December 18, 2009

The United States Golf Association recently named University of Kentucky Entomology Professor Daniel Potter as the recipient of the 2010 Green Section Award.

Potter will receive his award Feb. 12 at the USGA Green Section Education Program at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego, Calif.

The annual award recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions and dedication to the game of golf through their work with turfgrass. For more than 30 years, Potter has worked to manage insects on golf courses in ways that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. The USGA helped to fund much of his turfgrass research.

Potter and his students conduct research on insects, such as white grubs and grass-feeding caterpillars, that damage lawns and golf courses across the United States. The group studies the biology of insects to develop ways to control the pests using as few insecticides as possible. Their research looks at alternatives including conserving or augmenting beneficial predatory insects, developing safer insecticides based on natural plant substances and identifying management practices, such as watering routines and the length of the grass, that are not conducive to pests.

"Our research has helped golf course superintendents and other landscape professionals work with natural buffers to manage insects on turfgrass," Potter said. "We try to solve insect problems in ways that protect the environment and are safe and cost effective for people."

In addition to the group's turfgrass research, they study insect problems in other urban landscapes and horticultural settings, including nurseries, horse farms and home landscapes. Potter and his students educate professionals in the golf, lawn care and horse industries on ways they can use environmentally friendly strategies to manage troublesome insects and conserve beneficial insects.

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