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Texas Sports Turf Managers Association txstma.org

Providing education and training for safer and healthier sports turf facilities

Winter 2016

2016 Annual Meeting Held in San Antonio The Texas STMA Annual Meeting was held in December at the Gonzalez Convention Center, in downtown San Antonio. The event was well attended by TXSTMA who were treated to a great lunch, super door prizes, a 2016 Review by President Kevin Lebanik and the chance to network with fellow members from around the state. The event was held in conjunction with the Texas Turfgrass Association Annual Conference and Trade Show.

Congratulations to Christopher Neeley of the City of Grapevine (right) who was awarded the Cody Hobbs Scholarship for continuing education opportunities for professional members. Student Kristen Burnett (not pictured), a turfgrass management student from Texas A&M was awarded the Dr. James McAfee Scholarship. Thanks to all who stopped by the TXSTMA booth at the trade show. It was great to see all of our members in attendance and make new friends!


Well, it’s that time of year again! Now that we are freight training towards the end of another year, we always reflect back on the past year. We remember the successes and highlights fondly. We replay the moments that we wish the outcome was different. Hopefully you have more found memories than replays in your reflection. As my man Confucius is noted for saying “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” When I reflect back I see a very busy year. I remember a busy year with a lot of great memories. A year in which growth was the challenge and growth was certainly embraced. We just finished the TXSTMA Annual Meeting where we reviewed the year. Our membership & sponsorship numbers have never been better. We had Board of Director elections where we were able to celebrate the hard work of so many great volunteers and elect some new Directors to help continue the growth and hard work. We had six field days in total this year, stretching from Amarillo to Houston. We have 378 members. That is a lot of events and a lot of GREAT sports turf managers. The TXSTMA has had a great year because and only because of all the GREAT turf managers who make it. Great because of the outstanding members who volunteer to host events, who volunteer to help on the BOD, who ambassador for the TXSTMA by telling their peers and mentoring others. I hope that everyone takes time with their families to reflect on their success but more importantly to enjoy the present and to look excitedly towards the future. “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. “Ralph Waldo Emerson Please let me know if there is anything I can ever help with in your year of growth! Sincerely Kevin Lebanik

817-659-9111 cell


Details soon! Your Board of Directors is working very hard to set up a great program for 2017. Have you considered hosting an event? We would love to visit you and learn about the great things going on at your facility. Please contact the TXSTMA office or your local board representative and let’s get you on the schedule!

Thank you to our 2016 Star Sponsors. Your generous support is greatly appreciated.


2017 Board of Directors Elections President Kevin Lebanik was elected to serve a second term. Below are the 2017 Executives and Directors. Thanks to all who have stepped up to serve the association in 2017. Your dedication and service is well recognized and appreciated.

2017 Executive Board

Committee Directors

President - Kevin Lebanik

Region 1 DFW - Allen Reed CSFM

President Elect - Brian Piper

Region 2 Central - Weston Floyd

Past President - Rusty Walker CSFM

Region 3 Houston - Kevin Hansen

Treasurer - Nick McKenna

Communications - Dan Bergstrom CSFM

1st Commercial VP - Mike Estlinbaum

Advertising - Will Dutton

2nd Commercial VP - John Kearns

Scholarships - Chris Pitts Membership - Greg Carroll

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No TXSTMA event is complete without door prizes and happy members. Our big winner for the day was Deana Thompson (left) of the College Station ISD who won the $100 door prize for stopping by the trade show booth. Thanks again to our sponsors and all who joined us in San Antonio for our Annual Meeting. Below is our 2016 Financial Report.


Region 2: Garrett Reddehase - Dell Diamond (left) Weston Floyd - University of Texas Austin (right)

Region 3: Dan Bergstrom CSFM - Minute Maid Park (left) Brad Detmore - Constellation Park (right)

West Texas Region: Greg Carroll - Amarillo ISD (left) Region 1: David Yarbrough - Texas Christian University (right)


