Tribute to an Industry Great

on by Campbell Cox

A few weeks ago in Florence, South Carolina, Dr. Bruce Martin conducted his final field day for turf managers from the state of South Carolina and North Carolina.  However, some folks came from as far away as Florida to see both his ongoing trial work as well as to pay tribute and say thank you for his distinguished career.  Dr. Martin has provided some of the industry’s leading strategies in the past 15 years for proactively managing diseases on putting greens.   He has worked very closely and tirelessly with Industry and Turf Managers to constantly develop and fine tune programs that give managers a high percentage of success for healthy turf when implemented properly.  Often industry has challenged his programs with one of their own to provide an option that might rival or surpass Dr. Martin’s approach, only to realize that his programs prevailed once again.

In one of his swan song trials he has worked with Harrell’s LLC on one of our Balanced Approach protocols.  At its core, Balanced Approach simply means that a well put together fungicide program alone is simply not enough to optimize plant health.  It takes a complete systematic approach to produce the highest quality turf for putting surfaces.  The systematic approach includes, fertility, fungicides, nematode control strategies, soil heath and water management.

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 In our trials. Dr. Martin found, to no one’s surprise, that when you feed the turf a healthy level of Fertility and utilize a proactive, well thought out fungicide program, you will maximize turf quality. But more interestingly, the systematic use of Title Phyte over the growing season actually separates itself from the same robust program, without Title Phyte.  (Link to Martin Data Slide or Image of PPT Slide) This information supported other findings from other University trials that showed Title Phyte and other Harrell’s MAX products are essential to elevated turf quality.

In addition to the exciting news from Dr. Martin’s trials, Harrell’s will be taking the Balanced Approach trial concept to NC State University this summer and in collaboration with Dr. Jim Kern’s, we will be looking at optimal strategies for Bentgrass health during a Carolina summer!  Stay tuned for more on this!