UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Turfgrass Expo & Field Day Set for June 16, 2021

UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Turfgrass Expo & Field Day Set for June 16, 2021

We’re back! After the COVID-19 hiatus, the Gulf Coast Turfgrass Field Day & Expo returns to the normal third Wednesday in June time slot.

Join us June 16, 2021 for a COVID-19 friendly, in-person field day. Due to COVID-19 protocols, ALL ATTENDEES MUST PREREGISTER before June 15th. There will be NO on-site registration, so get your ticket now!

ATTENDEE REGISTRATION: Choose ONLY one of the four ticket options:

  1. Field Tour, Scouting Insects, Spill Drills
  2. Field Tour, Scouting Insects, Natural Pesticides
  3. Field Tour, Spill Drills, Natural Pesticides
  4. Field Tour ONLY

MORNING RESEARCH FORUM – Everybody is ready to get back to “normal” and so are the University of Florida scientists who are coming to the Turfgrass Field Day in full force – even a few you’ve likely never met in person! Change abounds and this year’s field day is no different. The line-up this year will have four focus areas and will allow greater time for interaction with the researchers.

Future Urban Landscapes – water quality and quantity concerns are major drivers leading to changes in what future landscapes will look like.

  • Agustin Boeri, Graduate Research Assistant
  • A.J. Reisinger, UF Soil and Water Scientist
  • Mark Lusk, UF Soil and Water Scientist
  • Michael Dukes, UF Irrigation Specialist
  • Adam Dale, UF Turf Entomologist
  • J. Bryan Unruh, UF Turf Specialist

Pest Management – pests continue to create challenges when managing turf.

  • Billy Crow, UF Turf Nematologist
  • Adam Dale, UF Turf Entomologist
  • Phil Harmon, UF Turf Pathologist
  • Pawel Petelwicz, UF Turf Weed Scientist

Turfgrass Breeding & Cultivar Development – tremendous effort is underway to bring improved turfgrasses (color, quality, reduced water and nutrition) to the market.

  • Kevin Kenworthy, UF Turf Breeder
  • J. Bryan Unruh, UF Turf Specialist
  • Chase McKeithen, UF Turf Biological Scientist

Cultural Management – research on how to better manage turf.

  • Jason Kruse, UF Athletic Turf Specialist
  • Marco Schiavon, UF Turf Specialist
  • J. Bryan Unruh, UF Turf Specialist

VENDOR EXPO – This year’s vendor expo will be an open air “tail-gate” style event to allow for social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols. Vendors will be stationed in the grassy areas around the perimeter of the turfgrass research plots. Attendees will have opportunity to visit before, during, and after the research tours.

A limited number of tables and chairs will be available for the vendors. Vendors should plan to bring a pop-up tent if you have one!

Please note: To see all ticketing options please do the following: Upon entering Eventbrite site using link below, click “Tickets” link and then “I want to get tickets” “As an individual” to see all ticketing options.

LUNCH – BBQ Buffet lunches aren’t the most COVID friendly so we are changing up the menu and the venue a bit. Box lunches will be provided out on the research plots. Grab your lunch and find a shade tree, huddle under a vendor tent, or head back to your vehicle for a bit (you may want to turn your A/C on to cool off!).

AFTERNOON PESTICIDE LICENSE CONTINUING EDUCATION – Three sessions will be offered this year. All three classes will be available from ~ 12-1 and 1-2; each class will repeat with different audience so attendees can choose to get 2 different core or 1 category and 1 core CEU.

Scouting for Insects in the Landscape. This session will focus on identification of signs and symptoms of common insect pests in landscape plants. 1 Category CEU O&T, LCLM, LLO, Comm L&O will be requested for this session.

Spill Drills. Do you know what to do in an emergency? This session will cover multiple spill scenarios and what action needs to be taken to prevent injury and environmental harm. 1 Core CEU will be requested for this session.

Natural Pesticides for the Landscape. Many property owners are interested in using “natural” or low-risk pesticides but are they really effective? This session will discuss pesticide products that are labeled as natural and/or organic. 1 Core CEU will be requested for this session.

REGISTER NOW: https://2021gcturfgrassexpo.eventbrite.com

Weed Control in the Landscape – Alternatives to Glyphosate Workshop – May 23

Weed Control in the Landscape – Alternatives to Glyphosate Workshop – May 23

Are you looking for more selective herbicide options for annual beds and around shrubs and trees? The Santa Rosa County Extension Office will be hosting guest speaker Dr. Chris Marble from the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research & Education Center on Thursday, May 23. Dr. Marble is a Nationally Renowned Weed Scientist who has published numerous research and extension publications.

