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A.D. Brede

A field study was conducted to evaluate the effect of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) cultivar, seeding rate, N fertilization rate, and cutting height on the severity of dollar spot (Lanzia and Moellerodiscus spp.) disease incidence. All possible two-factor interactions among these four management factors were statistically significant when averaged over the 2 years of study. Disease severity tended to be lowest at low fescue seeding rate (2100 pure-live seeds/m*) at the lower (19 mm) height of cut. `Mustang', the turf-type cultivar with improved density, was more susceptible to dollar spot than `Kentucky-31', the common-type cultivar.

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Michel Pirchio, Marco Fontanelli, Christian Frasconi, Luisa Martelloni, Michele Raffaelli, Andrea Peruzzi, Lisa Caturegli, Monica Gaetani, Simone Magni, Marco Volterrani, and Nicola Grossi

High-quality sports turfs often require low mowing and frequent maintenance. Sports turfs often consist of hard-to-mow warm season turfgrasses, such as zoysiagrass (Zoysia sp.) or bermudagrass (Cynodon sp.). Although autonomous mowers have several advantages over manually operated mowers, they are not designed to mow lower than 2.0 cm and are consequently not used on high-quality sports turfs. All autonomous mowers are only equipped with rotary mowing devices and do not perform clipping removal. An ordinary autonomous mower was modified to obtain a prototype autonomous mower cutting at a low height. The prototype autonomous mower was tested on a manila grass (Zoysia matrella) turf and compared its performance in terms of turf quality and energy consumption with an ordinary autonomous mower and with a gasoline reel mower. A three-way factor experimental design with three replications was adopted. Factor A consisted of four nitrogen rates (0, 50, 100, and 150 kg·ha−1), factor B consisted of two mowing systems (autonomous mower vs. walk-behind gasoline reel mower with no clipping removal), and factor C consisted of two mowing heights (1.2 and 3.6 cm). Prototype autonomous mower performed mowing at 1.2-cm mowing height whereas ordinary autonomous mower mowed at 3.6-cm mowing height. The interaction between the mowing system and mowing height showed that the turf quality was higher when the turf was mowed by the autonomous mower and at 1.2 cm than at 3.6 cm. Autonomous mowing not only reduced the mowing quality, but also reduced the leaf width. Lower mowing height induced thinner leaves. Nitrogen fertilization not only increased the overall turf quality, reduced weed cover percentage, but also reduced mowing quality. Autonomous mowers also had a lower energy consumption if compared with the reel mower (1.86 vs. 5.37 kWh/week at 1.2-cm mowing height and 1.79 vs. 2.32 kWh/week at 3.6-cm mowing height, respectively). These results show that autonomous mowers can perform low mowing even on tough-to-mow turfgrass species. They could also be used on high-quality sports turfs, thus saving time as well as reducing noise and pollution.

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Douglas C. Scheuring, J. Creighton Miller Jr., and David W. Walker

Two cowpea cultivars, Pinkeye Purple Hull and Royal Blackeye, were evaluated for their ability to produce a ratoon crop. Dry weight and pod yield were measured following harvest from two different cutting heights (second and fourth node), and stages of pod maturity (green and dry). The cultivar Royal Blackeye produced more green manure or returned biomass following ratooning than did Pinkeye Purple Hull. Cutting height and sampling at different pod maturities influenced ratooning potential. These results suggest that cowpea ratooning appears to be economically feasible and that further screening of cowpea cultivars for ratooning ability is warranted.

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James E. Motes, Nancy E. Maness, and Bruce Bostian

Dalmation sage was transplanted in rows 92 cm apart with in-row spacing of 30 cm on 12 April 1989 at the Vegetable Research Station, Bixby, Oklahoma. Plots one row by 55 m long were established to determine the best timing for harvest and to observe the effect of cutting height and date on yield and regrowth in the fall and regrowth the following season.

Four harvest dates in 1989 were 15 August, 25 August, 18 September and 8 November. In addition, one half of the plots harvested 15 August were recut on 5 November. Cutting height was 10 cm on 15 August, 12 cm on 25 August and 15 cm at all other harvest dates in 1989 and 1990. Four harvests were made on all plots during the 1990 season except those cut or recut in November 1989. Spring 1990 regrowth was very poor and no harvest was possible in April 1990 on November 1989 harvested plots. Highest total dry weight yields for the 1989 and 1990 seasons were produced by the 15 August initial cut with a 5 November recut (11,522 kg·ha-1) and the 8 November 1989 cut plots (10,881 kg·ha-1). Other plots that were harvested once in August or September 1989 plus four separate harvests in 1990 produced a total yield near 9,500 kg·ha-1. The 15 cm height of cut appeared to be superior to cutting closer to the soil.

