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Upcoming Turf Conference Focuses on Desert Growing Conditions

ALBUQUERQUE - New Mexico's tough turf can take a beating, but it still needs a little tender loving care throughout the year. Advice to get that good grass going highlights the Southwest Turfgrass Association Conference Oct. 26-28 at the Marriott Pyramid North here.



Bernhard Leinauer, turfgrass specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service, examines a new grass stand. Presentations on turf and landscape management will highlight the Southwest Turfgrass Association Conference Oct. 25-28 at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North. (10/17/2005) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

"Our focus this year will be on turf and landscape management in a desert environment," said Bernhard Leinauer, a turfgrass specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. "New Mexico has a diverse climate, and there are always concerns about water quality and quantity."

More than 300 municipal turf specialists, golf course supervisors, greenhouse owners and homeowners from a three-state region will attend the three-day meeting, which is sponsored by NMSU Extension and the Southwest Turfgrass Association.

The conference will feature more than 20 presentations on a wide range of turf topics. Speakers will include NMSU faculty, Extension specialists and guest presenters from the University of New Mexico, Texas A&M, Purdue University, University of Nebraska and University of Minnesota.

Registration, which costs $200, includes two lunches, trade show admission and membership in the turfgrass association. A golf tournament will be held Oct. 25 for association members at the Isleta Eagle Golf Course, five miles south of Albuquerque.

The conference will include talks on establishing turf with saline irrigation, using the Internet to schedule irrigation and an update on effects of the recent drought. Golf course sessions will address use of low-mow Kentucky bluegrasses and seeded Zoysia grasses for fairways, along with use of phosphorus in fertilizers.

Other discussions will cover weed control, low maintenance grasses and salinity tolerance in landscape plants. In addition, speakers will focus on plant nutrition for athletic fields and use of Bermuda grass on an Albuquerque athletic field. There will be a review of a Santa Fe baseball field renovation.

Finally, there will be updates on insect control and herbicide use inestablishing turf.

The turfgrass event will also include about 60 product exhibits for sand and gravel, irrigation and chemical products, seed, turf, compost and aquatic supplies.

For more information or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, please call (505) 646-5280 in advance. Additional conference information and registration forms are available on NMSU's turfgrass and Extension Web site at http://turf.nmsu.edu.