sports turf management homepageThe new Cornell Sports Field Management website provides sports turf managers with the latest best management practices and resources they need to maintain  safe and functional school and community sports fields.

The site includes information about soils, grass varieties, routine care (mowing, fertilizing, watering, etc.), integrated pest management and more. Interactive schedules for different levels of management and seasons that fields are in use make it easier for managers to time their field operations.

Recognizing that sports turf managers don’t work in isolation, the site also provides information for coaches, athletic directors, administrators, community members and others to help them understand how their decisions can affect turf quality and field safety.

The site was developed by the Cornell Turfgrass team with input from Cornell Cooperative Extension colleagues and sports turf grounds managers from across New York State. Funding was provided by the Community IPM Initiative of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program to support New York State schools in implementing the Child Safe Fields Playing Act.

Pesticide Free at Doubleday Field: Challenges and Opportunities
Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 9:00 am to 11:00 am rain or shine
Doubleday Field, 1 Doubleday Court, Cooperstown, NY 13326

Concerns over environmental and health impacts prompted the Village of Cooperstown to undertake management of Doubleday Field without the use of pesticides. Years later, we have the opportunity to explore the successes and challenges of pesticide-free maintenance of this iconic ball field.

Join Quinton Hasak, Doubleday Field Grounds Manager, and members of the Cornell Turf Team as we tour the facility and discuss IPM practices, turf management, budgets, staffing, and the quality of the facility.

Turfgrass managers, interested citizens and baseball fans are all welcome. No fee.

For more information, call Joellen Lampman, NYS IPM Program, 518-339-8283 or jkz6@cornell.edu.

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Highlights for week of September 15 include:

  • ForeCast: A significant change in the weather pattern expected this week with very cool air. Expect temps for the week about 6 to 8 degrees F below normal. Long term model calling for cooler and day over the next two weeks.  Visit the ForeCast website for the latest turf-related weather.
  • Spotty dryness becoming widespread in southeast New England and Hudson Valley.
  • Grubs arrive — finally.
  • Heat stress and summer patch.
  • Fairy rings.
  • Late-season N — reduce rates.
  • Thatch collapse.
  • And more.

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Highlights for week of September 1 include:

  • ForeCast: On average, last few weeks have been 4 to 8 degrees above normal with widespread heat stress. Degree day totals lagging behind 15-year average. Majority of the region below normal for rainfall. Long-term models call for cool and normal precip.  Visit the ForeCast website for the latest turf-related weather.
  • Dealing with cutworms.
  • Late-season fertilization.
  • Fall dollar spot.
  • And more.

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Highlights for week of August 18 include:

  • ForeCast: Another cooler week with temps 2 to 4 degrees F below normal. Very minor heat stress along I-95 corridor. Islip, N.Y. received a record 13 inches of rain in two hours, but the rest of the state is on the dry side. Visit the ForeCast website for the latest turf-related weather.
  • It’s time to seed!
  • Golf courses can help retain and filter water from extreme rain events.
  • Release of nitrous oxide — a potent greenhouse gas — from turf.
  • Dealing with Japanese stiltgrass.

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Highlights for week of August 11 include:

  • ForeCast: Another cooler than normal week, but still with heat stress in many areas. Cool nights have helped with recovery.  Visit the ForeCast website for the latest turf-related weather.
  • Acetic acid and other reduced risk herbicides.
  • Localized dry spot on putting greens.
  • Sports turf playability assessment. See paper here.
  • Potassium and anthracnose.
  • SDHI fungicide update.
Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

From How Important Is a Perfect Lawn When You’re Selling Your Home? [New York Times 2014-08-06]:

“The simplest way to not screw up your lawn is to set your mower as high as it will go and make sure your mower blade is very sharp, so you’re cutting the grass blade, not tearing it. When you cut it lower, the grass doesn’t have the leaf material to do the photosynthesis that it needs to sustain itself. … The best time to take care of our lawns in northern climates is in the fall: Labor Day to Halloween. Any grass seed you put down at that time should do fairly well.”

Read the whole article.

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Highlights for week of July 28 include:

  • ForeCast: Despite a cooler than normal week, low rainfall is causing widespread heat stress in the Northeast. Still behind last year’s GDDs, but right on the 15-year average. Long-term weather models calling for normal temperatures and plentiful precipitation. Visit the ForeCast website for the latest turf-related weather.
  • Time to begin planning for fall recovery and renovations.
  • Best control options for pythium.
  • Best strategies for summer coring.
  • New options for establishment herbicides.

To receive the weekly ShortCUTT newsletter, join NYSTA or subscribe directly.

Highlights for week of July 21 include:

  • ForeCast:  Another week of near normal weather. Growing degee days are right about normal for the 15 year average. High heat stress was present across the region. A normal temp week expected with highs in the 80’s and lows in the 60’s.Visit the ForeCast website for the latest turf-related weather.
  • Focus is on keeping the grass you have alive for the next month, not growing new grass. Unless of course you are in the Scholastic sports turf management field.
  • New herbicide formulations coming
  • Chinch bugs in high grass/fescue areas
  • Tools you need to closely monitor soil moisture

Mary Thurn, research support specialist with the Cornell Turfgrass Program, demonstrates how she uses the [make and model] drone to get an aerial view of turf research plots.

Above: Mary Thurn, research support specialist with the Cornell Turfgrass Program, demonstrates how she uses a DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter with GoPro camera drone to get an aerial view of turf research plots.

Cornell Turfgrass Program researchers are employing a drone this summer to take aerial photos of their research plots.

“Of course we still collect data. But with the bird’s-eye view, you can see things that you can’t see readily — or at all — from the ground,” says research support specialist Mary Thurn. “We can also send pictures to collaborators who can’t visit the site in person and they can still see treatment differences for themselves.”

Drones may prove to be a practical tool for turf managers, too, Thurn points out. For example, a golf course superintendent could fly one around the course to spot stressed grass that may need water, fertilizer or pest management attention before the problem gets too severe.

Aerial images can show differences not readily visible at ground level.

Aerial images can show differences not readily visible at ground level.

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