Turf Pathology

Turf Pathology​​




Dr. Richard Latin

Professor of Plant Pathology
Purdue University
Botany and Plant Pathology, Lilly Hall
915 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054
Office: LILY 1-317
Phone: (765) 494-4639
FAX: (765) 494-0363
E-mail:    rlatin@purdue.edu

Program Description

Dr. Latin wrote the book on turfgrass fungicides- literally. A Practical Guide to Turfgrass Fungicides is the first book of its kind and has been very popular among superintendents, industry associates, and students. The turf pathology program integrates problem-solving research with innovative educational programs to provide turf professionals with effective solutions to pertinent disease concerns. Knowledge generated through research provides accurate content for contemporary educational programs that emphasize turf disease identification and control. Interactions with turf professionals and exploratory activities help to reveal emerging threats and offer direction for future research. The components of the turf pathology extension effort are described below. 

Turf Disease Research

Understanding Turf Diseases

Disease outbreaks are the result of a combination of factors occurring at the same time. These factors include the presence of the pathogen, the status and vulnerability of the turf, and certain prevailing environmental conditions. The discovery component of our turf disease project is focused on describing and defining the factors that contribute to disease, thereby providing a foundation for building modern effective disease control strategies. Click here to view a list of recent research publications (pdf file).


Turf Disease Management


Fungicides are essential tools for suppressing infectious diseases and maintaining high quality turf. Research continues to identify appropriate chemical solutions for a variety of diseases and to investigate how they can be used most efficiently to reduce costs and limit chemical use.



Educational Programs in Turf Disease Identification and Control

Turf Disease Management Workshops, Seminars and Lectures


These programs are designed to address topics relevant to the work of golf course superintendents, sports turf managers, lawn care professionals, turf industry representatives, consultants, and county extension staff. They address contemporary issues in turf disease identification and control and often are offered as part of a more comprehensive program on turf management.



Turfgrass Disease Profiles

The turf disease profiles represent a series of informational bulletins that deal with important turf diseases in Indiana and the lower Midwest. These descriptions describe the nature of disease-related damage, highlight diagnostic signs and symptoms (color images are included), and discuss conditions that promote disease outbreaks. They also address various kinds of control options for professional and residential and offer specific recommendations for disease. 




Turfgrass Management Blog




View all Turfgrass Disease Profiles



Turfcast is a computerized system that defines the connection between weather and turf disease outbreaks. The system indexes each day in terms of the risk of establishment and spread of three important diseases (dollar spot, brown patch, and Pythium blight). The program is operational from April 1 through October 31 and is accessible to all interested users on the website http://btny.agriculture.purdue.edu/turfcast.


Exploratory Activities

During the growing season, periodic field excursions are conducted to assess the current status of turf disease epidemics throughout Indiana and other parts of the Midwest. We also collect isolates of certain pathogens so that we can profile their sensitivity to common turf chemicals.

 Turfgrass Disease Publications