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​​Improved Turfgrass Diagnostic Tactics

Broadcast Date: February 27, 2023

View On-Demand Webinar

​​​Webinar Summary​

Turfgrass is a multi-billion dollar industry encompassing over 60 million acres in the US alone. Turf swards are susceptible to many diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes and proper management of these pests requires timely and accurate diagnoses. Diagnosticians at plant disease clinics nationwide have expressed a need for training in processing, diagnosing, and providing recommendations for turf disease samples coming into their laboratories. This webinar will provide guidance on best practices for turf disease diagnostics and is hosted by the Turfgrass Pathology and Diagnostics Committees of the American Phytopathological Society in conjunction with the National Plant Diagnostic Network.

Learning Objectives

​Attendees will be diagnosticians and extension plant pathologists wishing to improve their turfgrass diagnostic skills.

  • This webinar will introduce common diseases found in the turfgrass environment and outline the symptoms, signs, and environmental conditions associated with the diseases. 
  • The instructors will outline a recommended workflow for processing samples and best practices for differentiating between homeowner samples and professional industry samples​
  • Additionally, this webinar will convey the importance of communicating to stakeholders the best way to submit turfgrass samples to diagnostic labs.
  • Attendees will be informed of turf disease management recommendations and resources available. 
  • ​At the end of this session, attendees will be able to quickly and accurately diagnose turfgrass samples for key diseases.


Lee Butler
North Carolina State University
Lee Butler manages the Turf Diagnostics Lab while remaining active in the turf pathology field research program. This allows him to work with turfgrass managers to develop effective disease management plans based on his knowledge of current disease activity and observations made in fungicide efficacy trials. After receiving his BS in Turfgrass Management from NC State, Lee worked in the golf course and landscape management industries before returning to NC State to pursue a MS in Plant Pathology. During his graduate studies, Lee developed effective control recommendations for spring dead spot control in bermudagrass turf. In addition to speaking at various conferences and meetings across the United States, Lee gives guest lectures in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and in the College of Natural Resources at NC State University.
Jim Kerns
North Carolina State University
Jim Kerns is a Professor and Extension Specialist, Co-Director of the Turfgrass Center for Environmental Research and Education and the Department Extension Leader for the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Jim focuses on etiology, epidemiology and management of diseases of both warm- and cool-season grasses. His research program focuses on understanding the biology of ultradwarf bermudagrass diseases, large patch of zoysiagrass, plant parasitic nematodes in turf and diseases of creeping bentgrass. The mission of the program is to provide efficacious and cost effective management strategies to turfgrass managers in NC and beyond. His program also houses the Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab, which is managed by Lee Butler.