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NEWS VOL. 3, NO. 1



Vikings Stadium Talk on March 27 At Spring Workshop at St. Thomas The MPSTMA Spring Workshop is set for Wed., March 27 at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The event will take place from 8 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. The Minnesota Vikings Football Club will send Jeff Anderson to the Spring Workshop to talk about the new stadium plans and answer any questions about the upcoming project. Anderson is beginning his 11th year with the Minnesota Vikings and his third as the team’s director of corporate communications. As director, Anderson plays a lead role in external and strategic communications for the Vikings. Along with serving as a team spokesman, he develops communication programs on various non-football initiatives, including public affairs, community relations, sales and marketing, business affairs and crisis communications. Anderson also assists with the Vikings social media strategy and provides media relations support for players and coaches. Most recently, Anderson worked closely with Vikings Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development Lester Bagley, as well as the organization’s internal stadium team and Vikings ownership in the quest to build a new home for Vikings football, an effort that culminated with the passage of stadium legislation last May. During the stadium effort, Anderson led media relations outreach, external and

strategic communications and grassroots development. He will continue to collaborate with the Vikings stadium team during the fouryear design and construction period leading to the new stadium’s opening in 2016. General members are encouraged to attend. This is an opportunity to learn first-hand what the stadium plans are. The workshop is also a chance to learn about phone apps and their place in the workplace. Brandon Gallagher, Director of Communications at Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancement will show different apps available for use during business hours. Playground maintenance is also on the Agenda. Eric Denning, Minnesota/Wisconsin Playground, will talk about good maintenance practices. As always, this is a chance to see your vendors as many will help sponsor the event by participating with tabletop displays. Commercial vendors are encouraged to take advantage of the tabletop displays opportunity at various sponsoring levels. This is a good chance to get on the same page with customers and prospects at the beginning of the new season. Registration forms were mailed in early March and also are available on-line at







MPSTMA President

I am excited to be on the MPSTMA Board as President. I have been a member for 10 years, but never took an active role in any of the committees within the MPSTMA. Well it’s my turn to step up to the plate. As I reviewed old newsletters, and the columns of the past Presidents, it is very clear they were all very passionate with the organization and the members within. I too share that passion. I have been in this crazy business for over 30 years and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I hope to bring something to the group and look forward to the opportunity to try. Our 2013 event schedule is almost complete. We begin at St. Thomas for our Spring Workshop where hosts Roger Weinbrenner, CSFM, and Bob Reed have put together a nice program. (See Page 1) The upcoming MPSTMA schedule is: March 27 - Spring Workshop at the University of St. Thomas June 11 - MPSTMA Picnic at Town & Country Fence June 21-22 - Minnesota / Iowa Chapter Clash July 17 - MPSTMA Picnic at Three Rivers Park District site August - Possible Tour-on-Wheels Outing September - Fall Workshop (time and date to be announced) As we head from winter to spring, things will get very busy for all of us, that’s what makes our business so exciting. I wish all members a productive and successful spring and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.



Rick Beane


Rick Beane President Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association

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What? There is Maintenance to No-Mow, Low-Input Areas? By MATT CAVANAUGH PBI Gordon Corporation

Many turfgrass managers over the past several years have looked at reducing the amount of heavily maintained turf they have. The vast majority of these areas are established with Kentucky bluegrass. Kentucky bluegrass is so widely used due to its dark green color, high turf density, recovery potential (through rhizomes) and improved pest resistance with the newer cultivars. However, in order to maintain turf quality and performance, Kentucky bluegrass requires high levels of water, fertilizer, pesticides and mowing frequency. These inputs have caused turf managers to consider or implement projects that convert Kentucky bluegrass to no-mow, low-input grasses (Picture 1). As a result, the University of Minnesota initiated research on this topic. The resulting information will provide some insight on the issues or maintenance involved with no-mow, low-input areas based on the University of Minnesota research and my personal experience with these areas.

Picture 1. Fine fescues in a no-mow, low-input situation provide a nice contrast to highly maintained areas and provide an aesthetic value through seedhead development.

