Kansas State University


K-State Turf and Landscape Blog

Tag: Rocky Ford

Irrigation Installation at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

The KSU Turfgrass Research Group sends a sincere “thank you” to all who helped in any way to install the new irrigation system on March 23-24, whether by providing equipment, labor, or food and refreshments. We were overwhelmed by the support provided by the Kansas turfgrass industry and are extremely grateful.

We look forward to providing updates from future research conducted with the new system that will benefit Kansas turf managers. This new research project is in cooperation with the USGA and the Toro Co. The goal of the project is to improve the use of soil moisture sensors to control irrigation while minimizing water applications and maintaining good quality turf. This will require 3 years of intensive study of the science of using these sensors.

Also, a big thank you to Nic Youngers, Jasen Sare, Austin Murphy and Shawn Spann for aerifying the research green at Rocky Ford and to WinField for donating the ferti-lizer!

Thanks to our refreshment/lunch sponsors: Bayer Dow Agro Sciences Helena PBI-Gordon Supreme Turf WinField

Also, Thank You to all the volunteers who assisted and donated equipment to make the irrigation install a success!

Al Alspach, Mater Landscape, Inc.

Dale Bremer, KSU

Leon Brown, Schwab-Eaton

Jeff Chaffee, Master Landscape, Inc.

Rob Christie, Firekeeper GC

Cliff Dipman, KSU

Kevin Fateley, Wildcat Creek Fun & Fitness

Seth Gieber, Manhattan CC

Jared Hawkins, Master Landscape

Nate Ratzlaff, Cottonwood Hills GC

Jasen Sare, Stagg Hill GC

Shawn Spann, WinField

Derek Taussig, Taussig Landscape

Charlie Thompson, Willowbrook GC

Mark Willmore, KSU

Mingying Xiang, KSU

Nic Youngers, Rolling Meadows GC

Mu Hong, KSU

Wes Kleffner, Bayer

Frank Kohman, Cool Springs GC

Will Mann, Schwab-Eaton

Matt Miller, Carey Park GC

Nic Mitchell, KSU

Austin Murphy, Indian Hill GC

Shane Myers, Foley Equipment Co.

We still have more to install so if you didn’t get out and was able to help we will have another work day to finish out the entire area!

Thanks again!


Raising the roof on our drought shelters. Or, “plastic is heavier than you think”

Last week we built the bones of our second stationary drought structure at Rocky Ford. This morning we raised the plastic on the top of both. Both are now ready-to-roll for summer 2017 drought research.


A giant roll of plastic is heavier than you think


We connect the ropes to the plastic by tying them up like this. “It’s like making ghosts out of Kleenex balls” according to Jack Fry.



Next step – chucking the ropes up and over, using water bottles as weights.


Heaving the plastic up-and-over the first shelter


The plastic is about halfway up


Fun panorama-camera effect from the inside as the team installs the wiggle wire to hold the plastic in place.


Some last touches on shelter #1


PhD candidate Ross Braun was our fearless leader today, guiding us through the process. We are sure going to miss this guy after he graduates this year!

Shelter 1:


On the second shelter, we chucked ropes up and over using wrenches. It’s not every day a person literally gets to throw wrenches for work. That was my favorite part.


Good teamwork!



Securing the plastic up high

Fastening the plastic down with wiggle wire


Keeping the plastic from sailing away to Nebraska was part of the job.


Ready for action!

# KSUTURF Teaching, Research and Extension at its BEST!

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

We have a lot going on out at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS.  One project is about 3 acres of new research plots with irrigation.  With the support and donations from CiteOne, Hunter, MidWest Laser Leveling, Ewing, Netfim and others (I apologize if I have left anyone out, it has been a long week) we will have new areas for future research, teaching and extension programs.  From the entire Horticulture and Natural Resources department we thank you for making this project possible!

One of the best parts of this project is being able to incorporate the Horticulture Irrigation Class.  They have been hard at work with the installation of the research plots.  From laying out the plots to digging trenches they get hands on experience with irrigation installation.

This is a great project because it is not only research plots but it is a teaching and learning experience for undergraduate students.

