Turf & Rec

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Rutgers speaker highlights spring seminar


March 24, 2009
By Wade Beaudoin Superintendent St. Thomas Golf & Country Club

thumb_kegsThe Kent Essex Golf Superintendents Association held its annual Spring Educational Seminar on Feb. 17, which was hosted by Dave Cours at the Ambassador Golf Club. 

KEGS was pleased to have the sponsorship of Syngenta Crop Protection for the event.

Dr. Bruce Clarke of Rutgers University was the keynote speaker for the day. Through his presentation, he was able to enlighten the audience about disease strategies for turf, using a wide array of scientific data to back his results.

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The major focus of his presentation included the proper cultural practices being used to help reduce disease impact and severity of putting greens. His data included the use of plant protectants in an effective manner. As an example of Dr. Clarke’s research, anthracnose is a disease that was thought to be a wound injury-induced disease. Rutgers’ research has found this to be a false conviction. The research has shown that anthracnose is a stress-induced disease of which the severity can be reduced by as much as 60 per cent by implementing the following cultural practices;

• Balanced fertility which includes not starving grass plants from nitrogen.

• Increased mowing heights with more frequent cutting and rolling to attain desirable ball roll on putting greens.

• Frequent topdressing to protect and shield the plant crown

• Proper water management which may include replenishing water reserves by up to 80 per cent of the daily ET rate.

Dr. Clarke continued with discussions on developing proper disease strategies for each individual property. These strategies included selecting proper plant protectants, proper nozzle and water volumes and the use of tank mixes to avoid resistance.

All presentations given by Rutgers researchers, including this one, can be found online at www.turf.rutgers.edu/.

The Syngenta Crop Protection Canada team of Marie Thorne, Ryan Beauchamp, Scott Knox and Aca Bornic were on hand to present information on Syngenta. These presentations included turf research trials in the Windsor-Essex region, changes to the green partners point system and the addition of a new learning experience called Super U. For more information on Super U, contact your Syngenta representative.

Beauchamp gave a presentation on the use of committee manuals as a method of communication and managing up. Using examples from his tenure as golf course superintendent at both St. Thomas Golf & Country and Glen Abbey, he was able to exhibit the use of effective communications and time saving by creating a manual that would answer many frequently-asked questions. These manuals are useful for superintendents at facilities and clubs that have owners, general managers, golf professionals, boards of directors, green committees and large general memberships.

OGSA past president Jeff Stauffer, superintendent of Credit Valley Golf & Country Club, was on hand to present and answer questions in regard to the IPM accreditation program. He went through each component of the program, discussed new changes that are being implemented and how the program was formed. He continued on with discussions regarding the new Bill C-64 and how it will affect the day-to-day golf course operations. 

Stauffer adamantly proposed a pro-active approach to the turf managers on beginning the accreditation process. This session ended with him fielding many questions from the floor on the subject which, in turn, ended up in a full-on debate amongst those in attendance.

The members of KEGS were treated to an educational session delivered by several key speakers. The day provided networking opportunities and ended with a supplier-supported raffle and happy hour.