Turf Star/Western Steps Up for NTA

Turf Star/Western Equipment has once again shown its dedication to turfgrass research in the Northwest by stepping up and taking on the lead corporate sponsor role for the 72nd annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association.

Jeff Perry is the regional manager for Turf Star/Western Equipment and is supported by a talented Northwest staff that includes Carl Taylor, Shawn Frisbee, Roy Studebaker, Ashley Burke, Kelly Bowen, and Bill Franzke. With this commitment as the lead sponsor for the NTA Conference, Turf Star/Western Equipment plays a major role in assisting the NTA, which distributed more than $46,000 in turfgrass research and education programs this year.

“It’s great that Jeff and Turf Star/Western Equipment has decided to help us once again,” said Jacob Close, the president of the NTA and the superintendent at Sudden Valley Golf and Country Club. “We’ll give them some great exposure at our conference in Walla Walla, and leading up to it, and they help us continue our mission of helping turfgrass professionals with education and information. It’s a great win-win for all involved.”

As part of the sponsorship package, Turf Star/Western Equipment will get four free registrations to the conference in Walla Walla, Oct. 28-30. The company and its branding will have prominent positions in all activities at Walla Walla, as well as the NTA web site.

Plenty of sponsorship slots are still available for the NTA Conference this year and are designed to fit all budgets.

Click here for a breakdown of sponsorship opportunities.

More information on the conference and sponsorships is available by clicking here or by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Sponsorships Open for NTA Conference

A chance to get heavily involved with the 72nd annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association awaits sponsors of the three-day event this October in Walla Walla.

Various levels of sponsorship are available, and free registrations to the conference are included in most of the sponsorship packages. Maximum exposure for your company is available through a printed conference program, through the conference web site, through its email blasts and through visual and verbal recognition during the conference.

Click here for a breakdown of the various sponsorship levels and the benefits with each category.

The conference Oct. 28-30 will be an enticing affair, starting with golf Sunday afternoon at Wine Valley, followed by a wine dinner at nearby Three Rivers Winery. Monday will include breakfast, educational sessions, lunch, golf and then dinner, all at Walla Walla Country Club. The Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla will handle overnight accommodations and be the site of the educational session Tuesday.

Click here for the current schedule of activities for the three days.

Dr. Elizabeth Guertal from Auburn University is one of the great educators who will share their insights with our group. Also on the docket will be presentations about the extraordinary revamping of Rolling Hills Country Club in Los Angeles with superintendent Bob Vaughey and Nick Schaan from the David McLay Kidd Design firm.

More information on sponsorships and the conference in general is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Field Day Set for Pure Seed in Oregon

The Pure Seed/Tee 2 Green Field Day is set for Tuesday, June 26 at the Pure-Seed Testing West Research Facility in Canby, Ore.

Activities actually start on Monday, June 25 with a 5:30 p.m. BBQ at the Pure Seed family fishing dam in Woodburn. The evening will include a BBQ, wine, beer, fishing, and canoeing.

The Field Day on the 26th starts with the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance brunch at 9 a.m. at the Canby facility. A research tour will be held at 1 p.m. and will include guest speakers and then a dinner and putting contests will begin at 4 p.m.

Click here to register online.

More information is available by calling Pure Seed at 503-651-2130.

Registration Opens for NTA Conference

Registration is now open, with an enticing early bird special, for the 2018 annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association at Walla Walla, Oct. 28-30.

The early bird special rate is a great opportunity for turfgrass managers, regardless of the size of their operating budget, to be able to attend the conference to learn from some great speakers and network with other turfgrass professionals.

The early bird rate is $495 for the three-day conference and is available just to those who sign up for double occupancy. You must register by Aug. 31. If you need a roommate, let us know and we can help with those arrangements.

Click here for the registration form and more information on the conference.

Dr. Elizabeth Guertal from Auburn University is one of the great educators who will share their insights with our group. Also on the docket will be presentations about the extraordinary revamping of Rolling Hills Country Club in Los Angeles with superintendent Bob Vaughey and Nick Schaan from the David McLay Kidd Design firm.

The conference opens Sunday, Oct. 28, with golf at Wine Valley Golf Club and then a wine dinner that night at the nearby Three Rivers Winery. On Monday, Walla Walla Country Club will be the site for the morning education sessions as well as golf in the afternoon and dinner in the evening. The Marcus Whitman Hotel will provide the overnight accommodations and will be the site for the Tuesday morning educational session.

The regular double occupancy rate after Aug. 31 will be $550 and the single occupancy rate will be $675. Both those rates are considerably less than recent NTA conferences.

More information on registration and the conference in general is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

NTA Donates $46,000 Toward Research

The Northwest Turfgrass Association will be donating $46,160 to worthy turfgrass research and education programs in 2018 as it continues to be a leading benefactor for the golf industry in the Northwest. Over the past four years, the NTA has donated almost $200,000 to various programs.

There will be three separate research studies at Oregon State University that the NTA will be funding, totaling $31,160. All three studies pertain to Microdochium Patch, which is a consistent disease problem for turfgrass managers in the Northwest. The largest financial contribution will be $11,141 for a study that will compare iron sulfate versus chelated iron for the suppression of Microdochium Patch on annual bluegrass putting greens in the absence and presence of phosphorous acid.

