Writer: Norman Martin
LAS CRUCES - Despite drenching monsoon rains across southern New Mexico this summer, a New Mexico State University turf grass expert advises keeping a watchful eye on water use.
Efficient subsurface irrigation systems and new drought-tolerant and low water use grasses will take center stage at an NMSU turf and tree field day Sept. 23. "Our entire program is geared toward water conservation," said Bernhard Leinauer, turfgrass specialist with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the program starts at 8 a.m. at NMSU's new golf course club house at 3000 Champions Drive, just east of the main campus. The $10 registration fee includes a continental breakfast and lunch.
The half-day program offers something for everyone from homeowners to professional turfgrass managers, Leinauer said. The program will kick off with a welcome from Jerry Schickedanz, dean of NMSU's College of Agriculture and Home Economics, followed by updates on irrigation studies, turf variety trials and tree research.
In addition to visiting two saline and water conditioning turf studies under way at the golf course, buses will be available at 9 a.m. to take participants to nearby Fabian Garcia Research Center for an update on several other projects, including a 41,000-square-foot series of subsurface drip and sprinkler irrigated plots.
Leinauer and his research team will present results from their statewide research project of 32 different grasses in side-by-side trials for hardiness, cold tolerance and water use. They'll also review results of water conservation studies using creeping bentgrass, buffalograss and a promising salt-tolerant variety called seashore paspalum.
Dana Christensen, a turf grass breeder and manager of Colorado State University's Horticulture Field Research Center, will review new seeded saltgrass varieties.
Rolston St. Hilaire, an assistant professor with NMSU's agronomy and horticulture department, will discuss irrigation requirements of native trees and a potential new landscape tree for New Mexico, the drought-tolerant bigtooth maple.
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.
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