An evaluation by PavCo’s bid committee gave Polytan LigaTurf distributor Centaur Products just 5.41 out of 10 for its proposed price. Competing company FieldTurf’s bid got a 10 out of 10, followed by AstroTurf Canada (8.78) and UBU Sports (8.21). The price evaluation (no bids were shown in actual dollar amounts) was worth 12.5 percent of the overall tally by the three-member bid committee, B.C. Place operations director Brian Griffin, PavCo finance director Kim Campbell, and consultant Robert Johnston.
Read it all here
Like “Underwater Firefighter” or “Bald Hairstylist,” “Artificial Turf Groundskeeper” sounds like the sort of job that, by its very definition, shouldn’t exist.
If the grounds are artificial, what is there to keep?
This question isn’t as existential as it seems, which I learned firsthand last month while visiting brand-new Monongalia County Ballpark. Located in Granville, just outside of Morgantown, Monongalia County Ballpark houses the New York-Penn League’s West Virginia Black Bears as well as West Virginia University’s Big 12 baseball program. With the exception of the clay pitcher’s mound, the entirety of the Monongalia County Ballpark playing field is synthetic.
Read it all here
Fees to use the two new artificial turf fields due to open on Labor Day at Mountain Park in Bernards Twp, NJ have been set for sports teams and organizations, with no exceptions to be granted — even for school groups and sports teams.
The Bernards Township Committee on Tuesday night approved fees in three categories, depending on the number of township residents involved in the sports program and whether it is a commercial organization, of $55, $80 or $110 per hour of use.
The proposal to build the two new fields at a cost of $1.7 million — with $1.1 million of that amount coming from the final funding in a township open space, as well as a sale of other tracts of open space land to Somerset County — was sold to voters as being “taxpayer neutral,” Township Committeewoman Carolyn Gaziano said.
Other Township Committee members supported that view at Tuesday’s meeting. However, Township Committeeman Thomas Russo persuaded other members of the committee to add a clause to the fee resolution specifying that all teams sponsored by the Bernards Township Board of Education would be in the category that charges the least amount. Read it all here
The big hats, flashy dresses and lots of traffic on the 5 freeway near Del Mar, it can only mean opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack.
The 76th season got underway Thursday.
“We are always hoping for a record, typically we get around 40,000 people on opening day. It’s one of the biggest days we have,” said Racetrack President Joe Harper.
It’s not just the start of a new season but opening day meant the debut of Del Mar’s new dirt track which replaces the synthetic turf.
“We took out the synthetic track, put in good old fashioned dirt for safety reasons. Now the circuit in So Cal is all dirt, you don’t want to have a different type where horses come off one, go on another, that’s not safe.”
Read about it here
It’s miserably hot. Factor in the humidity eastern Nebraska experienced last weekend and it’s downright unbearable. Sometimes it’s easy to confuse high air temperature or heat index with high turf water use. While there is definitely a relationship between air temperature and water use (evapotranspiration, ET), total solar radiation and average relative humidity are actually better predictors of potential ET. For example, potential ET on June 24, 2015 was 0.25” with a high temperature of 94°F and 74% average relative humidity. On April 20 the potential ET was 0.26” but the high was only 59°F and the low was 36°F. The average relative humidity that day 47% which made all the difference (solar radiation was nearly identical). Onsite weather stations and websites like the High Plains Climate Center calculate potential ET from past weather data. Unfortunately, most weather forecasts don’t predict future ET. This causes us to water heavier on mornings with hot weather in the forecast. One way to make predictions about future ET is to look at the forecast high air temperature, humidity and cloud cover. Weather.gov has great Hourly Weather Graphs that are specific to your location. These graphs contain a wealth of information including percent sky cover, hourly temperature and humidity (dew point and relative humidity). This information can be used to estimate how much water the turf will use over the course of the day. Solar intensity is highly correlated to ET; turf will need more water on sunny days than cloudy or hazy days. Make sure the soil has enough water to support the turf when clear skies are in the forecast. Temperature and humidity work together to affect ET. While relative humidity is commonly used, it can be the hardest to understand because it changes frequently during the day. It’s usually highest