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Attending the STMA Conference in Orlando? Don’t Miss these Fun Events Participate in the STMA Scavenger Hunt! STMA is introducing a fun, interactive game at the STMA Annual Conference. Take the challenge to complete tasks and answer questions. For example, you may be asked to: Attend the STMA General Session and snap a photo of the keynote presenters. The app presents a Leader Board that shows participants' rankings -- first place and below. Win the top prize: Two Airline Tickets to anywhere (each valued at $500). The second -place winner will receive Three Nights hotel at the 2018 Conference in Ft. Worth, TX, and third place will win a $100 gift card. A link to the app will be in STMA's conference app, 2017 STMA Show, which will be available soon in the App Store. The game will be activated on Tues., Jan. 24 and close on Fri., Jan. 27, at 1 p.m. This program is brought to you by Title Sponsor Syngenta and supporting sponsors Barenbrug, ENP Turf, Floratine, Jacobsen, John Deere, Intelligro, Landmark Turf & Native Seed, Nature Safe, Pioneer Athletics, Sunbelt Rentals and TruMark Athletics. GrasStains Seeks Family Photos A highlight of the STMA Awards banquet each year is the unveiling of the new GrasStains video. Produced by member Steve Legros, it shows the wonderful passion of sports turf managers and the fun and challenges of the profession. This year's theme is "Family." Send your digital photos and video clips of fun times, goofy pics, family portraits -- on and off the field -- to Steve at Steve@Legrowsinc.com. If your file is large, contact STMAinfo@STMA.org to determine the best method of delivery. Bowl to Raise $ for SAFE The SAFE Foundation, STMA's charity, is hosting a night of bowling on Tues., Jan. 24, at the AMF Bowling Lanes in Orlando during the STMA annual conference. Gather a team of four or five peers to compete to win prizes. Transportation to and from the Coronado Springs Resort, dinner, and drinks will be provided. Prizes will be given to the teams with the highest points and for other games. Help SAFE fund scholarships and educational outreach by participating in this event and start off the conference with a fun night! Thank you to Title Sponsor FIELDS Inc. and Drink Sponsor Beacon Athletics for supporting this fundraising event.Register here.


2017 Sponsorship Program FIRST, we want to say a great big THANK YOU to our generous and wonderful sponsors who made 2016 terrific. Thanks to their generosity and support, we were able to host Field Days throughout the state and provide first class education, product and equipment demonstrations, yummy meals and refreshments, and outstanding networking opportunities.

We couldn't do it without you, and we can not do it without you in 2017! Early in 2017, the TXSTMA will publish sponsorship opportunities and we hope you will consider joining us. Check your email or visit txstma.org in January for all the details. You can also contact Chapter Executive Carol Cloud or any board member for more information. See you in 17!

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Are You Connected with TXSTMA? We hope you are enjoying all of the new communication vehicles we are using to reach our members! Please make sure your email address is current so you don’t miss out. Let us know at txstmainfo@yahoo.com You can also “Like” us on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter!

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Air2G2 Scoops Innovation Award Reprinted from The Golf Wire The coveted 2016 HSBC Golf Business Forum Innovation Award, which recognizes the industry's most creative and dynamic individuals, was presented Tuesday night to Glen Black from Air2G2 at the conclusion of day one at the world's premier golf business event at the Marriott Sawgrass Resort and Spa. The HSBC Golf Business Forum brings together international golf industry executives and decision makers for the largest and most significant gathering in the world and is being held in the United States for the first time. A resident of nearby Jacksonville, Florida, Glen Black was presented with the award at the HSBC Golf Business Forum Gala Dinner, having been selected by a panel of ten industry experts including Giles Morgan (Global Head of Sponsorship & Events, HSBC), Dr. Paul Hawkins (Founder/ Creator, Hawk-Eye Innovations), Andrea Sartori (Global Head of Sport, KPMG), Jim Nugent (Founder and Publisher, Global Golf Post) and Joe Beditz (President and Chief Executive Officer, National Golf Foundation), beating the competition from a short list of five from more than 50 entries. Commenting on the becoming the first American winner in the award's history, Glen said, "We're absolutely thrilled to be here at the HSBC Golf Business Forum and humbled to be included in the short list for the award, let alone take away the prize. We're really proud of our innovative approach to agronomy and truly believe our product has changed the landscape of the business and being recognized like this means a lot to us. One of our aims is to bring our product in to the forefront of every groundskeeper, agronomist and owner's mind and hopefully this recognition will help us achieve that." The Air2G2 aerification machine, manufactured by Jacksonville's GT AirInject, Inc., revolutionizes how turf managers on golf courses, sports fields and at landscape companies think about aerification practices. The Air2G2 injects air into the soil profile and is the only machine on the market today that utilizes air injection technology, allowing for healthier turf and immediate access instead of a delay for recovery with the usual plugging process. Air2G2 is distributed internationally and is used at more than 80 world-class golf facilities such as Medinah, Muirfield Village, Oakland Hills, Ridgewood and Royal Dornoch and at top sports facilities for the U.S. Military Academy, Chicago Cubs, Manchester United Football Club, Boston Red Sox and Green Bay Packers.

