by Sam Bauer
University of Wisconsin Turfgrass Rust Research
In 2013 the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Sod Producers Association (WSPA) and Sod Growers of Mid America (SGMA), initiated a series of experiments investigating the reasons behind increases in rust injury to cool-season turfgrass observed over the past several years. The project includes 4 primary experiments:
- Use of molecular and morphological means to identify rust species associated with turfgrass found in sod production, home lawns, athletic fields, and golf course management from around Wisconsin, the Midwest, and the country.
- Determination of inherent resistance to the multiple rust species in multiple genetic families of Kentucky bluegrass.
- Inclusion of varying amounts of tall fescue mixed with Kentucky bluegrass and the impact on rust development.
- Impact of nitrogen source and fungicide timing on rust development.
As part of the rust species identification project, we are looking for rust samples from your turfgrass! It doesn’t matter what species of grass, and it doesn’t matter what type of turf (sod, golf, home lawn). If you see rust on your turf, please submit it to the Turfgrass Diasnotic Lab for identification using the following simple steps:
- Pick or cut 5 to 10 turfgrass plants affected by rust from the base of the plant near the soil, including both leaves and stem. Roots do not need to be included.
- Wrap all plants together in aluminum foil, do NOT wrap in moist newspaper or paper towel.
- Place wrapped plants in a standard business envelope (4.125 X 9.5 inches), include completed Rust ID Submission Form, affix postage, and promptly mail to the Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab at 2502 Highway M, Verona, WI 53593.
- Please remember to complete and include the Rust ID Submission Form when submitting the sample.
- Not sure if you have rust present on your lawn? Check out our Rust Disease ID page for more information. Still not sure? Submit it anyways and we’ll identify it regardless.