Turfgrass Management at Your Fingertips

High-quality turfgrass management requires rapid, exact, science-based information, for decision-making and planning. Advanced “smart” phones, such as the Blackberry, Droid and iPhone, have become important tools for turfgrass managers, extension professionals, crop consultants and sod producers who need information while in the field. A recent breakthrough has been the development of mobile software known as “applications”, “web apps” or “apps”.

The University of Georgia has developed a downloadable application (“app”) specifically designed for turfgrass managers. The “Turfgrass Management” app contains a full suite of weed, disease, insect and turfgrass species resources. Now, both extension and turfgrass professionals can deliver and obtain information through mobile technology.

Turfgrass Management Applications – Available for Blackberry, Droid and iPhone platforms

  • Turfgrass Management Lite. This application is free of charge and contains a detailed photo gallery of weeds, diseases, insects and turfgrasses
  • Turfgrass Management Subscription. This application contains pictures, information, and management recommendations for weeds, diseases, insects, and turfgrasses. Subscription content also includes a searchable database of label information for fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and growth regulators that turf managers can reference while in the field or away from the office. This version of the application also has sections for extension publications and offers users presentations on current trends in the industry. The cost is $19.99 per year.

Description of Turfgrass Management APP

  • Turfgrasses Species. Information on 14 primary cool- and 12 warm-season turfgrass species.
  • Turfgrass Diseases. Covers four main categories of diseases, including abiotic diseases, foliar diseases, crown and root diseases and non-infectious diseases. Users can access information, pictures and management of 41 diseases as well as descriptions and usage information related to 102 fungicides.
  • Turfgrass Weeds. This section covers broadleaf weeds, grassy weeds, pre-emergent herbicides, post-emergent herbicides, spray adjuvants and turfgrass growth regulators. The broadleaf weed section features descriptions, images and control of approximately 200 weeds. The pre-emergence and post-emergence herbicide sections features information, uses, and rates of herbicides organized by trade name or common name. The spray adjuvants and turfgrass growth regulators sections feature descriptions and usage information about hundreds of these products.
  • Turfgrass Insects. This section features information about beneficial insects, insecticides, subsurface feeders and surface feeders. Users can access pest descriptions, images and control recommendations for 44 insects.
  • Search Option. The search option allows users to type the name of a grass, pest, or chemical which quickly directs the program to the specific text. Users may also type in a component of mixture products to search for pesticides with a specific active ingredient

Turfgrass management application usage

As measured by the number of applications downloads and purchase, mobile information is fast becoming a popular tool for turfgrass professionals. Users are actively downloading, inquiring and utilizing the turfgrass management application, which has been widely mentioned across print and electronic media. The application has been accessed and downloaded in every state in the USA—and has even become internationally popular, with downloads in over 30 countries.

SEE IMAGE: Turfgrass Management Application Design. The figure shows the main page on the Iphone. The app has 6 main categories, which once selected will feature and access a wide variety of subcategories. The only requirement to access the information on the app is a cell phone service or an active wi-fi connection.

Benefits to the turfgrass managers

  • For turfgrass professionals, the app instantly delivers information in the field, eliminating the need to return to the office for answers.
  • The app keeps turfgrass professionals cost-effective by reducing downtime and gas consumed while traveling from the worksite to the office to look up information.
  • The app enables turfgrass professionals to adapt exact measures of control and chemical selection, helping them avoid costly mistakes due to erroneous chemicals or use rates that could result in turfgrass damages.

REFERENCES

Beard, J. B. 1973. Turfgrass science and culture. Imprint Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Prentice Hall.

Waltz et al. 2010-2010 Turfgrass Pest Control: Recommendations for professionals. Bulletin 984. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

AUTHORS

By Patrick E. McCullough
Assistant Professor
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

The University of Georgia
pmccull@uga.edu

Alfredo D. Martinez-Espinoza
Associate Professor
Department of Plant Pathology

The University of Georgia
amartine@uga.edu

F. Clint Waltz Jr.
Associate Professor
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

The University of Georgia
cwaltz@uga.edu

William Hudson
Professor
Department of Entomology

The University of Georgia
wghudson@uga.edu

ABSTRACT

Turfgrass managers often require real-time, in-situ information about diseases, weeds and insects for proper diagnosis and management. Advanced “smart” phones, such as the Blackberry and iPhone, have become important tools for industry professionals and allow greater work flexibility while traveling or away from the office. The University of Georgia has developed an application (app) for iPhone, Blackberry, and Droid “smart phones” which allows access to a library of resources in the field. ThisTurfgrass Management application contains a full suite of weed, disease, insect and turfgrass species resources to help keep turfgrass professionals efficient and cost-effective.

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