During an Intelligro™ luncheon hosted at the Golf Industry Show (GIS), Dr. Ben McGraw, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University tackled a topic that is top of mind for many Superintendents. The Annual Bluegrass Weevil (ABW) was the uninvited guest of honor, as it continues to be, for many golf courses across eastern North America. With a ravenous appetite for Poa annua and Creeping Bentgrass, this problematic pest preys on high-valued turfgrass areas such as fairways and greens. The damage is severe and costly.
Say goodbye to synthetics
Traditionally, there has been a heavy and expensive reliance on synthetic insecticides. According to a recently published survey, superintendents in the Northeast average nearly 4 insecticide applications per year (with some making as many as 12 applications) costing around $9,270 per year– that’s three times the national average of insecticide use! For many years, pyrethroids were the go-to for a cheap and effective fix. However, repeated applications have not only resulted in resistance for some ABW populations but a decrease in susceptibility to non-pyrethroid insecticides in populations with elevated pyrethroid resistance.
New research, new approach
ABW research, driven by positive feedback from Superintendents, initially started in the year 2000 and continues today.
Dr. Ben McGraw looked at a variety of factors that impacted ABW control and conducted numerous lab and in-field trials with a focus on CIVITAS TURF DEFENSE™. Through trial and error, along with painstaking observation, he looked at the biology and life cycle of ABW, management practices and challenges as well as the opportunity for future work.
As a result, this early research shows promising signs towards a working ABW control blueprint using CIVITAS TURF DEFENSE™.
ABW research has come a long way but there is always more to discover.
For more information on ABW control or CIVITAS TURF DEFENSE™ talk to one of the Intelligro technical managers, or contact Matthew.Weaver@petrocanadalsp.com.
Best of luck for a great spring season!