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Author: jahoyle

Influence of Tall Fescue Baseball Infield Mowing Height on Ground Ball Speed

Influence of Tall Fescue Baseball Infield Mowing Height on Ground Ball Speed

( By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension and Gage Knudson, KSU Turfgrass Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Summary. Athletic field conditions have shown to influence playability. Results of ball-roll speed studies can be used to predict success of infield hits. Field trials were conducted at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center to determine the influence of tall fescue baseball infield mowing height on ground ball speed and batter on-base success. Mowing heights of 2.5, 5, and 7.6 cm resulted in 1.77, 2.08 and 1.88 s ground ball times, respectively.

Rationale. Tall fescue [Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.)] is a drought tolerant turfgrass species commonly used as a baseball infield playing surface. Cultural management practice studies on athletic surfaces have shown direct influences on playability. Minimal information exists on the influence of infield mowing height and ball-roll speed. Results of ball-roll speed studies can be used to predict success of infield hits.

Objectives. Determine the influence of tall fescue baseball infield mowing height on ground ball speed and batter on-base success.

Study Description. Research trials were initiated on November 21, 2016 at the Rocky Ford Research Center (RF) in Manhattan, KS to determine the influence of tall fescue baseball infield mowing height on ground ball speed and batter on-base success. Research trials were conducted on 30.5 m long simulated tall fescue infield. Two experimental runs were conducted on three different infield mowing height treatments; 2.5, 5, and 7.6 cm. Six individual replications of a simulated ground ball were applied to each infield condition and experimental run. Ground balls were applied with a pitching machine set to 112.6 kph. Simulated ground balls were timed in seconds (s) from simulated pitched ball and bat contact (insertion into machine) to baseball fielder location (30.5 m distance). Successful infield hits were calculated using constant athletic ability data and infield ball-roll data. Data was subjected to ANOVA in SAS and means were separated according to Fisher’s protected LSD at 0.05 significance level.

Results. Mowing heights of 2.5, 5, and 7.6 cm resulted in 1.77, 2.08 and 1.88 s ground ball times, respectively (Figure 1). Utilizing ground ball speed results, researchers were able to predict that a simulated batter, if a ground ball was hit to the shortstop position (30.5 m distance), would result in an unsuccessful at bat if a tall fescue infield was mown at 2.5 cm and successful if mown at 5 and 7.6 cm, utilizing consistent player athletic ability data (Figure 1 and Table 1).

The Effect of Human Insect Repellents on Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) Growth and Recovery

The Effect of Human Insect Repellents on Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) Growth and Recovery

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension and Peyton South, KSU Turfgrass Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Summary. Turfgrass damage has been observed from misapplications of human insect repellents. Minimal research has been conducted to determine the cause of the damage. Greenhouse research trials were conducted to survey various human insect repellents on turfgrass growth and recovery. Insect repellents resulted in a wide range of damage. No common trend was observed although research trial shows possible repellents to be utilized around turfgrass that will minimize turfgrass injury.

Rationale. Human insect repellents containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) commonly damage turfgrass due to non-target application. Common visual damage results in two areas of healthy growing turfgrass in the shape of footprints with necrotic and chlorotic turfgrass surrounding. Damage results in unacceptable turfgrass quality and playability. Minimal research has been conducted to explore the influence of human insect repellents on turfgrass injury and recovery.

Damage from bug spray misapplication to turfgrass.

Objectives. Evaluate the influence of human insect repellants on Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) growth and recovery.

Study Description. Research trials were initiated in November of 2016 at the Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center Greenhouses in Manhattan, KS to determine the influence of human insect repellents on perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) growth and recovery. Perennial ryegrass was established in 10 by 10 cm pots at 387 kg ha-1, maintained at 4.4 cm and were irrigated to prevent drought stress. Greenhouse environment was a 12 hr photoperiod at 15.5°C/ 22.2°C (night/day). Insect repellent treatments were applied to perennial ryegrass plants arranged in a randomized complete block design with 4 replications. Treatments included 9 insect repellents and a non-treated control for comparison (Table 1). Five treatments contained the active ingredient DEET. Other commonly used insect repellents were also included for comparison. Collected data included visual percent injury on a 0%- 100% scale, where 10% represented maximum acceptable injury. Data was subjected to ANOVA in SAS and means were separated according to Fisher’s protected LSD at 0.05 significance level.

