When it comes to applying pesticides, the three most important things for your pesticide applicators to do is:
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1. Read the label
2. Read the label
3. Read the label
That was one of the things drilled into attendees’ heads at the 21st Annual Ohio Lawn Care Outdoor Summer Seminar, held Thursday at the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Research & Education Facility in Columbus, Ohio.
Sponsored by Advanced Turf Solutions, Nufarm, Crop Product Services, Agrium Advanced Technologies, CareWorks and Trupoint Turf & Ornamental, the event featured sessions to help attendees brush up on lawn care topics relevant to Ohio.
Attendees sat in on two general sessions, highlighting pesticide updates and insect and disease updates. After lunch, the group broke into teams and rotated through five stations, where presenters centered their presentations on asking the group 10 questions. Each question the team answered completely earned them two points, and then the points were added up and the team with the most won Starbucks gift cards. During the station rotations, one of the groups was a supplier and product showcase, featuring products and information from C&S Turf Care Equipment, LT Rich Products, Trupoint and Franklin County Soil & Water.
“The label’s the law,” said Tim Hoffman of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “And the label is changing.” Hoffman hosted the first general session, “Pesticide update: The Ohio laws, regulation and ODA update.”
He said it’s important to check the labels of new pesticides you buy to make sure everything you’re doing is up to date.
Here are a few other take aways attendees got from the event.
· Because Ohio got so much rain last year in the months of June and July, this year’s Japanese beetle population was higher than normal. According to Dave Shetlar, “The Bug Doc,” this tells us that next year’s population will be even worse because of the rainy summer.
· Likewise, lawn care operators will see an increase in grub damage this year. Grubs appear on lawns that are 4 to 5 years old, because that’s how long it takes thatch to grow.
· The most common grub across Ohio is the northern masked chaffer.
· When it comes to granular applications, it’s important to have a best practices at your company. “We want everyone marching the same way, day in and day out,” said Jerry Sullivan of Scotts Lawn Service. The average walking speed of an applicator is 3-3.5 mph. The average speed of a powered ride-on unit is 5 mph. This will help you deliver a consistent application from lawn to lawn.
· Almost all perennial ryegrasses in Ohio get rust, but rust isn’t able to survive most Ohio winters. Instead, the disease produces massive amounts of spores and survives in the warmer Southern states.
· According to Joe Rimelspach of the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University, the first question to ask when trying to identify a disease is: What is the host? Answering that question will narrow down the options and help you decide how to treat it.