Thursday, February 25, 2010

Agronomy Update:

The PLAYERS Stadium completed numerous agronomic tasks on February 23rd while the course was closed to play.

Chipco Choice was slit injected into the soil. The active ingredient in Chipco Choice is Fipronil. It is the same active ingredient that is commonly found in flea medication that is routinely applied to dogs and cats. Our objective with Chipco Choice is to control mole crickets and fire ants. Chipco Choice, applied at 25 pounds per acre, has a one year guarantee on mole cricket control. If mole cricket populations rise in a particular area, the applicator will come back and re-apply the product on an as-needed basis.

What about the steep slopes that the tractors can’t reach? In April, we will apply Precise with the active ingredient Acephate to those areas with walk spreaders, and, following the tournament, we will follow up those areas with Merit. We believe that as we continue to actively monitor and follow our Integrated Pest Management Strategies (IMP), we should more accurately control pest populations.

While these products control mole cricket populations from increasing, they do not control the constant “fly-in” crickets that begin to appear in the up coming months. Because our property is surrounded by many residential neighborhoods, mole crickets from the neighboring communities fly onto our property and cause minimal damage. One may see the occasional cricket from a “fly-in”, but one shouldn't see large devastated areas of turf.

With regards to weeds Ronstar was applied via a dry sprayer to both Dye’s Valley and The PLAYERS Stadium. Ronstar’s active ingredient is Oxadiazon. Ronstar brand Oxadiazon is a preemergent herbicide that controls a variety of annual broad leaf and annual grass weeds. Ronstar controls weeds through their shoots rather than their roots, so it won't harm turfgrass roots in the process. This is the main reason why we chose Ronstar for a spring application. In fact, Ronstar can be used for long residual pre-emergent weed control even in areas that may need to be sprigged or where turfgrass roots are already weakened due to pest, mechanical or other damage. We plan on one more Ronstar application following our first application. Our goal is to reduce weed populations, especially Goosegrass (Eleusine indica), which is our most prevalent, difficult to kill summer weed.

The PLAYERS Stadium also bayonet tined the greens. According to our International Sports Turf Research Center (ISTRC) results, our compaction per cent were up from this time last year; thus, decreasing our infiltration rates. We felt that venting the greens was needed. We chose a bayonet tine the looks like a knife over a standard solid pencil tine because you get more surface area from a bayonet, and it seems to be less disruptive to the golfing surface.