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Travis Gannon

Asst Professor

Williams Hall 4402B


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Date: 08/01/21 - 7/31/24
Amount: $321,263.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT) utilize herbicides as a component of Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management to ensure safe travel routes for motorists and preserve road system infrastructure. While herbicides are an effective tool, optimizing applications to maximize target efficacy and minimize off-target damage are necessary.

Date: 09/01/18 - 8/31/23
Amount: $353,971.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

Known popularly as the ‘Green Industry’ or the ‘Environmental Horticulture Industry’, turf is a $90 billion per year specialty crop industry in the US with about 50 million acres of managed turf operations in the country (USDA-ERS), making turfgrass the most widely grown irrigated crop in the US (Milesi et al. 2005). Golf courses, sports fields, home lawns, and sod production operations are the four major sectors of the US turf industry. There are more than 17,000 golf courses, 775,000 athletic/sports turf fields, 60 million home lawns, and 321,000 acres of sod production fields in the US, contributing greatly to local economies and generating employment to tens of thousands of professionals (Richard et al. 1996). Weed management constitutes a major input to turfgrass production in the US and is typically achieved using multiple herbicide applications throughout the year, costing enormous time and money. In recent times, weed resistance to herbicides is a serious management issue throughout the US turf industry, with annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) being the most important and prevalent resistance prone weed species on a national scale (Heap 2016). The inability to control annual bluegrass and other problematic weeds using existing, economical and environmentally benign herbicides means that expensive and environmentally less benign herbicides need to be used to manage the problem. Multiple herbicide resistance to more than one herbicide is a particularly emerging concern, forcing increased herbicide use and lost profitability. The most recent report produced by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) revealed that herbicide use has increased in golf course fairways, and a similar trend could be noticed in other managed turf systems as well. Increased herbicide use is not desirable also because of potential exposure to human beings and off-target movement. Thus, herbicide resistance in turfgrass weeds is a critical economic, environmental and social issue that needs immediate attention. This project primarily focuses on annual bluegrass resistance management, yet the research and outreach efforts will directly benefit resistance management in any problematic weed in turfgrass systems.

Date: 07/01/21 - 6/30/23
Amount: $68,250.00
Funding Agencies: Turfgrass Council of North Carolina

This research will allow for a greater understanding of factors affecting preemergent herbicide degradation in treated turfgrass areas. Understanding how previous application history, as well as how edaphic factors affect prodiamine and oxadiazon persistence will generate information that may be used to develop best management practices that can be communicated to turfgrass managers to help maximize efficacy. This may include rotating herbicide modes of action or aligning pre-emergent application with weed emergence more accurately to achieve optimum control. Even though oxadiazon is only absorbed by emerging shoots, there may be viable benefits from making a timely split application as opposed to applying the maximum labeled rate initially. Likewise, weed emergence data will be collected to help optimize herbicide applications with respect to maintaining critical concentrations during major periods of emergence for products such as prodiamine and oxadiazon. Understanding degradation rates depending on soil texture may also influence recommendations and management strategies. In general, data generated from this study will help us gain insight and determine strategies to ensure oxadiazon, prodiamine, and other related preemergent herbicides offer optimized efficacy. Results will be disseminated to turfgrass managers through NCSU TurfFiles, extension outreach, conferences, as well as added to the scientific literature by publishing this experiment along with its results and recommendations.

Date: 12/10/19 - 12/31/22
Amount: $59,200.00
Funding Agencies: Syngenta Seeds, Inc.

Investigator will direct establishment and conduct of trial described in protocol. Investigator will direct collection and reporting of data as outlined in protocol and handle any disposition of trial materials necessary. Aim of testing is to characterize the effect of metcamifen (A18575F) on trifloxysulfuron absorption, translocation, and metabolism in yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) and St. Augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum).

Date: 09/01/17 - 8/31/22
Amount: $1,123,775.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

Through North Carolina (NC) Cooperative Extension programs and diverse cross-disciplinary team collaboration, we work to sustain and enhance environmental stewardship, reduce economic risks for growers and consumers, and protect human health by applying integrated pest management (IPM) in all appropriate settings, and to increase coordination and improve efficiency of translating IPM research through extension programming. By working to synergize efforts and leverage resources, we are better able to promote development and adoption of IPM through collaborative programs and broad-based stakeholder participation. With a strong team of experts and close association with our Evaluation Specialist, we are able to document the value of IPM strategies and programs, and demonstrate to our stakeholders that IPM works. Through the outputs and outcomes from this program, NC Extension agents and stakeholders will become more knowledgeable about IPM and develop the skills necessary to implement IPM strategies and build adoption of IPM in Agronomic Crops, Specialty Crops, Communities, and Pollinator Health. To accomplish our goals and address stakeholder needs for the 2017 CPPM-EIP program, we have 3 main objectives which we will tackle as specific program teams. These include 1) To develop and employ Extension Agent Trainings/In-Services to help agents to be effective communicators of IPM tactics, to build confidence in their knowledge of IPM strategies, and to foster high levels of trust and credibility in their local communities in Agronomic crops, Specialty crops, Communities, and/or Aquatic environments; 2) Deliver IPM Information to stakeholders in a variety of North Carolina settings so that through these activities, NC Extension agents and stakeholders will become more knowledgeable about IPM and develop skill sets to be able to implement sound IPM practices; and 3) Offer tools that will improve Pest Monitoring and Pest Forecasting protocols for pests of importance to NC Agronomic and Specialty Crops and enable enhanced searching and output features on the IPM Portal.