Species to Use in No-Mow, Low-Input Areas Kentucky bluegrass is not ideal for no-mow, low-input areas (Picture 2). Research has shown that in the Upper Midwest, the cool-season species of fine fescue are the most useful species to use in a no-mow, low-maintenance situations due to their appropriate height and aesthetic value. In the Upper Midwest, warm-season grasses are slow to start and enter dormancy early in the fall allowing for increased weed pressure. Warm-season species are also often too tall for no-mow areas. The fine fescue species include Chewing’s fescue, hard fescue, sheep fescue, strong creeping red fescue and slender creeping red fescue. Broadleaf & Grassy Weed Invasion Broadleaf weed invasion is often the biggest issue turf managers face in no-mow, low-input situations. Some of the best cultural practices at reducing weed invasion are mowing, fertilization and irrigation, all of which are often not utilized in these areas. Broadleaf weeds seen in nomow areas include legumes like clover, black medic and birdsfoot trefoil (Picture 3) and hard to control weeds like Canada thistle (picture 4) and milkweed. Proper timing is critical for weed management. If weeds become too large, successful weed control should not be expected. Getting to these weeds when they are young and actively growing will be crucial. However, weed management is often put on the back burner for more pressing issues allowing

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No Mow, Low Input (Continued from Page 3) weeds to get out of hand. In this case, it is recommended to mow the area down, let it establish again for 2-3 weeks and then provide proper weed control (picture 5). This will allow for the weeds to reestablish, but are much smaller and easier to control. Grassy weeds such as reed canarygrass, quackgrass and orchardgrass are often a problem in these areas as well (Picture 6). Cool-season grassy weed control in other coolseason grasses is often very difficult to obtain. However, the fine fescues are very tolerant of two grassy weed herbicides which may allow for controlling these grassy weed species. Sethoxydim and fluazifop are grassy weed herbicides originally developed for use in broadleaf cropping systems like soybeans. Both are from the same family of herbicides, but there are differences between the two that should be recognized before using them to obtain proper weed control. These differences are outlined in Table 1.

Picture 2. Kentucky bluegrass in a no-mow, low-input situation.The turf falls over and becomes matted down resulting in an area that is highly susceptible to the disease rust as you can see in the picture.


Sethoxydim Applytosmall,activelygrowingplants. RapidlydegradedbyUVlight.Applywhencloudy. Applywhentemperaturesaregreaterthan70â °F. Reducedsoilmoisturereduceseffectiveness. Inhardwater:addacidifierorwaterconditioningagent. Needforacropoilsurfactant(consultlabel).

Fluazifop Applytosmall,activelygrowingplants. Notdegradedbysunlight Applywhentemperaturesaregreaterthan70â °F. Ineffectiveunderdroughtconditions. Notinfluencedbyhardwater. Non-ionicsurfactantneeded(consultlabel). Whenmixedwithauxinmimicherbicides; grassyweedcontrolisnotobtained. Clipping Management

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Although these areas are described as no-mow, they should be mowed once per year in the fall. If the biomass is left on site over the winter, they become matted down by snow resulting in a perfect environment for disease establishment (snow mold). Matted down areas will also inhibit new growth from emerging in the spring. If biomass is not removed, the areas will become thin making it a perfect environment for broadleaf weed invasion. Mowing should d be initiated in the fall (OctoberNovember) when the areas are dry. It often works to mow these areas several times starting at a high height (8-10 inches) and lowering the mower deck over several mowings (down to 2-3 inches) resulting in plant tissue being mulched back into the profile. Some cases may allow for one time mowing and blowing the clippings off site or collecting the clippings for disposal elsewhere (Picture 7). Be sure you have enough room for clipping disposal. Burning is (Continued on Page 5)




No Mow, Low Input (Continued from Page 4) not recommended for fine fescues as the growing point is often too high (little protection from soil) allowing them to be damaged by the fire. Warm-season grasses are better in a prescribed burning situation. Proper Site Assessment Not all sites are appropriate for no-mow, low-input areas that will be established with fine fescues. Sites with high soil fertility, high soil moisture or sites receiving irrigation will result in areas that are too thick, become matted down and provide a great site for grassy weed encroachment. Site selection should not be taken lightly. Areas with poor soil and less water often provide high quality no-mow, low-input areas. Keep in mind that it’s not as easy as killing off an area, planting some seed and watching it grow. There are different techniques that need to be implemented in order to keep these areas looking their best. Many people consider no-mow, low-input grasses and they get the idea that these areas are “no maintenance”. However, I chose to consider these areas as “different maintenance,” but have a place within your turf management area.

Picture 5. Canada thistle 3 weeks after mowing. Much easier to control.

Picture 6. Fine fescue areas receiving irrigation that has turned into quackgrass. Fine fescues dominate again where irrigation does not hit (top of picture).

