Published on 03/29/16

Annual Turfgrass Conference to be held in Tifton

By Kenzie Kesselring

Sod farmers, landscape professionals and sports turf managers interested in learning more about the turfgrass industry’s latest innovations are invited to attend the 70th Annual Southeastern Turfgrass Conference.

The conference will be held on Tuesday, April 26, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. The event will begin at 8 a.m., with registration and breakfast, and conclude at 5 p.m.

Recent turfgrass research on the UGA Tifton Campus has focused on improving drought-resistant turfgrass and finding ways to reduce the amount of fertilizer needed to grow turfgrass, according to Brian Schwartz, a UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences turfgrass breeder. More information about these advances and other CAES turfgrass research projects will be shared at the conference.

“We are trying to make turf easier to manage,” Schwartz said.

Industry experts and UGA faculty will provide updates on the progress made through the UGA turfgrass breeding program, discuss different pesticide and fungicide management tactics and share best management practices for turfgrass.

Along with these turf-related topics, experts will be on hand to discuss tax-related issues and succession planning. Schwartz believes these topics will be very beneficial to farmers, specifically.

“As a farmer gets older, if they have several kids, succession planning will give farmers strategies to keep the farm together, provide fair ways to divide inheritances and answer other problems that come with inheriting valuable land,” he said.

According to Schwartz, the information at this conference is just as valuable today as it was 70 years ago.

“The turfgrass conference is a place where people come to not only hear the information — some might argue that is secondary. Because of the long history, many attendees actually do business here,” Schwartz said.

The cost to attend is $100 for the full conference or $50 for the morning session only. Those interested can register at

An optional golfing event at the Golf Club of South Georgia is set for Monday, April 25, the day before the conference. The fairway green fee is $25. A barbecue dinner, set for 6:30 p.m., is free to turfgrass conference participants, even if they do not participate in the golfing event. To reserve a tee time, contact the golf course at 229-386-4653.

For more questions about the conference, contact Schwartz at 229-386-3272.

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