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Keith J. Karnok and Kevin A. Tucker

Localized dry spot (LDS) caused by water repellent soil is a common problem on golf course putting greens having a predominately sand root zone. Fairy ring often causes LDS by developing hydrophobic soil. Although the fungicide flutolanil is labeled for the control of fairy ring, golf course superintendents often apply flutolanil to all LDS caused by hydrophobic soil and other conditions. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of flutolanil on an existing hydrophobic soil. The study was conducted on a creeping bentgrass [Agrostis palustris (synonym A. stolonifera)] experimental golf green in which the top 4 inches (10.2 cm) of the root zone was a moderately hydrophobic sand. Six treatments were used: uncored, cored, flutolanil (two applications.), flutolanil + Primer wetting agent (two applications.), Primer (two applications.) and Primer (three applications.). Plots receiving the fungicide and wetting agent treatments were cored before application. Each treatment containing the wetting agent significantly reduced soil water repellency. Flutolanil without wetting agent had no effect on soil hydrophobicity.

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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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Bharat P. Singh, Kevin A. Tucker, James D. Sutton, and Harbans L. Bhardwaj

This study was conducted to determine the effect of various flooding durations on the growth, water relations, and photosynthesis of the snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Greenhouse-grown plants of cv. Blue Lake 274 were flooded for 0 (control), 1, 3, 5, or 7 days. Leaf water potential (ψ), stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration (E), and net photosynthesis (Pn) were measured at the completion of the flooding period and after recovery for 7 days. Root, stem, and leaf dry weights were recorded after plants were allowed to recover from the flooding stress for 7 days. The values for ψ, gs, E, and Pn decreased quadratically with the increase in the duration of flooding. The Pn of plants flooded for 1 day was 17% lower than that of the control and it reached near zero in plants flooded for 7 days. The decrease in Pn after 1 day of flooding was not associated with ψ or gs; however, for longer duration of flooding, Pn decline coincided with the decline in gs. A week after the cessation of flooding, the level of recovery in ψ, E, and Pn was linear and that in gs quadratic to the duration of prior stress experienced by the plant. However, after recovering for 7 days, none of the flooded plants regained gas exchange activities at par with the control. The relationship of stem dry weight to duration of flooding was linear, while a quadratic model provided the best fit for the regression of root and leaf dry weight on the number of days of flooding. Overall, even 1 day of flooding reduces photosynthesis in snap bean and causes a decrease in dry weight of the plant. the extent of decrease in both increasing with the duration of flooding.

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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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Travis W. Gannon, Matthew D. Jeffries, James T. Brosnan, Gregory K. Breeden, Kevin A. Tucker, and Gerald M. Henry

Research was conducted at multiple locations throughout the southeastern United States during 2012 and 2013 to assist turf managers in developing integrated programs for managing crabgrass in common bermudagrass turf. Our objective was to determine the effect of mowing height on the efficacy of several pre-emergent (PRE) herbicides labeled for crabgrass control in bermudagrass turf. Plots were established in Raleigh, NC (NCSU), Knoxville, TN (ETREC), and Winder, GA (UGA) and treated with a factorial combination of two mowing heights (1.5 or 3.8 cm), two application regimes [single or split application (initial and an 8-week sequential)], and six preemergent herbicides (dithiopyr, indaziflam, oxadiazon, pendimethalin, prodiamine, and prodiamine + sulfentrazone). In 2012, all herbicides provided greater crabgrass control on plots maintained at 3.8 cm compared with 1.5 cm. This response was not detected in 2013, potentially as a result of above-average rainfall at two of the three trial locations. Analysis revealed mowing height did not affect pendimethalin soil residue, whereas prodiamine concentrations from bermudagrass maintained at 1.5 cm were greater than bermudagrass maintained at 3.8 cm. Therefore, differences in crabgrass control in bermudagrass maintained under different mowing heights may be the result of plant growth, reduced photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) at the soil surface, among other reasons, and not solely differential degradation of applied herbicides at the 1.5- and 3.8-cm mowing heights. Future research should explore effects of increasing bermudagrass mowing height on PAR required for crabgrass germination and growth.