Congratulations to Jeff and Rick Kadlec for sharing in this recognition and award. GLK Turf Solutions is a strong supporter of the Texas STMA. If you attended any Field Day in 2016, you probably met Jeff or Rick and had the opportunity to see this innovative equipment in action.


Wow, 2017 is just a blink away & that means time to renew your Texas STMA membership. TXSTMA provides its members several opportunities throughout the year to network, share ideas, learn the latest research, and hear from top experts in the industry. Regional Educational Field Days and Workshops Special Facility Tours Vendor Exhibits Equipment Demonstrations Scholarship Awards Held at selected locations around the state, our events allow each member the chance to gain a better understanding of the sports turf manager's role in ensuring the facility users have safe and healthy sports turf to play on. Renewal information to be posted on the txstma.org website and sent in an email.

JOIN US FOR A GREAT 2017! Your Membership is Important to US!


Evaluation of polymer-coated sands to conserve water by Dr. Joey Young - Texas Tech University Water is a precious resource around the world but when you live in a semiarid environment, water becomes a bit more precious. From residential landscapes to our athletic fields, it can be a challenge to manage turf under these environmental conditions. Many of our athletic fields in the West Texas region are artificial, and I believe one of the reasons may be the challenge of trying to provide safe and aesthetically pleasing fields during the season. With these challenges in mind, we have been establishing a number of research studies to evaluate newer bermudagrass cultivars for sports field use in this transition zone environment and develop techniques that can be used to save water and maintain acceptable turf quality. A previous study nearing completion at Texas Tech evaluated numerous residential water conserving products applied to TifSport hybrid bermudagrass managed at 0.5 inch mowing height with and without core aerification. This study was designed to be a worst-case scenario by all means because after the initial product applications were made in mid-June, the irrigation was turned off completely until follow-up applications of some products needed to be made. The study area received reasonable rainfall the first month of the trial through the first week of July; however, no more rain came until the middle of September. Under this significant water deficit stress situation, one of the products that successfully extended green cover compared to untreated control treatments was AquaSmart polymer-coated sand. In contrast to our hypothesis, data collected last year indicated that aerification before application of AquaSmart did not alter the effectiveness of the application. However, applying AquaSmart at a 4:1 ratio (sand:AquaSmart) provided significantly better color and green cover compared to untreated control treatments for 4-5 weeks with no irrigation or rainfall. Some of the biggest benefits to this application for a sports field manager are the extended life of the product in the soil and the potential to apply a mixture of polymer-coated sand in your typical topdressing practices. A single application of mix was applied in mid-June last year and incorporated into the canopy using brooms for our small plot work. The abrasive actions of getting the sand into the canopy resulted in poor visual turf quality, color, and green cover for 1-2 weeks after application, but darker green color was evident following recovery in 2-3 weeks after application. No other applications were made throughout the year, but the significance of drought stress with no irrigation or rain in July and August resulted in a sharp decline in turf quality, color, and green cover that remained statistically similar to untreated control treatments for the remainder of the study. Following the first year of data collection, we believe the polymer-coated sands residing around the crown of the plant (aerified or non-aerified) provided greater hydration to the growing point helping maintain color for a longer period than untreated control treatments. Ultimately, soil moisture levels at 1.5 and 3-inch depths were never significantly different with any of our treatments, meaning something other than available soil moisture had to be providing the visual benefits observed. We are conducting this same research again this year and look to publish results from the study early next year. Other studies The success and preliminary conclusions of this first research trial led to other ideas we wanted to evaluate. As previously mentioned, there are numerous artificial athletic fields throughout the Panhandle of Texas. I believe one of the reasons for this is the challenge associated with growing bermudagrasses in this shortseasoned transition zone area. The cold and frost can come early and also surprise us with a late freeze well into the spring season resulting in a meager growing season. Bermudagrass needs and prefers a long growing period before resting during the winter months, so we wanted to try and establish some of the newest bermudagrass cultivars that have been demonstrated to be effective sports turf selections in other transition zone areas within the US.


