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K-State Turfgrass

Student Spotlight: Nic Mitchell

By Brooke Garcia

Meet Nic Mitchell! 

Mitchell is currently enrolled at Kansas State University pursing his Master’s degree in Horticulture, with an emphasis in Turfgrass Science and Weed Science. His undergraduate degree is from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Turfgrass and Landscape Management.

So we asked him….why Turfgrass? 

Mitchell highlighted his love for turfgrass began around the time when his parents let him mow the lawn. He grew up on a nine-hole golf course in Aurora, Nebraska, and he became interested in the various mowers and different heights of cut.

Mitchell also shared his passion for playing golf. He had the opportunity to work several summers at his hometown golf course, where his interest in turfgrass continued to grow. Throughout his college studies, he eventually changed majors to pursue Turfgrass Management. This opened the doors to a variety of unique learning opportunities, including an internship in Jackson, Wyoming and a marketing internship with WinField United. These experiences helped Mitchell realize that he wanted to work in the turfgrass industry.

Dr. Jared Hoyle presented Mitchell with the opportunity to attend Kansas State University to work towards his M.S. Mitchell says that he has had a wonderful experience, and he is forever grateful for the opportunity to be apart of the K-State family.

Let’t talk research. 

Mitchell’s research is focused around Herbicide Programs for Seasonal Windmillgrass Control. Here is what Mitchell has to say about his research:

Windmillgrass (Chloris verticillata Nutt.) is a problematic perennial grassy weed commonly found in the mid-west. Currently, there are the only two labeled chemical control options in turfgrass. Tenacity (mesotrione) is labeled for two applications for control while Pylex (topramezone) is labeled for a single application for control. We conducted research to determine if a single application of a common selective perennial grass herbicides would completely control windmillgrass, and to their efficacy when applied at spring, summer, and fall application timings. The next research study that we conducted was to explore the addition of triclopyr to mesotrione, topramezone, and fenoxaprop as well as triclopyr alone. Sequential applications of these herbicides and herbicide combinations were also applied. The last research trial we conducted was to determine the effects of windmillgrass response to glyphosate at different rates with fall applications similar to common recommended perennial weed control options.”

What’s next for Nic Mitchell?

Mitchell will be finishing up his M.S. program this December. His thesis presentation is on December 2nd, 2019 at 12:00pm in Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center. Following his thesis, he will be working for Corteva Agriscience as an Associate Territory Manager with their Turf and Ornamental business. Wish him the best of luck on his future endeavors!

See below for more information on his thesis presentation:

It’s beginning to look a lot like…. Christmas!

By Brooke Garcia

In the greenhouses at Kansas State University, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful poinsettias growing. This isn’t the first place I have seen them around town, as garden centers and grocery stores are stocking up as well. However, the poinsettias currently at K-State are truly unique varieties. Who knew there were pink poinsettias? I had no idea!

The 1200 poinsettias featured in the K-State greenhouses are used for both research and teaching purposes. There are 37 students currently enrolled in Dr. Kimberly Williams’ Greenhouse Operations Management course, and they produce these poinsettias to learn more about managing plants in a greenhouse environment. The poinsettias featured below are just a few of my favorites: 

Christmas Traditions                                          Ferrara   

         

Golden Glo                                                    J’Adore Pink

Mars White                                               Premium Marble

Premium Picasso                                     XMas Beauty Marble

Many of these poinsettias will be included in the “Friends of the KSU Gardens Annual Poinsettia Sale” in the KSU Gardens Quinlan Visitor’s Center, located in Manhattan, KS. The dates for the sale are listed below:

  • Nov. 22, 2019: 12:00-5:30pm
  • Dec. 4th, 2019: 3:00-5:30pm
  • Dec. 6th, 2019: 11:30am-2:00pm

The poinsettias are in a 6.5 inch pot for $10.00 each. There will also be 10″ Centerpieces sold for $15.00. Cash or check only; no credit cards.

For more information about poinsettias, be sure to check out the two new articles on the Horticulture e-Newsletter blog. Link to the individual articles below:

Natural needle drop, or plant disease?

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

Which of these is a disease, and which is natural needle drop?

If you guessed natural needle drop for the first and disease (Dothistroma needle blight) for the second, you are right!

If you were not sure, here are some resources to figure it out.