In all for 2018, four different entities in the Northwest will be supported through the grants, which were decided by the NTA Board of Directors after recommendations from the Research Committee.

The grants from the NTA are made possible through the numerous and generous contributions from clubs and individuals throughout the Northwest.

For 2018, after extensive consideration and recommendations from the NTA Research Committee, the Board of Directors awarded the following research and education grants:

Comparing iron sulfate versus chelated iron for the suppression of Microdochium Patch on annual bluegrass putting greens in the absence and presence of phosphorous acid:
Oregon State University—$11,141.00

Effects of winter nitrogen, phosphate and potassium rates on Microdochium Patch:
Oregon State University—$10,020.00

Quantifying the long-term effects of alternative Microdochium Patch management techniques on sand-based annual bluegrass putting green performance over multiple seasons:
Oregon State University—$9,999.00

Applied research putting green:
Walla Walla Community College—$5,000.00

Reducing turf stress by increasing root growth and density with endophytic bacteria:
AGPW, LLC—$5,000.00

First Green Links as Labs
First Green Foundation—$2,500.00

Bill Griffith Turfgrass Management Scholarship:
Walla Walla Community College—$2,500.00

For more information on how to apply for grants for 2019, or to contribute directly to the NTA, contact Paul Ramsdell, executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

NTA to Join Forces With CTRF

In a move that will expand the scope of turfgrass research available to its members, the Board of Directors of the Northwest Turfgrass Association is proud to announce a new partnership with the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation.

The NTA will join nine other regional associations and the combined financial resources of the CTRF will result in a wider selection of proposals for the NTA to examine and then support financially.

“This move will be a great benefit to our members,” said NTA president Jacob Close, the superintendent at Sudden Valley Golf & Country Club in Bellingham. “We will have access to research proposals coming in from all over North America. After examining those proposals, we will be able to determine which studies would best benefit the turfgrass managers in the Northwest, and then offer our financial support. The end result will be more relevant, timely research information for our members.”

This move will not be a significant change in how the NTA operates on an annual basis. The NTA will continue to make its own annual call for proposals and will analyze and support those individual proposals as it sees fit. Joining the CTRF just gives the NTA an additional avenue to examine and support more turfgrass research.

Noting the similar objectives of funding research, the CTRF accepted the NTA request to join its association.

“On behalf of the CTRF and its Directors, I would like to welcome the Northwest Turfgrass Association in partnering with us and I look forward to your participation,” said CTRF chair Paul Schofield.

Going forward, the NTA will be included in the CTRF’s annual research project call for proposals that sees 12 to 18 submissions annually from a variety of institutions.  Nine currently active projects are receiving approximately $200,000 in CTRF group funding.

More information on this partnership is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Historic NTA Publications Now Online

Some fantastic historical turfgrass research articles from the archives of the Northwest Turfgrass Association now are available online, thanks to the Turfgrass Information Center at Michigan State University.

More than 1,000 articles pertaining to turfgrass issues in the Northwest and written by the leaders in the industry now can be easily accessed online.

The NTA’s publication from 1959 to 1997, Northwest Turfgrass Topics, is available by following this link: https://d.lib.msu.edu/nwtgt.

The written proceedings and studies from the annual conference of Northwest Turfgrass Association, starting with the third annual conference back in 1950 at the State College of Washington, are available by following this link: https://d.lib.msu.edu/nwtgc.

These archives, an ongoing cooperative project of the NTA and the Michigan State University Libraries, features public access to both periodicals as they were published and as copies are available.

All turf-related articles from within these materials, more than 1,000 in all, also are indexed and linked from within the Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database: http://tic.msu.edu/tgif.

For a full list of all publicly-available and restricted-access archives hosted by TIC, please see: https://tic.msu.edu/browse.

Any questions about the NTA material can be directed to Paul Ramsdell, executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Complete NTA Roster Gets Updated

The complete roster of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, with members from North Carolina to British Columbia, has been updated.

The roster is available by clicking here and has a permanent home on the NTA web site.

If any further updates on your contact information is needed, please contact Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

NTA Conference Lands Top Speakers

The 72nd edition of the annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association has landed some top-notch national speakers for the gathering Oct. 28-30 in Walla Walla.

Dr. Elizabeth Guertal, a professor of turfgrass management and soil fertility at Auburn University, will give a presentation during each educational session at the conference. Her areas of expertise include soil fertility, turfgrass management and fertilizer nutrients in the turfgrass environment. Some of her students at Auburn University were on the winning team at the Collegiate TurfBowl at the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio.

Also on the docket for Walla Walla will be presentations about the extraordinary revamping of Rolling Hills Country Club in Los Angeles. To talk about the project that included moving 6 million cubic yards of dirt will be Bob Vaughey, the superintendent at Rolling Hills, and Nick Schaan of the David McLay Kidd Design firm who was the hands-on architect for the project.

The complete educational lineup will include numerous Northwest speakers and there will be presentations about the various research studies and education the NTA will support in 2018.

