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Category: Turfgrass News

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

Don’t miss the 2017 KSU Turfgrass Field Day – August 3rd

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.

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

 

 

#ksuturf Undergraduate Students Compete in Research Symposium

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Last Friday, three undergraduate turfgrass science students completed in the Gamma Sigma Delta Undergraduate Research Poster Competition; Dani McFadden, Peyton South and Gage Knudson.  Peyton South received 1st place and a 100 dollar monetary prize.  Congrats to Peyton and a job well done to Dani and Gage!

Below you can read about the research that they conducted over the past two semesters.

Titles included;

  1. Effect of Dormant ‘MidIron’ Bermduagrass Colorant Applications on Clothing Blemishing
  2. Influence of Tall Fescue Baseball Infield Mowing Height on Ground Ball Speed
  3. The Effect of Human Insect Repellents on Perennial Ryegrass Growth and Recovery

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

L. McFadden* and J. A. Hoyle*

*Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources, Kansas State University, 2021 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Manhattan, KS; Corresponding author’s email; dmcfadden@ksu.edu

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. The objective of this research was to determine if turfgrass pigments and paints blemish athletic clothing after the recommended dry time. Researcher’s hypothesis paints would result in greater blemishing and pigments would have no effect due to coloring occurring from inside the plant. 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. Envy (turfgrass pigment) resulted in the highest blemished clothing percentage (60%). All other treatments were no different than the non-treated. Results demonstrate that the tested turfgrass paints safely adhere to the turfgrass canopy and do not blemish athletic clothing.

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

Gage M. Knudson* and Jared A. Hoyle*

*Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources, Kansas State University, 2021 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Manhattan, KS; Corresponding author’s email; knudson.gage@gmail.com

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. 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. Mowing heights of 2.5, 5, and 7.6 cm resulted in 1.77, 2.08 and 1.88 s ground ball times, respectively. 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 a 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.

The Effect of Human Insect Repellents on Perennial Ryegrass Growth and Recovery

 Peyton E. South* and Jared A. Hoyle*

*Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources, Kansas State University, 2021 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Manhattan, KS; Corresponding author’s email; southpeyton@ksu.edu

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. 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. 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. 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. Results demonstrate that permanent non-target turfgrass injury will occur if Off Active and Repel Max are applied as a human insect repellent.

Turfgrass Care for Homeowners (K-State Radio Network) – April Broadcast

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

About a week ago I was invited back again to speak with Eric Atkinson, host of Agriculture Today a daily program distributed to radio stations throughout the state. It features K-State agricultural specialists and other experts examining agricultural issues facing Kansas and the nation.

This week we covered the following;

  • fertilization of cool-season lawns
  • fertilization of warm-season lawns
  • weed control
  • preemergent herbicide control
  • spring mowing heights

Check out the radio program below!

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

Congrats to Ross Braun for KSU student award

The KSU Turf Team is always proud of our students.

Horticulture Graduate Student Awarded First Place at K-State Graduate Research Forum

K-State HNR graduate student, Ross Braun competed in the poster competition against other K-State graduate students at the 2017 Kansas State Graduate Research, Arts, and Discovery Forum in Manhattan, KS. Ross placed 1st in the Agricultural Sciences poster session and was awarded a $500 scholarship prize, the title of his poster was “Nitrous Oxide Emissions in a Turfgrass Environment.” Congrats Ross!

For a photo of Ross, check out the HNR Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/kstate.hfrr/

Finding your passion

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

My wife and I are both educators but we are both very different educators.  She teaches 8th grade language arts and I am an extension educator that teaches continuing education to turfgrass professionals.  As educators we strive to help people find their passion but believe it or not every once in awhile we find someone that helps us find our passion or rekindle our passion that may have been overwhelmed for many different reasons.

Most of my educational presentations are not to students but every once in awhile I do get in the classroom and get to talk with undergraduate students.  Most of my interaction with students is when I see them at their internship, summer job or out working at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Farm.

One of those students is Slade Loewen.  Slade is an undergraduate turfgrass student here at Kansas State University.  Slade has worked out at Rocky Ford as well as many other golf courses in Kansas.  So it is safe to say Slade has a passion for turfgrass, like many of us.  But what you don’t know is Slade has a passion for something else.  He enjoys working on cars, trucks, tractors, equipment, etc.  Problem solving a piece of equipment that hasn’t ran in a couple years to rebuilding an engine in his wife’s car is something Slade has accomplished just in the past couple weeks.

When I moved here in April 2013 I noticed an old John Deere tractor out at the research farm. I always wondered why we haven’t used it and apparently the story goes…  It was rebuilt, the battery got hooked up backwards and fried the electrical system. So it just sat there.  Well a couple weeks ago Slade got to working on the tractor and took it on as a project.  Long story short after some hard work, Slade was driving the tractor around Rocky Ford.  Although it is an older tractor it will be put to great use.

What I noticed that day I pulled into Rocky Ford wasn’t the running tractor that I have never seen move but a young man “doing what he loves best”.  We walked around that thing and he went through the entire process of what he did to get it running.  That day I saw someone not only finding their passion but sharing it with someone else.

I try and share my passion for turfgrass through research and extension by many different outlets.  I get overwhelmed, busy, anxious and sometimes just flat out burned out.  That day at Rocky Ford, Slade helped me rekindle my passion. So when you find yourself overwhelmed, which is easy to do as a turfgrass manager, stop and remember your passion and look around at your employees, students, interns, etc.  Look at the passion and motivation they have and use that as fuel to rekindle your own passion for the green industry.

As we enter Spring and Summer keep up the great work and always remember why we do what we do!