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2013 NCSU Turfgrass Field Day

August 27, 2013
By Fred Yelverton, Rick Brandenburg and Wei Shi

Turfgrass Field Day attendees gather around Fred Yelverton as he leads the topic 'New Herbicide Technologies for Turfgrass Weed Management.'
Professor of Entomology Rick Brandenburg gets some NewsChannel 14 camera time during Turfgrass Field Day.
Turfgrass Field Day attendees listen as NC State faculty speak on grass breeding.
Turfgrass Field Day attendee takes a break between seminars and goes over her notes.
Turfgrass Field Day attendees check out the new tall fescues on display at the Lake Wheeler Turfgrass Research facility.

The 2013 NCSU Turfgrass Field Day was held on August 14th, 2013 at Lake WheelerTurfgrass Labs. It was a near perfect day for the over 700 attendees, faculty, and staff. A slightly overcast but pleasantly mild day was a real treat for the southern summer morning. Predictions for rain held off and the clouds offered a mild and enjoyable protection from the typically hot southern August - never quite burning off.

Crowds gathered around enjoying the TCNC sponsored coffee and donuts during the Field Day opening ceremony. This year offered a special celebration honoring two of NCSU Turfgrass legends--Dr. Bill Lewis and Dr. Bob Robertson. Robertson served as NCSU's first turfgrass entomologist preceding Dr. Rick Brandenburg. Following retirement from NCSU, Robertson accepted the position of Executive Director of the Turfgrass Council of NC for several years.

Dr. Bill Lewis was the first turfgrass weed specialist in the state preceding Dr. Fred Yelverton. He also taught weed management in the Agricultural Institute for a number of years. As NCSU Extension Specialists, Robertson and Lewis spent their careers assisting NC golf course superintendents, sod producers, athletic field personnel and other turfgrass managers throughout the North Carolina turfgrass industry. The awards, thanking Roberts and Lewis for their numerous contributions to the North Carolina turfgass industry, were presented by Drs. Rick Brandenburg and Fred Yelverton.

The latest NCSU Turfgrass Program additions, Ben Pease and Dustin Corbett were on hand to meet attendees. Pease took the position of Lake Wheeler Turfgrass Research Lab Superintendent in early May and Corbett joined as Assistant Superintendent in late July. The unusually wet summer and large field day crowd set quite a pace for both new hires.

Over 12 research plots and talks were available to the Turfgrass Field Day attendees. Participants rotated through each 30-minute talk for a total of 4 stops. Topics included weed control, IPM, turfgrass research breeding plot evaluations, athletic field paint application research, fungicide performance, water use and irrigation coefficients for warm and cool seasonturf, herbicide technologies and more. These NC State Turfgrass Program faculty and staff talks offered NCDA Pesticide Credits, SC Credits, and GCSAA education credits as well as the latest findings in turfgrass research.

Looking at the make-up of the large groups of attendees, it was evident that the turfgrass industry continues to be a strong component to the North Carolinalandscape and economy. On-site media coverage was prominent this year with garden reporters and cable tv News 14 covering the gala for turfgrass. Several on-camera interviews were taped with attendees including CENTERE Director, Dr. Rick Brandenburg and local landscape business owner, Sam Lang. Reports and coverage of the event included local newspapers, and tv coverage - as well as AP pickup for the Miami Herald! Looking at the large crowds and number of attendees at the NCSU Turfgrass Field Day was a testimony to the turfgrass industry in North Carolina and the professionals that make it up. This group was intent on learning about the latest trends and research findings to improve their ability to manage this vital NC commodity.

The large crowds of landscapers, superintendents, extension agents, and turfgrass professionals enjoyed visiting with Field Day sponsors under the NCSU Sod Producer Pavilion and nearby tents. Over a dozen companies and organizations were on hand to discuss and demonstrate their products. Platinum Lunch Sponsor Quali-Pro generously sponsored the fried fish and all the fixings catered lunch. Water and beverages were provided by Gold Level sponsor, Smith Turf and Irrigation. Gold-level sponsor Green-Resource helped sponsor tents and chairs for the large crowd. Recommendations for advanced registrationcontinue to be encouraged as this field day grows larger each year so save the date: August 13th, 2014 and register in advance on http://www.TurfFiles.ncsu.edu/FieldDay/