We recently obtained and are establishing five bermudagrass cultivars: Tifway 419, Celebration, Riviera (seeded), NorthBridge, and Latitude 36. We will also be establishing the University of Georgia’s newest release, TifTuf, next spring in the area. In addition to evaluating these grasses post-establishment, we were awarded funding from Texas A&M to evaluate the use of AquaSmart as a potential method to reduce irrigation requirements to establish sprigs or seeded bermudagrass. We established the grasses under three irrigation zones to provide different levels of water. Control irrigation runs for 15 minutes two times per day 7 days per week; moderate irrigation runs 20 minutes one time per day 6 days per week, and the lowest irrigation runs for 15 minutes 4 days per week. After placing sprigs and seed of the various bermudagrass cultivars in the area, AquaSmart was applied to strips of the grass at 0, 40, or 80 lbs./1,000 square feet using a 3-foot drop spreader. The fine particle size of the polymer-coated sand being dry at application makes the direct application of the product through a drop spreader very simple and effective. This trial was established at two separate planting dates, the first week of July and the first week of August last summer. AquaSmart treatments were applied the day of sprigging or seeding along with a heavy topdressing of USGA specification sand to cover sprigs and seed to prevent desiccation. Irrigation treatments were initiated following sand topdressing and remain in place since sprigging. There was no rainfall following the first planting date, but we had lots of trouble with weed infestation in the initial planting area that made rating the growth of sprigs and seed difficult. The seeded variety grew in very well and is currently 100% covered with grass at the two higher irrigation levels, but the lowest irrigation level still lacks full cover of grass. The sprigged plots are growing in effectively; however, they will require much more growth to completely fill the area. It is difficult to determine if the AquaSmart treatments are providing benefits to establish the turf more quickly with reduced irrigation, but hopefully the weed pressure will be managed more effectively with our second planting date to more effectively evaluate the potential benefits.

An application of pre-emerge herbicide (oxidiazon) to non-seeded plots will hopefully limit weed pressure and provide improved data collection. As of 2 weeks post planting, there was limited evidence of turf growth from the second planting date, but we should start seeing some new growth very soon from these treatments. The ultimate goal and potential benefit of this research would be to determine if the polymer-coated sands could maintain improved moisture around sprigs or seeded bermudagrasses to reduce the irrigation requirements to establish grasses on an athletic field. Turf researchers have successfully demonstrated effective management practices and products that can reduce the water requirements of established turf species and cultivars; however, limited research has proven effective techniques to reduce water requirements when establishing turf. If this product can effectively reduce water needs at establishment, this could be a major breakthrough for sports field managers undergoing renovations or overseeding practices in the spring. There are a number of companies that provided products for us to conduct this research that should be acknowledged. RainBird provided new irrigation valves, heads, and a controller for us to alter the irrigation system into three independent zones. Sod Solutions provided sod that was cut into sprigs, and Johnston Seed Company provide Riviera bermudagrass. AquaSmart donated a large quantity of their product and additional financial support was provided through Texas A&M’s Turf Research, Education, and Extension Endowment. Joseph Young, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Texas Tech University. Joey also serves as the Technical Editor for this magazine. He can be reached at joey.young@ttu.edu.

