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Fwd: Bioject for turf grass

A question was posed on P2 tech concerning biotech. Since we have a P2 Turfgrass stewardship program (in partnership with MSU) I sent the question over there for a response.  I hope you find the attached useful.


Wendy Fitzner, Chief
Program Management Unit
Pollution Prevention Section
Environmental Assistance Division
Michigan DEQ
P.O. Box 30457
2nd Floor Town Center, 333 S. Capitol
Lansing, MI  48909-7957
517-335-4729 (fax)

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Hi Wendy,

Listed below is some info regarding the Bioject.

The Bioject is a significant advance in the delivery of biological control
organisms. Dr. Joseph Vargas Jr., Professor of Plant Pathology at MSU has
been working to develop biological organisms for the control of turfgrass
diseases for many years. His laboratory released bacterial organisms in
recent years that have been demonstrated to reduce the severity of several
turfgrass pathogens. While these bacteria are shown to be effective under
laboratory conditions, the initial field work was inconsistant and
unreliable. To be effective under field conditions, the bacteria need to be
present in high concentrations during the time that the fungal organisms
are infecting and damaging turfgrass plants. 

The Bioject is a peice of equipment that "brews" and delivers the bacteria
to the golf course turf via the irrigation system. It is a rather elaborate
system that has a large stainless steel incubator (30-150 gallons). Each
day, the bacteria are placed in the incubator along with a food source and
water. Conditions are provided for the organisms to multiply in the
incubator. Then, the bacterial solution is injected into the irrigation
system and applied over the golf course with irrigation water. The system
starts again the next day so the organisms are appied each day to sustain
the bacterial populations appropriate for disease suppression.

After 2-3 years of use in Michigan, the results are still variable, but
some sites are documenting significant reductions in fungicide use. The
Huron-Clinton Metropark golf courses have installed biojects at most of
thier sites. There are over 200 systems in place around the country, with
most being here in Michigan. We have one in place at the Hancock Center if
you are interested in seeing one in action, or would like to veiw any of
the research plots. 

The Bioject supplier here in Michigan is Benham Turf Partners in Farmington
Hills - 248-474-7474. Dr. Joseph Vargas's lab can be contacted at

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