More than 800 people braved the hot August temperatures for a firsthand glimpse of the latest research by University of Georgia scientists at the Turfgrass Research Field Day held Thursday, Aug. 4, on the UGA campus in Griffin, Georgia.
“UGA serves as the research and education arm for the green industry in this state,” said Clint Waltz, UGA Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist and one of the organizers of the field day event. “This field day keeps those in the green industry current and provides the continued education they need to remain profitable and able to provide the best quality products for golf courses, commercial lawns, homeowners’ lawns, parks, recreational sports fields and professional sports fields.”
In the morning, green industry professionals rotated through a series of 12-minute talks by scientists from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Topics included the latest research on turfgrass weed management, cultivar development and the application of pesticides while protecting pollinating insects.
Self-guided tours in the afternoon included a demonstration on proper pesticide storage and handling, advice on the best fungicides for turfgrass disease control and sessions led by CAES turfgrass graduate students.
“This field day attracts the top professionals in the green industry,” Waltz said. “Just like doctors and accountants attend conferences to say current in their fields, industry professionals attend our field day to keep current on best management practices and trends. They saw the latest and greatest in turfgrass science, from pest management, to environmental stewardship, to water management and conservation, to new turfgrasses on the horizon from our UGA breeders.”
Professionals from Georgia and the Southeast also met several new UGA employees, including Assistant Dean for Extension and Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leader Mark McCann and newly appointed UGA turfgrass physiologist David Jespersen.
“We have a lot of new personnel who benefited from meeting turfgrass industry contacts, and it was exciting for everyone to see our new turfgrass research facility being constructed in the background,” Waltz said. “Two years ago, we talked about our new facility; this year, everyone saw it being built; and in two years, when the next field day is held, we’ll be in our new building.”
For more information on turfgrass research at UGA, go to GeorgiaTurf.com.