Selecting right pre-emergence herbicide important for managing athletic fields planted with bermudagrass

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Sports-turf managers need to be cautious when selecting and timing the application of pre-emergence herbicides on athletic fields with bermudagrass, said a University of Missouri turfgrass scientist.

“With the heavy ice cover over many areas of the state this winter, there are concerns about bermudagrass survival,” said Brad Fresenburg.

“Sports-turf managers should be sure that their bermudagrass survived and is doing well prior to applications of pre-emergence herbicides for annual weed control,” he said.

Last spring, turf managers of some athletic fields and golf courses applied products like Barricade and then realized large areas of bermudagrass had winter-related injury. With the application of these products, many turf managers were unable to reseed with bermudagrass for four to six months, he said.

Products like Dimension herbicide can be applied a little later in the spring once managers have determined the survivability of their bermudagrass. Dimension has both pre- and post-activity if weeds like crabgrass begin to emerge before the survival of bermudagrass has been determined. These products also allow for reseeding in as little as eight weeks, he said.

For additional information on turfgrass management, see the http://turf.missouri.edu/extension/.