In a recent article in Horticulture News, Ward Upham mentioned some recent reports about natural needle drop on evergreens. You can read more about it here:

http://www.ksuhortnewsletter.org/newsletters/natural-needle-drop-on-spruce-arborvitae-and-pines

In addition, this publication talks about pine diseases and at the end there is a section about natural needle drop:

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/l722.pdf

If you see yellowing, browning, or dropping of needles and you still are not sure you can reach out to your local K-State Research and Extension office or contact the KSU Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab:

Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab

1712 Claflin Road
4032 Throckmorton PSC
Manhattan, Kansas 66506
(785) 532-5810
Fax: (785) 532 5692
clinic@ksu.edu

 

Upcoming Commercial Pesticide Applicator Training

By Brooke Garcia & Frannie Miller

Upcoming Commercial Pesticide Applicator Training

Date: November 12-14, 2019 in Salina, KS – Webster Conference Center

Website: https://conferences.k-state.edu/commercialpesticide/

Objective: The objective of this training program is for the Kansas State University Cooperative Education Service to provide a broad, practical training program and to help Kansas commercial pesticide applicators meet the requirements for renewal certification.

ALL commercial certified pesticide applicators are required to accumulate credit hours if re-certifying through training.

In Kansas, there are two ways to receive training for renewal certification: 1) study a manual and pass an examination and 2) attend training courses approved by the Kansas Secretary of Agriculture for required re-certification credit hour (CEU) accumulation. All applicators must now accumulate the necessary credit hours required for the appropriate category/subcategory in which they are certified. If you have not accumulated the required number of credit hours (1 core hour and either 3, 5 or 7 pest management hours) and paid the certification fee ($50 per category certified in) to the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) by the expiration of your current certification, you must re-exam to obtain certification.

Questions?
If you have questions regarding the renewal requirements, please call the Kansas Department of Agriculture at 785-564-6688. To view your current certification credits, go to: https://www.kellysolutions.com/ks/applicators.
If you have questions concerning this training program or if you are interested in the additional training programs that the K-State Research and Extension Program has to offer, please call Frannie Miller at (620) 241-1523.

Are you using the right gloves for pesticide safety? And a new resource to translate safety info into Spanish

With pesticides, usually we are thinking about the active ingredient that targets the problematic insect, weed, or disease. But did you know that the different “carriers” in the formulation can affect applicator safety, too?

Here is a quick article that summarizes some of the key points of selecting the right gloves for applicator safety:

If the Glove Doesn’t Fit (the job!), You Must Quit

 

Speaking of pesticide safety, the EPA recently announced a new program to help translate information into Spanish.

https://www.epa.gov/pesticides/epa-offers-guide-help-translate-pesticide-safety-information-spanish

You can find the full guide here:

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-10/documents/spanish-translation-guide-for-pesticide-labeling.10.10.19.pdf

 

Large Patch Evaluation Study Update

By: Manoj Chhetri

With temperatures cooling down and days being shorter, we are already starting to see warm-season grasses, including zoysiagrass, going to sleep. At the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center, located in Manhattan, KS, we have shut down the irrigation in warm-season plots.

Our zoysiagrass in the large-patch tolerant breeding plot is not cooperating with us as much as we wanted. We inoculated the field in mid-September with fresh Rhizoctonia pathogen and kept the field pretty wet to encourage fungi to flourish. However, to our dismay, we did not see much of the disease activity, except in a few poor drainage spots. With disease research, it is the type of research where we want disease pathogens to have no mercy on us. We are impatiently waiting for spring, which in fact is a more favorable time of the year for large patch activity.

We are hopeful that we have at least one or two new zoysiagrass progeny that possess greater large patch tolerance. Again, it is hard to make comparison and evaluate when we don’t have disease pressure. So far, we have narrowed down to 10 best progeny out of 60. On the positive note, we have seen more disease pressure on our non-selected progeny than in our top-ten selected progeny. This tells us that we did a good job on choosing those ten-best progeny.

This project is aiming to develop a large patch tolerant zoysiagrass that can significantly reduce cost on fungicides and protect the environment. It is a collaborative project between Texas A & M and K-State University.

Pictured Above: Zoysiagrass progeny evaluated in large patch disease environment.

Pictured Above: One of the zoysiagrass progeny showing large patch in one inoculated half (right side) and fungicide treated cleaner side on other half (left side).