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International Turfgrass Society Papers in Crop Science and Agronomy Journal now online


The 13th International Turfgrass Research Conference was held July 16-21, 2017 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Every four years the International Turfgrass Society (ITS) brings together researchers and professionals from academia and industry for presentations, discussions, and tours to share recent advances in turfgrass research. In addition to these in-person events, conference papers will be published in the July-August issues of Agronomy Journal and Crop Science, or in the International Turfgrass Society Research Journal (ITSRJ) which is published every four years.

Conference papers reflect the conference theme of “Meeting the Challenges of a Changing Environment.” Conference organizers explain on the website, “This theme was chosen for the 2017 conference because it reflects the tremendous impact that the environment has had and continues to have on our personal and professional lives. From the changing climate, to the changing regulatory environment for pesticides and fertilizers, and the rapid technological changes in molecular biology and other aspects of turfgrass science, the environment continues to affect the way we live and conduct turfgrass research.”

Bruce Clarke, Center for Turfgrass Science at Rutgers University and current ITS president points out how the keynote talks demonstrate the diversity of topics that were covered at the conference. Keynotes include Christine Hawkes, from the University of Texas at Austin, speaking on the topic of “Can the plant mycobiome serve as a tool for improving grass stress resistance?” Tim Colmer, from the University of Western Australia, will discuss “Managing water use by warm-season turfgrasses in a drying climate.” From Rutgers University, William Meyer will speak on “Breeding improved cool-season turfgrasses for stress tolerance and sustainability in a changing environment.” And Jerry Hatfield, from the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment in Ames, Iowa, will give a talk about “Climate impacts on crops and turfgrass: Building effective adaptation strategies.”

With the conference topics in mind, and thinking about the greatest research needs in turfgrass science, James Murphy, Extension Specialist in Turfgrass Management at Rutgers, and Editor of the International Turfgrass Society Research Journal says, “Continued genetic improvement in existing turfgrass species along with development of underutilized grass species for niches in turf systems that currently do not have one or more species ideally suited to the niches. Also, need further advances in turf management practices that improve efficiency in resource use (water, nutrient, pesticides, labor). Development of multi-functional uses for turf landscapes that include environmental services as well as recreational and aesthetic uses.”