Picture 7: Mowing and removal of clippings is a must in the fall. Mowing should be completed during periods of dry weather in the fall. (top of picture).

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Picture 4. Canada thistle that has over taken fine fescues by August 1st.




Social Media Use in Turfgrass Management:

THE BASICS By SAM BAUER Extension Educator for Turfgrass Science in the Urban Environment / University of Minnesota

Over the past several years social media applications have drastically changed the way we receive and disseminate information on turfgrass management topics. From microblogging applications like Twitter and Facebook, to Wordpress and Google blogs, and professional networking sites such as Linkedin; these applications have quickly demonstrated their value to the turfgrass industry. Let’s have a look at some applications that have become popular over recent years and discuss how they can be useful to you and your turfgass management program. Microblogging Microblogging is exchanging short, real time information in the form of sentences, photos, or links. One of the more popular microblogging platforms is Twitter, which allows content

to be posted in 140 characters or less, hence the term microblogging. Twitter users have the opportunity to provide and receive information via short messages known as “tweets.� Those of you reluctant to give it a try would most likely enjoy the information and ease of use. Here’s how to get started: 1) create an account and username at , 2) follow people that are interesting to you (twitter will provide a list of suggested people to follow), 3) build followers by tweeting (i.e. posting) interesting content, 4) link twitter to your other social media sites. That’s it. Once you get more involved you will find benefit from applications like “Twitterfeed� and “Tweetdeck�, which allow for automatic tweeting and scheduling of tweets. It’s difficult to write an article on social media without at least mentioning Facebook. Facebook would also



be a considered a microblogging application by most standards. With over one billion active users, Facebook is by far the most popular form of social media for all generations. Once designed for personal use and sharing information with friends in college, Facebook is now being used by the business world as well. If your goal is to get your turfgrass information across as many computer screens as possible, Facebook is your place. Google’s version of Facebook that has become popular over the last year is Google+. Currently Google+ has over 400 million registered users and counting. The main advantage that I see with Google+ is the ability to share content (or hide content) in different groups, called “circles.� You can keep work and personal circles separate and post different information to each. Google Hangouts (similar to Skype video chat) allow you to have a video conversation with multiple friends or colleagues at the same time. Additionally, educational workshops or virtual classrooms can easily be setup with the Hangouts application. Blogging Blog users have the ability to post (Continued on Page 7) SPRING 2013

Professional Social Networking Professional social networking sites allow individuals to post their resume, job qualifications, and view content from other professionals in the same industry. By far the most popular professional social networking tool is LinkedIn. A decade since its introduction, LinkedIn now has almost 200 million registered users in over 200 countries. Users of LinkedIn can form and join groups associated with their profession and interests. Personal connections on LinkedIn can also endorse your skills and write recommendations on your page. If you are on the job hunt, LinkedIn is a great place to post your resume and network with people in your industry. Be sure to keep your profile current, complete, and error free. Summary Using laptops, tablets and mobile phones are common for social media.

Social Media(Continued from Page 6) more detailed content, including text, photos, and videos. Personal and professional blogging sites have become a big hit over the last decade. Blogs are cheap and easy versions of real websites and can be set up in just minutes. There is no limit to the amount of content that you can post. Let’s take a look at a couple of the more popular blogging platforms. Wordpress is a popular blogging platform used by individuals and companies throughout the world. It offers a free, mobile capable interface that is very user friendly and available in many languages. You can also choose from hundreds of theme designs to suit your liking. Check out the blog of the University of Minnesota Turfgrass Science program, which utilizes Wordpress:

Social media applications and strategies are evolving more and more every day. This article is meant to be a basic introduction to some of the more popular applications. The applications that you utilize will ultimately depend on the goals that you have for integrating social media into your program. Specific goals could include networking with peers, seeking out information, or searching for a job. No matter what your goals are, I’m sure you will find some benefit using the social media applications mentioned in this article.

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UMN Turfgrass Science Blog: Much like Wordpress, Google Blogger is a popular, free blogging platform. One benefit of using Google Blogger is that it can be linked up with your other google accounts with the same username and password. Blogger’s mobile capabilities allow you to post content in locations without internet access directly from your mobile phone with a text message. Follow this link for more information on Blogger Mobile:

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Blogger Mobile: There are numerous other blogging platforms, such as:, Tumblr, Posterous, Typepad, and Weebly. Preference should be based on usability, price, and long term availability. Because blogs are viewable by everyone on the world wide web, choice is not based on who’s using what, as is the case with social networks.


