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Ying Wang, Cale A. Bigelow and Yiwei Jiang

Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is a widely used cool-season turfgrass species. The exact ploidy levels of the worldwide perennial ryegrass accessions in the USDA National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) are unknown, which could complicate future use and breeding efforts. The objective of this study was to determine the ploidy level and DNA content of the 194 USDA NPGS perennial ryegrass accessions and six commercial cultivars (Brightstar SLT, Catalina II, Divine, Inspire, Manhattan 4, Silver Dollar) using flow cytometry. Among the 200 accessions, 194 diploids and six tetraploids were identified. Three tetraploids originated from Canada with the remaining from Ireland, Japan, and The Netherlands. The average DNA content was 5.60 pg/2C for the diploid and 11.45 pg/2C for the tetraploid. The 2C DNA content was positively correlated (r = 0.23, P < 0.01) with seedling plant height but not seedling leaf width. This ploidy data provide important information for future marker trait analysis and cultivar improvement.

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Victoria A. Caceres, Cale A. Bigelow and Douglas S. Richmond

Aesthetic and economic characteristics of different turfgrass fertility and pesticide programs were compared in an effort to provide a framework for lawn care professionals to evaluate, market, and implement alternative management strategies. Programs included a consumer program (CP), an integrated pest management program (IPMP), a natural organic program (NOP), and a no-input program (NIP). All programs significantly improved visual appearance compared with the NIP, and although the IPMP and CP consistently had the highest ratings, the NOP produced lawns of similar quality on the majority of rating dates. The NOP also resulted in canopy greenness levels similar to or significantly greater than those provided by the IPMP and CP on most dates. Aside from the NIP, the lowest total maintenance costs were associated with the IPMP during both study years. Although the NOP was the most expensive program when white grub (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) populations exceeded treatment thresholds, it was less expensive than the CP when white grubs were below thresholds. Incorporation of scouting into different fertility and pesticide programs resulted in short-term economic benefits without significantly compromising turfgrass aesthetic quality.

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John E. Kaminski, Peter H. Dernoeden and Cale A. Bigelow

Natural organic fertilizers require microbial degradation for nitrogen (N) release, but their ability to promote rapid turfgrass establishment has not been well documented in newly constructed sand-based rootzones. This 2-year field study evaluated the influence of two general fertilizer and soil amendment programs for their effect on establishment and quality of three creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) cultivars—`Crenshaw', `Penn G-2', and `Providence'. Turf was grown on a 4 sand: 1 sphagnum peat (by volume) rootzone mixture. Four treatments consisting of surface-applied synthetic fertilizer (SF; mostly water-soluble N in 1999 and methylene urea thereafter); surface-applied hydrolyzed poultry meal (PM); preplant-incorporated granular humate (GH) with surface-applied SF; and preplant-incorporated PM with surface-applied PM. Turf cover data collected 42 days after seeding (DAS) showed that the rate of establishment was SF+GH incorporated = SF surface-applied >PM surface-applied + PM incorporated >PM surface-applied. Turf cover was ≥96% among all treatments 90 DAS. Rootmass density was greater (18% to 29%) at 103 DAS in GH incorporated plots combined with SF, when compared to all other treatments, but no rootmass differences subsequently were observed. Soil microbial activity generally was highest in PM-treated plots during the first 14 months following seeding, but not thereafter. Turf treated with SF had less microdochium patch (Microdochium nivale (Fr.) Samuels and I.C. Hallett) and more bentgrass dead spot (Ophiosphaerella agrostis Dernoeden, M.P.S. Camara, N.R. O'Neill, van Berkum et M.E. Palm), when compared to PM-treated plots. Slightly less thatch developed in PM-treated turf when compared to plots receiving SF alone by the end of the second year. Penn G-2 and SF generally provided the best overall turf quality. This study demonstrated the beneficial effects of readily available N from SF for rapid establishment and that preplant incorporation of GH initially aided root development.

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John E. Kaminski, Peter H. Dernoeden and Cale A. Bigelow

