Tuesday, December 3, 2013


 Nick Christians
December 3, 2013

Here is some more information on the advanced turf class that will be offered this coming spring.  Let me know if any of you have any questions.

It is available for undergraduate credit and graduate credit for those of you working on an MS degree.


We are pleased that you will be teaching HORT 451using Blackboard Learn for the spring 2014 semester. Dates that we have listed for your course are: Monday, January 13, 2014 to Friday, May 9, 2014. Course website: http://agonline.iastate.edu/courses/s2014hort-451-xw - Please review and let me know of any corrections that need to be made by Friday, December 6th, 2013.   
The book and course packet information listed on the Course Initiation Form was:
Fundamentals of Turfgrass Management & Mathematics of Turfgrass Maintenance
Students may order their textbook through the Iowa State University Book Store at http://www.isubookstore.com Or they may also use other online resources to order their textbook just make sure they understand which edition or ISBN number they should be looking for.

Notes from Brenton Center: If you have online course charges, please contact Amy Pilcher for information about how to report those expenses: apilcher@iastate.edu

**I am attaching the letter that will be sent out to all students enrolled in your distance education class. Please review the attached letter and get back to me with corrections before Friday, December 6th, 2013 or the letter will be sent out as is.  

Unless specifically directed otherwise please have your students register in the following manner:
New students to Iowa State University have to apply for admission as a non-degree seeking student: http://www.admissions.iastate.edu/apply/nondegree.php (there is a $40 application fee)

Returning ISU students can register either through Access Plus or by calling the Office of the Registrar at (515) 294-1889 during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm (CST). 

To drop or withdraw from a course, students must use AccessPlus or contact the AgOnline Coordinator at agonlinehelp@iastate.edu.  Failure to attend a class does not constitute withdrawal and a student will be billed for the full tuition.

Electronic class lists are available to instructors on the web through ACCESSPLUS.  https://accessplus.iastate.edu/frontdoor/login.jsp
All students are issued an ISU ID number. This number authorizes students to use the ISU e-library facilities, Access Plus, and to establish an ISU NET ID, https://asw.iastate.edu.  Students in classes using Blackboard, need an ISU NET ID to log-on to the system.

Best wishes for a great semester!  If there is anything more that we can do to make your off-campus teaching more rewarding for you and your students, please let me or the other Brenton Center staff know.  Thanks!

Amy Pilcher
Departmental Fiscal Officer
Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction & Technology Transfer
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Distance and Online Education
Global Food Security Consortium
0004 Curtiss Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-1050
Office:  515-294-1862
FAX:  515-294-1924

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Nick Christians
November 27, 2013

I have been experimenting with tall fescue in various situations.  In the fall of 2012, following the serious drought that we had that year, I planted tall fescue in various parts of my lawn where I had lost Kentucky bluegrass during the drought.  This included areas on my septic mound where the soil was thin and on an area above my buried propane tank. 

I had mixed results with that experiment.  We had another drought in 2013 that lasted from late June to October.  I went a full 90 days without mowing non-irrigated areas.  While some of the tall fescue did survive on the septic mound, some of it did not.  On the thin soil over the propane tank, I lost the tall fescue late in the 2013 season.  In a few other drought affected areas in my lawn, the tall fescue did survive the drought.

Tall fescue clearly stays green longer in droughts than does either Kentucky bluegrass or perennial ryegrass.  The picture below was taken at the research station in August of 2013 during the peak of this year’s drought.  The foreground is dormant Kentucky bluegrass.  The tall fescue is in the background and it remained green through much of the drought.


In this picture, there is tall fescue surrounding our perennial ryegrass cultivar study.  All of the ryegrass is nearly dormant, whereas the tall fescue around the outer edge of the trial remained green weeks longer.  

 I have also been noticing something else interesting about tall fescue late this fall.  While seedling tall fescue has remained green well into the fall, mature tall fescue has gone off color earlier that either the Kentucky bluegrass or the perennial ryegrass at the research station.  I have also noticed this on other mature tall fescue areas around Ames.  HaS anyone else noticed the tall fescue going off-color earlier than usual this year?

The light brown area on the right is tall fescue and the green areas surrounding the tall fescue are Kentucky bluegrass.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Nick Christians
Nov. 20, 2011

For the second time in two years, an Iowa State University turf student has been selected for Toro's Super Bowl Internship.  Last year was Kevin Hansen and this year it is senior Josh Lenz.   Only one student is selected each year for this honor from a nation-wide slate of candidates.  Josh works for the ISU athletic department and he is a full time student.  He will graduate in the spring of 2014. 

This is Super Bowl XLVIII. It's going to be held February 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. They say this is a Super Bowl of historic firsts. The first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl. The first to take place in the region. The first to be hosted by two states. And the first to be jointly hosted by two teams.

Josh plans are to fly out on January 26, 2014, and return February 3, 2014.  He will be working at MetLife Stadium, New York Jets practice facility, and the New York Giants practice facility.  He will be on the sidelines for the big game.

Because of the cold weather, they are planning to put a bubble over the entire field to work on it the week before the games.

We will have him do a blog on his experience when he gets back.  Here is a picture of Josh at the ISU stadium.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Midwest Turfgrass Conference Schedule

Ryan Adams

It is just about time to close the books on the 2013 season. Most turf managers have blown out irrigation systems and started thinking towards preventative snow mold applications and equipment maintenance.With colder weather moving in (-1 wind chill Monday night) and snow-flakes flying on/off the last few weeks it is time to find a nice warm spot and catch up on what has transpired this season. In addition, it is time to start looking towards conference season. I have provided a quick chronological list of the midwest turf conferences over the next few months. I look forward to seeing you there!

Missouri Green Industry Conference
December 5, 2013
St. Charles Convention Center
St. Charles, Missouri

Common Ground Conference (Heartland Green Industry Expo)
December 16-17, 2013
Overland Park Convention Center
Overland Park, Kansas

Nebraska Turf Conference
January 7-9, 2014
LaVista Conferencer Center
LaVista, Nebraska

Illinois Turf Conference
January 7-8, 2014
McDonald's Campus
OakBrook, Illinois

MNLA / MTGF Northern Green Expo
January 8-10, 2014
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Wisconsin Turfgrass Research Day
January 14, 2014
Pyle Center
Madison, Wisconsin

STMA Annual Conference and Exhibition
January 21-24, 2014
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
San Antonio, Texas

80th Annual Iowa Turfgrass Conference & Trade Show
January 28-30, 2014
Downtown Marriott Hotel
Des Moines, Iowa
Sponsored by ITI, Iowa GCSA, ISTMA, IPLCA

GCSAA Education Conference & Golf Industry Show
February 1-6, 2014
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Florida
http://www.gcsaa.org/conference/ and