Results. All treatments except the control resulted in at least 6% turfgrass injury 1 day after application (DAA). Repel Max (40% DEET) and Off Active (15% DEET) resulted in 68% and 30% injury, respectively 21 DAA. At 21 DAA all other treatments resulted in turfgrass injury similar to the non-treated. Insect repellants with the same active ingredient percentage resulted in various perennial ryegrass injury and recovery. Although no different in % DEET, Off Active and Off Family resulted in 30% and 0% injury, 21 DAA, respectively. Results also demonstrate that permanent non-target turfgrass injury could occur if Off Active and Repel Max are applied as a human insect repellent. Further greenhouse and field trials are needed to confirm results as well as determine if other non-labeled ingredients influence turfgrass injury.

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

Effect of Dormant ‘MidIron’ Bermudagrass Colorant Applications on Clothing Blemishing

Effect of Dormant ‘MidIron’ Bermudagrass Colorant Applications on Clothing Blemishing

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension and Daniele McFadden, KSU Turfgrass Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Summary. Minimal research exists on potential clothing blemishing when athletes contact turfgrass applied with colorants. Field trials were conducted to test the effect of turfgrass colorant applications on clothing blemishing if a athlete is to come in contact with the playing surface. Turfgrass colorants will adhere to turfgrass leaf blades and do not blemish clothing. Although, tested turfgrass pigments did result in significant blemishing of clothing.

Rationale. Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) is a warm-season turfgrass used on athletic fields in the Midwest. Although a desirable turfgrass species for athletic fields it fails to maintain acceptable green color during winter. Turfgrass colorants have been utilized to maintain acceptable green turf color through dormancy periods. Athletes of all ages play on sports fields where colorants have been applied. Extensive research has explored turfgrass colorants on turfgrass quality but minimal research exists on potential clothing blemishing when athletes contact turfgrass applied with colorants.

Objectives. The objective of this research was to determine if turfgrass pigments and paints blemish athletic clothing after the recommended dry time.

Study Description. Field research trials were initiated Feb. 16, 2017 at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS on dormant ‘MidIron’ bermudagrass maintained at 3.8 cm. Treatments were applied to 1.5 by 1.5 m plots arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Treatments consisted of three paints (Wintergreen Plus, Green Lawnger, Endurant Premium), one pigment (Envy) and a non-treated control for comparison. All colorant treatments were applied at 1:6 (v:v) dilution in 1,234 L ha-1 spray volume. After recommended drying time (4 hrs), a white cotton t-shirt was pulled 1.5 m across the plot weighted down with 11.4 kg. Digital image analysis was used to determine percent blemishing of t-shirt area. Data was subjected to ANOVA in SAS and means were separated according to Fisher’s Protected LSD at 0.05 significance level.

Results. Envy (turfgrass pigment) resulted in the highest blemished clothing percentage (60%). All other treatments were no different than the non-treated (Figure 2). Results demonstrate that the tested turfgrass paints safely adhere to the turfgrass canopy and do not blemish athletic clothing.

Figure 1. Dormant colorant field trial plots located at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS.

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

New Turfgrass Publications

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

The KSU Turfgrass Team has been busy updating turfgrass extension publications.  Some of the most recent publications include benefits of a healthy turf, lawn fertilization guide and turfgrass mowing.

Enjoy the updated publications!

Benefits of Heathy Turfgrass

Environmental, economic, health, and safety benefits of turfgrass found in lawns, athletic fields, parks, and roadsides.

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=12800

Lawn Fertilizing Guide

This guide helps homeowners determine how much fertilizer to apply to keep lawn vigorous and healthy.

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=10639

Turfgrass Mowing: Professional Series

Mowing basics for professional turfgrass managers. Information on mowing height and frequency, clippings, mowing pattern, mower operation, blade sharpening, mower selection, maintenance, and safety

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=712

Mowing Your Lawn

Mowing basics for homeowners. Includes information on mowing height and frequency, pattern, mower operation, maintenance, and safety.

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=615

Recycling Grass Clippings

Information for homeowners on why and how to recycle grass clippings.

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=701

 

For more turfgrass publications visit the KSRE Bookstore.

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Category.aspx?id=528&catId=545&Page=1

Hope to see you August 3rd at the KSU Turfgrass Field Day

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

The next Turfgrass Field Day will be held on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at the John C. Pair Horticultural Research Center, Wichita.

The KTF Turf Field Days are a great way to see and learn about the turfgrass research at K-State first hand. The events are held annually in the summer at the turfgrass research locations of Kansas State University.

