Sponsors Stepping Up to Help NTA

Numerous friends of the Northwest Turfgrass Association already have signed up to help with sponsorships of the NTA’s 73rd annual conference, but there’s still plenty of opportunities to be involved in the three-day event this October at Bandon Dunes.

Here are the sponsors that already have committed to the conference, Oct. 27-29:

Turf Star/Western Equipment
Pacific Golf & Turf
Wilbur-Ellis
Helena AgriEnterprises
Walrath Sand Products
Washington Rock Sand
DLL Financial Solutions
Ridgetop Golf

Various levels of sponsorship still are available, and free registrations to the conference are included in most of the sponsorship packages. Maximum exposure for your company and products is available through a printed conference program, through our web site, through our email blasts and through visual and verbal recognition during the conference.

Click here for a breakdown of the various sponsorship levels and the benefits with each category.

The NTA conference always is a well-attended, enticing affair, especially when it’s held at Bandon Dunes. This year, in addition to three nights of lodging at the Bandon Dunes, we’ll have educational sessions, golf and dinners on Monday and Tuesday of the conference, with Dr. Brian Horgan of the University of Minnesota and Dr. Michael Richardson of the University of Arkansas among our headline speakers.

Click here for the current schedule of activities for the three days.

Click here for registration information for the conference.

More information on sponsorships and the conference in general is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


OTF Creates Monthly Treasure Chests

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The Oregon Turfgrass Foundation is holding a monthly treasure chest campaign in which entries at the end of the year are eligible for drawings, which will include a free registration to the 2020 Golf Industry Show.

For June, the treasure chest item is a collection of products from Floratine Northwest, with the proceeds from the sale of this package going to the OTF.

More information on the products and the treasure chest campaign is available by clicking here.


Take Advantage of NTA’s Early Bird Rate

There is a special early bird rate for annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association to be held at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, but it won’t last forever.

The 73rd edition of 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 early bird rate ends July 31.

The NTA conference is growing this year with a third night of lodging and another lunch added compared to past conferences. The conference will again be Sunday through Tuesday, but the golf outings, the dinners and the number of nights lodging will be different.

Instead of golf at mid-day on Sunday, we will leave Sunday as pretty much a travel day because of the distance to get to Bandon Dunes. The NTA plans to greet you with a cocktail after your long journey, and include lodging for Sunday night, but everything else Sunday is on your own.

That means Monday morning will start with breakfast, then the education session, lunch, golf and then dinner, and overnight accommodations. Tuesday will be the same, with morning education, then golf, then dinner and overnight accommodations. Three nights of lodging will be included in the registration package, and come Wednesday morning you’re on your own to travel home, or stick around Bandon Dunes for some more great golf.

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 Joins the Twitter World

The Northwest Turfgrass Association has opened a Twitter account and is ready to use it to communicate with its members and let its members network between themselves.

The Twitter handle is . . . @NTA60232900.

The NTA will send out information about its annual conference, set this year at Bandon Dunes on Oct. 27-29, and also send out information about its various donations to turfgrass research and education.

We will post the Twitter feed on our web site, nwturfgrass.net, which will include various re-tweets from members as well.

So, please follow the NTA on Twitter, and we’ll in turn plan to follow you.

More information about the NTA is available from 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.


Michael Bednar Elected President of NTA

In a vote of the Board of Directors of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, Michael Bednar, the superintendent at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash., was elected president of the NTA for the next year.

Elected by the NTA membership to three-year terms on the Board of Directors were Chris Concienne of Helena Agri-Enterprises, Ivan Gibbs of Leavenworth Golf Club and Geoff Haynes of Galena Ridge Golf Course.

Click here to view the complete list of the NTA Board of Directors.

Bednar spent the past year as vice-president and chairperson of the Research Committee for the NTA.

He first started working on the old nine-hole golf course on the campus of Washington State University in 1997, and then played a major role in the construction and grow-in of Palouse Ridge, which opened in 2008 and has been ranked as the No. 2 college course in the country.

He received a B.S. degree in geology from WSU in 1992 and then a B.S. degree in turfgrass management in 2004.

In 2015 and 2016, he was honored by the GCSAA and Golf Digest as a chapter winner (IEGCSA) for the Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA) and as a merit winner in 2017. The awards recognize superintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence and best management practices. He currently is secretary-treasurer of the IEGCSA.