The conference schedule calls for golf at Wine Valley Golf Club on Sunday night, followed by a wine dinner at the nearby Three Rivers Winery. Education sessions will be held Monday and Tuesday mornings with another round of golf Monday afternoon at Walla Walla Country Club.

More information in the coming months will be available at www.nwturfgrass.net. You can also contact Paul Ramsdell, the Executive Director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360 for more information.

Jacob Close Elected President of NTA

Jacob Close, the superintendent at Sudden Valley Golf & Country Club in Bellingham, Wash., has been elected president of the Northwest Turfgrass Association in a vote of its Board of Directors.

Close is in his third year on the Board of Directors and spent the past year as the Secretary of the NTA. He graduated from Oregon State University and worked previously at Seattle Golf Club, Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle and the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha, Ore.. He is a former president of the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association.

Mike Bednar, the superintendent at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash., was elected vice-president. Bednar, a graduate of Washington State University, also is a member of the Inland Empire Golf Course Superintendents Association.

Cory Brown, the superintendent of Overlake Golf & Country Club in Medina, Wash., was elected Secretary and Blane Hezel, the superintendent at Useless Bay Golf & Country Club in Langley, Wash., was elected Treasurer.

Bednar was named chairman of the Research Committee and Jason Habeck of Toro was put in charge of the Education Committee.

Click here to see the complete list of the Board of Directors. Click on the following links to see the breakdown of committees (Education, Research).

Wrapping Up the NTA Conference at Suncadia

The 71st annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association is in the books after three days of great golf, speakers and weather at Suncadia Resort near Cle Elum.

The NTA would like to thank all the participants and all the speakers, especially the headliners Dr. Frank Wong of Bayer Crop Science and J. Paul Robertson from Victoria Golf Club, for making the event a success.

We’ll do it all again next year, Oct. 28-30 at Wine Valley Golf Course and Walla Walla Country Club.

Now, it’s time to wrap up some final items from 2017.

Board of Director elections

Three new members of the Board of Directors of the NTA were elected during the annual business meeting. New members of the NTA Board, starting three-year terms are:

Cory Brown, Overlake Golf & Country Club
Blane Hezel, Useless Bay Golf & Country Club
Rick Michel, Broadmoor Golf Club

The NTA would like to thank Marcus Harness of Sahalee Country Club and Thaddeus Lalley of Everett Golf & Country Club for their years of service on the Board. Steve Link, who was in the same election class as Marcus and Thaddeus, will stay on the board as the immediate past president.

Trainer talk notes

Stan Kazymerchyk of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley, B.C., gave a great talk on training employees in a productive and consistent manner.

He wanted everyone to have access to his notes, so click here for those.

Golf results

Click on the following links to see the golf results.

Sunday Golf Results at Rope Rider
Monday Golf Results at Tumble Creek

Golf photos

Carl Taylor of Western Equipment/Turf Star was busy during both days of golf taking some wonderful photos. Check them out, and find yourself.

Sunday Photos at Rope Rider
Monday Photos at Tumble Creek

Poa Annua Control Research Reports

Dr. William Johnston and Charles Golob from the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University have prepared a research report on their study on “Biological Control of Poa Annua in Fairways.”

The Northwest Turfgrass Association donated $15,000 toward this research in both 2016 and 2017.

Year One report.
Year Two report.

OSU Presents Update Report on Research

The Turfgrass Management Program at Oregon State University—namely Dr. Alec Kowalewski, Brian McDonald and Clint Mattox—has prepared updates on its research on Fungicide Alternatives Management of Microdochium Patch and Anthracnose.

The Northwest Turfgrass Association donated $15,000 toward this research in 2016 and $40,000 toward similar research in 2015.

Click here for the written report.

Mattox's Microdochium Patch research available

Clint Mattox has completed his masters’ dissertation at Oregon State University and his research is available to you, thanks to the donations the Northwest Turfgrass Association has made to the turfgrass management program at Oregon State.

“Managing Microdochium Patch Using Non-Traditional Fungicides on Annual Bluegrass Putting Greens” is available by following this link: http://hdl.handle.net/1957/57194

Here is a brief description of the research:

Currently, fungicide applications are the predominant method of control for the cool-weather pathogen Microdochium patch. Increasing pesticide restrictions have generated concern regarding management of Microdochium patch. Three separate field trials exploring non-traditional fungicides were conducted between 2013 and 2015 on an annual bluegrass sand-based putting green at the Lewis Brown Horticulture Farm in Corvallis, Ore. The objective of the first project was to evaluate the effects of the cultural practice of rolling in combination with mineral oil and fertility on Microdochium patch incidence. The objective of the second trial was to quantify the effects on Microdochium patch incidence using biological control products in combination with rolling. Finally, the objective of the third experiment was to quantify the effects of different nitrogen and iron sulfate rates in combination with simulated golfer traffic on the effects of Microdochium patch incidence as well as turfgrass recuperation.

Mattox currently is working on his PhD at Oregon State and is continuing his exploration of “Alternatives to Non-Traditional Fungicides.”

2018 Conference Sponsors


Sponsorship Opportunities