Friday, September 13, 2013

2013 University of Tennessee Field Day

The University of Tennessee Turfgrass Research Team put on a fantastic Field Day on Thursday at the East Tennessee Experiment and Research Center just up the road for The University of Tennessee at Knoxville campus.  The research center is used to experiment with different chemicals and fertilizers as well as new plant species while using various techniques and practices to find out what works best.

They had a great turnout with around 500 attendees from Tennessee and surrounding states coming to see what the UT Turf Team has discovered.  This was my first year being able to attend the Field Day or go to the research center and I have to say I was incredibly impressed.  Dr. Jim Brosnan and all the people involved in the Field Day did an amazing job.

Here is Dr. John Sorochan, UT Turf professor, giving a detailed description of an experiment he is working on to determine the best possible distance behind the center of the reel that the bedknife should be located to get the proper cut on turfgrass.  As always it is the details that set us apart from others and Dr. Sorochan is trying to find that one extra thing.  Very interesting concept.

Here is my very dear friend Dr. Tom Samples, another great UT turf professor, getting ready to discuss the native grass trial they have been working on to find new ways of reducing the amount of turfgrass maintained on golf courses and to eliminate the cost of doing so in both fuel and manpower.  Dr. Tom gave us many great examples of native grass species which work great on golf courses.  Expect to see some of the popping up at Harrison Bay in the near future.


Dr. Jim Brosnan, detailed the new herbicide treatment trials they have been working on and discussed the various rates and timing of the products as well as how the height of the cut of the turfgrass worked to influence the effectiveness of the application.  It is great to be able to see how certain weeds are controlled based on the amount of product used and the different products which are out there.  Without research centers such as the ETERC the new chemical technology and the new practices or application timings would not be available for us as superintendents to make the golf courses better.

It wasn't all play at the Field Day for us though.  The Tennessee Turfgrass Association was in full force at the Field Day where we were trying to raise money through our on-site raffle to support the UT Turf Foundation.  We are very grateful to all our vendors and sponsors who donated products or services which were given away during lunch. 

Here is Mr. Bob McCurdy, TTA president, presenting Dr. Brosnan with a check for over $1,300.00 from TTA from this years raffle proceeds.  Thanks to all of our friends who came by and purchased a raffle ticket.  You have really helped out the UT Foundation with your generoucity. 

I would be remise if I didn't tell you about the TTA social at Barley's pizzeria the night before the Field Day.  We had a great turnout with around 50 people showing up.  Great pizza and great conversation was had among friends and new acquaintances and we hope to continue to grow the TTA Social each year just as the Field Day grows.

If you missed the 2013 Field Day for some reason then you really missed a fun and informative day.  I was pleased to see Bill Brown, CGCS at the Field Day since we had not had any time to get together since our days on the GCSAA Certification Committee several years ago.  Bill has recently left the dreary, dull world of being a golf course superintendent and has launched his own company Turf Republic which specializes in social media and technology to help get the word out about what people in the turfgrass industry are up to.  For those who missed the Field Day or need a way to justify why you are wanting to go next year, Bill has a great website developed 2103 Tennessee Turf Field Day where you can see some of what all went on. As I said the UT Turf Team did a great job of putting on the Field Day and I will most definitely return each year from here on out.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing Paul. Great to see you again and great article on a the UT Field Day. It was a "hot" but great day for us guys with the northern blood.