Plans for the 2023 Deep South Turf Expo are percolating! Once again, our education committee has provided a thoughtful incentive to attend the Expo in the form of a great speaker line-up. Wednesday, October 18th’s keynote speakers include Becky Bowling, Ph.D. University of Tennessee, David McCall, Ph.D., Virginia Tech, and Travis Gannon, Ph.D., North Carolina State University.
Information about the 2023 education line-up that serves as the centerpiece of the Expo is available on the website DeepSouthTurfExpo.org
Dr. Becky Grubbs Bowling is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) specializing in Turfgrass Science and Management. She completed her B.S. and M.S. in Horticulture at Texas Tech University in 2010 and 2013 respectively before completing her Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Sciences at the University of Georgia in 2017. In her role, Bowling works in partnership with other faculty/scientists, professional organizations, county extension agents, and others to conduct applied research and provide resources and programmatic support to the Tennessee turfgrass industry and beyond. Dr. Bowling’s program focuses on environmental turfgrass science with an emphasis on optimizing resource-use efficiency to promote environmentally and economically sustainable management practices for the turfgrass industry.
Dr. Grubbs presentation, “How has the Resist Poa project improved Poa annua control and management?” will focus on key project findings and implications from the “Resist Poa” project. In 2018, a team of 16 university scientists spanning 15 institutions embarked on a $5.6 million project (‘ResistPoa’) to limit the impact of annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) in athletic, golf, lawn, and sod farm turf. The team’s multifaceted approach, funded by USDA-NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI), had several objectives, including characterizing the nationwide distribution of herbicide-resistant P. annua populations. Potential weaknesses in the weed’s biology and growth characteristics are identified in order develop non-chemical control strategies. The study also identifies socio-economic constraints that may affect control strategies and stewardship of herbicide technologies and developing as well as delivering best management practices (BMPs).
David McCall, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at Virginia Tech in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. His primary responsibilities as Turfgrass Pathologist are applied research (50%) and Extension (45%), with a 5% appointment in teaching. Dr. McCall’s research program currently focuses on the following:
a) remote sensing with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) to monitor disease epidemics and water inefficiencies across turfgrass systems,
b) field radiometry and thermal imagery for improving biological and environmental stress detection of turfgrass systems and specialty crops,
c) novel strategies to reduce pesticide inputs through targeted applications,
d) fungicide performance, efficacy, and ancillary benefits. Dr. McCall also has Extension responsibilities.
Dr. McCall says that his “applied research program is designed to aid my role in Extension, by providing practical disease management solutions to turfgrass professionals. I guest lecture for undergraduate and graduate courses in basic and advanced turfgrass management, plant pathology, and proper pesticide usage. Dr. McCall will speak on The Future of Drones and Precision Application Technology for Pest Management.
Travis Gannon, Ph.D., Professor, North Carolina State University, received his Ph.D. in Crop Science in 2011 from North Carolina State. He has worked at North Carolina State in several capacities since July 1999 and is currently a professor that institution. Dr. Gannon will speak on “Contemporary issues around pesticide use.”
According to Dr. Gannon, herbicides are commonly and effectively used to manage weeds in various agronomic systems including turfgrass systems. However, devising and implementing comprehensive weed management programs is a very intricate process and is complicated by many agronomic and other issues. This seminar will highlight many of the contemporary issues around pesticide use in turfgrass systems today including what’s involved in pesticide registration, off-target movement, and resistance.
The three presentations noted above are just a sampling of what is on the agenda! Please stay tuned for the complete schedule or check the DeepSouthTurfExpo.org website. The Expo will be held October 17th through the 19th this year.
The Expo continues to change and adapt to further meet our attendee and vendor needs. The Scramble Golf Tournament at The Preserve is extremely popular, and the “Tailgate” session that follows has proven to be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable events. The Trade Show will highlight the latest in technology from our Sponsors. Thanks so much to our sponsors for supporting this event!