The Field Day qualifies for recertification credit hr for commercial pesticide applicators.

Field Day Brochure – http://www.kansasturfgrassfoundation.com/uploads/8/9/7/3/8973595/2017turffielddayprogramcolor-web.pdf 

You can now Register and Pay Online at  https://2017turffieldday.eventbrite.com
or you can register by downloading, printing, and mailing go to the 2017 Field Day brochure.

Exhibitors can get more information from the Exhibitor Registration Form.

Schedule of the 2017 Field Day 
8:00 a.m. Registration (coffee, tea, donuts)
Visit Exhibitors
8:45         Welcome
9:00        Tour Highlights:
*Turfgrass Weed Control Update
*Turf & Ornamental Diseases
*Bermudagrass & Zoysiagrass Cultivar Selection
*Using Kansas Mesonet to Imrpove Accuracy in Landscape Irrigation
*Right Plant, FROM the Right Place
* Prairie Star Flowers
*Tall Fescue NTEP
*Turf & Ornamental Insect Control
11:30       Lunch

After Lunch

  • Equipment Demonstrations

If you have any questions, please contact,
    Christy Dipman 
1712 Claflin, 2021 Throckmorton Hall
Manhattan, Kansas 66506
Phone: (785) 532-6173
Fax: (785) 532-6949
Email: Christy

Landscape and Garden Bugs

(Posted by Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

K-State Horticultural Entomologist Raymond Cloyd covers a variety of insects now at work in home lawns, landscapes in gardens, including bagworms infesting evergreens, emerald ash borers attacking ash trees, and squash bugs feeding on garden cucurbit crops.

Click the link below for K-State Research and Extension Agriculture Today Radio Program hosted by Eric Atkinson.

 

Brown Patch Resources

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Tall fescue [Festuca arundinacea Schreb.] is one of the most predominantly used cool-season turfgrass species in the transition zone. Its deep root system and coarse textured leafs lend to its ability to withstand drought, heat, and wear stress. Although it is well adapted to survive the summer months in Kansas, it can be susceptible to injury from disease. Brown patch [Rhizoctonia solani] is a disease that can damage leaf tissue, shoots, and the crown of tall fescue during the summer months. This disease is most prevalent during periods of high humidity, high temperature (above 80°F), and high nitrogen levels. During the mornings mycelia can be seen forming a “smoke ring” around the affected area. Applications of preventative fungicides have proven to be a successful management strategy in reducing the occurrence of brown patch incidences in tall fescue stands.

Here are some resources from the past about brown patch!

Last year Dr. Fry was seeing brown patch in May.  With moisture and warm nights brown patch can start to develop.  http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/im-not-ready-to-be-thinking-about-brown-patch-jack/

There are many products out there for brown patch control in turfgrass.  Which one is right for you.  Here is a quick update on research that was conducted at Olathe on some brown patch products. http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/best-way-to-get-your-turf-noticed-brown-patch/ 

Do you know what brown patch looks like?  Do you know how to tell the difference between turfgrass stress and the disease.  Dr. Kennelly can show you the difference. http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/is-this-brown-patch/

K-State Publications

Commercial Management of Brown Patch – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/EP146.pdf

Homeowner Management of Brown Patch – http://www.plantpath.k-state.edu/extension/documents/turf/Brown%20patch%20%20homeowners%202016.pdf

Homeowner Do-It-Yourself Lawn Calendar Reminders!

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Earlier this year I wrote two blog posts that listed out both a cool- and warm-season lawn calendar for homeowners.  If you are anything like me then I have already forgot what I was suppose to do so sometimes it is good to have a reminder.

Cool-season Lawn Calendar Reminder 

June through Mid-July
Apply second round of crabgrass preventer by June 15 – unless you have used Dimension (dithiopyr) or Barricade (prodiamine) for the April application. These two products normally provide season-long control with a single application. Remember to water it in. If grubs have been a problem in the past, apply a product containing imidacloprid during the first half of July. This works to prevent grub damage. It must be watered in before it becomes active.

Warm-season Lawn Calendar Reminder

May – August 15
Fertilize with 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per application. Follow the recommendations on the bag. More applications will give a deeper green color, but will increase mowing and may lead to thatch buildup with zoysiagrass. Bermudagrass can also have problems with thatch buildup but thatch is less likely with Bermuda than zoysia. Bermudagrass – Use two to four applications. Zoysiagrass – Use one to two applications. Too much nitrogen leads to thatch buildup.

