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Gerald Henry, Rebecca Grubbs, Chase Straw, Kevin Tucker, and Jared Hoyle

Previous research involving turfgrass response to soil moisture used methodology that may compromise root morphology or fail to control outside environmental factors. Water-table depth gradient tanks were employed in the greenhouse to identify habitat specialization of hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy] and manilagrass [Zoysia matrella (L.) Merr.] maintained at 2.5 and 5.1 cm. Turfgrass quality (TQ), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), canopy temperature (CT), and root biomass (RB) were used as metrics for plants grown in monoculture in sandy clay loam soil. Mowing height did not affect growth of turfgrass species in response to soil moisture. Turfgrass quality, NDVI, and RB were greatest, whereas CT was lowest at wetter levels [27- to 58-cm depth to the water-table (DWT)] of each tank where plants were growing at or above field capacity. However, bermudagrass RB was greatest at 27-cm DWT, whereas manilagrass RB at 27-cm DWT was lower than RB at 42.5- to 73.5-cm DWT in 2013 and lower than all other levels in 2014. Both species responded similarly to droughty levels (120- to 151-cm DWT) of the tanks. Turfgrass quality, NDVI, and RB were lowest, whereas CT was highest at higher droughty levels. Bermudagrass may be more competitive than manilagrass when soil moisture is high whereas both species are less competitive when soil moisture is low.

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Chase M. Straw, Rebecca A. Grubbs, Kevin A. Tucker, and Gerald M. Henry

Research compared handheld and mobile data acquisitions of soil moisture [volumetric water content (VWC)], soil compaction (penetration resistance), and turfgrass vigor [normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI)] of four natural turfgrass sports fields using two sampling grid sizes (4.8 × 4.8 m and 4.8 × 9.6 m). Differences between the two sampling grid sizes were minimal, indicating that sampling with handheld devices using a 4.8 × 9.6 m grid (120–130 samples) would achieve results similar to the smaller grid size. Central tendencies and data distributions varied among the handheld and mobile devices. Moderate to strong correlation coefficients were observed for VWC and NDVI; however, weak to moderate correlation coefficients were observed for penetration resistance at three of the four locations. Kriged maps of VWC and NDVI displayed similar patterns of variability between handheld and mobile devices, but at different magnitudes. Spatial maps of penetration resistance were inconsistent due to device design and user reliability. Consequently, mobile devices may provide the most reliable results for penetration resistance of natural turfgrass sports fields.

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Tyler Cooper, Leslie L. Beck, Chase M. Straw, and Gerald M. Henry

Metamifop is a postemergence aryloxyphenoxypropionic acid herbicide used for the control of annual and perennial grass weeds in cereal crops and rice (Oryza sativa L.). Previous research observed creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) tolerance to applications of metamifop, suggesting utilization for the removal of encroaching bermudagrass (Cynodon Rich.) from creeping bentgrass putting greens with little to no phytotoxicity. Therefore, the objective of our research was to evaluate the efficacy of metamifop for common bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] control in a greenhouse environment. Experiments were conducted at the Plant and Soil Science greenhouse facility at Texas Tech University in Lubbock in 2011 and 2012. ‘Riviera’ and ‘Savannah’ common bermudagrass were seeded at 218 lb/acre into 4-inch square pots containing a soilless potting media on 26 Aug. 2011 and 14 Nov. 2011. Pots were allowed to mature in the greenhouse over a 3-month period where they were maintained at a height of 0.25 inches. Herbicide treatments were applied on 1 Dec. 2011 and 8 Feb. 2012 and consisted of metamifop at 0.18, 0.27, 0.36, or 0.45 lb/acre. A sequential application of each treatment was made on 22 Dec. 2011 and 29 Feb. 2012. A nontreated control was included for comparison. Clipping ceased after initial herbicide treatment and pots produced biomass for 3 weeks. Biomass above 0.25 inch was removed from each pot, dried, and weighed. This procedure was conducted again 3 weeks after sequential treatments. The rate of metamifop required to reduce bermudagrass growth 50% (GR50) was calculated 3 and 6 weeks after initial treatment (WAIT). Visual ratings of percent bermudagrass control were recorded weekly on a scale of 0% (no control) to 100% (completely dead bermudagrass). As metamifop rate increased, bermudagrass biomass decreased. The calculated GR50 at 3 WAIT for ‘Savannah’ and ‘Riviera’ was 0.19 and 0.14 lb/acre, respectively. Nontreated control pots exhibited 0% control and produced 0.59 to 0.83 g of biomass at 3 WAIT, regardless of cultivar. Metamifop at 0.27 to 0.45 lb/acre exhibited 96% to 100% bermudagrass control at 3 WAIT, regardless of cultivar. Bermudagrass subjected to those same treatments only produced 0.01 to 0.03 g of biomass at 3 WAIT, regardless of cultivar. The 0.18-lb/acre rate of metamifop exhibited only 9% control of ‘Savannah’ bermudagrass with 0.72 g of biomass collected, while ‘Riviera’ was controlled 41% with 0.38 g of biomass collected. The calculated GR50 at 6 WAIT for ‘Savannah’ and ‘Riviera’ was 0.13 and 0.14 lb/acre, respectively. Sequential applications of metamifop at 0.27 to 0.45 lb/acre completely controlled bermudagrass (100%) at 6 WAIT, while a sequential application at 0.18 lb/acre only controlled bermudagrass 8% to 19% at 6 WAIT, regardless of cultivar. Bermudagrass subjected to 0.18 lb/acre exhibited 0.48 to 0.56 g of biomass at 6 WAIT, regardless of cultivar. Metamifop shows potential as an alternative control option for common bermudagrass present within cool-season turfgrass species.

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Gerald M. Henry, James T. Brosnan, Greg K. Breeden, Tyler Cooper, Leslie L. Beck, and Chase M. Straw

Indaziflam is an alkylazine herbicide that controls winter and summer annual weeds in bermudagrass (Cynodon sp.) turf by inhibiting cellulose biosynthesis. Research was conducted in Tennessee and Texas during 2010 and 2011 to evaluate the effects of indaziflam applications on overseeded perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) establishment and summer annual weed control. In Texas, perennial ryegrass cover on plots treated with indaziflam at 0.75 and 1.0 oz/acre measured 37% to 48% compared with 88% for the untreated control 257 days after initial treatment (DAIT). Perennial ryegrass cover following applications of indaziflam at 0.5 oz/acre measured 84% 257 DAIT and did not differ from the untreated control on any evaluation date. Inconsistent responses in crabgrass (Digitaria sp.) control with indaziflam at 0.5 oz/acre were observed in Tennessee and Texas. However, control was similar to the 0.75-oz/acre rate and prodiamine at 7.8 oz/acre at each location. A September application of indaziflam at 0.75 oz/acre followed by a sequential treatment at 0.5 oz/acre in March of the following year provided >90% control by June 2011. Indaziflam application regimes of this nature would allow for successful fall overseeding of perennial ryegrass every two years and control winter annual weed species such as annual bluegrass (Poa annua).