Happy New Year! If we haven’t met, let me introduce myself. My name is Jay McCurdy - your new Mississippi Turfgrass Extension Specialist. I grew up in the turf industry and I’m ready to share my knowledge and experience. I also humbly admit that I’ve got a lot to learn from each of you. So lets get started.
Collectively, our state’s turfgrass industry manages greater than 2.5 million acres of turf, with about 2 million of that in the form of roadside or utility right-of-way. Another 300,000 acres are maintained as home lawns by residents or lawn care operators. The rest is spread between nearly 150 golf courses, and more than 2000 sports fields.
My goals are to help each one of these stakeholder groups manage their respective acres more efficiently. How should we define efficiency? Well, if you’re managing for monoculture turf, it means using fewer pesticides and less money to achieve the desired outcome. Some folks consider monoculture turf to be more aesthetically pleasing, and it goes without saying that natural turf is a safe sporting surface and environmentally benign when managed properly. Others don’t care as long as it’s green and holds the soil in place. And that’s fine too.
No matter which camp you’re in, keep up to date with innovative and timely management techniques on our MSUcares website. Follow me on Twitter @MSTurfgrass for the latest news and advice.
During this time, feel free to contact me via email or phone. Along with our MSU Turf Team, I look forward to addressing the critical needs of our state’s turf industry.
Finally, credit where credit is due: Dr. Wayne Wells was diligent in maintaining weekly turf tips. I plan on doing the same; though occasionally with a new twist. I’ll be inviting guest columnists and conducting interviews. I’ll even be filming some of my tips.
Let this January be a time of reflection upon what we’ve done correctly and what we can change to achieve the goals that we have set before us.
Keep it green,
Dr. McCurdy can be reached via phone (662-325-2331) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published January 9, 2014