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The Turf Nerds go to...

...Pittsburgh? It figures that in the year that I take a new position at Penn State, the annual Crop Science meeting ends up in Pittsburgh. In the past 4 years, the show has been to Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Houston. Well, in a year where budgets are slim and we are all trying to scale back it was probably best for me. I just feel sorry for those having to make the trip from the West Coast.

So what is the CSSA-ASA-SSSA annual meeting and why is it a hotspot for all of the turf nerds across the country this week? Well, this scientific tri-society of crops, agronomy and soils is probably the largest scientific conference for those university and industry personnel to catch up on the latest and greatest scientific research from around the country. If you are not familiar how scientific discoveries are made, just know that it is not an overnight occurrence. It generally takes several years to develop a solid project, find a graduate student or technician to assist with the work, analyze and write the results and then submit them for scientific publication. The last part (publishing in a scientific journal) can often take up to one year from the time of submission to the time that the research is actually seen in print. Then it takes another few months for the scientific publication to be rewritten in a format that anyone in the industry would actually be interested in reading before making its way into Golf Course Management, Golf Course Industry, Golfdom or similar trade magazine. So from start to finish, a project may take 3 or more years to go from idea to print.

So why do we go to these meetings each year? These meetings are the pinnacle of the latest discoveries in the field and allow for scientists to share ideas and form possible collaborations to advance the science more quickly or more completely. The information presented is usually the latest and often represents preliminary results to studies that are just getting off the ground. Presentations are given orally or as posters and graduate students even compete against each other for the top presentations in each category (I am actually one of the judges for oral presentations this year). Faculty also present their latest findings and industry representatives provide insights into what is happening on their side as well. The week is culminated in the business meeting where outstanding achievements are recognized and actions are put in place for the next year.

So I am off for Pittsburgh this morning (immediately following my class) year I am looking forward to Long Beach, CA!

Check out my list of interesting topics for this week...
Glyphosate-Resistant Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) in Missouri.

Physiological Changes During Cold Acclimation for Perennial Ryegrass Accessions Differing in Freeze Tolerance.

The Effects of Nitrogen and Trinexapac-Ethyl On the Severity of Brown Ring Patch On Annual Bluegrass Golf Course Putting Greens.

Developing a Predictive Model for Spring Germination of Smooth Crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum) and Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) in Michigan.

Sodium Adsorption On Calcined Clays and Zeolites.

Above image used under creative commons license by author

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