OTF & OSU to Survey Turfgrass Industry

The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation is conducting a statewide economic impact survey for the turfgrass industry for the first time since 1989. The Strategy Team, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, has been contracted to perform the survey. Recognizing the survey’s importance and potential benefits to Ohio’s turfgrass industry, the Ohio State University Turfgrass Science Program is supporting the initiative and assisting with the development of the survey.

Notes from IA

The Irrigation Association and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service have extended their partnership originated by a memorandum of understanding in 2003. The MOU recognizes that IA-certified irrigation designers with a specialty in sprinkler, surface and/or drip-micro meet NRCS certification criteria to provide technical assistance to producers on behalf of the USDA.

The Smart Water Application Technologies initiative, led by the IA, has closed the public review of testing protocols for smart climate-based controllers. This protocol is a step toward submitting the industry’s first testing protocols to the Environmental Protection Agency. Submission of the protocol will allow the EPA to consider weather-based controllers as the first irrigation product for its WaterSense labeling program.

IA participated in the inaugural Water Caucus briefing on Capitol Hill. Thirty-five congressional staff members attended the event, which included presentations by Andy Smith, IA’s external affairs director, and caucus co-chairs, Reps. John Linder, Jim Costa and George Radanovich. Smith’s presentation addressed national water issues, drought and the importance of water management.

GCSAA Announces Scholarship Winners

Mark Brotherton, Jon Trappe and Patrick McCullough are winners of the 2008 Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Student Essay Contest. Open to GCSAA members who are undergraduate or graduate students pursuing degrees in turfgrass science, agronomy or any field related to golf course management, the contest accepts entries with a focus on golf course management. The scholarship funding is provided by the Environmental Institute for Golf through the Robert Trent Jones Endowment.

Brotherton, Oak Ridge, N.J., won the first-place scholarship of $2,000 for his essay, “How Well Do You Know Your Topdressing Sand?” Trappe, Fayetteville, Ark., earned the second-place grant of $1,500 for his paper, “Implications of Genetically Modified Turfgrasses.” McCullough, Hoboken, N.J., claimed the third-place award of $1,000 for his piece, “Roughstalk Bluegrass Control: Do New Herbicides Offer Long-Term Management Solutions in Cool-Season Turf?”

GCSAA awarded 20 $1,500 college scholarships as part of its Legacy Awards program. To be eligible, applicants must be a child or grandchild of a GCSAA member. The program is funded by the Institute and supported by Syngenta Professional Products. The awards are based on academic achievement, community involvement, extracurricular activities and leadership skills. The 2008 GCSAA Legacy Award winners are Britney Acosta, Gina Andrews, Taylor Behrman, Abigail Burch, Jackson Esoda, Tracy Evans, Sam Fannin, Jordan Fruchte, Elizabeth Hoolehan, Emily Kennedy, Katherine McAvoy, Mitchell McIntyre, Sean Morris, Sarah Myers, Natasha Pinkerton, Adrienne Rathy, Samantha Sprouse, Robert Weber, Lauren Witt and Katherine Young.

PACE Turf Meeting Provides Realistic Tools for Implementing IPM

More than 160 turf managers and superintendents attended the PACE Turfgrass Research Institute seminar put on by PACE Turf. The meeting provided the latest information on new tools, products and practices for developing effective turf IPM programs. PACE Turf Co-directors Wendy Gelernter and Larry Stowell were among the speakers, along with Frank Wong, University of California-Riverside, and Mike McClure, University of Arizona. Summaries of the talks, as well as the full presentations, are available to PACE Turf subscribers on the organization’s “Member Edition” Web site. Subscription information is available at www.paceturf.org.

Peña Named Vice President of PLANET AEF

The Professional Landcare Network announced that Gilbert Peña has been named vice president of the PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation. Peña has been employed by John Deere Co. for 30 years and has been proactively involved with PLANET and its legacy organizations since 2001.

The PLANET AEF scholarship fund was formed to award scholarships and fund educational activities for the green industry. Its mission is to promote and advance the lawn and landscape services industry by supporting educational excellence. For more information, call 800-395-2522 or visit the “Programs” page at www.landcarenetwork.org.

Farm Bill Addresses Turfgrass

The 2007 Farm Bill passed into law by Congress contains turfgrass-specific language as a result of the partnership and collective lobbying efforts of the National Turfgrass Federation and Turfgrass Producers International.

The National Turfgrass Research Initiative is included as a high-priority research initiative. This inclusion further recognizes the importance of turfgrass research at the federal government level and will lead to an increase in basic turfgrass research.  

Congress directed the secretary of agriculture to consider turfgrass sod as a specialty crop in the bill. Therefore, turfgrass researchers will be eligible to compete for funding through the Specialty Crops Research Initiative. This also means that turfgrass sod producers can apply for Specialty Crop Marketing Grants through their states.

NTEA Recognizes MVPs

Through its Member Verification Program, the National Truck Equipment Association has recognized 10 member companies and requalified 57 companies for their commitment to safety and quality standards. This brings the total number of companies who have achieved MVP status to 373 since NTEA initiated the program in May of 2005. The newest MVPs are Baker Equipment, Richmond, Va.; Ferrotek Corp., Ferndale, Wash.; J&B Truck Body, Inc., Tarpon Springs, Fla.; Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, Rice Lake, Wis.; R&S-Godwin Truck Body Co. LLC, Allen, Ky.; Structural Metal Fabricators, Inc., Palmerton, Pa.; Trim-Lok, Inc., Buena Park, Calif.; Truck Bodies & Equipment International, Eden Prairie, Minn.; Vortex Truck & Equipment, Moundville, Ala.; and Wilcox Bodies Ltd., Milton, Ont., Canada.