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Why Not?

Maybe Spring will show up in much of the northern US states? Still, well before many are mowing north of the Mason-Dixon line, the annual bluegrass seedhead suppression discussion is underway; "What combination of products do you use?, What growing degree day (GDD) timing model do you look at?, Do you use phenological (plant) indicators?" All good questions but....   Why not use soil moisture?   In other parts of the world where chemical technology is more restricted and less available, you

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Never Doesn't

I'm taking a break from thinking about winter turf damage to watch the WGC at Doral. Listening to the commentary after the first three rounds I was struck by certain quotes. Of course Johnny Miller insisting there was grain all over the greens-south by southwest I heard him say. But Bubba Watson's comment with ESPN Golf Reporter Michael Collins gets the prize.   "I hit the shot I normally hit when playing in the US", Bubba explains of his shot that hit the green and rolled into the water, "tha

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

The Value of Stress

I've been ranting this past year about the demise of "Plant Health" as a viable term in golf turf management. The fact is the longer I ruminate about the concept that we think we can make a plant healthy, the more ludicrous plant health seems. The existence of an organism on a golf putting surface is entirely related to stress tolerance.   Quote Developing perennial surfaces requires a golf turf manager to understand ALL the stresses the plants are under-imposed by us, the weather or the p

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

The Mystery of Mowing

In addition to being a "science blogger guy" for TurfNet, I am also a TurfNet Member. I'm a TurfNet member because I learn a ton of stuff from the webinars, the forums, and of course my fellow bloggers as well as Randy's Vlog!   I am personally psyched about the upcoming "Quality of Cut" week. I can't wait to hear the scheduled industry leaders try and explain the mystery of reel mowing. I researched and read about the history, development, and latest innovations of the reel mower in the mid-2

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Turf Geek Day 2

The pathology papers are among the most popular at these meetings each year and this year was no exception. As I penned on Day One the the potassium effects on anthracnose was a highlight and it continued with an excellent presentation by Professor Ingugiato from UConn on Summer patch.   It makes sense that a root infecting fungi such as Summer patch would be worse when rooting is further restricted by compaction   Professor Ingugiato investigated the role of compaction, cultivation and M

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Turf Geek Day One

The first day of scientific papers at the Turfgrass Science Division (C-5) is reserved for graduate student research presentations. Many of these bright folks are standing up in front of  their scientific peers for the first time. I sat for over 7 hours listening to the latest in turfgrass research in 15 minute snip-its (that is the allotted time each presenter is given). It was GREAT!   Presentations ranged from bio-informatics (using molecular techniques to decipher plant responses) and herb

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

What's in Your Wallet?

I am away from Cornell for the next five days in Tampa, FL at the Tri-Societies Meetings, i.e., Agronomy, Crops and Soils. This meeting will be attended by more than 5,000 scientists and professionals interested in the SCIENCE of crop production. You may wonder, what the hell are you doing at a meeting of Agronomists, aren't you in Horticulture?   I figure if I have a Ph.D., I have got to be a MAJOR turf geek!   Yes in NY, and when I was in WI, and many other states Turfgrass Science is i

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Core, Slice, Dump AND Poke, Brush, Dust?

The annual roar or core cultivation equipment is well underway, albeit often later these days than just 5-6 years ago. This will be an especially busy year cultivation-wise as there was widespread turf loss from the "days of hell" across the country this summer. The mantra of "what you do now benefits you next season" is what drives this activity.   I contend that when we adapt IN-SEASON with regular "venting" for gas exchange (poke), brushing to alter canopy structure (brush), and light topdr

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Where you been?

I am fairly sure when I discussed my relationship with Peter for this year, I am confident he imagined I would contribute more than 1-2 entries per month in my "Frankly Speaking" section. Well here I am almost one-month from my last entry and if I were Peter, other than being frustrated with me, I'd be wondering where I've been.   Well here goes:   A few years ago I was asked by my department chair and senior faculty to assume the leadership of the Introduction to Horticulture class here at

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Letting Go.

Just dropped off my daughter for college this past week. In and amongst the tears I shed as we left our little girl I thought about the importance of "letting go". For a proud father this meant watching your child fledge knowing great things lie ahead. As parents we all go through some pain in the short run to help our children succeed in the long run.   Oddly for me, I see a strong parallel for golf turf managers. I thought about "being a parent" to annual bluegrass surfaces that have struggl

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Defense

Tiger Woods has become the modern day E.F. Hutton, i.e., "When Tiger talks people listen". A week before the PGA Championship, successfully hosted by Jeff Corcoran and the folks in Western NY, Woods commented offensively on the quality of the putting surfaces.   Quote Corcoran get's the mike stuck in his face and explains without being defensive about defensive agronomic management   "They don't have much thatch to them, so it'll be interesting to see what they do for the tournament and

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Coby Guys

As the staff at Oak Hill Country Club, outside of Rochester, NY prepares for the PGA Championship under the leadership of Jeff Corcoran, there is a smile on Bob Emmon's face. Mr. Emmons as we all knew him was the turfgrass professor for almost 30 years at the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, in Cobleskill, NY.--try and google that place!   Corcoran will join a long and growing list of superintendents who have hosted Majors. Mark Michaud at Peb

