Wrapping Up Bandon Dunes Conference

It’s time to wrap up the 73rd annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, which enjoyed three days of great weather at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and one of the largest turnouts in recent history of the conference.

An experiment with the schedule seemed to be well received and the NTA Board of Directors has decided to go forward with the agenda that calls for three nights of lodging for the conference starting on Sunday night, followed by educational sessions-golf-dinner-lodging all day Monday and Tuesday.

That’s the format the NTA will use in 2020 when the conference goes to Campbell’s Resort in Chelan, Wash., and Gamble Sands Golf Course in nearby Brewster on Oct. 11-13.

It will be tough to match the three days of sunshine at Bandon, and the 181 total attendees for the conference.

Adding to the success at Bandon Dunes was the informational and insightful presentations delivered by our speakers—Brian Horgan of Michigan State, Michael Richardson of Arkansas, Alec Kowalewski, Brian McDonald, and Clint Mattox from Oregon State and former USGA agronomist Larry Gilhuly.

There were 20 generous sponsors who also made the conference a success. The NTA Board of Directors would like to thank the following for their support—Turf Star/Western Equipment, Pacific Golf & Turf, Wilbur-Ellis, Barenbrug, Magic Valley Bentgrass, Prime Source, Syngenta, Helena AgriEnterprises, Mountain View Seed, Walrath Sand Products, Washington Rock Golf Sand, Amvac, Bos Sod, DLL Finance, Ewing, Grigg, H.D. Fowler, Horizon/Rain Bird, Ridgetop Golf, and RMT Equipment.

Golf was a fun challenge both days, and while the rain stayed away, the wind certainly made its presence felt. The NTA would like to thank the three groups each day that played the opposite course so our shotgun wasn’t too crowded.

Here are the results from Monday at Old Macdonald.

Here are the results from Tuesday at Bandon Trails.


Cory Brown Elected NTA President

Cory Brown

Cory Brown, the superintendent at Overlake Golf & Country Club in Medina, Wash., has been elected president of the Northwest Turfgrass Association.

Brown, who has been the superintendent at Overlake since 2013 after spending seven years as the assistant superintendent there, was elected in a vote of the NTA Board of Directors at the conclusion of the recent annual conference of the NTA at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon. Brown has spent the past year as the vice president of the NTA and secretary the year before that.

Michael Bednar, the superintendent at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash., slides from the president’s role into being the Past President.

Geoff Haynes, the superintendent at Galena Ridge Golf Course in Kellogg, Idaho, was elected vice president. He spent the past year as the NTA treasurer.

Dan Salois of Planet Turf was elected secretary for the coming year and Sean Watts of Simplot was elected treasurer.

Salois and Watts were joined by David Fair of Northview Golf & Country Club in Surrey, B.C., in being elected to the Board of Directors by NTA members during the annual business meeting of the association, which was held during the conference at Bandon Dunes.

Coming off the NTA Board after numerous years of service are Jacob Close, the superintendent at Sudden Valley G&CC in Bellingham, Wash., who was the past president, and Russell Vandehey, the superintendent at The Oregon Golf Club in West Linn, Ore.


NTA to Award Turfgrass Scholarships

Dwayne Scott, left, receives the Bill Griffith Turf Management scholarship from Michael Bednar, president of the NTA.

As part of the festivities of the 73rd annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, two scholarships, each worth $1,250, will be awarded to Walla Walla Community College students studying turfgrass management.

The presentations of the Bill Griffith Turf Management scholarships will be made during the annual NTA business meeting, Oct. 29, at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

Receiving the scholarships in 2019 will be Carlos Epifanio, a sophomore from Milton-Freewater, Ore., and Dwayne Scott, a freshman from Shoreline.

Epifanio has a 3.6 grade-point average and is currently working for the parks department with the City of Walla Walla. He also completed an internship with the grounds crew at Seattle University.

“Carlos would be an excellent sports turf manager,” wrote Peter Larson, the head of the field maintenance staff at Seattle U. “He is attentive to details and loves to learn. He embraces challenges and is eager to try new things.”

Scott has a 3.84 grade-point average and currently is an assistant superintendent at Inglewood Golf Club. He took up golf at age 21 and quickly fell in love with the sport, and the profession of maintaining golf courses.

“Dwayne’s potential in the profession is very strong,” wrote Greg Matz, the superintendent at Inglewood Golf Club. “He takes pride in not only his day-to-day performance, but in his many years of dedication to Inglewood Golf Club.”


