LAVISTA, Neb. — The 2016 Nebraska Turf Conference sponsored by the Nebraska Turfgrass Association and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Turfgrass Science program will be held Jan. 12–14 at the LaVista Conference Center. Featured presentations this year include “Extreme PR in the Relationship Era” from Bill Withers of Wartburg College and “Miller Park Grass – The Untold Story” from Michael Boettcher of the Milwaukee Brewers. Additional presentations include “Business as Usual? Balancing the Art, Science, and Business within Golf Maintenance Operations” by Steve Merkel, “Flooding at Iron Eagle: One Day at a Time” by Chip Carr, and newly created “Innovative Superintendent Sessions” hosted in part by Josh Mahar and Corey Crandall. Jared Hoyle from Kansas State University, Lee Miller from the University of Missouri, and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty and staff will also be leading various seminars.
New format this year
The NTA Board of Directors and UNL Turfgrass Science program have decided to reformat the 2016 conference. The goal is to improve the experience for all attendees. The conference will now begin on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Tuesday morning, Jan. 12 – Workshops
There will be three morning workshops on Tuesday before the official start of the conference. Full-conference registration no longer includes workshop registration. These three workshops require an additional cost with two capped to 25 attendees to promote a better workshop atmosphere.
These morning workshops and the hotel rooms are starting to fill up quickly. The “Hydraulic and Electric Troubleshooting” workshop hosted by Dan Latture of Midwest Turf is a great course to sharpen equipment troubleshooting and repair skills. New this year will be UNL Turfgrass Science Research Technologist Glen Obear, leading a workshop designed to help understand soil and water test results called “Interpreting Soil & Water Test Results: Clearing the fog.” Participants for that seminar will need to bring their soil and water test reports to the workshop for analysis and to develop a management plan. Both of these workshops are capped at 25 and are fairly popular.
Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 12 – Full conference begins
The conference officially begins Tuesday at 1 p.m. with sessions tailored to different levels of experience in the turfgrass industry. The trade show will open at 4 p.m. following the sessions with refreshments.
Wednesday, Jan. 13
The morning will begin with the general session presentations. They include a UNL research update, the NTA annual meeting and keynote presentations from Withers and Boettcher. The tradeshow and a provided lunch will follow. Afternoon presentations will be grouped by area including golf, lawn and sports turf with the tradeshow, hors d’ oeuvres and refreshments to follow.
Thursday, Jan. 14
The conference will conclude on Thursday morning with four sessions in the areas of golf turf or lawn and sports turf.
The pesticide recertification at the 2016 Turf Conference has been redesigned. It will no longer be an independent session on Tuesday afternoon. Instead, conference attendees needing pesticide recertification in Nebraska or Iowa will need to arrive at the conference center by 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to cover topics including pesticide safety, laws and labels and drift. After lunch on one's own, attendees needing recertification can attend either the “Turf Management 101” or “Master Class” sessions to complete their pesticide recertification training. Recertification is still included in the full conference registration or may be attended separately on its own.