Coming February 22+23, 2017: The 26th Annual Ontario Turfgrass Symposium!

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Written by John R. Watson

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We are pleased to announce that the next Ontario Turfgrass Symposium will be held at the University of Guelph's Rozanski Hall on February 22 and 23, 2017! If you are a turfgrass manager in sports turf, golf, sod production or lawncare, this educational event is for you! Come earn your CEC's and network with your industry colleagues!

Early Bird registration for OTS 2017 ends January 07, 2017 - Online registration is available for OTS 2017!  Also stay tuned for the OTS 2017 brochure that will be coming soon to a mailbox near you, and check the GTI website as well as our social media outlets for updates on programming. As a member of a turfgrass industry professional association, or an employee registering at the same time, you qualify for the professional association discount rate - please see registration for details.

Here is a brief overview of our educational programming for 2017:

OTS 2017 will open with Dr. Eric Lyons' updating delegates on the GTI and the significant progress that has been made in the relocation process so far. Robert Heggie, an Associate Diploma in Turfgrass Management Alumnus, and current Head Groundskeeper for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment - BMO Field, Toronto FC, Toronto Argonauts and the KIA Training Grounds, will be speaking about the history of BMO field, the conversion process to natural turf, and challenges of hosting the Argonauts and the Toronto FC on the same field this past fall!

We also have a fantastic group of academic presenters coming from the United States to address our delegates: Dr. Eric Watkins - University of Minnesota (Using fine fescues as an input reduction strategy on golf courses and selecting low input turfgrasses for sustainable landscapes), Dr. Patricia Vittum - University of Massachuesetts (Annual bluegrass weevil management update for golf, managing insects on school sports fields and also on home lawns), Dr. Kevin Frank - University of Michigan (Strategies for minimizing winterkill on annual bluegrass putting greens and developing BMPs for maximum sports turf performance and cost effectiveness!).

Our local academic presenters from the University of Guelph that will be speaking at OTS include Dr. Eric Lyons, Dr. Katerina Jordan, Dr. Tom Hsiang, Dr. Paul Voroney, Dr. Michael Brownbridge and Dr. Francois Tardif! Current graduate students and recent graduates will also be presenting on their turfgrass focused research projects! Please see the online schedule for all the presentation details and check back often for program updates!

We also have a great complement of industry professionals coming to speak. With the hot and dry early summer of 2016 in the history books, Adam Moeller from the United States Golf Association will be joining us to present about the importance of a drought emergency plan and creating a water budget. Adam will also address strategies to irrigate for turf health and playability, not colour! David Kuypers, now Head Lawn and Garden, Canada at Syngenta will be presenting on the constriction of the stormwater management system during his tenure as Superintendent at Cutten Fields; this system was featured in the USGA Green Section Record earlier this year, and current Cutten Fields Superintendent Bill Green will join David in this presentation and describe the benefits and challenges of using stormwater for irrigation.

Dr. Paul Giordano, Green Solution Specialist at Bayer Crop Science Canada Inc. will speak on perception versus reality, how to dispel misinformation with scientific reasoning, and how this all relates to public perceptions on pesticides. Laura Erland will present to our lawncare delegates about reconciling aesthetic expectations with low input alternatives. Dave Smith from DCS Agronomic Services will discuss the relationship between soils, turf and BMPs, Gary Taylor from GT Irrigation will discuss irrigation design to enhance sports field turf quality, and Andrew Brown from the Ministry of Transportation will also be on hand hosting an open forum to answer any safe trailering or transportation related question operators may have!

We also have some great workshops planned! For our sports turf managers, Sports Turf Canada has organized a session entitled "Selling your turf maintenance plan on a shoestring budget" and for our other educational streams, Dr. Eric Lyons and Dr. Katerina Jordan will be teaming up for a turfgrass case studies workshop that will break down the key components in the turfgrass diagnostics process and define the process of systematically solving your turfgrass abiotic and biotic issues!


This OTS news article was authored and published by John R. Watson, Guelph Turfgrass Institute Communications
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