Saturday, November 27, 2010

What are you Thankful For?

During this time of year when people traditionally give thanks, my wife and I were blessed with the arrival of our first child. Gianna Brielle Jones was born at 2:43 a.m. on Friday, November 19. Gia weighed in at 7 pounds 11 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long.

Nicol and I want to thank everyone who has stopped by to visit or has contacted us with congratulations. It was definitely a special Thankgiving. Below are some pictures of Gia during her first few days at home.

Here's Gia enjoying her playmat.

Here's Gia and Dad enjoying a quick nap together.

Gia and Dad enjoying story time..."Let me read you a story called the one-third rule"

Marcus Jones
Graduate Research Assistant

Monday, November 22, 2010


Nick Christians
November 22, 2010

This is a final summary on the recovery of the intramural field on campus that was damaged during the flood in August.

The first picture was taken a few days after the flood. The bluegrass/rye turf is dead. The grasses that survived are all warm-season grasses. Most of it is Bermudagrass, but there is also Zoysiagrass and Buffalograss on the site. This grass was established over the steam tunnel several years ago.

The second picture shows Kentucky bluegrass beginning to recover from rhizomes. It was taken a couple of weeks after the flood waters receded.

The third picture shows one of the turf lab groups on the site in September. They are standing on the warm-season grasses. The surrounding area was reseeded shortly after the flood and the blue/rye area has nearly recovered.

The final picture was taken in November of 2010. The blue/rye area has completely recovered and the warm-season grasses have gone dormant for the season. Little by little, the campus is returning to normal. The final bill for the flood damage was in the range of 50 million dollars.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Enjoy the Fall Colors

Last week the state received some much needed precipitation. Rainfall in October was well below normal. A period of dry weather began on September 26 for many parts of the state and continued through October 22. During this time period the average statewide precipitation was 0.04 inches compared to a normal for the period of 2.24 inches. Ames received a measly 0.62 inches of rain during October which ended up ranking as the 15th driest among 138 years of records. This is in stark contrast to October 2009 when Ames received 7.86 inches of rainfall.

October 2010 temperatures were above normal and overall much greater than temperatures during this time from one year ago. The warmest day was the 8th of October when we hit a whopping 86 degrees.  The extended fall weather provided an opportunity for turf to recover from the summer stresses. Hopefully, the majority of the readership also experienced good growing conditions. The temperatures have cooled significantly in November and some parts of the state have already received their first snow cover.

Everywhere you look outside there is more and more evidence that the season will soon be over. I have been enjoying the beautiful fall colors the last couple of weeks. For a turf guy, the fall colors I’m referring to are the reddish-browns, blues, and purples found on established creeping bentgrass putting greens. This phenomenon is evident during cool/frosty temperatures in the spring and fall. These colors tend to appear in patches and are a response to physiological changes occurring in the plant. So why does the bentgrass change color?

Often during the spring and fall the daytime temperatures are relatively warm while nighttime lows can dip below freezing. During the warm, sunny days the plant leaves and stems are able to manufacture large amounts of sugar through photosynthesis. These sugars are normally translocated to the crown of the plant during the night for storage and for use in other plant processes. But, when nighttime temperatures get too cold for the sugars to be properly translocated they end up getting “stuck” in the leaves and stems. This accumulation of sugars appears as shades of red, purple, and blue colors.

I’ll leave you with a couple late fall pictures.

With the cool temperatures and lack of rainfall, the only disease I have spotted the last couple of weeks has been yellow tuft.

A common sight at many golf courses as they prepare for freezing temperatures.

Turf covered in frost greets us most mornings now. Soon the turf will be covered in snow.

Marcus Jones
Graduate Research Assistant

Thursday, November 11, 2010

BASF launches free Turfgrass Disease App

BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals is pleased to introduce a free Web application that gives U.S. golf course Superintendents quick, expert advice on turfgrass disease control programs via their mobile phone browsers. To use the tool simply visit the blog or directly link to on a mobile device, such as the iPhone®, Android® and Blackberry®, or desktop browser.

The tool gives Superintendents immediate access to disease control program recommendations specific to Northeast, Midwest, Transition and Southern regions and turf types. In addition to helping Superintendents control known diseases, it also helps them predict diseases based on the time of year or, in the case of the Southern region, based on soil temperature. The tool then recommends fungicide applications, timing and rates from Kyle Miller and Kathie Kalmowitz, Ph.D., the BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals Technical Specialists who developed the disease programs.

“With a workspace averaging more than 140 acres, golf course Superintendents spend more time away from their desks than other professionals; yet their need for immediate, reliable information is just as pressing,” said Brian Lish, Business Manager, BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals. “This new tool gets our expertise to customers when and where they need it to help them succeed.”

To view the tool’s functionality, watch the video demonstration and visit for detailed information and helpful instructions on using and bookmarking the Web app from your mobile device or desktop.

For more information about BASF Turf & Ornamentals, visit or tweet us at