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SportsTurf Magazine
Updated: 2 days 8 hours ago

New IPM bulletin now available from STMA

May 19, 2015

Integrated pest management (IPM) is an environmentally and economically effective approach to pest management. IPM programs identify weed, insect, and disease pests, and then use current, comprehensive information on pest life cycles and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to make a decision about managing pests by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. The goal of IPM in turfgrass is to keep pest populations or damage at a tolerable level so there is no reduction in quality or safety of the turfgrass.

In turfgrass management, the essential tools for a successful IPM program include the pest triangle, prevention using proper cultural practices and scouting methods, and finally, the use of pesticides. Click here for a bulletin that discusses these three components in detail using various examples.

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Luke Yoder profiled by alma mater

May 19, 2015
Luke Yoder ’94, director of field operations for the San Diego Padres, is a behind-the-scenes star.

On a hot July day in 2011, Luke Yoder was watering the infield dirt to keep the dust down — as he does before every home game — when a grounds crew member caught his eye. The man was gesturing frantically, pointing at a mound of turf that was rising, alien-like, near the left field line. Yoder dropped his hose and ran over to it. It was 3:15 p.m. The game was due to start at 3:35.

On reaching the spot, he saw that the bubble, now two-feet high, was surrounded by an 8-by-4-foot square of wet turf, and when he bent down and touched the area, it rippled like a water bed. It was now 3:20 p.m. The stands were filled with spectators and the team was warming up.

Read it all here

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2015 is the International Year of Soils

May 19, 2015

The Soil Science Society of America is coordinating with the Global Soil Partnership and other organizations to raise awareness and promote the sustainability of our limited soil resources. Soils are a finite natural resource and are nonrenewable on a human-time scale. Soils are the foundation for food, animal feed, fuel and natural fiber production, the supply of clean water, nutrient cycling and a range of ecosystem functions. As part of the awareness campaign, the Soil Science Society of America developed 12 videos to raise public awareness about the value of soils. Click here to view the videos.

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Q&A with Rapid Retail Managing Director Nick Daffern

May 19, 2015

Nick Daffern, Managing Director of Rapid Retail, answers questions about his firm’s involvement with international stadia and how operations managers can increase revenue and offer fans and spectators a better experience.

Q: Nick, how would you describe your business?

A: We have worked with stadia since 2007, so we have had plenty of time to develop the way in which we work. Firstly, we are not just a supplier that builds and drops a retail unit or kiosk – we are problem solvers. Secondly, the types of relationships that work well are those where we have a relationship not only with the retail manager, but also the facilities people and the food and beverage guys, so the whole retail/queuing/food and beverage needs are examined.

Q: You work with stadia overseas, what element of this work differs from working with personnel at UK stadia?

A: Actually the requirements are very similar across the globe. What does differ is the business culture, and it is imperative that before you work with a client in a new country, you get to know the cultures, their likes, dislikes, and technical things, such as how they might settle their invoices. This is best done beforehand so there are no nasty shocks, for either party.

Q: What have you seen change positively since you launched Rapid Retail in 2007?

A: Worldwide we are seeing bigger and bigger stadia and those that are used for a wider range of activities, not just sport. It is not unusual now to see a political gathering at a stadium one day, a concert the next and then sport at the weekend. This has meant that stadia managers have to think smart to ensure they deliver an excellent experience to a diverse range of fans and spectators, while developing broader revenue opportunities.

Q: This must be a challenge for you, working with these differing requirements?

A: Any business needs to be flexible; we have had to adapt our products and services to meet these changes. It is not just revenue that is at the top of the list, safety is key, too. While we can’t divulge specific figures, we know that by spreading programme-selling kiosks around a ground for example, fans queue for less time and there is not a ‘crush’ at key points, something we are all keen to avoid. This applies to any type of stadium event.

Q: You have been working with French soccer club Paris St. Germain for many years, what do you supply there?

A: We started off developing one bespoke retail unit. It soon became clear that this was very successful and further units were needed, yet at the same time the units had to be more manoeuvrable. So my co-founder Andy Moss designed a kiosk concourse shop that can be easily transported, is strongly-branded and can be quickly opened up and then closed again at the end of the match. Paris St. Germain now has several of these (see below), they reflect the high end of the brand while being practical to use.

Q: Food and beverage is a key area for a stadium operator in terms of delivery to the spectators and revenue. What is your advice to improve both areas?