during early morning and lowest in mid-afternoon. This is because relative humidity is related to air temperature (which can change quickly) and the dew point temperature (usually more stable). Relative humidity is high when air temperature approaches the dew point (small temperature-dew point spread) and low when air temperature is much greater than the dew point (high temperature-dew point spread). Look for dew point temperatures forecasts when trying to decide how much water the turf will need because it is more stable. For example, the dew point temperature in southeastern Nebraska ranged from 77 to 80°F last weekend; that’s New Orleans type humidity. That helped keep ET lower than it could have been given the high temperatures and clear skies. Meanwhile the dew point on the Nebraska panhandle was in the 40’s and 50’s. Evapotranspiration there was two times greater than it was in southeastern Nebraska despite similar high temperatures, clear skies and cooler nights. Consider cloud cover, dew point, high air temperature and temperature-dew point spread when estimating how much water the turf will need for the day. These factors together will impact turf water requirements. Focusing on one can be misleading. Increasing irrigation quantity simply “because it’s hot” is a good way to over-irrigate which can have disastrous effects during summer. Bill Kreuser, Assistant Professor, Extension Turfgrass Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Before you know it, the fall sports seasons will be upon us, well actually upon our playing fields. Soon the athletes will be going to health clinics for their compulsory sports physicals. Most school districts require the athletes to get a check-up, but why don’t we give our fields and playing surfaces an annual or biennial check-up also? The science of medicine is much more developed than the science of sports field safety, and rightly so, but there are some basic principles and generally accepted guidelines in characterizing your playing surfaces before the fall games begin. There are also several good resources to get you going. The idea is to keep things simple and build your documentation program as you learn. The best way to improve your management of a playing surface is to routinely evaluate both objectively and subjectively the conditions of the field. The idea, like with many things, is that if you can measure it, you can better manage it.-Read more here from Ross Kurcab, CSFM and Covermaster
Project EverGreen announces the completion of its latest “Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.” project with weed removal, soil aeration and fertilizer applications to the baseball and softball fields at Fair Oaks Park in Marietta, GA.
Working in partnership with the Cobb County Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA), Project EverGreen and ValleyCrest Landscape Companies delivered much-needed turf management services to restore and renew 22,000 sq. ft. of turf at the park’s ball diamonds.
The renovated baseball and softball fields are used by an estimated 5,000 local Marietta residents and families of all ages that are participating in community church leagues, youth and adult teams, family reunions and other community groups.
The renovation project consisted of a series of sequential services and material applications from mid-May to early June. ValleyCrest donated the organic materials, equipment and personnel to make the renovations.
“Our mission is to preserve and enhance green spaces where we live, work and play,” says Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Parks, sports fields and recreational play areas are vital to healthy, thriving communities. One of the ways we demonstrate our commitment is by mobilizing generous local landscaping contractor volunteers, like ValleyCrest Companies to donate their time and talents to make these landscaping projects possible.”
ValleyCrest Companies have a long-standing history of contributing its times and talents to revitalization projects with Project EverGreen including several in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area.
“An important part of our company’s mission is to be a viable part of the communities we serve, so it’s a natural partnership for us to contribute to enhancing and improving the safety and playability of the Fair Oaks Park baseball fields for neighboring Cobb County residents and kids,” says Vic Bernardini, vice president of ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance’s Smyrna, Ga. branch.
Project EverGreen’s “Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.” is a nationwide initiative to renovate and revitalize parks and athletic fields to ensure children have access to safe green spaces on which to play and exercise. Yards, parks and athletic fields not only promote a healthier lifestyle but contribute to economic growth, community development and benefit the environment.
