubois County Fairgrounds, Huntingburg, IN
August 14, 2012: White County Fairgrounds in Reynolds, IN
August 16, 2012: Henry County Fairgrounds in New Castle, IN

HOW: Complete Page 2 of the linked Pesticide Clean Sweep Planning Form to the best of your ability. Mail, fax or e-mail the completed form to Kevin Neal at 765-494-4331 or nealk@purdue.edu no later than Mon., July 30, 2012. Then bring your labeled, leak free and safe to transport containers to the collection site. DO NOT mix materials. In case of an emergency, you should bring with you a list of products you are carrying and a contact
phone number.

*NOTE: OISC reserves the right to cancel this Pesticide Clean Sweep Project if there is not adequate demand. Participants submitting the enclosed planning form by July 30, 2012 will be contacted immediately if cancellation is necessary.

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New Weed Control Publication for Turf Professionals

A new publication from the Purdue turf program is now available to professional turf managers. The 88 page publication includes content on:
  • Turfgrass Culture
  • Weed Types
  • Weed Life Cycles
  • Developing a Weed Control Program
  • Indicator Weeds              
  • Herbicide Information (use, nomenclature, classification, mode of action, movement, resistance, etc.)
  • Control of Tough Weeds
  • Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Weed Control with Herbicides
  • Nonselective Herbicides/Fumigants for Turfgrass Renovation
  • Nonselective Herbicides for Turfgrass Border Maintenance (Edging)
  • Preemergence Herbicides (weed control ratings for preemergence herbicides, turf tolerance information, and more instructions for each product)
  • Postemergence Herbicides (weed control ratings for postemergence broadleaf herbicides and turf tolerance, and more instructions for each product)
  • Commonly Used Broadleaf Herbicide Combinations for Turfgrass
  • Active Ingredients in Commonly Used Herbicide Combinations
  • Sedge Control Herbicides (sedge control and turfgrass tolerance ratings, turf tolerance information, and more instructions for each product)
  • Plant Growth Regulators for General Turf Use
  • Preemergence, Postemergence and PGR Options for Putting Greens
  • Postemergence Weed Control in Creeping Bentgrass Putting Greens
  • Common and Trade Names of Registered Herbicides and Plant Growth Regulators (264 different products and 98 unique herbicide ingredient combination are discussing in this publication)
  • Herbicide/PGR Common Names, Chemical Families, and Modes of Action
  • Herbicide Math
This is truly a comprehensive guide for those using herbicides in turf regardless of whether you manage athletic fields, a golf course, lawns, cemeteries, sod farms, parks, or other turf areas.

It is sold for $12 as a hard copy (paperback) only. For companies with many employees interested in this information, a 25% discounted bulk order of 25 copies is available for $225.

Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals, 2012 edition

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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Burn Bans, Fireworks, and Turf

As of today, July 10th 2012, there are 85 counties in the state of Indiana that are reporting active burn bans (http://www.in.gov/dhs/files/burn-ban/).  Many of these bans include the use of public and personal firework displays.  Although these bans are in place and we are past July 4th, it may be necessary to survey sites under your control for damage (see image below).  Unintended fires in extreme drought conditions can start for a variety of reasons and care should be taken for turfed areas as they pose a threat for spreading fires among residential areas.  A recent Turf Tip titled “My lawn is brown and cruchy…is it dead? What do I do now?” details some management decisions to be made in these extreme weather conditions.    

A firework caused this stand to catch on fire on the evening on July 4th, 2012. 

Jon Trappe, Graduate Research Assistant

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