Nate Stacey’s Biosolids Study Available

A study conducted by Nate Stacey at Washington State University concerning land applications of biosolids has been completed and now is available to members of the Northwest Turfgrass Association.

The NTA assisted with financial support for this study.

You can click here to view this study, which was published by Applied Soil Ecology with the official title: “Composted biosolids for golf course turfgrass management: Impacts on the soil microbiome and nutrient cycling.”

More information on the NTA, and the turfgrass research it supports, is available at www.nwturfgrass.net, or from Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


NTA Donations Surpass $1.3 Million

With the $50,327 in donations to worthy turfgrass research and education programs the Northwest Turfgrass Association will be distributing in 2019, the total contributions from the NTA in recent history surpasses $1.3 million.

The modern history of the NTA includes $1,304,975 donated to mostly Northwest entities between 1997 and 2019. That averages out to more than $56,000 a year to support turfgrass research at various universities and turfgrass educational support for various programs as well as numerous scholarships to turfgrass students.

Click here for a breakdown of the financial contributions from 1997 to 2019.

The NTA dates back a lot longer than 1997, but that’s the earliest with available records.

In fact, this year marks the 73rd annual conference of the NTA, which is one of the main fund-raising events throughout the year.

Registration now is open for the annual conference to be held at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, with a special early bird rate available between now and July 31.

The NTA Conference will be Oct. 27-29 with an early bird registration rate of $725 for double occupancy, which includes three nights lodging at the famed resort on the southern Oregon coast.

The NTA conference is growing this year with a third night of lodging and another lunch added compared to past conferences.

Click here for more information on registration. The early bird rate of $725 is available until July 31 and then it converts to the regular double occupancy rate of $775. The single occupancy rate will be $995.

Click here for more information on the schedule. The NTA has secured Dr. Brian Horgan from the University of Minnesota and Dr. Michael Richardson from the University of Arkansas to be headline speakers.

Click here for information on sponsorships for the conference.

If you have any questions or want more details, please contact Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


NTA Donates $50,000 Toward Research

The Northwest Turfgrass Association will be donating $50,327 to worthy turfgrass research and education programs in 2019 as it continues to be a leading benefactor for the golf industry in the Northwest. Over the past five years, the NTA has donated almost a quarter of a million dollars to various programs.

There will be three separate research studies at Oregon State University that the NTA will continue to fund, totaling $31,160. All three studies pertain to Microdochium Patch, a consistent disease problem for turfgrass managers in the Northwest.

Reports on the progress made so far on those studies are available below.

The NTA also will be supporting a $10,000 study by Dr. Paul Koch at the University of Wisconsin on snow mold control in higher elevations in the Northwest.

Included in the financial support being distributed by the NTA is $1,700 to both the Inland Empire GCSA and the Western Washington GCSA to help finance the development of a Best Management Practices guidelines for superintendents in the Northwest.

In all for 2019, six different entities in the Northwest will be supported through the grants, which were decided by the NTA Board of Directors after recommendations from the Research Committee.

The grants from the NTA are made possible through the numerous and generous contributions from clubs and individuals throughout the Northwest.

For 2019, after extensive consideration and recommendations from the NTA Research Committee, the Board of Directors awarded the following research and education grants:

Comparing iron sulfate versus chelated iron for the suppression of Microdochium Patch on annual bluegrass putting greens in the absence and presence of phosphorous acid—
Oregon State University—$11,141.00—Progress report

Effects of winter nitrogen, phosphate and potassium rates on Microdochium Patch—
Oregon State University—$10,020.00—Progress report

Quantifying the long-term effects of alternative Microdochium Patch management techniques on sand-based annual bluegrass putting green performance over multiple seasons—
Oregon State University—$9,999.00—Progress report

Snow mold control in higher elevations in the Northwest—
University of Wisconsin—$10,000.00

Turfgrass field lab construction—
Walla Walla Community College—$3,267.00

Bill Griffith Turfgrass Management Scholarship—
Walla Walla Community College—$2,500.00

Northwest BMP funding—
Inland Empire GCSA—$1,700.00

Northwest BMP funding—
Western Washington GCSA—$1,700.00

For more information on how to apply for grants for 2020, or to contribute directly to the NTA, contact Paul Ramsdell, executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


Research Studies Available Through CTRF

The Northwest Turfgrass Association, through its new role as part of the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation, has a bevy of new turfgrass research studies now available to its members.

The NTA joined the CTRF in 2018 and was a part of the process in supporting 2019 turfgrass research. Those research studies and supporting information are listed below.