2 FDACS CEUs available in LCLM, Limited Lawn & Ornamental, Commercial L&O, O&T, Natural Areas, ROW, or Private Ag.

Pre-registration fee is $15, or $20 registration at the door the day of the event (includes lunch and resources). Pre-register online at Eventbrite Ticket or bring cash, check, or money order to the Santa Rosa County Extension Office, 6263 Dogwood Dr., Milton, FL before May 23. For additional questions, please contact Matt Lollar at mlollar@ufl.edu or 850-623-3868.

SCHEDULE

9:30 Registration & Welcome
9:45 Presentation Begins
11:30 Question & Answer w/Dr. Marble
11:45 Evaluation & CEUs
12:00 Lunch & Discussion on Glyphosate Registration
12:30 Adjourn

Fertilizer Label Requirements for Urban Turf (Lawns)

 

As of January 2015 the labels on fertilizer bags have changed. Florida Rule 5E-1.003 required fertilizer manufacturers to modify their package recommendations and wording.

“Specialty fertilizers” was one of the more significant changes. This included packages that weigh 49 pounds or less and are labeled for home (residential) lawn use. The new labeling requirement for fertilizers labeled for use on urban lawns included that these products must be no phosphate or low phosphate. “No phosphate” fertilizers will be expressed as zero in the guaranteed analysis. “Low phosphate” fertilizers typically have 2% when labeled for residential lawns. Additionally, the recommended application rate must not exceed 0.25 lbs. P2O5 / 1,000 square feet per application and cannot exceed 0.50 lbs. P2O5 / 1,000 square feet per year. The only exception is “starter fertilizers”, which is a fertilizer formulated for a one-time application at planting or near that time to encourage root growth. A starter fertilizer can recommend a one-time application rate of 1.0 lb. of P2O5 / 1,000 square feet.

 

The Label is the Law

Application rates cannot be exceeded and the site must be on the label. The “site” refers to the specific grass area that the application is intended for. So, for fertilizer packaging under Rule SE-1.003 there a few definitions you need to understand:

  1. “Urban Turf” or “Lawns” means non-agricultural land planted in closely mowed, managed grasses except golf courses, parks and athletic fields.
  2. “New Urban Turf” means residential lawns established less than 12 months.
  3. “Actively Growing Turf” means turf that needs mowing at least once every two weeks to maintain the grass blade height according to the UF/IFAS recommendation.
  4. “Established Urban Turf” means residential lawns older than 12 months.

 

In addition to restrictions on phosphate, the Urban Turf Rule restricts the use of nitrogen. The amount that can be applied at once, as well as, annually and the seasonal application timing are defined based on the different regions of Florida. Local ordinances may be even more restrictive than the fertilizer label.

The following language must appear on all fertilizers sold at retail:

  • “Apply only to actively growing turf”.
  • “Do not apply near water, storm drains or drainage ditches”.
  • “Do not apply if heavy rain is expected”.
  • Apply this product only to your lawn and sweep any product that lands in the driveway, sidewalk or street back onto your lawn.

Finally, the labeling requirements for fertilizers that come in 50 pound bags or larger include that the directions for use cannot exceed rates recommended in the document entitled “Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries” (GI-BMP). The GI-BMP restricts nitrogen applications to less than what the label states. If the slow-release component of the overall nitrogen percentages is 30% or greater, the product can be applied at 1.0 lb. of N / 1,000 sq. ft. If it is less than 30%, then the rate is only 0.50 lb. N / 1,000 sq. ft.

 

The next time you are shopping for  fertilizer, take the time to read the bag. Know that you are applying it correctly and legally.

By the way, if you are being compensated for applying fertilizer, FDACS requires a Limited Urban Commercial Fertilizer application certification with a pre-requisite of GI-BMP training.

Upcoming classes in Northwest Florida

Statewide GI-BMP classes

 

New Exam Review and CEU Class Offered in Panama City: May 10-11, 2018

New Exam Review and CEU Class Offered in Panama City: May 10-11, 2018

In December of 2017, a new Commercial Lawn & Ornamental Pest Control Operator exam was launched in Florida. This updated exam covers materials found in two new manuals not previously recommended as study guides: “Identification Guide to Common Florida Lawn and Ornamental Weeds,”  and “Lawn and Ornamental Pest Management.”. Photographic pest identification including knowledge of life cycle have nearly tripled when compared to the prior exam.

