News 2017 Aggie Turfgrass program field day highlights latest green industry technology

October 16, 2017

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Dr. Ben Wherley, 979-845-1591, b-wherley@tamu.edu

Original story at AgriLife Today

COLLEGE STATION – Topics ranging from management of sand-capping systems on golf courses to turfgrass cultivars of the future attracted more than 150 people to the Texas A&M Turfgrass and Landscape Field Day on Oct. 11 in College Station.

The event was hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service programs within Texas A&M University’s soil and crop sciences department.

Attendees were lawn care operators, golf course superintendents, landscapers, sod producers and professional grounds managers from as far away as Dallas and San Angelo, said Dr. Ben Wherley, associate professor of turfgrass ecology with AgriLife Research and coordinator of the program.

“Attendees gained new information that they will be able to take back and directly apply to improve their turf and landscape management practices,” Wherley said.

“What a great job on a field day that helped showcase new technology to the Texas green industry,” said Dr. Mark Hussey, Texas A&M University System vice chancellor and dean of agriculture. “I’m extremely excited to be here in the new home for the turfgrass science program, the Scott’s Miracle-Gro Center for Lawn and Garden Research. This facility highlights our strong partnership with industry, plus provides an excellent location for us to conduct research, extension and education here at the institution.”

Hussey said all the research, teaching and extension work at the facility is having a great impact on the green industry, not only in Texas but nationally and internationally through the reach of Texas A&M programs.

“These are really exciting times in the green industry and the urban-types of programs within the Texas A&M University System,” he said during the field day luncheon. “We have this great facility where you are able to see some of the research showcased here today. And, at our Dallas location on Coit Road, we are in the process of constructing a new urban research and extension facility that, even by Texas standards, will be best in class.”

Another highlight will be the dedication in the spring of the $10 million project of teaching gardens located on the Texas A&M west campus. Opening of the Leach Teaching Garden will be the beginning of 40 acres of themed spaces for teaching, research and community involvement in The Gardens at Texas A&M University.

“At our Dallas location, our turfgrass breeding program continues to spark lots of innovation in the industry with recent releases of TamStar, or DALSA 0605, a St. Augustine grass with increased levels of drought resistance, and KSUZ 0802, a zoysiagrass with increased levels of cold tolerance,” Hussey said. “We are turning out elite germplasm materials to better serve the industry.”

Read more at AgriLife Today

Ambika Chandra in turf research field, College Station

Dr. Ambika Chandra, Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass breeder in Dallas, discusses her sustainable turfgrass study during the recent field day at College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)

Ambika Chandra in turf research field, College Station

Dr. Ambika Chandra, Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass breeder in Dallas, discusses her sustainable turfgrass study during the recent field day at College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)

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