Methiozolin, currently trade named PoaCure, from Moghu Research Center in Korea could be a game changer. Doctor S.J. Koo, lead scientist and Cornell University Ph.D. may have in fact found a "cure" for annual bluegrass invasion. The question are we ready for this cure.
There is no question in my mind that it has the kind of selective herbicidal activity as both a preemergence and postemergence product to affect meaningful changes in populations on greens, tees and fairways. It appears to be very slow acting, starting as growth regulation allowing neighboring desirable species to out compete the annual bluegrass during its' slow steady decline into chlorosis and death.
Doctor S.J. Koo, lead scientist and Cornell University Ph.D. may have in fact found a "cure" for annual bluegrass invasion. The question are we ready for this cure.
It is expected to be fully labelled by 2016 barring any unforeseen difficulties. Removing annual bluegrass from fairways, rough and tees will be a welcome relief as much of the annual bluegrass in these areas is the true annual type. Also the transition out of annual bluegrass in these areas could be into a number of cool season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, as well as the fine and tall fescues.
What concerns me is WHEN this product works on greens, WHAT THEN? For cool season grasses, the choice for most will be creeping bentgrass. Some might consider velvet bentgrass but my sense is velvet bentgrass has settled in as primarily a niche species. So what will we do when we have pure 100 percent creeping bentgrass greens?
First, if you have crappy growing environments, there is no bentgrass on the market that will persist well in low light and poor air movement. Second, if you start play early in the season before the creeping bentgrass begins active growth (known to be much later out of the gate then annual bluegrass) it will thin. If you have treated with PoaCure the preemergence activity will prevent annual bluegrass from filling the voids.
First, if you have crappy growing environments, there is no bentgrass on the market that will persist well in low light and poor air movement...
Finally, it is the generation of annual bluegrass golf turf managers we have trained for the last 50 years that concerns me the most. Ask the guys who manage pure bentgrass surfaces and they will tell you it is different. Water management becomes more critical in that drier is better. Fertility is different, maybe not just lower nitrogen but a more acid environment. Organic matter management will need to be more intense as the significant amount of below ground parts that make up the OM is greater in bentgrass then annual bluegrass.
We need some help from plant breeders to develop bentgrasses that get started earlier in the season. We need the experienced golf turf managers who are growing bentgrass to mentor young professionals to recognize the different management of bentgrass. We need turf programs to focus on research on pure bentgrass surfaces. Penn State's Professor Max Schlossberg has done some work on fertility and Professor Doug Soldat at UW-Madison on PGR's and Professor Bingru Huang at Rutgers on water management. Pay attention to this stuff.
I firmly believe the less annual bluegrass we have the more environmentally compatible we will be as an industry.
I have great hopes for PoaCure, as I firmly believe the less annual bluegrass we have the more environmentally compatible we will be as an industry. In short we will use less or at least different amounts of "stuff". Think about all the "stuff" we use to sustain annual bluegrass through the climate-changing seasons we have had the last few years. Imagine if it was easier-what then?