Friday, November 30, 2012

ISU’s Kevin Hansen Winner of Toro 2013 Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program

Dave Minner
November 30, 2012

The Toro Company has recognized Kevin Hansen, ISU Horticulture Senior, as the recipient of its annual Toro Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program. In partnership with the National Football League® (NFL), Hansen will be on the field at the Superdome in New Orleans for Super Bowl XXLVII to assist the grounds crew for the biggest football game of the year.
Through the Sports Turf Training Program, Toro and the NFL's Super Bowl grounds team collaborate to offer a program aimed at enhancing the skills of emerging sports turf professionals. This program provides hands-on experience in establishing and maintaining safe playing fields. Kevin will learn from the legendary George Toma, a trusted consultant and advisor who has helped prepare the field for every Super Bowl game in history. Kevin will also work alongside NFL field director Ed Mangan, and the Super Bowl grounds crew on turf maintenance, logo painting, field preparation for media day, and halftime preparation and clean-up.
While at Iowa State University Hansen has gained valuable sports turf experience by working at Jack Trice Stadium under the direction of Certified Sports Field Manager Tim VanLoo, Athletic Department.  VanLoo and his entire crew with several horticulture students were recently recognized with the Sports Turf Managers College Football Field of the Year Award.  Hansen has also served as a summer intern for the I-Cubs with Chris Schlosser and the Green Bay Packers with Allen Johnson, CSFM.
Toro equipment and representatives have been involved in preparing the stadium and practice fields for the Super Bowl for over 40 years. Starting with the inaugural World Championship in 1967, the NFL grounds crew has relied on Toro for its expertise in preparing the game field and multiple practice facilities. In 2003, the organizations partnered to establish The Toro Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program.
Congratulations to Kevin Hansen and all those sports turf managers, classmates, and advisers who will watch the Super Bowl this year knowing that one of our own is in the house. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Nick Christians
November 29, 2012

Congratulations to Tim VanLoo and the crew at Iowa State Universities Athletic Department for winning this year’s SportsTurf Managers Association of America's (STMA) Football Field of the Year Award.  This is a highly competitive and very prestigious national award and we here at Iowa State are very proud of them.

The winning field is selected by a panel of 11 judges who independently score each entry based on the playability and appearance of the playing surfaces, innovative solutions employed, effective use of budget, and the development and implementation of a comprehensive, sound agronomic program.
The presentation of the award will be made at the STMA annual awards banquet on Fri., Jan. 18, 2013, held at the Ocean Center and the Hilton Daytona Beach in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Tim can be reached at:

Tim VanLoo, CSFM
Iowa State University
Jacobson Athletic Bldg
1800 S 4th St
Ames, IA 50011

Here are a few pictures of the field taken by graduate student, Zach Simons, who works with Tim at the ISU Athletic Department.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Nick Christians
November 27, 2012

Here is a post from Derek Settle of the Chicago District Golf Association.  It is about Pink Snow Mold caused by (Michrodochium nivale).  This is the earliest report of this disease that I am aware of in the region.  I normally see it in late winter.

It has been a strange year and there are many things showing up at strange times.  I find that what Derek sees in Chicago, we generally see here in Iowa.

The first three pictures are from North Shore Country Club in Glenview,  Ill.  They were taken by Derek on November 16.  They are on a Poa/bent 50/50 mix.

Derek is at 

Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
Chicago District Golf Association
11855 Archer Ave
Lemont, IL 60439
P 630.685.2307
C 785.341.9419

Be sure to check out his web site.  He puts out some great information.  You can also connect with him on Facebook, which is where I picked up this information.

This is a slide from my teaching set showing the canoe shaped spores of Microdochium.  This is what you would look for under the microscope to determine if the symptoms are caused by Microdochium.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Nick Christians

The ISU turf club did a major seeding project at Iowa State's Reiman Gardens this fall.  There were areas of the bluegrass on top of the play mounds and along the lake that were either warn by traffic or thinned by the drought.  They are trying turf-type tall fescue on these areas.  The seeding took place on August 30.  I have included some pictures of the seeded areas from November 17 showing the success that they had with establishment. 

I'll watch this area through next season and let you know how the turf-type tall fescues are doing on the site.

 Figures 1 and 2.  Seeding around the lake on August 30.  The area had been sprayed with Roundup a few days before seeding.

Figures 3 and 4.  Seeding the top of the play mounds that get a lot of wear.

Figures  5 and 6.  Areas are coming in well on November 11.  The area around the lake is non-irrigated.  It will be interesting to see how the mounds hold up next season.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Unusual Ryegrass?

Dr. Dave Minner, Iowa State University

We have been noticing some unusual areal shoots on what looks to be perennial ryegrass and we would like to hear from you if you have noticed anything like this at your facility. The pictures are from a football field in central Iowa.  The field is a mixture of Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass that has been infiltrated with some patches of K-31 type tall fescue.  Over the last three years it has been seeded with a mixture of Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass.  The ryegrass component was made up of GLS (Grey Leaf Spot) type ryegrass and Tetraploid Turf-Type ryegrass.  Our intent is to simply determine if others have observed this type of growth and if you consider it to be a positive or negative type of turf performance.
Please contact either myself or Andrew Hoiberg if you have seen anything like this:

Dave Minner ( (515-231-1741)
Andrew Hoiberg (

 Thanks for your help.


Nick Christians and Spencer Nelson
November 16, 2012

Last week, Spencer Nelson, one of our undergraduates, brought a picture to me of a disease on creeping bentgrass seedlings from the new Iowa State University Golf Performance Center south of Ames, IA.  The bent had been seeded approximately a month before the picture was taken.  The disease looked like Yellow Patch, a cool temperature disease caused by Rhizoctonia cerealis.   He took a sample to the Iowa State Plant Disease Clinic and had pathologist Erica Saalau-Rojas grow it out on agar plates. 

Erica was able to confirm that it was a Rhizoctonia organism, but was not able to confirm that it was cerealis.  It is highly likely that it is cerealis, given the time of year and the appearance of the patches on the turf.

I was in Chicago this week for a golf course superintendent's meeting at Medinah Country Club.  One of the subjects that came up at the meeting was that they are also seeing Yellow Patch on seedling bentgrass in the Chicago area.

Here is some information from Spencer on what he saw and what was applied to control the disease.

A patch disease has developed on seedling creeping bentgrass at the new Iowa State Golf Performance Center just south of Ames. The patches are showing up in bentgrass seedlings of four different cultivars in both USGA greens and native soil fairways. The 4 bentgrass cultivars are V-8, L-93, 007, and an Alpha/T-1 blend.  The patches are between six and twelve inches in diameter with a yellow border. The foliage inside the ring is mostly purple.

Initially the patches were small and yellow with little to no purple and were believed to be a fertility problem. As the patches grew a fungal problem became a more evident diagnosis. The second assumption was Yellow Patch, Rhizoctonia cerealis. Samples were taken to the ISU Pathology lab for identification. Before the results were back from the lab, the area was treated with Instrata(chlorothalonil, fludioxonil, and propiconazole). The pathology lab confirmed the diagnosis of Rhizoctonia spp.  

Figure 1.  Is the Yellow Patch symptoms as they appeared on November 7, 2012.

Figures 2 and 3 are microscopic pictures of the organism that was grown on agar media at the ISU Plant Disease Clinic.  The hyphae show the septa and the classic right angle branching with the pinched appearance at the right angle of a Rhizoctonia.