Renovation projects are scheduled to be held in numerous cities across the United States in 2015 including Cleveland; Chicago; Minneapolis; Raleigh; Charlotte; Milwaukee; Dallas; San Antonio; Austin; Portland, Ore.; and Indianapolis.
Key contributors to the initiative include the Dominion Foundation, Performance Nutrition and the Sports Turf Managers Association. For more information on how you can start a revitalization project in your community, visit www.ProjectEverGreen.org or call 877/758-4835.
October 13-15, 2015 will see the launch of the Deep South Turf Expo in Biloxi, Mississippi. This turf conference and trade exhibition is a collaboration of The Alabama Turfgrass Association, Mississippi Turfgrass Association, Alabama Golf Course Superintendents Association, Gulf Coast Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Louisiana-Mississippi Golf Course Superintendents Association. Not since the Southern Turfgrass Association disbanded has a regional effort of this magnitude came together. See the program here
The formation of the Deep South was partly at the behest of exhibitors and sponsors who felt they could get more “bang for their buck” by bringing Turfgrass professionals from the southern states together, but the organizations ultimate focus is on providing service to their membership. According to Tricia Roberts, Executive Director of the Deep South Turf Expo, “With a regional turf conference we can bring in the top educators to provide the highest quality educational program for all turf managers. Additionally, the DSTE will offer networking opportunities that will span over a four-state region…not one state and/or organization. Members can reunite with college buddies, share success stories with peers outside their “competition zone” and make new friends and business contacts!”
The Expo has been fortunate in the leadership from a Board of Directors hand-picked by the founding organizations. Stephen Miles, CGCS, was elected the first President of DSTE, and he is a fitting choice as a superintendent of The Preserve Golf Course in Biloxi and former Presidents of both the Louisiana/Mississippi GCSA and the Mississippi Turfgrass Association.
The DSTE Conference will be hosted at the Beau Rivage, with a static tradeshow at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center that will have enough room for greens mowers, sod harvesters, chemical sprayer trucks and forklifts. Of course, the DSTE will also feature outstanding educational sessions for every segment of the industry as well as serving as a place where those in the Turfgrass industry can network with their peers. The Preserve Golf Course will host the golf tournament for the event on October 13th.
STMA’s Technical Standards Committee learned that the ASTM (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) is developing a Standard Practice for Creating a List of Invasive Plants that is Environmentally Harmful (ASTM Standard WK40773). This list will include turfgrass. If successful, this standard could make turfgrass illegal for use on landscape that choose or are required to conform to ASTM standards.
ASTM develops voluntary consensus standards used internationally in a variety of industries. Approximately 12,000 ASTM standards are currently and actively used, according to ASTM. Although voluntary, ASTM standards are often cited in regulations. According to the ASTM website:
“ASTM standards are voluntary in the sense that their use is not mandated by ASTM. However, government regulators often give voluntary standards the force of law by citing them in laws, regulations and codes. In the United States, the relationship between private-sector standards developers and the public sector has been strengthened with the 1995 passage of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (Public Law 104-113). The law requires government agencies to use privately developed standards whenever it is at all possible, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in formerly duplicative standards development efforts.”
STMA’s Technical Standards Committee Chair Jason Henderson, Ph.D., represents STMA on several committees of ASTM. Its committees develop and revise the standards. He will continue to research this issue and will take appropriate voting action on behalf of STMA and its membership.