Meanwhile, the NTA continues in its normal practice of independently supporting turfgrass research in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, generally to the tune of roughly $50,000 a year. The NTA Research Committee and the Board of Directors currently is examining research proposals for 2019.

Here is a breakdown of what the NTA supported via the CTRF. More information on these studies and the relationship with the CTRF is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Foliar Applications of N and K for improving Cold Tolerance of poa annua

Currently there is conflicting information on the effects of Nitrogen (N) focused fall fertility programs for improving cold tolerance during the acclimation and spring recovery (deacclimation) time frames. In general, the literature shows a trend of positive effect for improving frost hardiness during the acclimation period with N applications (Taulavuori, et al., 2004).
Click here for the latest report in this study.

The Effect of Snow Cover and Anti-Transpirants on the Persistence of Snow Mold Fungicides

The objective of this project, coordinated by Dr. Paul Koch at the University of Wisconsin, is to determine the rate of degradation of fungicides chlorothalonil and propiconazole applied alone or as a mixture with an anti-transpirant under constant snow cover and in the complete absence of snow. It will also correlate the fungicide concentrations on the leaf blades sampled from the field with the level of disease symptoms on creeping bentgrass plants inoculated with snow mold fungi incubated in a growth chamber.
Click here for the latest report in this study.

Testing Lower Risk Fungicides Against Turf Diseases

This project, coordinated by Dr. Thomas Hsiang at the University of Guelph, is to investigate the use of lower-risk fungicides against turfgrass diseases. The specific practical objective is to quantify the extent by which common diseases such as dollar spot, fusarium patch and snow molds can be reduced in lab and field tests, using different application regimes of low risk chemicals such as acetic acid (vinegar), borax, citric acid, garlic powder, hydrogen peroxide, iron sulfate, lime sulfur, phosphites, soaps, sodium chloride, and sulfur.
Click here for the latest report in this study.

Management of Take all Patch in High Ph Soils

The work and reports for this project will be performed under the direction of Katerina Jordan, Principal Investigator at the University of Guelph. The disease take-all patch, caused by the fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. avenae has been a major issue on golf sites in Ontario and the prairie provinces, likely due to the alkaline soil pH levels found in those regions. The primary objectives of this study are to positively identify G. graminis from golf turf samples throughout Canada and to develop best management practices for the disease in areas with alkaline soils.
Click here for the latest report in this study.

Identification of Drought Resistant Turfgrass Cultivars for Water Conservation

The work and reports for this project will be performed under the direction of Jim Ross, Principal Investigator at Olds College and Dr. Eric Lyons Ph.D., Principal Investigator at the University of Guelph. Water use in urban environments is an important issue, and over the past few years watering restrictions have become commonplace. Restrictions on turfgrasses as landscape plants have been proposed in a number of jurisdictions in North America. This project will assist the turfgrass industry by: 1) helping the industry select turfgrass varieties that maintain green cover and playability with less water use, and 2) determining the actual water use of different turfgrass species and varieties at different mowing heights.
Click here for the latest report in this study.


Historic NTA Publications Now Online

Some fantastic historical turfgrass research articles from the archives of the Northwest Turfgrass Association now are available online, thanks to the Turfgrass Information Center at Michigan State University.

More than 1,000 articles pertaining to turfgrass issues in the Northwest and written by the leaders in the industry now can be easily accessed online.

The NTA’s publication from 1959 to 1997, Northwest Turfgrass Topics, is available by following this link: https://d.lib.msu.edu/nwtgt.

The written proceedings and studies from the annual conference of Northwest Turfgrass Association, starting with the third annual conference back in 1950 at the State College of Washington, are available by following this link: https://d.lib.msu.edu/nwtgc.

These archives, an ongoing cooperative project of the NTA and the Michigan State University Libraries, features public access to both periodicals as they were published and as copies are available.

All turf-related articles from within these materials, more than 1,000 in all, also are indexed and linked from within the Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database: http://tic.msu.edu/tgif.

For a full list of all publicly-available and restricted-access archives hosted by TIC, please see: https://tic.msu.edu/browse.

Any questions about the NTA material can be directed to Paul Ramsdell, executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


Poa Annua Control Research Reports

Dr. William Johnston and Charles Golob from the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University have prepared a research report on their study on “Biological Control of Poa Annua in Fairways.”

The Northwest Turfgrass Association donated $15,000 toward this research in both 2016 and 2017.

Year One report.
Year Two report.


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