Water quality and pesticide performance

This is a useful reference from Purdue Extension on water that goes into the spray tank. From the guide:

"Water often comprises ninety-five percent (or more) of the spray solution. What affect might it have on product performance? Research clearly shows that the quality of water used for spraying can affect how pesticides perform. Its effect on product efficacy is reflected in the success of your spray operation ...

Time spent addressing the quality of water used in the spray tank can pay big dividends. This publication provides an overview of water quality and related factors known to affect pesticide performance; testing methods and options to improve the quality of the water used are discussed."


I learned of this document when I read Megan Kennelly's post on nozzles and water quality.


Helicopter spraying

Pine wilt can kill infected trees within a few weeks. The pine wood nematode does the damage, but it is the pine sawyer beetle that spreads the deadly nematode.

Thus, disease measures for pine wilt involve control of the pine sawyer beetle. I learned about this today at Keya Golf Club in Fukuoka. There are approximately 25,000 pine trees at Keya, and helicopter application of insecticide can be completed on all these trees within one hour. 400 L of spray solution are added to the tank, the helicopter sprays that out, and then the process is repeated 3 more times. In total, the helicopter will make 4 runs, each time with 400 L of spray solution.

After observing the spraying from the ground, I got to take a ride in the helicopter and enjoyed a fine view of this classic golf course. 

The greens here have never been better: on EIQ and pest management programs

This is one of those "if I were a greenkeeper today, this is how I would do it" type of stories.

At the Bethpage maintenance facility; research here demonstrates that use of EIQ can reduce environmental impact from 33 to 85% while producing the same quality turfgrass

I was pleased to read the update from Jason Haines about his use of the EIQ (environmental impact quotient) and the results he is getting. He reports that he is ahead on cost goals, ahead on EIQ goals, and that "the greens here have never been better." That sounds like a win-win-win situation.

The EIQ Field Use Rating based on formulation and application rate allow turf managers to identify and choose products based on their predicted environmental impact. From the New York State IPM Program, which administers the EIQ:

By using the EIQ model, it becomes possible for IPM [integrated pest management] practitioners to rapidly estimate the environmental impact of different pesticides and pest management programs before they are applied, resulting in more environmentally sensitive pest management programs being implemented.

Because of the EPA pesticide registration process, there is a wealth of toxicological and environmental impact data for most pesticides that are commonly used in agricultural systems. However, these data are not readily available or organized in a manner that is usable to the IPM practitioner. Therefore, the purpose of this bulletin is to organize the published environmental impact information of pesticides into a usable form to help growers and other IPM practitioners make more environmentally sound pesticide choices.

Jennifer Grant wrote about the use of EIQ Field Use Ratings in research projects at Bethpage State Park. The results there?

Using the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) as the measure, impact was reduced on progressive IPM/alternative culture greens by 33%-85% compared to the conventional pest management/conventional culture greens — almost always without a loss in quality.

The EIQ incorporates the toxicological and environmental impact data for pesticides and makes it easy for turfgrass managers to compare the products they might use, allowing them to choose the one with a lower EIQ — a lower environmental impact.

Turfgrass Mystery: what insect caused this damage?

insect damage

I'd heard of this problem from golf course superintendents in India and the Philippines, but hadn't seen it myself until last month. The grass is bermudagrass, the location is Sri Lanka, and when we dug into the soil and broke the soil apart, we saw these insects, in the video below, scurrying about. Can you identify what caused the bare spots on this green?

When we took a cup cutter plug from the green, we found it full of these active insects. 


These are termites. And they can be a recurring problem on some golf courses in tropical Asia. In fact, on some courses, termites are the major insect pest of putting greens.