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Amy L. Neigebauer, Greg L. Davis, Garald L. Horst, and Donald H. Steinegger

Field-grown wildflower sod has been in production for several years, but as with any crop management system, the reasoning behind the methods is not always known. One characteristic of wildflower sod production that has been debated is the height at which the plant is maintained. The above-ground shoot growth is managed to reduce the damage to plants when undercut and to allow for ease of shipping. Growers typically use a height of 7.6 cm because this is the highest height allowed by many mowers. Also, root production is the key to forming a sod that will hold together well and withstand the rigors of undercutting, lifting, storage, and transplanting. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of cutting height on the plant's ability to produce a sod. Rudbeckia hirta L. was used as a model wildflower species and was seeded into polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubes 10.2 cm in diameter with a depth of 60 cm to simulate a field situation. To characterize shoot and root growth, during a period of 12 weeks plants either received no clipping or continuous clipping at heights of 5.1, 7.6, and 10.2 cm. Root dry weights were measured at depths of 0-2.54, 2.54-21.7, 21.7-40.8, and 40.8--60.0 cm. Leaf area measurements of the clippings were recorded to determine productivity. Results indicated that clipping the shoots of Rudbeckia hirta caused a decrease in root biomass.

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D. Bradley Rowe, Frank A. Blazich, and Robert J. Weir

Hedged stock plants of four full-sib families [27-2 × 27-5, 27-3 × 27-1, 27-2 × 27-1, and 27-6 × 27-1 (designated B, G, R, and W)] of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) were fertilized daily with a complete nutrient solution containing N at 10, 25, 40, 55, or 70 mg·L–1. In May, terminal softwood stem cuttings were taken and placed under intermittent mist. Families were combined to form composite poor-rooting (BR) and good-rooting (GW) families. At 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 weeks after sticking, cuttings were evaluated for rooting and analyzed for mineral nutrient and carbohydrate content. Percent rooting by week 12 for cuttings from stock plants receiving N between 25 to 70 mg·L–1 was 28% to 33%, whereas significantly fewer (17%) cuttings from plants receiving 10 mg·L–1 had rooted. By week 12, 98% of cuttings taken from stock plants receiving N at 10 mg·L–1 were alive, while significantly fewer (81% and 82%) of the more succulent cuttings receiving 55 and 70 mg·L–1, respectively, had survived. Nearly all increases in cutting height occurred within the first 3 weeks. In contrast, top dry weight increased steadily throughout the experiment. There were no significant differences in rooting between the two composite families until week 12, when 32% of cuttings from family GW had rooted compared with 24% for family BR. Survival of cuttings was greater for the poor-rooting family (BR) (94%) than for the good-rooting family (GW) (82%) after 12 weeks. Levels of total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) and individual soluble sugars were initially higher in cuttings taken from stock plants that received higher rates of N, whereas the reverse was true for starch content. With the exception of sucrose, content of TNC and soluble carbohydrates generally increased over time. Starch was nearly depleted by week 3, but had increased by weeks 6 and 9. No correlation was found between TNC: N ratios and rooting percentage. Family GW contained greater quantities of myo-inositol, glucose, fructose, sucrose, total soluble carbohydrates (TSC), and TNC than did family BR. Mineral nutrient content was generally greater in cuttings taken from stock plants that received higher rates of N; these cuttings also maintained higher levels throughout the 12-week rooting period. As with the soluble carbohydrates, the good-rooting composite family (GW) contained greater amounts of all mineral nutrients than did the poor-rooting family BR.

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Daniel Hargey, Benjamin Wherley, Andrew Malis, James Thomas, and Ambika Chandra

placement on sod root anchorage. Wherley et al. (2011) studied effects of cutting height and nitrogen application rate on root development of four warm-season turfgrasses during a 70-d establishment period in Florida. The authors reported that increasing N

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Marco Volterrani, Simone Magni, Monica Gaetani, and Filippo Lulli

turf cover in all pots, 9 mm of water were applied daily and mowing was carried out weekly at 2.5 cm cutting height. On 23 June 2011, the turf was mowed at 2.5 cm height and all the horizontal stems growing outside the pot were trimmed back to the pot

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Lijuan Xie, Deying Li, Wenjuan Fang, and Kirk Howatt

tissues by raking before sequential mesotrione treatments to improve efficacy. Literature cited Adams, W.A. 1981 Effects of nitrogen fertilization and cutting height on the shoot growth, nutrient removal and turfgrass composition of an initially perennial

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Filippo Lulli, Claudia de Bertoldi, Roberto Armeni, Lorenzo Guglielminetti, and Marco Volterrani

.J. Waddington, D.V. 2003 Effects of turfgrass, cutting height and soil conditions on traction Acta Hort. 661 39 48 Miele, S. Volterrani, M. Grossi, N. 2000 Warm season turfgrasses: Result of a five-year study in Tuscany Agricultura Meditarranea 130 1 9 Orchard