Date: 08/01/18 - 7/30/22
Amount: $289,128.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Vegetation management along NC roadsides must encompass comprehensive management programs in a fiscally responsible manner ensuring motorist and transportation worker safety. Synthetic pesticides are an integral component of roadside vegetation management; however, managers must utilize effective vegetation management programs without adversely affecting adjacent plants or vegetation including agricultural crops as well as environmental and human health. An assessment of existing practices as well as evaluation of new instrumentation and technology, which may assist field personnel to avoid adverse scenarios, is needed. Specifically, the proposed research will assess current vegetation management programs and practices and their effect on air and water quality, identify best management practices to minimize potential off-target movement, and devise training material for NC DOT field personnel to understand how to prevent and identify off-target movement.

Date: 07/01/15 - 6/30/22
Amount: $44,688.00
Funding Agencies: NC Agricultural Foundation, Inc.

Turfgrass managers must manage pests effectively without adversely affecting human or environmental health. Herbicides are part of comprehensive pest management programs but must be comprised of products and use patterns that do not adversely affect desirable species as well as species of ecological importance. The objectives of this research aim to: 1) Determine the effect of volumetric water and organic matter content on off-target injury from herbicide applications; and 2) Devise best management practices to minimize off-target injury from herbicide applications.

Date: 07/01/17 - 12/31/21
Amount: $69,750.00
Funding Agencies: Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association

We propose to investigate the amount of fungicide in clippings from golf course putting greens and fairways after applications targeting take-all root rot, Pythium root rot and dollar spot. These diseases are problematic for almost all members of the Carolinas and investigating tactics to improve fungicide efficacy targeting these diseases is warranted. We also plan to examine if altering mowing schedules for various periods of time after fungicide applications improves disease control. Finally, we propose to determine the effective concentrations required to keep the diseases mentioned above suppressed and relate that to the concentrations needed to suppress fungal growth in culture.

Date: 02/01/20 - 1/31/21
Amount: $20,000.00
Funding Agencies: NC Soybean Producers Association, Inc.

Soybean is grown in rotation with corn or winter wheat crops, which is an essential management practice for the maintenance of soil health and better crop yields. However, in such a rotation system, there is potential for damage to soybean from carryover concentrations of herbicides applied to the previous cropping system. Herbicide carryover in the soil is determined by the herbicide degradation rate, which is dependent on the chemical properties of herbicides, soil physicochemical properties as well as climatic conditions. Previous research shows that there is potential for carryover to injure soybean, with different environments exhibiting varying levels of injury. Global climate forecast models predict drier summers and intensified drought conditions, which are factors that support herbicide persistence and carryover. Therefore, it is critical to simultaneously recognize and find solutions to problems that soybean production could encounter in the near future. This is especially vital in North Carolina, where soybean is an important agricultural commodity and more than 50 counties are significantly involved in its production. The USDA 2018 overview estimated the value of soybean production in the state to be $464,406,000 and production in 2019 is predicted to increase by 9%. There have also been trends showing an increase in soybean demand for oil production and protein feed for animals across the United States. USDA projects that the 2018-2019 United States soybean production for world supply and use is 125.18 metric tons with 60.08 metric tons for domestic use, of which North Carolina is an important contributor. A doctoral project has been initiated at North Carolina State University to generate data specific to soybean production in the state that can help growers make informed decisions about herbicide selection and application and appropriate soybean variety selection. Objective 1. Assess soybean varietal differences in herbicide sensitivity. Objective 2. Characterize soybean physiological response to carryover herbicides.

Date: 02/11/15 - 12/31/20
Amount: $44,688.00
Funding Agencies: Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association

Turfgrass managers, including golg course superintendents, must manage pests effectively without adversely affecting human or environmental health. Herbicides are typically part of a comprehensive pest management program that must be comprised of products and use patterns that do not adversely affect desirable species as well as species of ecological importance. Objectives of this research are to: 1) Determine the effect of soil moisture on herbicide movement and off-target injury; and 2) Devise best management practices to minimize off-target injury from herbicide applications.

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