Who Knew Turf Research Was So Important?

By Jerry Rousseau

The 2nd ever, TurfUnderResearchField Day (TURF Day), hosted by the Prairie Turfgrass Research Centre (PTRC) in Olds, AB, saw a marked improvement in attendance over the 2015 inaugural event with over 100 delegates present and the addition of a supplier trade show.

Hosted by Katie Dodson, Laura Chaves and Cory Mossing of the PTRC, the no charge biennial turf industry educational program featured a wide variety of research being conducted.

Katie Dodson, lead Research Scientist at Olds College, PTRC, talks turf to delegates at the 2nd bienniel TURF Day.

The morning plot tours were followed by lunch, an on-field tailgate tradeshow, several equipment demos and three afternoon educational breakout sessions.

The day was a chance for turf managers to see first hand, research projects dealing with golf courses, athletic fields and municipal park and recreation maintenance.

To be expected, a large percentage of attendees came from Calgary.  Norley Calder, Zone Superintendent for the City of Calgary Parks Department and current WCTA Vice President commented, “There are far more demands on turf now than just 10 years ago.  It wasn’t easy then but it’s much harder now.  Research is important and we need to continue if we’re going to improve how we do things.”  

I couldn’t agree more.  Studies from the US or around the world are good but don’t necessarily apply locally.  Shrinking maintenance budgets add to the difficulty as does increasing regulatory pressure, for instance, pesticide bans and water restrictions.

As for the TURF Day itself, weather worked out well, always a concern for outdoor event organizers, and the event was a big hit for everyone involved.  Congratulations to the PTRC team on a job well done leading turf management industry research efforts and for providing solutions to often complex problems.  

For a list of current PTRC projects, see below.  You can support turf research by joining the WCTA (10% of dues are earmarked for turf research), making a purchase at our annual silent auction or making a separate contribution to ‘WCTA Turf Research’.

Evaluation of the Use of Green Boost for Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency in Creeping Bentgrass Putting Greens

Effects of Fall Shade on Cold Acclimation of Putting Greens

Determination of Drought Tolerance of Kentucky Bluegrass Cultivars

The Evaluation of Fine Fescue, Tall Fescue, and Perennial Ryegrass Cultivars for Sod Production

Evaluation of Compost Topdressing Applications and Compost Tea Applications on Sportsfield Turfgrass Swards

Evaluation of Native Grass Mixtures for Use Along Roadside Boulevards

Examination of Water Treatments and Topical Applications for Improving the Water Use Efficiency of Sand-Based Creeping Bentrgrass Putting Greens

Effects of Salinity on Cold Hardiness of Putting Greens

Fall Applications of Nitrogen and Potassium and Their Effect on Winter Hardiness

Evaluating the Effects of Varying Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen Levels in a Sealed Environment

Alternative Weed Control Strategies for Controlling Weeds in Municipal Turfgrass Stands

Evaluation of Micro-Perf Technology Winter Covers. 

Hey Barry, what does this button do?

Mark Rooks demos a deep tine aerator on the putting green plot.  No sprinkler heads were harmed during this production!

Sorry Pat, didn't get you in the shot but your verti-cut demo had delegates on their knees! (almost)

 Sprayer calibration training doesn't get any better than this, right Jason?