Water resources continue to dwindle as drought conditions linger around the state, and the record summer heat, extreme winter cold and limited rain have played havoc on landscapes, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Research personnel.
Turfgrass breeder Dr. Ambika Chandra compares varieties in the greenhouse at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kathleen Phillips)
Texas A&M AgriLife will host an expo May 16 to help industry professionals understand how to cope with such extreme environmental conditions.
The Turfgrass, Landscape and Irrigation Expo, themed “Water Efficiency in the Urban Environment,” will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 17360 Coit Road in Dallas, home of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass breeding program.
“This statewide event is designed to highlight new drought tolerant turfgrass varieties from the Texas A&M AgriLife breeding program, innovations in irrigation technology and new landscape best management practices,” said Dr. Ambika Chandra, AgriLife Research associate professor of turfgrass breeding and genetics and expo coordinator.
Texas A&M AgriLife Research faculty and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists will present field tours on topics ranging from turf selection and management; irrigation scheduling, management and subsurface drip; pest and disease management; nutrient management and the environment; new technologies and educational demonstrations, said Clint Wolfe, program manager for the urban water program.
Preregistration can be done online at http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses. Registration, including lunch, is $55. Continuing education units are being sought to be offered for both licensed irrigators, Texas Department of Agriculture licensed private pesticide applicators, as well as Texas Nursery and Landscape Association professionals. Categories and hours accepted for recertification will be posted on the website once approved.
Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the expo beginning at 8:30 a.m. The morning will include field tours of the facility, research plots and educational demonstrations. After lunch and a break to meet with vendors in the expo area, breakout classes will be offered until 3 p.m., when the program moves back outdoors for more hands-on training, Chandra said.
The day concludes with a happy hour in the expo hall and an “Ask the Expert” opportunity for participants to ask any additional questions they may have. The expo ends at 6 p.m.
“The overall purpose is to transfer new research findings to professionals in the industry in an atmosphere of learning and information exchange,” Chandra said. “We want to better educate turfgrass producers, growers, landscapers and irrigators on new best management practices to be more water efficient while maintaining a healthy and green lawn.”