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Know Your Limits

You will often hear me speak about "high performance surfaces". These are putting surfaces that provide consistent Championship conditions on a regular basis. Championship conditioning produces smooth, true, firm and fast surfaces, pushing the limits on chemical, biological and mechanical technology. Sometimes pushing the limits too far!   During the persistent warm and wet, and now warm and dry conditions covering much of the country, often the high performance surfaces can fail. Catastrophic

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Times Like These

Nothing like the a steamy summer. Golf turf is under heat and disease stress from Miami (if you have Paspalum) to Minnesota (if you have Poa annua) and over to Maine (do they have grass in Maine?). In times like these someone on the staff is attached to the spray rig.   Quote high humidity only makes a few people happy-people who sell pools and people who run turf diagnostic labs that process turf disease samples.   What started as the kind of growing season where it was said, "if you ar

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Bait and Switch

Nothing like a Father's Day hanging with my son in front of the Open. I spend my time with him waxing on about how Merion will be this unique test of shot making. I talk to my boy about how length shouldn't matter and this will be a test of raw skill, to wit my son says. "Dad, how come these guys can't reach the par 3 with driver?" The USGA pulled a "bait and switch". "Dad, how come these guys can't reach the par 3 with driver?" By the numbers it was the shortest course the USGA has had in

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Arena Golf

I had the rare experience of being able to watch golf over Mothers Day weekend. The Players is not my favorite event for two reasons. One the golf course is quirky and two for me it is to golf what Arena Football is to real football-a total "air game"   I guess I am old-fashioned and like to see more football and golf played closer to the ground. The spectacle of flying the ball high in the air and the drama of seeing plunk off a retaining wall and land in the water. I bet when Pete Dye drew u

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Low and Slow

Low and slow is an excellent strategy for cooking meats that need time to tenderize. I'm sure the Maestro has a good recipe to insert here. Low and slow also describes the season we have had to date with low temperatures that are keeping the bentgrass from pushing along and slow describes the speed we see on the putting surfaces.   It may not be exactly what the the golfers want this Spring, especially if we did some coring and greens are bumpy AND slow (see figure). But just like preparing

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

It's Masters Week... Stop Whining

Anyone who has been in the golf business for more than a few years knows the excitement about Masters Week. This marks the beginning of the golf season for many in spirit. For many superintendents it is also the beginning of the whining season.   It is not just the golfers who whine about the massive difference between Augusta National and their course, but many superintendents will lament that this week is the root of all the complaints they receive. It is such an important aspect of our live

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Pay Attention

What a difference a year makes across most of the US this Spring. Last year two-thirds of the continental US had already set at least three to as many five daily high temperature records. Some had even made their second app of annual bluegrass seedhead suppression. Obviously management by the calendar is not way to operate-we must pay attention if want precision.   Growing degree days (GDD) as a measure of heat accumulation is an easy way to add precision to your management. In simple terms, e

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Richie. A Golf Guy.

I posted a blog entry after the 2012 Barclays held on the Black Course at the Bethpage State Park and mentioned "set-up man extraordinaire" Rich Roble. Rich passed away on Friday after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.   I'd known Rich for almost 15 years as a member of the Bethpage State Park staff. I can say with certainty he was the grumpiest perfectionist with the biggest heart I'd ever known. Rich was a native Long Islander born and raised around golf. He started as a really good pla

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

What Then?

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

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Plant Health Plant Smealth

Every year there is a theme to the commercial aspects of the Golf Industry Show. This year it was plant health. Not that anybody could actually tell what it is but rather I assume everyone figures if they keep saying plant health and we keep talking about plant health no one will need to actually say what plant health is. Plant health plant smealth.   Professor Bingru Huang of Rutgers University in the January 2012 issues of Golf Course Management said, "Healthy plants are better able to adapt

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Top Ten Day

What a great start to the year. I'm at the age now where both my close colleagues and college buddies, begin to get recognized for their lifetime achievements. My great honor was to be in the room on the same day that this happened to both of these people in my life. A Top Ten Day indeed!   Left my house at 3:4am to get to the area just north of NYC by 8am. On most days no problem to make it in 4, this time heavy snow and wind for all but about 50 miles of 230 mile trip-6 hrs.  John Carlone, m

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Happy New Chemistry

We are entering the new year with many exciting trends in the turf chemical industry. Lower use rates, reduced risk, combination products, pigments and dyes, and of course plant health or induced systemic resistance.   Syngenta's move to include Acibenzolar (ASM) with Daconil (chlorothalonil) marked a major shift in thinking by one of the big three (Bayer, Syngenta, BASF). ASM is not a new molecule, in fact it has been widely used in the Ag market for several years. ASM has no measurable effec

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Adapting a Solution

As the end of the year draws near I find myself in a typical reflective mode. Im thinking big picture about my year, my life, my work and the industry and world I am so eagerly engaged. A world that saw many in our golf turf  industry turned upside down by a storm that thought it was in a NASCAR race and made a left hand turn.   Whether you believe that the climate is changing or not, you cannot escape the media blitz that inundates us with whys, wherefores and what ifs.  The media blitz and t

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi


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