DALLAS — More than 150 green industry professionals and enthusiasts converged in Dallas for a showcase tour of the latest Texas A&M AgriLife developments in resilient lawns, sports fields and landscapes.
The annual Texas A&M Turfgrass and Landscape Field Day is held in a different location each year by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and Texas A&M University alongside a number of public and private event sponsors.
The 2018 event featured presentations by 16 Texas A&M AgriLife researchers, professors and extension specialists. They reviewed the latest research and sustainable management practices for optimal turfgrass and landscape performance.
“It’s a valuable event for gaining current insights on producing better turfgrasses and where the market is headed,” said Dr. Ambika Chandra, AgriLife Research associate professor and lead turfgrass breeder in Dallas. “We showed our latest initiatives in breeding for high-performance varieties that use less water, fewer inputs and stand up to adverse climate conditions.”
Chandra held presentations on breeding for turfgrass with shade, cold and drought tolerance as well as large patch disease resistance. She guided visitors through research greenhouses and field plots at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Dallas.
“The turnout today reflects a high level of enthusiasm and support for this work,” said Dr. Lindsey Hoffman, AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist in Dallas.
Hoffman, also lead field day organizer, took attendees through turfgrass evaluation field plots at the Dallas center. She discussed new zoysiagrass and St. Augustinegrass varieties under review by the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, or NTEP.
Presentations and presenters
Other field day presentations covered disease diagnosis, landscape water efficiency, turfgrass health, insect pests, weed management, irrigation and fertilization. The field day agenda with information on each presentation is available at https://dallas.tamu.edu/.
“We were really able to bring together some of the leading experts in this field,” Hoffman said. “And our sponsors can take pride in a valuable contribution to healthier lawns and landscapes, and to healthier people as a result.”
A barbecue lunch and trade show featuring event sponsors rounded out the afternoon inside the new “water education building” — one of two new buildings on the reconstructed Dallas center campus.