Turf Education Day


Save the date: August 27, 2020

Below is the 2019 schedule. Check back for the 2020 schedule.

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.

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. REGISTRATION


8:30 – 8:45 a.m. INTRODUCTION

Shane Griffith, Turf Committee Chairman
Scott Grams, ILCA Executive Director

 8:45 – 9:30 a.m.   KEYNOTE

Glyphosate: What Are the Risks?
Jason Fausey, NuFarm
Location: Alsdorf Auditorium, Sponsored by Russo Power Equipment
In this presentation we will be discussing the associated risks using the non-selective herbicide glyphosate. From application to weeds controlled, glyphosate has been a valuable tool for the industry for decades. What are the associated risks using this herbicide and what alternatives do we have as options.


9:30 – 10:00 a.m.   BREAK


10:00 – 10:45 a.m.   BREAKOUTS

Pesticide Toxicology: Pick Your Poison
Mike Reed, SynaTek
Location: Alsdorf Auditorium, Sponsored by SavATree
In this session, attendees will review the routes of entry and the dermal exposure values. We will learn the toxic effect of pesticides, common products and the risk factors associated with applying pesticides. Finally, we will discuss how to reduce toxicity and exposure through personal protection equipment and other precautions. 

Legislative Issues Facing the Landscape Industry: What They Are, What to Know, What to Do
Bob Mann, National Association of Landscape Professionals
Location: Linneaus, Sponsored by KO Supply Company
Landscapers typically do not like public policy but, as the old saying goes, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Too often, lawmakers and regulators attempt to address important environmental issues by picking on the very people that practice environmentalism every day – landscapers. Bob Mann will lead you through the important issues from a nationwide perspective so that you are ready to defend your home turf in Illinois.

Herbicide Resistance
Dr. Aaron Patton, Purdue University – Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
Location: Pullman, Sponsored by Steel Green Manufacturing
Herbicide resistant weeds are being found in Midwestern turf. In this session, we will review current cases of herbicide resistance in turf. We will also discuss cultural weed control options as well as herbicide mode of action and options for rotating chemistry.

10:45 – 11:15 a.m.   BREAK


11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.   BREAKOUTS

Identifying and Controlling Weedy Grasses in Lawns
Tom Voigt, University of Illinois – Department of Crop Sciences
Location: Alsdorf Auditorium, Sponsored by Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements
This session will focus on the identification and control of common grassy weeds that invade cool-season lawns. Discussions of crabgrass, foxtails, nimblewill, tall fescue, and quackgrass will be included along with several less common grassy weeds that Dr. Voigt dealt with during a 30+ year Extension career.

Illinois Department of Agriculture – Regulatory Update and Issues
Doug Owens, Illinois Department of Agriculture
Location: Linneaus
Get answers to your burning questions in this discussion with the Department of Agriculture. Hear what they have to say about the efforts to repeal pre-emption in other states or chime in with any changes you’d like to see in the pesticide applicator statute. Submit your questions ahead of time to adrufke@ilca.net.

Understanding Your Soil and How it Can Impact Turf Quality
Dr. Ben Hamza, TruGreen
Location: Pullman
This presentation will provide an introduction to soil physical and chemical properties and how they impact plant growth and development. Dr. Ben Hamza will touch on soil sampling and what it can tell you, soil pH, and its impact on soil nutrient availability.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.   LUNCH


1:00 – 1:50 p.m. KEYNOTE

Biological Products and Their Impact on Turf & Soil Health
Dr. Roch Gaussoin, University of Nebraska – Department of Agronomy & Horticulture
Location: Alsdorf Auditorium, Sponsored by Russo Power Equipment
The term “biologicals” refers to products that purport safety, sustainability and performance and are often marketed as cost-effective alternatives or additions to a conventional chemical program. Are these products effective and do they align with the marketing claims? This presentation will use science based reasoning to help the turf manager make sound agronomic choices at their facility.

1:50 – 2:00 p.m.       BREAK


2:00 – 2:50 p.m.       BREAKOUTS

Growing Turf in Low Light, Shaded Environments
Dr. Aaron Patton, Purdue University – Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
Location: Alsdorf Auditorium
Plants capture the sun’s energy and build carbohydrates, which are necessary for plant growth and development. Learn how you can measure the light plants use to make turf establishment and management decisions. The latest information on shade tolerant cultivars, management practices to enhance shaded turf quality, and new technologies to diagnose shade issues will be covered.

For Your Consideration: Reduced Risk and Low Impact Pesticides
Mike Reed, SynaTek
Location: Linneaus, Sponsored by SavATree
Environmental Protection Agency approved Reduced Risk and Low Impact Pesticides are available and are a good fit for controlling insects, weeds and certain diseases in Turf. These products are extremely low in toxicity to most non-target animals including birds, fish, bees and humans. So why are we as an industry reluctant to embrace these new technologies? Let’s take a look at some commonly used Turf Products and see how they can effect environment and suggest some Reduced Risk and Low Impact Pesticide alternatives.

Soil Surfactants – Improving Water Management
Chip Houmes, Precision Laboratories, LLC
Location: Pullman
Soil surfactant chemistries both move water deeper into the soil off the surface, as well as help main a balance volumetric water volume. They can be used in landscaping, plant containers, all turf areas including athletic fields. One product is even specially designed for infield skins on baseball fields.

2:50 – 3:00 p.m.       CONCLUSION

Want to learn more?

Contact AnneMarie Drufke (adrufke@ilca.net) for further information about Turf Education Day.

Thank You To Our 2019 Sponsors!

Premier Sponsor: Russo Power Equipment

Session Sponsors

Tabletop Sponsors

Advanced Turf Solutions

American BioChar Company


BASF Corp.

Conserv FS

Corteva AgriScience

EC Grow

Foliar Pak

Helena Agri

National Seed


PBI Gordon

Power Equipment Distributors, Inc.


SiteOne Landscape Supply Company

Soil Tech Corp.



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