Ontario Turfgrass Symposium 2024

Posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2023

Written by GTI Admin

The Leading Edge of Information - Feb 21-22, 2024. TurfSymposium.ca

We are pleased to announce that the next Ontario Turfgrass Symposium will be held at the University of Guelph's Rozanski Hall on February 21 and 22, 2024! If you are a turfgrass manager in sports turf, golf, sod production or lawncare, this educational event is for you! Come earn your CEC's and network with your industry colleagues!

Early Bird registration for OTS 2024 ends January 19, 2024 - Online registration now open!  Also stay tuned to our social media outlets for updates on programming. As a member of a partnering turfgrass industry professional association (ORFA, NSGA, STC, and PLCAO), you qualify for the professional association discount rate - please check your email inbox for the discount code.

Here is a brief overview of our educational programming for 2024:

  • Matt Legg: Covers the fundamentals of the art of pesticide application, including product formulation, mode of action, physical compatibility tests, and best practices for control product application.
  • Trevor Warner: Shares expertise on the reconstruction of Woodstock's baseball field, emphasizing the connection between sports excellence and maintaining ball fields.
  • Dr. Scott McElroy: Discusses the game-changing technology of autonomous mowers, highlighting their transition to large-scale virtual zoned units and the associated terminology and benefits.
  • Dr. Katerina Jordan: Explores the shifts in the turfgrass industry over the past 20 years, driven by legislation, environmental stewardship, and social awareness, considering future economic and environmental aspects.
  • Dr. Nancy Xiao: Addresses the importance of understanding fertilizer and supplement regulations in the Canadian market, providing insights into industry perspectives and the registration process.
  • Robert Heggie: Introduces BMO Field, delving into its history, investments, hybrid grass, and the preparation for the 2026 World Cup bid, including detailed field testing practices.
  • Dr. Alec Kowalewski: Presents integrated pest management practices for tall fescue, discussing mowing height, fertility rates, irrigation, and their impact on winter quality and disease activity.
  • Dr. Eric Watkins: Explores improving knowledge and management of winter stresses on golf greens in cold climates, providing insights from ongoing research projects.
  • Dr. Sara Stricker: Summarizes a study on the impact of social media campaigns #NoMowMay and #LeaveTheLeaves on turf quality and weed establishment.
  • Dr. Casey Reynolds: Explores consumer perceptions of natural grass spaces, discussing current and future trends in turfgrass production and their impact on purchasing decisions.
  • Ed McNab: Outlines the development of DMI resistance in dollar spot diseases in Canada. He introduces a field kit enabling turf managers to assess leaves for DMI-resistant isolates on-site. McNab investigates a site with a high number of dollar spot isolates highly resistant to DMIs.
  • Jason Winter: Emphasizes the importance, content, negotiations, and timing involved in creating a comprehensive employment agreement. He covers industry-specific highlights, information on market standards for compensation and benefits, and key sections in an employment agreement. The presentation concludes with a summary, Q&A, and open floor for discussions.
  • Dr. Eric Watkins: Discusses the use of turfgrass mixtures as a sustainable lawn care strategy. He addresses the stressors lawns face throughout the year and advocates for leveraging new turfgrass cultivars developed to withstand various stresses. Watkins shares research from the University of Minnesota on using mixtures for low-input landscapes.
  • ORFA Panel Discussion: Explores reasons why some homeowners prefer not to have sports fields within walking distance. Issues such as noise, light pollution, waste management, and stray balls impact public concerns. The panel discusses the need for careful planning and exceptional management to find a balance between meeting community needs and maintaining community peace.
  • Kevin Doyle & Al Schwemler: Discusses the role of golf course superintendents in Ontario as professional land managers. He highlights regulatory requirements, such as the Integrated Pest Management Accreditation Program and the Permit to Take Water. Doyle introduces the Best Management Practices (BMP) for Ontario Golf Courses, emphasizing its history, integration of regulations, benefits, and guidance on building a facility BMP.
  • Mike Greer: Presents the Rick Hansen Foundation's mission to create an inclusive world for people with disabilities. He introduces the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification, a rating system that goes beyond compliance, providing accessibility levels and recommendations for improvement in the built environment.
  • Al Pinsonneault: Discusses the challenges of navigating unrealistic specifications when providing landscape management services. He emphasizes the importance of conducting a thorough review, transparent communication, and managing expectations to avoid disputes.
  • Dr. Scott McElroy: Provides a summary of the current classification of autonomous technology. Attendees gain insights into exploring this technology's potential use in turfgrass management.
  • Organic Matter Management Panel: Addresses questions related to what organic matter is, how to measure it, optimal amounts, and strategies to achieve optimal organic matter levels, using provincial OM246 test data and performance metrics.
  • Michael Stangl: Shares insights on regenerative lawn care. He advocates for healthy soil practices, avoiding synthetic chemicals, and collaborating with nature to transform lawns and landscapes into vibrant, pesticide-free sanctuaries.
  • Dr. Eric Lyons: Presents data from a project supported by the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation. The project aims to improve sports field turf conditions through overseeding with different grass varieties, focusing on drought resistance, weed management, and winter hardiness.

For more general information, see the OTS 2024 homepage.


Ontario Turfgrass Symposium

For general inquiries or comments, please connect with us: gti@uoguelph.ca

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