Brown patch severity of five tall fescue cultivars as influenced by summer nitrogen rates

Jada S. Powlen, James P. Kerns, Michael A. Fidanza, Cale A. Bigelow

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Turf-type tall fescue [Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort., nom. cons.: TTTF] is a predominant turfgrass species for lawns throughout cool-humid regions, yet brown patch (caused by Rhizoctonia and Rhizoctonia-like species) can cause severe damage during the summer months. Hypothesized strategies to help minimize brown patch severity and decrease fungicide use includes establishing TTTFs with a high level of host resistance and minimizing summer nitrogen (N) applications. A two-year field study was conducted in West Lafayette, IN to determine the influence of late-spring and summer applied N at two application rates among five TTTF cultivars. Urea-N was applied monthly at two rates from April to July, totaling to 73.5 and 245.0 kg N ha−1. Turf performance was determined using visual ratings for turf quality, relative canopy greenness, disease severity (0–100%), and seasonal brown patch as calculated by area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC). Brown patch was generally not affected by N-rate for any cultivar in either study year. While none of the TTTF cultivars had complete brown patch resistance, cultivar differences were observed, with disease severity ranging from 9.8 to 39.0% and 20.0–51.9% in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Selecting a brown patch resistant cultivar reduced seasonal brown patch severity by 61% across study years compared to the most susceptible cultivars. This study demonstrates that summer N applications to TTTF lawns should not be completely avoided to reduce brown patch as previously suggested and emphasizes the importance of host resistance for disease management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106790
JournalCrop Protection
StatePublished - Oct 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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