A: Frankly, operators need to  stop thinking  ‘traditional’ in terms of maintaining just one or two areas to eat and drink. It is far better to spread the load to several areas around the stadium. This not only reduces the queues, but reduces the numbers being served at each outlet, so the fan receives better-quality food and drink as the F&B operator is not so pressurised. One of my bugbears is quality; there are still some stadia where the food and drink service can  be improved hugely. Fans deserve to be treated well. I suggest that directors occasionally come out of the directors’ box and sit in with the crowd to experience the event at grassroots level; then make positive changes. Spectators have to be encouraged back and they will only do that if the offering is good as they become more discerning – there is a lot of competition out there!

Q: Surely, though, stadium operators have to keep a tight rein on budgets?

A: As with any business that is true and when you are dealing with such huge figures as a lot of operators are, it is easy to lose track of what is being spent and where. We have tried to help out customers by offering units to rent, not just purchase. This immediately negates the need for upfront investment, which is often a stumbling block, especially for the smaller stadia. On top of the flexibility with funding, we will take back a unit at the end of its life and replace it.

Q: How do you address environmental policies that are becoming a greater part of contract requirements now?

A: Our units can have lights powered by solar technology, so this not only addresses contractual requirements, but also keeps power bills down. Plus we recycle units where we can; it is something that is always at the forefront of our future developments.

Q: Finally, how do you envisage stadia will develop in the future in terms of retail?

A: As mentioned earlier, stadia are ever-increasing in capacity, so the need for operators to become even more flexible and forward-thinking is key. Why not put merchandising units outside the ground, so people can buy before they go through the turnstiles, for example? We are also seeing the growth of ‘community’ stadia and their needs to bring in revenue, in ratio terms, will be even greater; these operators need to look upstream to see what is working and then adapt a model to suit them. Whichever type or size of development, I am sure that we can help with advice.

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Pair receives Musser Awards of Excellence

May 15, 2015

The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation has selected Dr. Matthew Elmore, assistant professor and extension turfgrass specialist at Texas A&M University, and Dr. Joseph Roberts, assistant professor of turfgrass pathology at University of Maryland, as the 2015 Award of Excellence recipients.
The prestigious award is given to outstanding Ph.D. candidates who, in the final phase of their graduate studies, demonstrate overall excellence throughout their doctoral program in turfgrass research. Read more here

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Doug MacDonald to become an ASIC Fellow

May 15, 2015

Irrigation Consultant Doug Macdonald, vice president of Aqua Engineering in Fort Collins, CO, will be named an ASIC Fellow (FASIC) at the American Society of Irrigation Consultants 2015 annual conference in April 25-27 in Minneapolis, MN.

Macdonald, who holds a bachelor-of-science degree in environmental design, joins an exclusive group of irrigation practitioners recognized by the Society for their leadership, professionalism and commitment to independent irrigation development, design and management principles that represent the best interest of the client and the environment. From irrigation design to alternative water source identification to LEED consulting services, Macdonald has provided irrigation expertise and professionalism for his clients and the irrigation industry over the past 30-plus years. He specializes in developing creative design and resource solutions for large municipal and regional parks, sports and athletic fields, corporate campuses, and streetscapes. Macdonald’s professional strengths run full service, including project management, concept design through construction documents, and construction observation. In addition to his field work, Macdonald has generously shared his aptitude for irrigation innovation and water conservation as a mentor to aspiring irrigation and green industry practitioners. Moreover, he has been an energetic advocate for water resource management and professionalism in the industry nationally for decades.

Macdonald served as ASIC’s national president in 1995 and 1996; is a past president of both the Northern California and Southwest ASIC chapters; and currently serves on the organization’s national Board of Directors. Notable projects include: · Camelback Ranch MLB Spring Training Facility – irrigation and pumping system, lake and water feature mechanical system design, Glendale, AZ; · ASU BioScience Institute, LEED Silver Certified – irrigation water harvesting and pumping system design, Tempe, AZ; · Rio Salado Environmental Restoration Project, Phoenix, AZ; · Kellogg-Zaher Sports Complex – irrigation system design, Las Vegas, NV; He currently is the Professional Irrigation Consultant for a Disney project in Shanghai, China. “I’ve had the privilege of working with and learning from every ASIC Fellow in the society,” Macdonald says. “They’re all incredible achievers in this business and have advanced the industry exponentially. They have my utmost respect, and I’ll endeavor to share my experience and knowledge at the same level to further our profession.”

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Stadium bill wins approval from Indiana Senate

May 15, 2015

The Indiana Senate voted 46-3 today in favour of an amended version of House Bill 1273, which would lay the framework to secure an 18,000-seat multipurpose stadium in downtown Indianapolis. The stadium would serve as a permanent home for all Indy Eleven Professional Soccer games and potentially more than 30 other sports and entertainment events to be held every year on the Indiana University campus of IUPUI.

