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Skaggs: Turfgrass Field Day comes to Gainesville on June 5
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It’s a common sight across North Georgia — landscape and lawn maintenance employees hard at work in both commercial and residential areas.

As Georgia’s population continues to grow, communities across the state are building new athletic fields. In addition, private companies are renovating existing golf courses and building new courses to keep up with the increase in population.

As a result, the demand for skilled turfgrass professionals to manage area golf courses and athletic fields continues to increase. Green industry agribusinesses have an annual economic impact of $9 billion in Georgia.

Today’s horticulture and turf industry employs more than 100,000 Georgians. As an example of just how large the industry has become, there are currently more than 6,700 urban agriculture industries in Georgia.

Unfortunately, many of the individuals working in the commercial ‘Green’ industry have difficulty finding affordable agronomic and horticultural instruction.

In response to this growing need, Hall County Cooperative Extension, with assistance from the University of Georgia Turf Team, plans and coordinates the annual North Georgia Turfgrass Field Day.

The 2008 North Georgia Turfgrass Field Day is set for June 5 at the Gainesville Civic Center/City Park.

Gainesville Parks and Recreation is the host of the 2008 Field Day. The goal of the field day is to provide the latest information on turf and landscape topics to green industry professionals.

Topics have included water management, equipment maintenance, disease management, pesticide safety, common sports field problems, turfgrass cultivation, soil fertility and weed control strategies.

Turfgrass Field Day includes outdoor hands-on sessions along with traditional classroom instruction.

This year’s speakers include UGA turfgrass specialists Clint Waltz and Alfredo Martinez, Atlanta Athletic Club Superintendent Mark Esoda, Charlie King of KingGreen, and MALTA Executive Director Mary Kay Woodworth.

Since its inception in 2003, more than 500 turf professionals have attended the North Georgia Turfgrass Field Day. Turf professionals who have a commercial pesticide license can receive six hours of Category 24 commercial pesticide credit by attending Turfgrass Field Day. The cost to attend is $20 ($15 for MALTA members).

The 2008 North Georgia Turfgrass Field Day is sponsored by Arysta LifeScience, Greensouth Equipment, Howard Brothers Outdoor Power, Keystone Sales, KingGreen Lawn Care, LESCO / John Deere Landscapes, North Georgia Turf and the Metro Atlanta Landscape & Turf Association.

For more information or to register, call Hall County Cooperative Extension at 770-535-8293 .

Billy Skaggs is Hall County extension agent. He can be reached at 770- 531-6988. His column appears biweekly and at gainesvilletimes.com.

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