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New Board Members Elected, Field of the Year Recognized At the January MPSTMA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis The MPSTMA Annual Meeting took place on January 10, 2013 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. New Board members were elected and the MPSTMA/TURFCO Field of the Year winners were recognized. (See photo below right) Rick Beane, Parks Superintendent for the City of St. Louis Park will be this year’s MPSTMA President. Outgoing President David Nozal, Tree Trust, will continue to serve on the Board as Past President. Others elected to the Board were: Ben Wallin, Assistant Superintendent at the National Sports Center, who was elected Vice President; Matt Grosjean, an athletic grounds worker of the University of Minnesota Athletic Facilities, was elected General Member Representative; Matt Cavanaugh, a professional products sales representative for PBI Gordon Corporation, was elected as Commercial Representative. Joe Churchill remains on the Board by being elected MTGF Representative. The out-going Board members were: Kevin Fernandez, White Bear Lake Schools; Amy Howard, City of Woodbury; Kevin Manley, JRK Seed and Turf Supply, and Steve Gilbertson, City of Lino Lakes. Individuals recognized as retiring this year were: Paul Edwardson, City of Bloomington; Dick Riemenschneider, City of Woodbury, and Vince Cockriel, City of Edina. Pictured on the left is out-going MPSTMA President David Nozal, Director of Project Development and Information Technology at Tree Trust. He is with new MPSTMA President Rick Beane, Parks Superintendent for the City of St. Louis Park.

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Pictured from the left, Curt Conkright and Ben Wallin, National Sports Center, along with Greg Brodd, TURFCO Manufacturing Representative, who presented the MPSTMA/TURFCO Field of the Year award on behalf of TURFCO Manufacturing at the 2013 MPSTMA Annual Meeting at the Minneapolis Convention Center on January 10.


CHAPTER CLASH - JUNE 21-22 The 2013 Chapter Clash will take place in Ankeny, IA. MPSTMA plays Iowa in softball, golf and bocce ball. More info at Contact Mike McDonald, CSFM at or Paul Griffin at if you want to play.

COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT The MPSTMA will select a field or park from entries submitted and provide the labor for the renovation project. Some materials will be donated or provided at a reduced cost. Volunteers will be needed to complete the renovation project as well as to care for the field after the renovations are complete. Deadline for entries is April 1. See for an application.



From the left: Matt Cavanaugh, PBI Gordon Corp., Commercial Member Rep.; Matt Grosjean, University of Minnesota, General Member Rep.; Ben Wallin, National Sports Center, Vice-President; Roger Weinbrenner CSFM, University of St. Thomas, Treasurer; Jon Almquist, Commercial Member Rep., The Toro Company; Joe Churchill, Reinders, Inc., MTGF Rep.; Rick Beane, City of St. Louis Park, President; Paul Griffin, City of Woodbury, MTGF Rep., and David Nozal, Tree Trust, Past President. Missing from photo: Lowell Luebeck, City of Plymouth, General Member Rep. For contact info, go to

The MPSTMA and TURFCO Manufacturing will partner to select a ‘Field of the Year.’ The field must be located in Minnesota. Other criteria includes: resourcefulness of staff, budget and maintenance practices; condition and aesthetics of the athletic field, and the number and type of games and events. Deadline for entries is October 15. See for application.

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Toro Hosts MPSTMA Network Picnic At its Shakopee Facility in February On February 26, The Toro Company hosted a MPSTMA Network Picnic at its Shakopee plant. About 40 MPSTMA members were able to attend. The facility in Shakopee is primarily a metal machining, fabrication and stamping facility. Toro manufactures their mower reels along with other mower parts and components using high tech equipment and robotics. The tour of the facility began at 10:00 a.m. and lasted about an hour and a half. Attendees split into small groups for the tour. The group was then treated to lunch. Thanks to Toro’s Peter Whitacre for organizing the event. Also thanks to Toro’s Jon Almquist who was an on-site host along with MTI Distributing’s Bob Frank. Before the tour, Toro’s Bruce Kent who gave an overview of what happens at the Toro’s Shakopee Plant. The next two MPSTMA picnics scheduled are on June 11 at Town & Country Fence in Brooklyn Park, and July 17 at a Three Rivers Park District site.

Bruce Kent, The Toro Company, addressed MPSTMA members on Feb. 26 at The Toro Company’s Shakopee Plant. He explained what happens at the site and where the parts and components eventually end up going.

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A publication for park and sports turf managers.


A publication for park and sports turf managers.