Peter Wilt, President and General Manager of Indy Eleven, said: “We are thrilled that the Senate’s vote today furthers our goal to secure a proper stadium for ‘the World’s Game’ and all of its passionate supporters from across Indiana. We look forward to building on this momentum with our partners at Indiana University and IUPUI and working towards a venue plan that will do the City and State proud while boosting Indiana’s economy for all Hoosiers.”

HB 1273 was filed by Indiana State Representative Todd Huston (Fishers – District 37) to extend a sports and entertainment development area to include a future stadium site and a new downtown Indianapolis hotel to be developed by the owner of Indy Eleven for the purpose of reinforcing stadium finances. The multipurpose stadium bill received strong bipartisan support from the Indiana House by a vote of 74-21.

The cost of the project would still be financed through user fees captured at the stadium and, if necessary, the afore-mentioned downtown hotel project.

Now that the legislation has been approved by the Indiana Senate, a conference committee of House and Senate lawmakers will work to finalise legislation for a stadium located on the campus of IUPUI that would be owned by Indiana University and have USD$20m of its financing allocated by the State of Indiana.

Ersal Ozdemir, owner of Indy Eleven, said: “We appreciate the thoughtful consideration of the stadium bill by the Senate and their efforts to help create a fiscally responsible solution for a multipurpose stadium in Indianapolis. The potential to partner with Indiana University to create a first-division-quality stadium that honours the rich heritage of soccer in the Hoosier State is being met with tremendous enthusiasm by our fans.”

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Time for PGRs?

May 12, 2015

Active growth is underway for the season and golf and sports turf managers are likely implementing growth regulator programs. Specifically PGR’s with trinexapac (Primo, etc.) have been shown to improve turf density and reduce growth 20-40% without significant reductions in quality. However as a foliar absorbed product it is rapidly metabolized by the plant as temperatures increase. Therefore scheduling applications to maintain consistent regulation is critical and made easier with Professor Bill Kresuer’s (Cornell Ph.D. 2014) GDD Tracker. This easy to use excel spreadsheet calculates base 0C GDD to schedule trinexapac applications. Access this University of Nebraska resource at:

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College, city change field-use agreement

May 12, 2015

A two-year transition agreement has been worked out by the city of Coon Rapids (MN) and Anoka-Ramsey Community College for the use and maintenance of the college’s athletic fields.

The Coon Rapids City Council April 21 approved the joint powers agreement that runs through December 2016.

Under the previous agreement, which expired at the end of 2014, the city maintained the college athletic fields and in return, the college allowed the city and Coon Rapids sports organizations to use them.

But the city no longer wants to provide the maintenance, while the college wants to have full control of the soccer field to assure quality for college games in the fall, according to Tim Himmer, city public works director.

To ease the transition, a two-year joint powers agreement has been negotiated with the college taking complete control of the athletic complex and its use Jan. 1, 2017, Himmer told the council.

Under the terms of the agreement outlined by Himmer, the college will maintain all grass turf, including mowing and fertilization that was done by the city before, while the city will maintain the three aglime baseball or softball fields and safety fences for dugouts.

The college will pay the city $1,000 in each of the agreement’s two years for the use of the city’s Wintercrest Park baseball complex for its home baseball games.

In addition, the city will provide portable restrooms, garbage service and scheduling of the baseball or softball fields for use by the affiliated youth ball groups and adult softball organizations.

The college has priority for scheduling fields for college credit classes and athletic events and the city will coordinate its schedule with Rory Larson, college athletic equipment manager, before beginning the scheduling process, providing advance written notification on beginning and ending dates as well as times of these events, but the college will not schedule activities without consulting with the city, according to the agreement.

“Outside of the college’s credit classes and athletic events, the city has priority for scheduling events,” the agreement states.

According to Himmer, the agreement provides a smooth transition, allowing the city, college and user groups to prepare for the changes.

This agreement will also support athletic needs in the city while the Sand Creek Athletic Complex is under redevelopment in 2015 and 2016, Himmer said.

“It provides an opportunity for all user groups to build a relationship with the college,” he said.

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Rutgers turf instructor Richard Buckley talks gray snow mold

May 12, 2015
We (us pathology types) generally talk about gray snow mold as a disease that does not result in dead turf. In fact, the fungus that causes the disease in our area, Typhula incarnata, is generally considered a leaf blighting fungus. As bad as the grass can look when the snow melts, the crowns are mostly spared, so diseased plants eventually regrow and recover the stand. A couple weeks of warmth, some April showers, add a little nitrogen, and the grass is off to the races – well prepared for a little brown patch in the dog days of summer.

Read it here

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