TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Michigan State University Extension is fortunate to have a turfgrass entomology expert as director of the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center. Nikki Rothwell completed a M.S. degree in turfgrass entomology at MSU, followed by a Ph.D. in turfgrass entomology at University of Massachusetts. Rothwell is now director of the MSUAgBioResearch station in Traverse City, Michigan, where she oversees research and demonstration projects with cherries, apples, hops and many other crops grown in northwest Michigan. However, Rothwell has not forgotten her turfgrass roots.

The NWMHRC has a diagnostics lab that looks at crop samples for growers. Rothwell has offered her expertise in turfgrass entomology and turfgrass pathology (insects and diseases) in diagnosing turfgrass samples coming from northwest Michigan. Some golf course superintendents in that part of the state may prefer to drive cup-cutter samples to Traverse City, Michigan, rather than sending them to East Lansing, Michigan, or another diagnostic lab.

The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation and Dave Smitley have arranged to cover the labor cost for the NWMHRC to look at turf samples in the first year to determine if this is a service that northern Michigan turf managers need.

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