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News Filed Under Turfgrass and Lawn Management

Two men kneel over a square test plot and feel the texture of the sod.
October 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Weed Control for Crops, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

Mississippi’s sod producers experienced good news and bad news from 2017 weather conditions. Jay McCurdy, turfgrass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the good news was a modestly warm spring with timely rainfall provided good growing conditions for most of the state’s sod farms. The bad news was the same weather promoted the growth of weeds and fungal diseases.

September 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A turfgrass specialist at Mississippi State University is receiving a major national accolade.

Jay McCurdy is the latest young professional recognized by the Crop Science Society of America for making significant contributions to the field within seven years of completing a final academic degree. He will accept the CSSA 2017 Early Career Award and accompanying $2,000 stipend late next month at the organization’s annual meeting in Tampa, Florida.

A Tennessee native reared on a sod farm in the Gibson County city of Dyer, McCurdy came to MSU two years ago after completing an Auburn University doctorate in agronomy and soils. He earned earlier degrees at University of Tennessee campuses in Martin and Knoxville.

Fall armyworms plague many Mississippi pastures, lawns and sports fields, but vigilance and prompt treatment can limit their damage. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
June 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Insects-Home Lawns, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Although 2016 brought unusually heavy infestations of and damage from fall armyworms, vigilance and prompt treatment can limit damage this year.

Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said fall armyworms were a problem in commercial hayfields, home lawns, sports fields, golf courses and commercial landscapes last year.

William Ruffin, a research associate with the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Mississippi State University, mows turf research plots at the R. R. Foil Plant Science Research Center Sept. 8, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
September 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Demand for turfgrass in Mississippi is stabilizing as housing starts trend up nationally.

Jay McCurdy, turfgrass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said favorable weather, coupled with optimism in the national housing market, is welcome news to the state’s sod growers.

July 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Professional turfgrass managers can learn about innovations in turfgrass and landscape management strategy during the 2016 Turfgrass Research Field Day Aug. 23.

January 5, 2016 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

VERONA, Miss. -- Landscape contractors can learn about current practices in lawn maintenance, site design and pest management during an upcoming workshop.

Researchers and specialists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Turfgrass Association will host the Turf, Lawn and Landscape Road Show Jan. 14 at the MSU North Mississippi Research and Extension Center at 5421 Highway 145 South in Verona.

Mississippi State University Department of Plant and Soil Sciences senior research associate Wayne Philley, left, and MSU seniors Abram Diaz of D’Iberville and Aaron Tucker of Carthage measure how far a golf ball rolls over different varieties of bermudagrass at the R. R. Foil Plant Science Research Center Sept. 4, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Nathan Gregory)
September 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Sod supply in Mississippi is slowly rebounding in 2015 after a major shortage of the commodity last year.

Jay McCurdy, turfgrass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said turfgrass remains in short supply this year due to a decline in acreage and recent harsh winters.

July 23, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University will offer a Turfgrass Field Day at the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville on Aug. 25 at 8:45 a.m.

Coaches, school superintendents, landscape architects, county Extension agents, lawn care professionals, golf course managers, sports field managers, and turf and landscape students are welcome to attend the field day. Homeowners may attend, too, but the event is designed for industry professionals and county agents.

Simpson County producer Jimmy Welch's hayfield shows damage from Bermuda grass stem maggots on July 24, 2014. The pest feeds in the tips of developing stems. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
July 25, 2014 - Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

JACKSON -- Turf and forage producers in Mississippi need fewer clouds and more sunshine.

In 2014, forage producers raised an estimated 600,000 acres of hay across the state. There are about 60 farms producing sod for sale in the state.

Turf production…

The unusually harsh winter melted into a cool, wet spring and summer, which slowed spring growth and intensified diseases and last fall’s herbicide injury in sod, said Jay McCurdy, turf grass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

July 24, 2014 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Anyone interested in learning about the latest turfgrass management practices can attend the 2014 Mississippi State University Turfgrass and Ornamental Field Day to get access to industry experts.

The MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences will host the event in Starkville on Aug. 26.

