Monday, June 12, 2017

Little Pest Causes Big Problems

In the past 10 years I have watched our budget for insect control more than quadruple.  This has been primarily due to the Annual Bluegrass Weevil or ABW.  As the name suggests, this particular weevil attacks annual bluegrass and bentgrass by inserting eggs into the turf and then larvae feed on the plant.  While a fully mature plant in the rough may survive, turf mowed at green, tee, and fairway height will not.  ABW is one of the most destructive pests in the golf industry and it is believed that it was introduced to the area from a shipment of sod from up north where it has been a problem for many years.

The adult ABW is very small making scouting difficult.
Treatment for ABW is expensive and timing is critical.  Every year at HFCC we treat a greater area of turf for ABW.  This includes fairways and tees, along with portions of the rough.  Research has shown that ABW prefers turf mowed at fairway and tee heights over the even lower heights of the greens.  However, as we have found this weekend, ABW likes green heights also.  While we have known this was a possibility, we never had any problems on greens until now.  Now that we know our greens are susceptible to ABW, we will add that to our treatment list and to the budget.

ABW larvae after treatment.  Note how small ABW larvae are.

Discoloring of the turf caused by ABW.  Left untreated the turf will die.
Fortunately, the damage caused to our greens has been minimal because it was caught early. Treatments will be made throughout the year to keep ABW under control.  As for the slight damage caused, a little fertilizer and TLC will get the greens in excellent condition in very short order.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

HFCC Equipment Manager, Aaron Brown is Finalist for Prestigious Award

I'm proud to announce that Highlands Falls Equipment Manger Aaron Brown is one of three finalist for TurfNet's Equipment Manager of the Year Award.  This is a national award given to the top turf equipment technician in the country.   Please click the following link to read about Aarons's nomination.

Aaron Brown in action sharpening mower reels.