One Application: Apply in June.
Two Applications: Apply May and July.
Three Applications: Apply May, June, and early August.
Four Applications: Apply May, June, July, and early August.

Remember to look and see if you are using a quick release nitrogen source or a slow release nitrogen source.  If you use a quick release source then it is immediately available but only lasts a couple weeks.  Thats why you would have to make a couple of applications like it is listed above.  If you are going to use a slow release source it will tell you on the bag how long the product will last.  Therefore, you might not have to make as many applications.

So generally you want to use a total of 2 to 4lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year for bermudagrass and 1 to 2 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year for zoysiagrass.

Buffalograss – Fertilize with 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet during June. More applications will give a deeper green color. If it is felt that a second application is needed, apply in July. Do not exceed more than 2 lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per YEAR for a home lawn.

June
If grubs have been a problem in the past, apply a product containing imidacloprid by mid July. Imidacloprid can be applied as early as mid May if there are problems with billbugs or May beetle grubs. These products kill the grubs before they cause damage. They are effective and safe but must be watered in before they become active.

June is also a good time to core aerate a warm-season lawn. Core aeration will help alleviate compaction, increase the rate of water infiltration, improve soil air exchange and help control thatch.

For the full Do-It-yourself Lawn Calendars click the links below

Warm-Season – http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/homeowner-do-it-yourself-lawn-calendar-for-warm-season-grass/ 

Cool-Season – http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/homeowner-do-it-yourself-lawn-calendar-for-cool-season-grasses/

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

Attack of the 1 inch C-shaped Grub

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

In the summer time we typically see dead spots in turf due to many factors but one of those could be annual white grubs.  The annual white grub is one of the most common grub pests in Kansas.  Masked chafers emerge from the soil around mid June in Kansas then after mating they deposit eggs back into the soil.  They then grow and develop in the soil and mature around September.  This is when we typically see damage in turf, once the grubs are large.  But if we can get them before they get big the easier it is to control.

For control measures, you can apply it preventatively or as a rescue treatment (after you have already seen damage.

Preventative controls should be applied during that time when the grubs are mating and laying eggs.  This is typically in June/July time frame. Using a preventative insecticide gives you greater flexibility.  Products for preventative applications contain the systemic active ingredients; imidacloprid, chlorantraniliprole, clothianidin, thiamethoxam and halofenozide.  For a complete list of chemicals go here;

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/mf2635.pdf

Rescue treatments are “wait-and-see” if you have grubs type of application. If you have grubs you can easily pull up the turf like carpet because all the roots are gone and you also might see skunk, raccoon and bird damage where they have tried to eat the grubs.  Rescue treatments consist of carbaryl and trichlorfon.

For more information check out the link above!

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

The 70 MPH weed – Yellow nutsedge

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

The 70 MPH weed….  That is what I call yellow nutsedge.  Why?  It’s because you can be driving 70 MPH down the highway, look over, and see yellow nutsedge growing in a lawn.  The erect light green linear leaves tend to grow faster than the turf so it sticks up above the canopy.

Yellow nutsedge can not only grow in wet soils but also extremely dry soils as well.

Yellow nutsedge is not a new weed but it sure is a persistent weed.  In Kansas, typically we don’t see it until about June.

Once of the easiest ways to identify yellow nutsedge is by a couple special features;

  • erect
  • persistant
  • yellow inflorescence
  • gradually tapering leaves to a sharp point
  • tubers not in chains
  • triangular stem

To control yellow nutsedge, if you can get applications out before tuber production then you will see increased control.  But beware, yellow nutsedge will continue to grow as long as the environment is favorable for growth, so more than one application maybe necessary.

If using a herbicide application timing is critical.  During mid summer yellow nutsedge starts making tubers and if you apply herbicides before tuber production you will get better control.  If you wait until the yellow nutsedge is big and starting to make tubers then you will be playing catch-up all year. So sooner is better.  Don’t wait for it to get too big.

Here are some options for yellow nutsedge control for turfgrass professionals;

  • sulfentrazone
  • halosulfuron
  • iodosulfuron
  • mesotrione
  • bentazon
  • triflozysulfuron
  • flazasulfuron
  • sulfosulfuron

There are many different products out there that contain these active ingredients so just make sure you have an active ingredient that has yellow nutsedge control!

For homeowners – Here is some more information to help with yellow nutsedge control in a home lawn.

http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/revisiting-yellow-nutsedge-control-in-home-lawns/

****Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application.****

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf