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K-State Turf and Landscape Blog

Tag: graduate student

Student Spotlight: Dani McFadden

By Brooke Garcia

Meet Dani McFadden! 

Dani McFadden is currently enrolled at Kansas State University pursuing her M.S. in Turfgrass Science, with an emphasis in Weed Science. She anticipates graduating in May 2021.

McFadden also holds an undergraduate degree from K-State in Horticulture, with a focus in Golf Course and Sports Turf Management.

When outside of class, McFadden loves walking around golf courses, sports fields, and home lawns to apply what she is learning in school. She enjoys being able to identify weeds and common diseases, as well as applying her knowledge of herbicides and fungicides.

McFadden’s favorite hobbies include playing golf with friends, fishing, and attending sporting events. More specifically, she likes attending sporting events that are played on natural grass.

Research Focus: Testing Labeled Restrictions on Seeding Timings after Herbicide Application

Here is what McFadden has to say about her research…

“Many people want to know when they can seed their lawn after herbicide application. Most labels restrict seeding until 2-4 weeks after application. My research includes seeding a stand 0, 3, 7, and 14 days after herbicide application along with the effects of different irrigation amounts on seedling germination. I am also doing research on tall fescue conversion to buffalograss after glyphosate applications.”

What’s next for Dani McFadden?

McFadden will always love mowing greens in the early morning while watching the sunrise. This is something she hopes everyone will have the chance to do. Looking ahead, she hopes to start a career with a chemical company as a territory manager. Through networking, she can continue to connect with great superintendents and turf managers in this industry. The “people in this industry is what makes being a turfgrass student so great,” says McFadden. 

This is why we do, what we do.

(By Jared Hoyle and Zane Raudenbush, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

An email came across my desk the other day that really drove home the message of why we do what we do.  It is difficult as a turfgrass researcher to try and determine what research will make an impact and help the turfgrass industry.  I go to many different meetings, conferences, educational events, trade shows, site visits, and spend lots of time talking/emailing/texting/communicating with turfgrass managers and extension personnel to try and determine what the needs are.  What are the struggles they face in managing turfgrass?  What can we do to help produce a better turgrass? And most importantly what can we do to help the turfgrass industry in this time of budget cuts and financial struggles.

So we take all this information, brainstorm ideas of how we can help the turfgrass industry and design scientifically valid research projects.  From there we implement the research project and see the scientific process through, all the way until publication of the results.

So, when you hear a story like this, it is refreshing to know that the KSU turfgrass teaching, research, and extension program is having a positive impact on the turfgrass industry.

Below is a communication from, KSU Turfgrass Graduate Student, Zane Raudenbush, and a Certified Golf Course Superintendent.  Zane has been researching Silvery Thread-Moss in bentgrass putting greens.  There are many different reasons moss has started to infest putting greens (new mowing equipment, banning of heavy metal fungicides, putting green growing media, etc) but no one can really pin-point why.  As a growing problem in the turfgrass industry, Zane thought this was a topic that needed to be explored and has spent the last couple of years researching many different aspects of moss.

Zane applying nitrogen sources in the spray chamber to determine influence on moss growth

Here is the communication between Zane and the CGCS.


I recently read your present research concerning the relationship between nitrogen sources and moss. Interesting stuff. I went on your website to dig into it further and was unable to find anything. Is there something more in-depth I can read besides the write-up in CGM – Cutting Edge – December 2013?

Thanks for your help, CGCS


Unfortunately, I have not formally wrote this study up for publication yet. However, I’ll attached a poster that contains more information and results compared to the GCM article. Ultimately, the take home message from our research is that if you are applying soluble N (especially ammonium sulfate) weekly or biweekly and have problems with moss, then you really need to consider starting a moss control program.

I have also examined the impact of differing quicksilver rates and spray volumes on silvery thread moss control. Our research suggests you may be able to achieve adequate control with a rate lower than the specified 6.7 fl oz/A. I saw the same amount of burn from 1.0 fl oz/A. Additionally, we did not begin to see regrowth until 3 or 4 weeks after treatment. The label specifies 2 week application intervals, but I would recommend spraying quicksilver at 2.0 fl oz/A on three week intervals. If you have 3 acres of greens then each app should cost you around $120-150. The lower rate also allows for more applications since you cannot exceed 0.4 lbs ai/A/Year.

Sorry for the delay. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance.

Cheers, Zane

Zane explaining the importance of carfentrazone applications as a tool for moss control

Hi Zane,

I wanted to let you know I had a great year of Moss Control using your Quicksilver protocol! I was pretty good about spraying 2oz/A every 2-3 weeks for the bulk of the summer. I must say the results have been fantastic. Thank you for sharing your thoughts/research with me. I also cut way back on my true foliar program and my acid inject procedures. Best thing that has happened all year at our club. Going forward I think I have a plan to be almost moss free. That is a big THORN out of my backside!

I will be speaking at a Turf Conference in January. I would like to briefly mention your work in one of my talks, with your permission.

Thanks so much! Great stuff

We are always grateful to hear how our research has made a positive impact on the lives of turfgrass managers. We enjoy conducting turfgrass research, but the greatest reward is supporting the industry in a positive way.

This is why we do, what we do.  Hope everyone has a safe a fun weekend.


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.***

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#KSUTurf Graduate Student Spotlight – Evan Alderman

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

This Turfgrass Student Spotlight is focused on Evan Alderman.  Evan is a Master’s student here at KSU and has been here since this past May.  Evan has hit the ground running.  He graduated from Iowa State Univeristy with a B.S. in Turfgrass Science in May, packed his bags, moved to Manhattan and started his graduated degree in just a week or two.  In the short amount of time he has been here, he has initiated three divot recovery trials, one traffic tolerance trial, one weed control trial and has helped out the other turfgrass research, teaching and extension faculty, staff and students on many projects.

Evan with other KSU Turf Graduate Students (Jake, Ross and Zane) at 2014 KSU Turf Field Day

One of Kansas State Univeristy’s five Grand Challenges facing Kansas is water.  To work towards this grand challenge Evan is researching the use of a drought tolerant turfgrass species in golf courses, buffalograss.  More specifically he is evaluating the use of fertilizers on buffalograss to withstand golf cart traffic and divot recovery.  For more information about Evan’s project check out his latest blog post.  https://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/influence-of-nitrogen-rate-and-source-on-buffalograss-divot-recovery/  

So if you see Evan around, tell him he is doing a great job and we are glad he is here helping KSU tackle one of the grand challenges.

KSU Turfgrass Student Spotlight

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

On behalf of the KSU Turfgrass Team, the Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources and the Department of Pathology, we would like to congratulate Ross Braun for passing his MS defense.  Ross’s thesis is titled “CULTURAL STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE ZOYSIAGRASS ACCEPTABILITY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE TRANSITION ZONE”.  He plans to continue his education at KSU and pursue his doctorate under the advisement of Dr. Bremer.  Ross’s doctorate project will explore nitrous oxide emissions and the use of remote sensing in turfgrass systems.  Congratulations to Ross Braun!

Ross presenting his MS seminar to the Dept. of HFRR