In other votes by the NTA Board of Directors, Cory Brown, the superintendent at Overlake Golf and Country Club, was elected vice-president. Concienne was elected secretary and Haynes treasurer.

For 2018-2019, Russell Vandehey of The Oregon Golf Club will head up the Education Committee, and will be joined on the committee by Concienne, Gibbs and Haynes. Brown is the chairperson for the Research Committee and will be assisted by Blane Hezel of Useless Bay Golf and Country Club, Rick Michels of Broadmoor Golf Club and Vandehey.

More information on the NTA is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


A Great Three Days in Walla Walla

The 72nd edition of the annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association is in the books after three tremendous days in Walla Walla.

From the opening session of golf at Wine Valley Golf Club to the final educational update on the turfgrass program at Walla Walla Community College, the 107 attendees had a good time as the rain stay away for the most part.

Carl Taylor, among the large contingent of participations from our presenting sponsor, Western Equipment/Turf Star, put together a little video presentation, which can be seen by clicking here.

The NTA would like to thank the great speakers who came from far and wide to help out. Dr. Elizabeth Guertal from Auburn University was informative and entertaining in both her sessions. Bob Vaughey from Rolling Hills Country Club and Nick Schaan from DMK Golf Design shared the story of the massive remodel project at Rolling Hills. And it was great that all three Oregon State University turf researchers—Dr. Alec Kowalewski, Brian McDonald and Clint Mattox—were able to join us.

The NTA also got great cooperation and enjoyment from the various venues we visited, and we would like to thank those key individuals – Walla Walla Country Club (Jeff Blanc, Nick Ellis, Lisa Hyland, Angie Cremins), Wine Valley Golf Club (Cory Spencer, Tyler Daniels), The Marcus Whitman Hotel (Chris Coates), Three Rivers Winery (Stacy Buchanan) and The Chef’s Creation caterers (Marty Bray).

Golf was fun both days. While the rain stayed away, there was still some blustery weather that added to the challenge.

Here are the results from Sunday at Wine Valley Golf Club.

Here are the results from Monday at Walla Walla Country Club.

We had a low gross competition Monday at WWCC, which ended in a three-way tie at 1-over 73 between Matt Schudt of Seattle Golf Club (four birdies, three in a row), Larry Gilhuly of the USGA (two birdies) and Nick Schaan of DMK Golf Design (an eagle on No. 10).


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.


OSU Presents Update Report on Research

The Turfgrass Management Program at Oregon State University—namely Dr. Alec Kowalewski, Brian McDonald and Clint Mattox—has prepared updates on its research on Fungicide Alternatives Management of Microdochium Patch and Anthracnose.

The Northwest Turfgrass Association donated $15,000 toward this research in 2016 and $40,000 toward similar research in 2015.

Click here for the written report.


Mattox's Microdochium Patch research available

Clint Mattox has completed his masters’ dissertation at Oregon State University and his research is available to you, thanks to the donations the Northwest Turfgrass Association has made to the turfgrass management program at Oregon State.

“Managing Microdochium Patch Using Non-Traditional Fungicides on Annual Bluegrass Putting Greens” is available by following this link: http://hdl.handle.net/1957/57194

Here is a brief description of the research:

Currently, fungicide applications are the predominant method of control for the cool-weather pathogen Microdochium patch. Increasing pesticide restrictions have generated concern regarding management of Microdochium patch. Three separate field trials exploring non-traditional fungicides were conducted between 2013 and 2015 on an annual bluegrass sand-based putting green at the Lewis Brown Horticulture Farm in Corvallis, Ore. The objective of the first project was to evaluate the effects of the cultural practice of rolling in combination with mineral oil and fertility on Microdochium patch incidence. The objective of the second trial was to quantify the effects on Microdochium patch incidence using biological control products in combination with rolling. Finally, the objective of the third experiment was to quantify the effects of different nitrogen and iron sulfate rates in combination with simulated golfer traffic on the effects of Microdochium patch incidence as well as turfgrass recuperation.

Mattox currently is working on his PhD at Oregon State and is continuing his exploration of “Alternatives to Non-Traditional Fungicides.”

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