Annual East Texas Turfgrass Conference set Feb. 7 in Overton

Event designed for professional lawn and landscape managers, homeowners

Sod-harvesting machine

Sod harvesting in Burleson County. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Dr. Richard White)

OVERTON — New turfgrass varieties, advice on improving irrigation efficiency and more will be featured at the 2013 annual East Texas Turfgrass Conference set Feb. 7 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton.

Though primarily designed for professionals who maintain school district grounds, city parks and recreation facilities, as well as commercial lawn and landscape company workers, the program is open to the public, according to Randy Reeves, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Harrison County and one of the program coordinators.

Registration for the event is $30 and will include a fried catfish lunch. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and will be payable at the door on the day of the event. Credit cards will not be accepted; only cash or checks, Reeves noted.

Holders of Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator licenses will earn five continuing education units — three hours in the general category, and an hour each in integrated pest management and laws and regulations, Reeves said.

Participants holding structural pest control licenses will earn four continuing education units — one each in the general, integrated pest management, laws and regulations, and weed control categories.

Dr. Richard White, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist who specializes in turfgrass physiology and management from College Station, will conduct two of the presentations. One will be on more efficient irrigation practices and the other on choosing turfgrass for East Texas.

His talk on irrigation practices will include information on using historical average water needs as a predictor of actual plant water needs, and cycling irrigation units to prevent runoff.

White’s discussion of choosing turfgrasses for East Texas will include information on Renner, a newly released AgriLife Research variety of St. Augustine grass that shows improved disease resistance and cold hardiness.

In addition to White’s presentation, programming and presenters will include: “Soil Testing and Review of Historical Data,” Dr. Leon Young, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches; “Weed Control and Herbicide Updates,” Dr. Paul Baumann, AgriLife Extension weed specialist, College Station; “IPM and Its Role in Local School Districts,” Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist, Dallas; and “Laws and Regulation Update for Applicators,” Dr. Mark Matocha, AgriLife Extension specialist in agriculture and environmental safety, College Station.

The conference will adjourn at 3:45 p.m.

The program’s full agenda can be found at http://overton.tamu.edu/files/2012/12/13turfgrass.pdf .

Registration for the program will begin at 8 a.m. and will be payable at the door on the day of the event.

The Overton center is located approximately two miles north of Overton in Rusk County on Farm-to-Market Road 3053. For maps and detailed driving directions, go to http://overton.tamu.edu and click on “Info, Maps and History,” or call Reeves at 903-935-8413 for more information.

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