The tolerance of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) seedlings to many herbicides has not been evaluated. Three field studies were conducted between fall and spring from 1998 to 2002 to assess creeping bentgrass seedling tolerance to five herbicides and paclobutrazol. The primary objectives of this investigation were to assess bentgrass tolerance to these chemicals when applied at various timings following seedling emergence, and establishment of new seedlings as influenced by potential soil residues in the spring following a fall application of the chemicals. Treatments were applied 2, 4, or 7 weeks after either `Crenshaw' or `L-93' creeping bentgrass seedlings had emerged. Siduron (6.7 and 9.0 kg·ha-1) and bensulide (8.4 kg·ha-1) were noninjurious when applied two weeks after seedling emergence (2 WASE). Bensulide (14 kg·ha-1), ethofumesate (0.84 kg·ha-1), prodiamine (0.36 kg·ha-1) and paclobutrazol (0.14 kg·ha-1) were too injurious to apply 2 WASE, but they were generally safe to apply at 4 WASE. Chlorsulfuron (0.14 kg·ha-1) was extremely phytotoxic to seedlings when applied 2 WASE. Plots were treated with glyphosate and overseeded the following spring. The overwintering soil residuals of prodiamine and bensulide (14.0 kg·ha-1) unacceptably reduced spring establishment. All other herbicides and paclobutrazol had little or no adverse residual effects on spring establishment. Chemical names used: N-(phosphonomethyl)gycline (glyphosate); (±)-(R*,R*)-beta-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-alpha-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol); 2-ethoxy-2,3-dihydro-3,3-dimethyl-5-benzofuranyl methanesulfonate (ethofumesate); S-(0,0-diisopropyl phosphorodithioate) ester of N-(2-mercaptoethyl) benzenesulfonamide (bensulide); [1-(2-methylcyclohexyl)-3-phenylurea] (siduron); N3,N3-di-n-propyl-2,4-dinitro-6-(trifluoromethyl)-m-phenylenediamine (prodiamine); 2-chloro-N-[(4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)aminocarbonyl] benzenesulfonamide (chlorsulfuron).

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Cale A. Bigelow, Daniel C. Bowman and D. Keith Cassel

sand-based rootzones are specified for golf course putting greens because they resist compaction and maintain drainage, even under heavy traffic. Although sands provide favorable physical properties, nutrient retention is generally poor and soluble nutrients like nitrogen (N) are prone to leaching. Laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate several inorganic soil amendments (clinoptilolite zeolite (CZ), diatomaceous earth, and two porous ceramics), which varied in cation exchange capacity (CEC), and sphagnum peat for their ability to limit N leaching. Columns (35 cm tall × 7.6 cm diameter) were filled with 30 cm of sand-amendment mixtures (8:2 v/v) and NH4NO3 was applied in solution at a N rate of 50 kg·ha-1. Leaching was initiated immediately using 2.5 pore volumes of distilled water in a continuous pulse. Leachate was collected in 0.1 pore volume aliquots and analyzed for NH4 +-N and NO3 --N. All amendments significantly decreased NH4 + leaching from 27% to 88% which was directly proportional to the CEC of the amendments. By contrast, NO3 - losses were consistently high, and no amendment effectively decreased loss compared to nonamended sand. Two amendments with the highest CECs, CZ and a porous ceramic, were selected to further study the effects of amendment incorporation rate, depth, and incubation time on N leaching. Ammonium but not NO3 - leaching was decreased with increasing amendment rate of both products. At 10% amendment (v/v) addition, only 17% to 33% of applied NH4 + leached from the amended sands. Depth of amendment incorporation significantly affected NH4 + leaching, with uniform distribution through the entire 30 cm tall column being more effective than placement within the upper 2.5 or 15 cm. Allowing the NH4NO3 to incubate for 12 or 24 hours following application generally did not affect the amount leached. These results suggest NH4 +-N leaching is inversely related to CEC of the root-zone mixture and that uniform distribution of these CEC enhancing amendments in the root-zone mixtures reduced N leaching to a greater extent than nonuniform distribution.

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Peter H. Dernoeden, Cale A. Bigelow, John E. Kaminski and John M. Krouse

Smooth crabgrass [Digitaria ischaemum (Schreber) Schreber ex Muhlenb.] is an invasive weed of cool-season turfgrasses. Previous research has demonstrated that quinclorac is an effective postemergence herbicide for crabgrass control, but performance has been erratic in some regions. Furthermore, quinclorac may elicit objectionable levels of discoloration in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.). The objectives of this 3-year field study were to determine optimum rates and timings of quinclorac applications that provide consistent levels of effective crabgrass control and to assess creeping bentgrass quality responses to quinclorac. To evaluate crabgrass control, quinclorac was applied in early-, mid- and late-postemergence timings at various rates to a perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) turf. Similar treatments were applied to creeping bentgrass to determine if application timing and rate influenced the level and duration of discoloration. Quinclorac was applied alone or was tank-mixed with either urea (N at 6.1 kg·ha-1) or chelated iron (Fe)+nitrogen (N) (FeSO4 at 1.1 kg·ha-1+N at 2.2 kg·ha-1) to determine if they would mask discoloration. Crabgrass control generally was more effective in the early- and midpostemergence application timings. A single application of quinclorac (0.84 kg·ha-1) was effective where crabgrass levels were moderate, but sequential (i.e. multiple) applications were required where crabgrass levels were severe. The most consistent level of crabgrass control where weed pressure was severe occurred with three, sequential quinclorac (0.37 or 0.42 kg·ha-1) applications. Creeping bentgrass exhibited 2 to 11 weeks of unacceptable discoloration in response to sequential quinclorac applications. Chelated Fe+N was more effective than urea in masking discoloration. In general, chelated Fe+N tank-mixed with quinclorac masked discoloration and turf had quality equivalent to untreated bentgrass on most, but not all rating dates. Chemical names used: 3,7,-dichloro-8-quinolinecarboxylic acid (quinclorac).