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An updated version of OMAFRA Publication 384 Protection Guide for Turfgrass is now available on the OMAFRA website (English & French).

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Protection Guide for Turfgrass publication cover photo

Protection Guide for Turfgrass

Integrated Pest Management for Turf

Integrated Pest Management for Turf

 

An updated version of the Protection Guide for Turfgrass, is now available on the OMAFRA website.  This publication lists crop protection products registered for turfgrass as of December 1, 2014. A big part of managing turf is knowing which crop protection products to use. This publication is a great resource for sod farmers, golf course superintendents, lawn care operators and sports field managers.  This publication, along with Integrated Pest Management for Turf, provides a complete reference package on turf IPM for Ontario.

 

 

 

 

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The Golf Course Integrated Pest Management Accreditation Program Continuing Education Credits have been assigned to the 2015 Ontario Turfgrass Symposium speaker program. Details are available at http://www.turfsymposium.ca/.  There is still plenty of time to take advantage of the early bird registration fee which is available until Jan. 9, 2015.  Attending OTS is always a great reason to return to the University of Guelph, whether you are a Turf Managers’ Short Course graduate, a Turf Diploma graduate, a regular attendee of the Ontario Turfgrass Symposium or a newbie.

OTS 2015 brochure

OTS 2015 brochure

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leatherjacket in matted grass

leatherjacket in matted grass


If you noticed lots of adult crane flies flying about a month or six weeks ago, now is the time to control the next generation leatherjackets.

On golf courses and sod farms, there is still time to apply a preventative or early curative insecticide applications for leatherjackets. For products registered for control of leatherjackets refer to http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/pub384/pub384.pdf “Protection Guide for Turfgrass”.

For homelawn turf, the best treatment that we have so far is to use insect parasitic nematodes. The timing for applying nematodes is in mid-October to early November after all of the eggs have hatched. Unfortunately, our results with nematodes have been variable from season to season. The best recommendation to date is a 50/50 mixture of Hetehorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema feltiae. Follow the best management practices for applying nematodes to insure the best possible control.

Best management practices for nematode use are:
– purchase the correct species for the target insect
– keep nematodes cool (5C)
– use within 4 weeks of purchase
– use nematode mixture within 2-4 hours of mixing
– apply in the morning or evening or on a cloudy day and water in immediately
– keep the nematode mixture stirred prior and during application

Also, if you would like more information on European crane fly there is a OMAFRA factsheet available at the following link http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/13-023.htm.

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Where have all the grubs gone?

container with a dozen small white grubs

We had to search high and low for these first instar grubs

We are particularly interested in grubs (European chafer grubs that is) this fall because we are planning a grub bio-insecticide trial and we need a site with first or early second instar grubs. We have come up short at the site that we used over the past two years. This site had very high populations of grubs for three years running and the grubs seem to have just disappeared this year. Ditto on a sod field that was reportedly crawling with grubs in the past couple of years that we visited this week.

So my question, where have they gone? It hasn’t been a particularly dry summer, in fact it has been the opposite. During a dry summer, European chafer grub eggs may fail to hatch. Maybe it was too wet? Grub eggs need just the right amount of moisture to hatch. Too much soil moisture is a bad as too little. Then there was last winter. Some people are pointing to the fact that we had such a cold winter that the grubs must have died. Dr. Michael Brownbridge and I did some spring post-treatment counts on our Fall 2013 grub trial and there were lots of grubs to be found then. Maybe it is simply that the grass is so healthy that it will take an army of grubs to cause any turf damage this fall.

Those of you who do not want grubs in your turf will be happy that you have one less thing to worry about this fall. That being said, if anyone on a golf course finds a small patch of grubs in a rough or has a history of grub damage in the rough (we need a 20m x 20m area of grub infested turf) or if you are a lawn care operator and you have an estate customer with grubs we would love to hear from you. We figure we have a two week window to do this trial based on the size of the grubs at the moment. So………. please help us if you can!

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Flight of the crane fly

adult crane fly (large mosquito like fly) resting in turf

adult crane fly in turf


Over the last few days dozens of adult crane flies have emerged from their puparia (pupal casing). They are easiest to find resting in the turf in a moist shady area. This is just the beginning of the adult flights. They usually peak around the middle of September. On golf courses or sod farms, f you observe large numbers of adults and have experienced leatherjacket damage in the past there are preventative insecticides that can be applied over the next month. If you prefer to wait, there are also curative insecticides that can be applied next spring. The rates and products can be found in the OMAFRA Publication 384, Protection Guide for Turfgrass. Here is the link – http://www.ontario.ca/bwg3.

On home lawns, insect parasitic nematodes can be applied after all adults have finished egglaying (end of October, beginning of November). Our best results have been with a combination of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema carpocapse.

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small white grubs on soil under sod

First instar European chafer grubs

We have been following the development of European chafer grubs in a couple of locations in and around Guelph. The grubs seem to be behind in their development from previous years. That being said, they are now at an ideal stage to treat with nematodes. Another plus this year is that soils are already fairly wet in most areas and the grubs are feeding high up in the soil at the soil/thatch interface. If the soils are not wet in your area wait for the rain that is forecast for the long weekend before treating. Research in collaboration with Dr. Michael Brownbridge shows the best nematode species to be Heterorhabditis bacteriophora to control European chafer grubs.
Best management practices for nematode use are:
– purchase the correct species for the target insect
– keep nematodes cool (5C)
– use within 4 weeks of purchase
– use nematode mixture within 2-4 hours of mixing
– apply in the morning or evening or on a cloudy day and water in immediately
– keep the nematode mixture stirred prior and during application

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