Jim Kerns

Assistant Professor: Plant Pathology
Extension Specialist - Turfgrass Pathology
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Plant Pathology
1630 Linden Drive
276 Russell Laboratories
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-6531
jpk@plantpath.wisc.edu

Our program focuses on etiology, epidemiology, and management of turfgrass diseases. With an economic value of 1 billion dollars annually, 1.2 million acres, and over 50,000 Wisconsin residents employed in the turf industry, it is clear that turfgrass industry is very important to the state. The turfgrass industry is very dynamic and management practices change frequently, therefore we remain flexible in our research interests in order to respond to the needs of the industry. Specifically, we conduct research in laboratory, greenhouse, growth chamber, and field environments focusing on, but limited to, three important diseases of turfgrasses in Wisconsin- dollar spot, anthracnose, and snow mold. Current projects include the degradation of snow mold fungicides in response to snow cover, determination of the optimal infection temperatures for the dollar spot pathogen, and screening native grasses for resistance to pink and gray snow molds.

Furthermore, I am also the Extension Turfgrass Pathologist for the state of Wisconsin. The goal of the extension program is to help turfgrass managers incorporate the programs research results into sound management practices. My extension efforts focus on educating turfgrass managers on identifying disease problems, employing control measures that are efficacious, cost-effective, and environmentally sound, and managing fungicide resistance. This is done primarily through grower meetings and field days, but we also use a variety of multimedia approaches to accomplish our goals. My extension program is also responsible for diagnosis of turfgrass disease, which is facilitated through the Turfgrass Diagnostic Laboratory at the OJ Noer Turfgrass Research Facility. Finally I am also an instructor in the Wisconsin Pesticide Applicator Training Program.

 


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