Turf Education Day


September 21, 2017!

Lawn care is a big part of many of our businesses and organizations. Whether you choose to subcontract some of those services, or provide them in-house, it is critical to your profitability and customers’ satisfaction to stay informed about the latest turf care products and practices. This annual day of training and education is for any professional who cares for and looks after turf.

8:30AM – 9:15AM   Keynote 1

Protecting Pollinators in Turf and Landscape
Dr. Frank Wong, Bayer Crop Science
Sponsored by Russo Power Equipment

Pollinator health is a wide-reaching public concern affecting agricultural and urban communities. The situation is complicated and often clouded by conflicting reports and misinformation. This seminar will provide information on best management practices for protecting pollinators in lawns, landscapes and other urban settings. Other topics to be discussed include: factors identified as stressors to bees and pollinators, the role of applicators and pesticide stewardship, the need for pollinator habitat, and recent regulatory and legislative trends affecting pollinators. Attendees will leave this seminar with an understanding of pollinator health issues, a better understanding of the impacts and risks of management practices, including information on the neonicotinoid insecticides, and actions that can be taken to improve pollinator populations in lawn, landscape and other urban settings.


9:20AM – 10:15AM   Breakout Sessions 1

Magic Mushrooms and Mischievous Molds: Managing Tough Fungal Diseases of Turf
Dr. Frank Wong, Bayer Crop Science
Sponsored by Russo Power Equipment

Fungal diseases of turf are common; many are easy to diagnose and treat while others seem to be a recurring problem. This seminar will address management basics for some of the most persistent foliar and soil borne diseases of turfgrasses and what can be done from a integrated pest management strategy. The effect of site selection, nutrition, environmental conditions, cultural practices and turfgrass species on integrated pest management strategies will be discussed. Attendees attending this seminar will leave with (i) a better understanding of which factors contribute to fungal disease development (ii) key strategies for controlling recurrent diseases of turfgrasses and (iii) how to develop strategies that result in healthier turf and less disease.


The 2017 Lawn Care Season in Review… and What it Means for 2018
Jesse Benelli, Chicago District Golf Association
Sponsored by Syngenta

The year in review: weather, weeds, disease, and insects.  And what we can look forward to in the coming year.


Beyond NPK: Metabolic Tools for Plants
George Murray, EnPTurf
Sponsored by EnPTurf

When thinking in terms of plant health, growers typically focus on 3 letters: N, P, and K. While these nutrients are necessary, the difference between a healthy plant, and an unhealthy plant often comes down to molecules that extend beyond standard nutrition. With university-backed research, George C. Murray will discuss metabolic tools that landscape managers can use in conjunction with their standard fertility program–enabling the plants to use the nutrition more efficiently, while building a plant that can better withstand environmental and biological stressors.


Cultural Practices
Harold Enger, Spring-Green Lawn Care
Sponsored by Reinders

This presentation will focus on mowing, watering, thatch control and fertilizing. It will discuss the basic principles that explain the need to follow these practices.


10:20AM – 11:10AM   Breakout Sessions 2

Pesticide Regulatory Program Update
Warren Goetsch, Dept. of Agriculture
Sponsored By: Reinders

No filter! Hear the news straight from the Department of Agriculture. This presentation will help you familiarize yourself with the regulatory landscape of Illinois. It will also discuss focus areas of the department moving forward and how compliance can shield you from unnecessary regulatory burdens, fines, and penalties.


Optimizing Your Weed Control Program
Jamie Heydinger, NuFarm
Sponsored by NuFarm

We will cover hard to control weed identification and control options. Matching characteristics of herbicides to target weeds for better control success in fewer applications. We will review different herbicide active ingredients and formulations and what that means in the real world. The importance of reading the label and tips for proper use will reduce risk to humans, pets, and non-target plants. Ultimately saving time, money, unnecessary product use and insure good environmental stewardship.