As the wet rainy summer continues, disease pressure continues to be high. As noted in a May 15th blog post, dollar spot has been extremely active this year. Leaf Spot has also been lingering across the state for 2 months. Leaf spot is an ascomycete fungi caused by Bipolaris spp. and/or Dreschslera spp. A majority of the damage recorded to this point has been on Kentucky bluegrass lawns, athletic fields and golf course rough, but symptoms on bentgrass fairways/greens have also been seen.-from Iowa State Turf
Read it all here
Professor Kyle Wickings, Soil Insect Ecologist in the Cornell University Turfgrass Program reports Japanese beetles are active upstate along with high populations of European chafer and Oriental beetle that have been active for 2-3 weeks now. Practically speaking, a turf manager would still be fine putting out a Merit (imidacloprid), Acelepryn (Chlorantraniliprole) or Ference (Cyantraniliprole) application now for grub control. In areas that they intend to treat, they should get on it. In all other areas, or if they cannot use pesticides (e.g. school grounds), they should wait until third week of August and sample for grubs. At that time if they find high populations, they could make an application of nematodes or request an emergency application (for schools and daycares).—from shortCUTTS, Dr. Frank Rossi’s blog
The Natural Grass Advisory Group (NGAG) has recently been launched by Growing Innovations, LLC. NGAG is an independent education and support organization for natural grass sport surfaces. NGAG personnel and representatives soon will work world wide to independently advise and back natural grass sports fields, equestrian surfaces, golf courses, and home lawns.
NGAG education and support focuses on providing solutions for the on-going challenge of maintaining high-use natural grass surfaces. Historical perception has been that natural grass surfaces can sustain only limited use and require long closure periods for repairs. That perception is no longer reality. With evolving maintenance, new technology, and objective data from surface testing, NGAG education and support focuses on increasing natural grass use and reduce repairs. NGAG work proves GrassCanTakeMore!
Lead Advisor for the NGAG is Jerad Minnick, a natural grass educator and advocate, is stepping down from his current position of President at Growing Innovations. This change ensures full independence of all NGAG education and support. Minnick will continue as an advisor for Growing Innovations projects and clients. Growing Innovations will immediately start the search for a new President. This person will foster relationships with existing GI partners and spear head the new GI research and surface testing/ data collection program utilized by NGAG and other Growing Innovations clients.
Natural Grass Advisory Group: www.NaturalGrass.Org @GrassRevolution(twitter)
Lead Advisor Jerad Minnick is at jerad@NaturalGrass.org or @JeradRMinnick(twitter)
About Growing Innovations: Growing Innovations, LLC is a consulting firm dedicated to creating and providing advocacy for new solutions for old problems. Based in Rockville, MD, Growing Innovations provides support for clients in over 10 countries working within the natural grass maintenance industry. Growing Innovations inspiration comes from Albert Einstein: “We can not solve our problems with the same thinking that we used to create them”.
For More Information: Contact Tori@GrowingInnovations.Net
From Dr. Frank Rossi’s blog: The toughest 6-8 weeks of the growing season are upon us [in the Northeast at least]. Increasing evening temperatures, adequate to excessive soil moisture, persistent humidity and showery conditions, and high levels of traffic from turf use and turf maintenance all conspire to establish a baseline of stress expected for the next 6-8 weeks.
At this time of year water management is most critical. If you are not using a soil moisture meter, especially on putting surfaces, you are increasing your risk of failure. Any failure to supply adequate amounts of water or if your turf holds water at the surface, expect many stress-induced issues such as basal rot anthracnose and summer patch to become more challenging. At the same time, persistent leaf wetness from rainfall, humidity or poor air movement will lead to increases in foliar diseases such as dollar spot, brown patch and Pythium. Now is not the time to attempt to extend spray intervals, or reduce traditional preventative or curative rates. With so much stress abound, minimizing disease stress is critical.
Weed populations having expanded due to the early season dry conditions that weakened desirable turf as well as voids in turf unable to be filled from seed or failed sod from poor irrigation and NO rainfall.
Some post-emergence crabgrass control can still be effective IF you have actively growing desirable turf in place. It seems even dense turf areas have their share of crabgrass. Same would be true for any broadleaf weed control that is NOT recommended at this time of year as leaves establish thicker cuticles, making herbicide penetration more difficult. Plan for late-summer/early-fall treatments.
