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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

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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We need your grubs

small plastic tub with very small white grubs

1st instar European chafer grubs

Dr. Brownbridge, his gang, my summer student and I went out to set up a European chafer bio-control experiment today. The only problem was – there were very few grubs at the site we have been using for the past 2 years. This is the reason for this post – we need your grubs! To be more specific, we need a site with approximately a 20 m x 20 m of grub infested area. This could be a sod farm, an estate property or a golf course. We are willing to travel within 2 hours of Guelph/Vineland. If you are a sod farmer, this could be a field where you noticed grub damage this spring, as long as the field is still in sod. Ditto for the estate property. If you had a client with a serious grub problem this spring there is a good chance there will be grubs at the same site again now.

You can comment on this blog or email me at pamela.charbonneau@ontario.ca. You can also telephone me at my office (519) 824-4120 x 52597 or on my cell phone at (519)-994-4438. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Chinch 1 Turf nil

Patches of tan coloured dead turf areas caused by hairy chinch bug feeding

Hairy chinch bug damage


At our sites where we are conducting our hairy chinch bug bio-control research with Dr. Michael Brownbridge and crew, we are starting to see some pretty major damagefrom hairy chinch bug feeding. The damage first appears near trees, shrubs, house foundations and other hairy chinch bug overwintering sites. As the hairy chinch bugs destroy those areas they move further into a lawn and continue to feed. They prefer sunny areas over shady areas.

The somewhat disturbing part of this situation is that we are still seeing many smaller nymphs that will continue to feed heavily until they molt into adults. This means that the damage will continue to get worse for at least another couple of weeks. This is somewhat later than most years where the bulk of the damage is already visible by now. Chalk it up to the cooler than average temperatures in July and so far in early August.

And finally, a plug for our research – you will be able to find out our results of the hairy chinch bug biocontrol trial at the Ontario Turfgrass Symposium on Feb. 18th and 19th, 2015, so mark your calendar now!

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Is this a question that some of you have been asking yourself? You probably put down your preventative snow mould application over 6 weeks ago. Since then we have had a lot of rain and some pretty mild temperatures.

I don’t have a definitive answer to the question posted above, but Dr. Paul Koch, University of Wisconsin looked into this question as part of his PhD work. He compared iprodione, chlorothalonil on their own and a tank mix of iprodione and chlorothalonil with and with out snow cover. Throughout the winter he took cup cutter samples and analysed fungicide concentrations on those samples. (more…)

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Just a note to explain the silence over the last three weeks for this blog.  I was away on holiday in England.  I have two things to say about turf in England – it is always green (they get rain all of the time) and it looks great (most of the turf has a sign saying “Please keep of the lawn”).

So, back to turf in Ontario – I got back to find my favourite turf insect in flight.  I am not sure when the adult crane fly flights began, but there were some flying by Tues. Sept. 4th in the Guelph area.  In spite of the very dry summer, the larvae and pupae seem to have survived based on the number of adults that I have observed.  Adult flights typically last for roughly four weeks in most areas with peak adult flights two weeks after the first adults are observed.  Female crane flies lay their eggs in moist turf areas. 

Adult female crane fly laying eggs on a green

Adult female crane fly laying eggs on a green

Eggs hatch within 10-14 days and young larvae start feeding on the turf leaf blades at the top of the thatch.  They are extremely small when they hatch and they will feed through the fall and overwinter as larvae.  The big feeding frenzy and growth spurt happens in the spring and that is the time that the damage to turf occurs.

If large numbers of adults are observed on greens, tees or on sod farms and if there is a history of leatherjacket infestation and damage, a preventative insecticide applications can be made any time now.  For homeowners, adult numbers should be monitored and if large numbers of adults crane flies are observed and there is a history of leatherjacket damage a nematode application can be made.  Our research indicates that an application of a 50/50 mixture of Steinernema feltiae and Heterorhabditis bacteriaphora applied in mid-late October to control the newly hatched leatherjackets can roughly 50-70% control based on one year’s data. 

 More information on the biology of the European crane fly can be found at http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/factsheets/turfgrass/ecf.pdf

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The deadline for registration  for the GTI Turf Research Field Day taking place on Thurs. Aug. 23, 2012 is this Fri. Aug. 17th.  Follow the link below for the online registration form.  http://www.guelphturfgrass.ca/

It is the 25th Anniversary of the GTI and there is a lot to see and to celebrate.  Some of the highlights of this years field day are the trials that feature an irrigation vs. a non-irrigation treatment.  With four weeks or more without rain those non-irrigated plots show some very interesting results.  There is also the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program Organic Kentucky Bluegrass trial as well as overseeding trials and disease management to name a few.  The price for the day is $25 which includes lunch.   Registration begins at 8:30 and the field day runs until 1:00 pm.

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