Irrigation Know How…Know How NOT to Use an Irrigation System…
Larry Cammarata, Certified Consultants
Sponsored by Midwest Stihl

This session will discuss recent advancements in irrigation system technology necessary for an increased interaction with the plant-soil-water continuum within the landscape. This will include how NOT to use an irrigation system, determine if irrigation system is set up properly, ensure proper operations, water application rates and other practices that need to be utilized more readily. Finally, we’ll hit hard on the true understanding needed within the industry related to soils, plants requirements and what irrigation systems can do to enhance the health of soils or actually cause much damage (sand-silt-loam-clay).


It Takes A Village: The Importance of Aligning the Different Components of Turf Care
Matt Linder, SavALawn
Sponsored by SavATree

The talk will focus on how the lawn care provider, the irrigation company and the landscaper need to work together to enhance the results on a property. When the irrigation is properly timed, the lawn properly mowed, and the technical materials properly applied, the overall results will be a healthier lawn and everyone looks better.


11:15AM – 12:10PM   Keynote 2

How to “READ” a Landscape So You and Your Customer are on the Same Turf!
Dr. Hank Wilkinson, Univ. of IL
Sponsored by Lurvey

The conditions of heat, light, and water, affect all landscapes.  These environmental factors are conditioned by buildings, soil, use, and management.  If you understand these concepts, then the landscape you design, build, and manage should please both you and your customer.  Let’s develop a method for YOU to predict with confidence, what is possible!


1:00PM – 1:50PM   Breakout Sessions 3

Turf in Landscape: When Why How
Dr. Hank Wilkinson, Univ. of IL
Sponsored by Lurvey

Turf is a component in many landscapes, but what is the best type, how should it be established, and is it always appropriate?  We will explore the limits and expectations of turf in a landscape and how to ensure your turf performs as expected.


Timing is Everything: Using Growing Degree Days to Time Landscape Applications
Dr. Paul Koch, Univ. of WI
Sponsored by Lurvey

Proper timing of herbicide and insecticide applications is critical for their proper efficacy, but spraying just because that’s when you sprayed last year can result in poor pest control due to the variable Midwest environment.  In this presentation we will focus on calculating and using growing degree day models to more accurately time pest applications when they will be most effective based on the recent weather.


Is it Insect or Disease Damage
Matt Linder, SavALawn
Sponsored by SavATree

Proper diagnosis of lawn damage can be challenging.  An overview of signs and symptoms can properly determine if you brown spots on a lawn are either insects or disease.  Properly timing and scouting can determine damage potential of Billbugs, Chinch Bugs, Sod Webworms or Grubs and not diseases.  Once damage is done, the repairs can be costly….prevent the damage from happening.


The Benefits of Calcium and Sulfur Fertilizers in Midwestern Soils and How They Can Also Help With Sodium Remediation
Brian Milam, Calcium Products
Sponsored by Calcium Products

How can the use of calcium and sulfur improve the soil and plant health in turf here in the Midwest? Also, did you know that gypsum is the secret weapon in combating reclaimed irrigation water?


2:00PM – 3:00PM   Keynote 3

Selecting Reduced-Toxicity Herbicides for Effective Weed Control
Dr. Paul Koch, Univ. of WI
Sponsored by Lurvey

There is increasing pressure from regulatory groups and the general public to maintain turf grass landscapes using reduced-toxicity products. In this presentation we will focus on what measures you can use to select reduced-toxicity products and how products currently on the market can be implemented into your program.

Registration closes Wednesday, September 20th at 12pm!

Hotel Accommodations 

Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel – 933 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, IL 60062

Call 847-498-6500 and ask for the Chicago Botanic Garden’s discounted rate, or click here to book online.

Want to learn more? Contact AnneMarie Drufke (adrufke@ilca.net) for further information about Turf Education Day.

Thank You To Our Sponsors!

Premier Sponsor: Russo Power Equipment

Breakfast Sponsor

Lunch Sponsor

Session Sponsors

Tabletop Sponsors

Advanced Turf Solutions

Bayer Environmental Science

Conserv FS

Dow AgroSciences

EC Grow

L.T. Rich Products

National Seed


Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements

SiteOne Landscape Supply

Soil Tech Corp.