In addition to five educational workshops led by the MSU Turfgrass Team, the field day will include a vendor expo with field demonstrations and opportunities for guests to have one-on-one discussions with experts at the MSU Extension Service booth.

December 18, 2013 - Filed Under: About Extension, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station welcome a new state turf specialist on Jan. 1.

Jay McCurdy is a native of Dyer, Tenn. He worked on his family’s farm, where they raised row crops, cattle and sod. He worked as a golf course superintendent in Hong Kong, China, where he performed research and designed and implemented turf grass evaluation and management techniques.

Barry Stewart, turf management specialist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, demonstrates fertilizing equipment on Aug. 29, 2013, on a recently cut patch of St. Augustine grass grown at Mississippi State University's R.R. Foil Research Center. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
August 30, 2013 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- This year’s rainy spring kept grass from growing, but it also kept contractors from building, allowing Mississippi’s sod farmers to manage the season’s rough beginning.

Barry Stewart, turf management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said demand was low at a time that benefitted growers.

Mississippi State University Extension turf specialist Wayne Wells inspects newly laid sod during the establishment of the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, near the entrance to the R. Rodney Foil Plant Science Research Facility. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
August 31, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Mississippi sod farmer David Rainey says, “Business is better than last year,” he is not suggesting it is good.

The Alcorn County farmer said he sees greater challenges in turning a profit in 2012 than when he started Rainey Sod Farm about 36 years ago. Rainey said he started downsizing his sod business when the housing market bubble burst in 2007.

August 19, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The continuing decline of the housing market and the lack of new construction is taking its toll on Mississippi’s turfgrass industry.

Wayne Wells, Mississippi State University Extension turf specialist, said the state’s turf sales are down because of slow home sales and a lack of new construction.

Mississippi State University completed a three-year study of how turfgrass varieties perform in cemetery settings. These fake headstones dot the turf at the research plot on MSU's R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center. (Photo by Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment station/Wayne Philley)
October 21, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University researchers found it takes a special kind of turf to keep a cemetery looking nice without frequent maintenance.

Wayne Philley, an agronomist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, was the lead researcher on a three-year study that examined turf’s performance and maintenance requirements in a cemetery setting.

Paul Battle (left), owner of Battle Sod Farm in Tunica, came to Mississippi State University's turf field day at the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center on Aug. 24. He spoke to Mike Towles of Atkins Landscaping, Inc. in Germantown, Tenn., while the two men were in the plots of the university's tall fescue cultivar evaluation trial. (Photo by Bonnie Coblentz)
August 27, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The lingering recession continues to impact Mississippi’s turfgrass industry with total sod acreage down as a portion has been switched to row crop production until the economy improves.

Wayne Wells, Mississippi State University Extension Service turf specialist, said the state has about 4,500 acres of turf and about 50 sod producers. The largest producers each have about 300 to 500 acres of turf production.

May 27, 2010 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A high-performance bermudagrass developed at Mississippi State University may soon appear on golf courses and sports fields in the Far East because of a licensing agreement between the university and a prominent company in Japan.

The agreement allows Zoysian, Inc. Japan Branch to sell and market Choice, a bermudagrass developed by MSU researchers Wayne Philley and Jeff Krans of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

January 21, 2010 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University has launched a Web site to promote its development of high-quality turfgrass cultivars and help consumers find vendors for commercial varieties that result from this research.  

The site, http://www.msuturf.com, highlights several new and improved varieties of bermudagrass and St. Augustine grass researched and developed by the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

August 14, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Though cool temperatures and excess rain kept many Mississippi row crops from getting a good start this spring, they actually helped sod production.

Extra water allows many growers to cut back on irrigation. Once the sod establishes, there is not much else for growers to do, other than mow at regular intervals and maintain their market base.

August 28, 2008 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Turfgrass care, maintenance and research are topics of an upcoming field day and expo hosted by Mississippi State University.

The Bulldog Turf Field Day and Turf Equipment Expo will be held Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MSU’s North Farm near the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden. MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and the MSU Extension Service are sponsoring the event.

The $20 cost to attend covers lunch and the day’s educational presentations and demonstrations.

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