Iowa Turfgrass Field and Demo Day to feature innovative technology

Sunday, August 25, 2019

AMES — Turfgrass managers and students will get an update on current issues and new technology during the Iowa Turfgrass Field and Demo Day Sept. 11.

The annual event is a cooperative effort of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Turfgrass Institute, and provides participants hands-on learning and engagement with some of the biggest issues facing their industry.

This year’s program includes a presentation on robotic mowers, an update on cultivar trials, a talk on activated charcoal, tall fescue use in athletic fields, and various other topics related to fertility and turf health.

Speakers include Adam Thoms, assistant professor and turfgrass extension specialist with Iowa State University; Nick Christians, university professor of horticulture at Iowa State; and various Iowa State graduate research assistants and horticulture experts.

The field day will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station, and there will be opportunities to see and try new equipment.

“Our attendees tend to be hands-on workers and they like hands-on equipment to try,” said Randy Robinson, executive director of the Iowa Turfgrass Institute.

Some of the technology, like robotic mowers, has been around for years, explained Thoms. However, the field day will showcase how far the technology has come, both in price and in function.

“The field day will help managers get a better idea if something is for them or their program, or how something like robotic mowers could fit into their daily maintenance program,” Thoms said.

Pesticide applicator training sessions begin at 10 a.m. and include restricted entry level, recognition of sensitive sites, right-of-way and pesticide labels.

Continuing instructional credits are being offered to certified pesticide applicators for recertification of commercial or private licenses in categories 3O (Ornamental Pest), 3T (Turf Pest), 3OT (Ornamental and Turf Pest) and 10 (Research and Demonstration).

Registration should be done online and in advance, but on-site registration will be available. The cost to register is $40 per person, or $60 if including pesticide applicator training, and all registrations include snacks and lunch.

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