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Winter overseeding and colorant treatments compared for Bermudagrass Two-year study reveals environmental differences impact benefits of colorant applications AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE

Across many regions of the United States, water restrictions have created challenges for professionals who work to maintain playing surfaces on recreational turf facilities such as golf courses and athletic fields. As municipalities impose stricter irrigation restrictions -- particularly during winter months -- turfgrass professionals are looking to alternatives to overseeding practices, such as the use of colorants, to produce healthy, safe athletic turf. The authors of a study published in the May 2016 issue of HortScience explained that winter overseeding of dormant bermudagrass athletic turf is common in the transition zone and in southwestern and southern regions of the U.S. The practice of overseeding creates an actively growing cool-season turfgrass stand that provides green color during winter dormancy, as In evaluations of fall colorant applications and annual and perennial ryegrasses well as functional recreational turf. overseeding in bermudagrass athletic turf, seasonal environmental differences Overseeding requires regular irrigaaffected application benefits and color. tion or precipitation, however, and therefore presents challenges in areas where municipal water restrictions limit winter irrigation. Turfgrass colorants are becoming more widely used as alternatives to winter overseeding, particularly on warm-season golf courses and athletic fields. Studies have shown that colorant application can cost two to three times less than overseeding. In a 2-year field study at the Texas A&M University Research Turfgrass Field Laboratory, Daniel Hargey, Benjamin Wherley, Casey Reynolds, Richard White, and Garrett Parker evaluated the effects of winter treatments overseeding and colorant application on 'Tifway' bermudagrass under a 1-day per week supplemental irrigation. Experimental treatments included 1) untreated bermudagrass, 2) fall colorant-treated bermudagrass, 3) perennial ryegrass overseeded bermudagrass, and 4) turf-type annual ryegrass overseeded bermudagrass. The researchers compared performance, tolerance to simulated traffic, and spring transition of bermudagrass across treatments for both years. Results showed that both annual ryegrass and perennial ryegrass maintained acceptable levels (60-80%) of green cover during each year of the study. "While tolerance to simulated traffic did not differ between the two species in year one, higher precipitation and cloud cover during year two may have contributed to greater injury levels within annual ryegrass in year two," explained Benjamin Wherley, corresponding author of the report. Analyses also showed that residual benefits of fall colorant application were variable, extending into February of year one, but dissipating by late December of year two. "These results indicate that repeat applications are likely necessary to maintain color during winter months, with the number of applications depending on environmental conditions," Wherley explained.


Overseeding (regardless of species) reduced spring transition of bermudagrass by 40-50% compared with untreated and colorant-treated plots. Fall colorant treatments did not accelerate bermudagrass transition compared with untreated plots. "Results of the study demonstrate that environmental differences from season to season can impact the relative benefits derived from colorant applications, as well as the performance of annual and perennial ryegrass," the authors said. The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http:// hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/51/5/580.abstract

The Scott’s Miracle-Gro Facility for Lawn and Garden Research is nearing completion on the TAMU campus. The 12,000 square foot facility, located on F and B Road near Wellborn Road, will support water quality and conservation efforts and turfgrass research, providing space for laboratories, offices and seminars.

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Executive Directors: President: Kevin Lebanik—Harrell's, Klebanik@harrells.com Past President: Rusty Walker, CSFM—City of Grapevine, rwalker@grapevinetexas.gov President - Elect: Brian Piper - City of Austin, Brian.piper@austintexas.gov 1st Commercial Vice Pres: Darin Eberly—Pioneer Manuf. Co., deberly@pioneerathletics.com 2nd Commercial Vice Pres: John Kearns—Professional Turf Products, kearnsj@proturf.com Treasurer:

Nick McKenna, CSFM— Texas A&M University, nmckenna@athletics.tamu.edu

Committee Directors: Advertising: Will Dutton - Professional Turf Products, duttonw@proturf.com Communication Committee: Dan Bergstrom—Houston Astros, dbergstrom@astros.com Region I (DFW): Allen Reed, CSFM, FC Dallas, areed@fcdallas.net Region II (Austin/San Antonio): Michael Piñon, San Antonio ISD, michaelpinon@yahoo.com Region III (Houston): Kevin Hansen, Houston Texans Membership: Brant Williams, CSFM Scholarship: Chris Pitts, Clear Creek ISD, chpitts@ccisd.net Chapter Executive: Carol Cloud, Carolcloud@txstma.org, (817) 736-0727

Texas Sports Turf Managers Association Providing education and training for safer and healthier sports turf facilities

Txstma.org txstmainfo@ yahoo.com (817) 736-0727 5552 Plata Lane Benbrook, TX 76126

Winter 2016 Issue

TXSTMA 4th Quarter 2016 Sidelines