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