I am an extension educator with the University of Connecticut in the Department of Extension and I work statewide in sustainable turf and landscape. So I work with a good number of landscape folks, turf managers and the school managers that have questions in terms of turf selection or basic turf care. One of the nice things about working with turf group is that I help serve as a bridge, essentially, I help bring to the practitioners some of the pertinent research that is ongoing here. And I help make recommendations to some of the researchers about topics of interest and certainly they might have some ideas, but I help bring some of those to the researchers too.
The project that I talked about today, at the field day, is really a new project that hasn’t even started yet. We have the land ready and the project not. But I’ll be involved with evaluating the efficacy of some of the EPA minimum risk products. For those that aren’t aware, in the state of Connecticut, we have pesticide bans in place particularly for the K-8th turf managers. They really can’t use some of the synthetic pesticides from which they are familiar, so they are looking at some of these alternative products that don’t have a registration number, but many of them only have a manufacturer recommendations in terms of the efficacy. So we will be looking at application rates and the efficacy of some of these products. How they affect some of the problem weeds and some of the turf grasses that would be in the typical athletic fields or school grounds areas.
That being said, one of the things that we had worked on last year and into this year, was a best management practice piece for pesticide free turf areas. And that encompasses some of the five cultural practices and includes some aggressive over seeding. So we are focus a lot here at UCONN, on some of these environmentally sustainable practices, we really want to promote that and some other programs where they don’t have these restrictions, they can continue to focus on some of the standard practices as usual. So we are really trying to look more at some of the reduced inputs in very much of our research here.