“People often ask, ‘Why don’t you play on the Middle Sunday?’, but it’s not about having a day off,” confirms Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Club. “The main reason is that it gives the groundsmen the only opportunity to put a proper amount of water on the courts to get them ready for the second week.” See videos from Wimbledon here
Summer patch, caused by the fungi (Magnaporthe poae), is showing up on Kentucky bluegrass turf at the research station in central Iowa in early July, reports Dr. Nick Christians at Iowa State. See his blog post and photos here
Crews completed turning the surface at Boise State’s football stadium from blue to green in preparation for Saturday’s international club soccer match between Spain’s Athletic Bilbao and Mexico’s Club Tijuana. The field is green for the first time since 1986 — and has natural grass for the first time in modern history. Read details of transformation and see photos here
Read the interview here
The STMA Nominating Committee is seeking candidates for the 2016 STMA Board elections. Anyone who is interested, please fill out this simple form. Uncertain about the responsibilities of an STMA national board member? Click here to review our Board Handbook that provides detailed information.
Immediate Past President David Pinsonneault reflects on his past six and one-half years of board service and offers this advice to those who are considering running. “Board service is a great way to give back to the organization. The great thing about STMA is that we all share a passion, and we all have knowledge to share. Serving on the Board of Directors provides an avenue for sharing that passion and knowledge, and together with great staff and the Strategic Plan positions our members to succeed. These are exciting yet challenging times that through your service we can influence for the benefit of our members and elevate safe fields for all users of our facilities,” says Pinsonneault.
As Pinsonneault notes, STMA uses its strategic plan to guide the work of the board. The new 2015-2017 plan began its implementation in January, and staff and committee work is concentrated around the goals of the plan. At each quarterly meeting the Board reviews the plan and the association’s progress to it. Adjustments can be made and resources redeployed to focus on areas that may need more attention. New Board members also spend time during their orientation learning about how STMA functions and the importance of the plan to the association. Read the plan here.
For 2016, three category-specific Director positions are open. They include Director – Academic, Director – Parks & Recreation, and Director – Higher Education. To be eligible to be slated in one of these positions, you must be a current voting member of STMA in one of these categories. You quality as a member in Higher Education if you manage sports fields for institutions that provide education beyond the secondary level. To qualify in the Parks and Recreation category you must manage sports fields for a parks and recreational facility, municipality, city or other non-profit entity. Academics are defined as anyone who is engaged in research, education or in extension outreach programs related to sports fields. Directors who are elected to represent specific categories hold two-year terms with the opportunity to be re-elected to a second term.
One additional Director position is up for election: the Director – At Large Elected. Any category of voting membership is eligible to be slated for this one-year position.
The deadline to submit your interest is Fri., Aug. 14. The Nominating Committee will begin its work to vet candidates as they develop the slate for the election process. The membership will receive the 2016 ballot in November, and the newly elected Board will take office in January during the STMA Annual Meeting on Jan. 21, 2016 in San Diego, CA.
The Rolling Stones had their turn at Bobby Dodd Stadium June 9. For the rest of the summer, the main performers will be Georgia Tech assistant director of facilities and turf Jon DeWitt and the Georgia Tech groundskeeping crew.
Read more and see photos here
The rains have encouraged crabgrass to germinate and resume active growth much more rapidly than our perennial desirable grasses. In bare areas crabgrass plants are as much as 5-tiller! If you want to see how big your crabgrass is, check out Professor Aaron Patten’s article in Turf Republic (LINK). Starting with growth stage you can determine the best strategy.
Smaller plants (<1 tiller) can still be picked up by dithiopyr and get the prebenefits of dithiopyr as well. Small and mid-size plants can be treated with Acclaim, Tenacity and Pylex. Larger plants are best treated with quinchlorac, however here is a stage between 2-5 tiller where quinchlorac does not perform effectively. Now that crabgrass is vigorously growing control should be excellent. Be prepared to reseed these areas.