Thursday, September 30, 2010

Golf courses go greener

Turfgrass managers have taken up the mantle of sustainability.  Over the past decade, a number of golf courses around the country have even started to "go organic"!

Some of the alternatives to synthetic pesticides proposed by one golf course site include:

1. Beneficial insects
2. Beneficial nematodes
3. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis)
4. Compost
5. Corn gluten
6. Fish emulsion
7. Garlic oil/juice
8. Horticultural oils (vegetable-based instead of petrochemical based)
9. Kelp/seaweed extracts
10. Lemon & vinegar formulations
11. Lime
12. Beneficial microbes and microbial derivatives
13. Milky spore
14. Neem
15. 100% "organic" fertilizers
16. Pheromone lures
17. Pyrethrin/pyrethrum
18. Rock dust minerals
19. Biopesticides
20. Products on the national list of approved substances established under the Organic Foods Product Act of 1990
21. Products approved as organic by duly accredited certifying organizations such as the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) and the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)

And some of the proposed prohibited substances include:

1. All synthetic chemical pesticides
2. Arsenic
3. Biosolids derived from sewage sludge or industrial waste (i.e. Milorganite)
4. Genetically modified products, ingredients, or seeds (endophytically enhanced seed and improved grass seed cultivars produced through conventional breeding programs are not GM and therefore are permitted.)
5. Piperonyl butoxide and other synthetic ingredients
6. Pyrethroids
7. Tobacco
8. Pesticides dispensed by automatic misting systems

For further reading:

* Sustainable golf courses: a guide to environmental stewardship

* Ecological golf course management

* "Pesticide Exposure from Residential and Recreational Turf" and "Lawn and Turf: Management and Environmental Issues of Turfgrass Pesticides" in Hayes’ handbook of pesticide toxicology

* Alternative turfgrasses for more environmentally sustainable golf course management: velvet bentgrass putting greens and fine fescue/colonial bentgrass fairways

* Turfgrass chemicals and pesticides: a practitioner’s guide

* Turf problem solver: case studies and solutions for environmental, cultural, and pest problems

* Proceedings of the IInd International Conference on Turfgrass Science and Management for Sports Fields: Beijing, China June 24-29, 2007

* Golf course irrigation: environmental design and management practices

* Water quality and quantity issues for turfgrasses in urban landscapes
* Managing wetlands on golf courses

* USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online (TERO)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

9/29-10/3: Wisconsin Book Festival

This year's WI Book Festival theme is "Beliefs."  Events of particular interest to plant and insect researchers:

A Legacy of Conservation
Wednesday, September 29  |  3:30-6 PM
Venue: Wisconsin Union Theater/Memorial Union
Please join us for a special program to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and to explore Wisconsin's historic and continuing legacy of conservation leadership and innovation. Featured speakers will include Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan of the USDA, USDA NRCS Chief Dave White, and Neil Maher, Rutgers University historian and author of Nature's New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement.

The Beast Within, & Becoming Animal
Wednesday, September 29  |  5:30-6:30 PM
Venue: A Room of One's Own Feminist Bookstore
Are humans merely animals or are we something more? Our beliefs about where we stand in the chain of creation shape both our sense of identity and our actions. The Beast Within, by Joyce Salisbury, examines the moment in the West when our confident assertion of our superiority gave way to our awareness of the bestial lurking within our humanity. Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology by David Abram draws readers ever deeper into their animal senses, showing that from the awakened perspective of the human animal, awareness is not an exclusive possession of our species but a lucid quality of the biosphere itself-- a quality in which we, along with the oaks and the spiders, steadily participate. 

Season of Water and Ice, & Jerry Apps
Wednesday, September 29  |  5:30-6:30 PM
Venue: Quivey's Grove
Sometime after turning fifty, Donald Lystra wrote and published his first novel: Season of Water and Ice, a poignant coming-of-age tale set in 1950s rural northern Michigan. The accolades haven’t stopped, and his work has received Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology. Lystra joins Jerry Apps in a special location, Quivey’s Grove, chosen because the barn appears in Apps’ Barns of Wisconsin. Apps will also present a selection of his books, including Cranberry Red and The Travels of Increase Joseph, which chronicle the joys and challenges of farm life with his trademark blend of gentle humor, drama and storytelling.

Moral Ground: Why It's Wrong to Wreck the World
Thursday, September 30  |  7:30-9 PM
Venue: Promenade Hall/Overture
This townhall-style meeting led by Moral Ground editors Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson gathers people for an evening of music, readings by contributing authors Curt Meine and Gary Nabhan, and a guided audience discussion about our obligations to justice and compassion.

The Poisoner's Handbook
Friday, October 1  |  5:30-6:30 PM
Venue: Wisconsin Studio/Overture
Long before "CSI" became common parlance, two intrepid scientists defined the art of crime scene investigation and elevated forensic chemistry into a formidable science, establishing a legacy for future generations. UW professor and Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Blum, writing with the high style and skill for suspense that is characteristic of the very best mystery fiction, shares the untold story of how poison rocked Jazz Age New York City. In A Poisoner's Handbook Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime.

Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Over-heats
Friday, October 1  |  8-9 PM
Venue: Madison Public Library-Main Branch
Dwindling resources. Massive population shifts. Natural disasters. Epidemics. Drought. Rising sea levels. Plummeting agricultural yields. Crashing economies. These are some of the expected consequences of climate change in the decades ahead, and any of them could tip the world towards conflict. In Climate Wars, geopolitical analyst Gwynne Dyer gives us a terrifying glimpse of the not-so-distant future, when climate change will force the world's powers into a desperate struggle for advantage and even survival.

Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions
Saturday, October 2  |  10-11:30 AM
Venue: Promenade Hall/Overture
As a climate scientist and a Christian, committed to truth in both science and faith, Katharine Hayhoe balances passion with civility to present a compelling case for why addressing climate change is a part of what it means to be a Christian today. Co-written with her husband, pastor Andrew Farley, A Climate for Change untangles the complex science and tackles many long-held misconceptions about global warming.

Atoms and Eden, & God and Nature
Saturday, October 2  |  3-4:30 PM
Venue: Promenade Hall/Overture
The relationship between science and religion is a subject that has grown increasingly visible-- and controversial-- in the world today. In Atoms and Eden, Peabody Award-winning journalist Steve Paulson (of To the Best of Our Knowledge) presents twenty interviews with some of the most prominent scientists, religious figures, and intellectuals of the day. Ronald Numbers, historian of science and medicine at the UW-Madison, also addresses the complicated relationship between science and religion. Author of The Creationists, a history of the modern revival of creationism, and co-editor of the collection God and Nature, Numbers tangles with many questions relating to faith, fact, and fiction.

A Short History of Wisconsin, & Bill Lueders
Sunday, October 3  |  12-1:30 PM
Venue: Wisconsin Studio/Overture
With A Short History of Wisconsin, Erika Janik packs several centuries of Wisconsin's remarkable past into two hundred lively pages, recounting the landscapes, people, and traditions that have made this state the multi-faceted place it is today. Bill Lueders' newest release showcases twenty years of in-depth stories, from a retrospective on The Progressive's H-bomb case to a profile on Tommy Thompson, plus columns about events in Madison and the state.

Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting, & Across America by Bicycle
Sunday, October 3  |  12:30 - 2:00 PM
Venue: A Room of One's Own Feminist Bookstore
Every Natural Fact by Amy Lou Jenkins is a narrative of nature outings across the state of Wisconsin. A mother and son explore parallels in the world of people and nature. These explorations of natural history, flora and fauna, and parenting themes demonstrate that the mythic thread that winds through everything can still be found, even in a world of wounds. Ride along with Alice Honeywell and Bobbi Montgomery as they embrace retirement with gusto and live their dream. Pedaling Across America By Bicycle they test and deepen their friendship, defy aches and pains, experience the varied beauties of their country, and discover the challenges and satisfaction of a scaled-down lifestyle. Join this dynamic duo as they face scorching sun, driving rain, buffeting winds, equipment failures, killer hills, wild fires, and even a plague of grasshoppers.

[Adapted from WI Book Festival website]

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bedbugs: infestations on the rise

You may have heard that blood-sucking bedbugs are spreading throughout the country and world, years after they were thought to have been largely eradicated in the United States.

Bedbugs are insects in the Cimicidae family.
Unfortunately, the 'common bedbug' Cimex lectularius now shows resistance to multiple types of pesticides.  Luckily, however, they have not been found to act as human disease vectors.


* Bed Bugs in Wisconsin [2008 UW Extension publication]

Insect resistance management: biology, economics, and prediction

* Encyclopedia of insects

* How to control bed bugs [1976 USDA publication]

* Results of experiments with miscellaneous substances against bedbugs, cockroaches, clothes moths, and carpet beetles [1918 USDA publication]

* Bedbug [1916 USDA publication]

* Treatise on the Cimex lectularius; or, bed bug [1793]


In the libraries:

* Global pesticide resistance in arthropods

* Dark banquet: blood and the curious lives of blood-feeding creatures

* Battling resistance to antibiotics and pesticides: an economic approach

* Colour atlas of medical entomology

* Evolution explosion: how humans cause rapid evolutionary change

* Medical insects and arachnids

* Biochemical sites of insecticide action and resistance

* Plague of the Philistines, and other medical-historical essays

* Insecticide resistance: from mechanisms to management

* Monograph of Cimicidae (Hemiptera, Heteroptera)

* Morphology and functional anatomy of the male and female reproductive systems of Cimex lectularius Linn.

* Get rid of bedbugs for a clean house [1967 USDA publication]

* Bed bugs: how to control them [1953 USDA publication]

* Bedbug: its habits and life history and methods of control [1944 US Public Health Office publication]

[Image: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic. louento.pix - ]