Because this exam is a statewide license, many pests may not be familiar to industry professionals in NW Florida if they are more commonly found in peninsular or South Florida.

The new exam also includes Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) topics, Florida Statutes, Administrative Rules, safety concepts from “Applying Pesticides Correctly” and label reading – both fertilizer and pesticide calculations and label interpretation.

The paper exam has been offered twice in Apopka since the launch last year with pass rates below 50% at both sessions.

Panhandle Horticulture Agents in partnership with FDACS (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) will be holding a review class May 10-11, 2018, in Panama City. This class is designed to reinforce lawn and ornamental pest control concepts with a focus on newly introduced material for the CPO Commercial Lawn & Ornamental exam, but is not a replacement for independent study.

Exams will not be given in conjunction with this class. Anyone interested in taking the CPO Commercial Lawn & Ornamental exam is still required to meet all mandated qualifications of education and/or experience. Applicants must then apply online https://aesecomm.freshfromflorida.com/ with FDACS to obtain a voucher and schedule the test with a local Extension office.

This class will also provide CEUs for current license holders in the following categories (please check 2018 CEU Commercial L&O Flyer for dates – not all CEUs available both days): Commercial L&O, Limited L&O, LCLM, O&T, Private Ag, Limited Urban Fertilizer. Core CEUs will be available both days.

Registration is customized based on attendees needs as one-day of your choice or two-day. If you plan to take the Comm. L&O Exam, it is strongly encouraged that you attend both days.

To register please visit https://lawn-ornamental.eventbrite.com

For questions about the class, please contact Julie McConnell at juliebmcconnell@ufl.edu

Green Industry Training Classes

Please check out our Upcoming Events page to see what classes are offered in the Panhandle for Green Industry Professionals.

If you’d like to have emails about upcoming events sent directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter at Subscribe UF/IFAS select “Green Industries in the Panhandle” under the “Lawn & Garden” tab.

Should a Red Maple be Planted There?

profileautumnblazemapleRed Maples are among the most frequently planted urban trees. Many of its features, especially its leaves are quite variable in form.  Its flowers, petioles, twigs and seeds are all red to varying degrees.  But, it is best known for its brilliant deep scarlet foliage in autumn.  Red Maple is adaptable to a wide range of site conditions, perhaps more so than any other tree in eastern North America.  It can be found growing in swamps, on poor dry soils, and most anywhere in between.  However, the tree health and appearance decreases when trees have more impervious surfaces around them.

North Carolina State University research has developed the impervious surface threshold (http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/impervious-surface-threshold-for-sustainable-urban-tree-planting-and-landscaping-design) which can be used to identify planting sites where Red Maple will thrive. Landscape architects, urban planners, arborists, landscapers, and other professionals can use these impervious surface thresholds to reduce Red Maple management and replacement costs.

Trees surrounded by less than 33% impervious surface cover will most likely be in good or excellent condition. Trees surrounded by 33%-66% are likely to be in fair condition.  Trees surrounded by 67% or more tend to be in poor condition.  Impervious surface cover can be measured by using the “Pace to Plant” technique.

The “Pace to Plant” technique is a tool to quickly and accurately quantify the amount of impervious surface surrounding a tree or planting site. Begin by standing at the planting site and identify the closest impervious surface edge.  Take 25 steps at 45⁰ to the nearest impervious edge, counting only the steps that land on the impervious surface.  Then, return to the identified planting site and begin walking 25 steps in the opposite direction.  Again, only count the steps that fall onto impervious surface.  If you encounter a building or wall, count the remainder of the steps as impervious.  One more time, return to the starting planting site.  This time turn 90° and begin walking 25 steps and count the steps that fall onto impervious surface.  Finally, turn around and go back to the planting site and begin walking in the opposite direction for 25 steps.  This will be the fourth time that steps falling onto the impervious surface are counted.  Having walked in four directions located 90°  from each other, completing an “X” through the planting site, the transect is final with a total of 100 steps have been taken.  By totaling the number of steps that fall onto impervious surfaces the percentage of the surrounding ground area can be determined.  For example, if the total number of steps falling on impervious surface is 65 (out of the potentially 100 steps), the percentage of impervious surface is 65%.  Using the established criteria, the site would not be suitable for planting a Red Maple.Frame4_PtP

While North Carolina State has only researched the Red Maple tree species, the “Pace to Plant” technique could be used to determine suitable sites for many different trees being considered for commercial urban planting.

By evaluating the impervious surface restrictions, better tree species selection may be possible. If the right tree for the right place is chosen well, stress to urban trees, including pest infestations, can be reduced.