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Optimization of Application Timing and Frequency of Microbial Inoculants for Turfgrass Disease Control 1998

Project Leaders: Eric Nelson, Cheryl Craft

Objectives:

1. Compare disease control efficacy of selected microbial inoculants when applied during the daytime or evening on a daily or weekly schedule.

2. Determine UV sensitivity and in-field survival of microbial introduced inoculants.

Results:

Considerable information is now available concerning the use of microbial inoculants for the control of turfgrass diseases. However, despite positive experimental results, few microbial inoculants have been highly effective in field studies or in commercial use on golf courses. This study was designed to evaluate the impacts of application scheduling on the disease control efficacy of introduced microbial inoculants. Intuitively, daily applications made during the evening hours should greatly enhance activity of microbial inoculants over conventional weekly applications or daily daytime applications since the overnight hours should provide more suitable conditions for microbial growth and activity and reduce mortality due to UV exposure and desiccation. Furthermore, applications would be made at the times when pathogens are most active. Our results have shown that daily nighttime applications of various inoculants are superior to daytime applications or weekly applications. This response is apparently independent of population level.