Enjoy the pictures and as you can see we had some issues with mother nature!  There will be more to come but just wanted to let everyone know how the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources is combining the three missions of a land-grant university of Teaching, Research and Extension for Kansas.

img_1298 img_1302img_1301 img_1303 img_1309 img_1310 img_1318 img_1362 img_1345 img_1348

Raise the roof! Rocky Ford rainout shelter is ready for 2016 research

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)


The turf team took advantage of a calm morning to raise the plastic on our stationary rain-out shelter at Rocky Ford. It takes a lot of bodies to hoist the plastic across the structure. We all got our workout for the day. Ross Braun, PhD student,will be investigating the physiology and performance of Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, buffalograss, and zoysiagrass under drought stress and different management scenarios (mowing height and traffic). IMG_2442 IMG_2440 IMG_2441


The Kansas Turfgrass Field Day – Manhattan, KS – August 4, 2016

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

It’s almost here! The 2016 Kansas Turfgrass Field Day in Manhattan, KS on August 4th! This year we have lots of field research to show you anything from new products to new things with old products.


The link below has all the information from vendor registration to registration!  Hope to see you there.


Some of the tour highlights include;

  • Turfgrass Weed Research Trials – Jared Hoyle
  • Herbicide Option for Converting Tall Fescue to Buffalograss – Jake Reeves
  • Carts During Drought – How Does the Turf Respond? – Ross Braun
  • Zoysia Update – Jack Fry
  • Landscape & Turf Diseas Potpourri – Megan Kennelly
  • New Bentgrasses for Greens and Fairways – Steve Keeley
  • Drones for Detecting Stress – Dale Bremer
  • Auditing your Irrigation System – Cathie Lavis


Whats new at #ksuturf farms in Manhattan and Olathe?

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

This summer has been a crazy one.  We have been getting ready for field day in Olathe on August 6th (Hope to see everyone out there! – Register here – http://www.eventbrite.com/e/kansas-turf-ornamentals-field-day-tickets-16109376579) but there are a lot of new projects that graduate students, faculty and staff are up to.  Here is just a list of what is going on and we will be talking more about it at field day and at Annual Turfgrass Conference in December!

We have a new GPS navigated robot mower being tested out at Rocky Ford in Manhattan.


Pre- and Post-emergent herbicide trials at Olathe and and Manhattan. (Photo form Olathe).


Influence of tall fescue mowing height on crabgrass populations demonstration at Olathe.


I have been traveling everywhere. (Had to throw that in there)


New zoysaigrass variety trials at Rocky Ford in Manhattan.


Ross Braun (KSU Turfgrass PhD Graduate Student) has been evaluating multiple turfgrass species, mowing height and traffic in drought conditions.


Evan Alderman (KSU Turfgrass MS Graduate Student) installed a new fairway (5/8″) of ‘Cody’ buffalograss at Rocky Ford.


There is a new ornamental herbicide testing facility installed at the forest research center in Manhattan to evaluate potential turfgrass herbicides to ornamental plants.


The use of adjuvants with Pylex  and triclopyr combination demonstration trial at Olathe. Brown patch control research trial was installed at Olathe this summer. New granular products for broadleaf weed control (Olathe – Photos not shown).

Dr. Bremer and Ross Braun (KSU Turfgrass PhD Graduate Student) has been studying greenhouse gas emissions under drought conditions at Rocky Ford.


More traveling…


Lastly, I would like to congratulate Dr. Zane Raudembush for completing his PhD this past spring.  Good luck in all your do Zane.


This is not all of what have been going on but just wanted to share some of the pictures of some of the new things that are going on here in the KSU Turfgrass Program.

Don’t forget to come out to field day August 6th and see some of the research that we have been conducting.  Thanks and have a great rest of the week!



Bring the donuts, it’s time for a barn-raising

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

The KSU turf team spent the morning working together on a big task – putting the plastic up on the big rain shelter at Rocky Ford. It was a beautiful, calm morning – perfect for hoisting a giant plastic sheet across the supports.

037 038 039 040 041 042 043

Ross Braun, PhD student,will be investigating the physiology and performance of Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, buffalograss, and zoysiagrass under drought stress and different management scenarios (mowing height and traffic).

079 080

It’s here! KSU Turfgrass Field Day – This Thursday August 7th

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

The 2014 KSU Turfgrass Field Day is here!

This year we will have something new for all attendees.  If you have a smart phone, download a QR reader before field day.  We will have QR codes for everyone so you can get more information about the field day stops right at the palm of your hands!

We have a great line-up this year.  Graduate students, faculty, and staff will be presenting about all sorts of topics including weed control options, bermudagrass removal, buffaograss establishment, moss control, Kentucky bluegrass cultivars, disease management, turf colorants, bermudagrass cultivars, zoysiagrass cultivars, and insect control.

Check out the brochure here…


It will be at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS on August 7, 2014.

You can also earn recertification credit hours for your commercial pesticide applicators license. (3B- 1 hour, 3A- 0.5 hour, and 0.25 GCSAA education credits)

Sign up today online! 


Hope to see you there!