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Introduction

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The Professional Guide for IPM in Turf for Massachusetts is intended for use by Green Industry professionals as a tool in the care of all types of managed turf: from roadsides and utility areas, to lawns, to fine playing surfaces. Many of the principles presented are useful in a wide range of management schemes, from low-maintenance to high intensity care of premier turf sites. While a portion of the information is geared specifically to Massachusetts growing conditions or regulations, many of the approaches outlined are applicable to cool-season turf environments throughout New England and beyond.

The primary focus of this publication is turf pest management. The information contained in this guide is based on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) concepts; therefore some of the discussion extends beyond the direct control of pests. IPM is a decision making process that begins with a management plan and builds on proactive measures such as appropriate turfgrass selection and management fundamentals such as mowing, irrigation and fertility. These steps promote the development and maintenance of healthy, functional turf which has a competitive advantage against pests and also abiotic (non-living) sources of stress.

An IPM framework is applicable to all types of plant maintenance programs, and the primary objective of an IPM system for turf is to reduce the reliance on pesticides. User expectations and tolerance for damage are used to create action thresholds that dictate pest control measures. Management of pests is done on the basis of monitoring, evaluation, and knowledge of pest biology. Pesticides are used only when other approaches will not produce an acceptable level of turf quality and appearance. When properly implemented, the result is a cost effective maintenance program that minimizes the potential for adverse impact to the environment and human health. The product is vigorous, resilient turf that meets aesthetic and functional expectations.

Each section of this guide contains information pertinent to an effective, IPM-based turf maintenance program. Proper turfgrass selection, cultural management, monitoring techniques, accurate timing of materials applications, prudent selection of pest management materials, and environmental protection are covered. An IPM system for turf maintenance is most effectively implemented by an educated and experienced turf manager.

About the information in this guide

This publication is meant only to be a guide. The information herein is not presented as recommendations, but rather as research-based and expertly audited knowledge intended to help turf practitioners make informed decisions. The authors make no guarantees and assume no liability as to the efficacy of outlined practices or listed materials. The user of this information assumes all risks and liability for personal injury and property damage.

About pesticides referenced in this guide

Pest management guidelines assume a positive and accurate identification of the pest(s) in question.  For pest identification assistance please refer to the UMass Extension Plant Diagnostics Lab.

Pesticide materials are generally referred to by common (active ingredient) name in this guide. Where appropriate, common names are followed by trade or brand names in parentheses. Trade names are used for identification and reference purposes only. No product endorsement is indicated or implied, nor is discrimination intended against similar materials.

All pesticides listed in this publication are registered and approved for indicated uses according to the best available information at the time of publication. However, local, state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to pesticides vary and are subject to change. Pesticide applicators are advised to stay current with laws and regulations governing pesticides and their use.

In Massachusetts, applicators applying pesticides to the property of another or areas to which the public has access, both indoors and outdoors, must be licensed. It is the responsibility of the applicator to know and adhere to the licensing requirements of each state in which they work. See the Pesticide Regulations section of this guide for more information about pesticide use.

It is unlawful to use any pesticide in any manner other than the registered use. It is the responsibility of the applicator to verify the registration status of any pesticide for the intended use before applying it (refer to the Pesticide Resources page of this web site).

Some pesticides referred to herein may be classified “for restricted use only” in accordance with federal and/or state regulations. Persons purchasing and using “restricted use” pesticides must be licensed and certified applicators.

Read and follow the pesticide label
When using pesticides, applicators must read and strictly follow all directions on the pesticide label. The pesticide label is the law. In the event that pesticide label information is in conflict with information contained in this guide, the label shall take precedence.