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A Successful Field Day

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

We have recovered from the hustle and bustle of preparing for Field Day and we can now reflect on the success of the event. As a team, we are overwhelmed with gratitude to our customers, affiliates, partners, vendors, and friends. With a record attendance in the last 15 years, we are delighted to have shared an educational day with everyone. In addition to hosting our annual Field Day, we also hosted the Bill Rose Foundation Memorial Golf Tournament and a Taste of Oregon Experience. Seven university students were awarded travel scholarships from the Bill Rose Foundation to attend Field Day and display their research posters. It was an honor to have them share their knowledge with us and to meet turfgrass professionals from around the world at our event.

Bill Rose started Field Day in 1983, it was the first turfgrass field day of its kind. The entire community, customers, growers and families would come out for a day of turfgrass tours on hay bale rides, Olympic style yard games, BBQ oysters, and delicious Oregon strawberry shortcake.

This year the tour included 11 stops around the research farm, from bentgrass to forages, the educational information was endless. A big thank you to all our guest speakers who made our tour extra special and informative for our audience. Here are some highlights from the tour:

  • Bentgrass stop: Terry Plagman spoke about the reputable history of Tee-2-Greens bentgrasses and the unparalleled breeding work of Pure-Seed Testing. Rick Elyea talked about the current interseeding programs with Pure Eclipse, and Keith Boland spoke on the benefits and importance of bentgrass blends for golf courses. Crystal discussed the exciting new experimentals that are performing well in PST trials as well as NTEP trials.

  • KBG CTBT stop: We were honored to have Dr. Adam Thoms join us as a special guest speaker. Adam spoke about Iowa State's research on shade stress in turfgrass. He is optimistic about the future of shade tolerance, as new experimental varieties are showing stronger shade tolerance than the standards.

Austin Fricker spoke about the importance of the Cooperative Turfgrass Breeders Test (CTBT) and why Pure-Seed Testing values being a cooperator and testing site. Did you know that there are 25 CTBT sites across the United States? PST West and East are just two of them!

  • Fine Fescue stop: Soilguard and Bighorn GT were on both the men’s and women’s US Opens and Soil Guard and Seabreeze GT will be on the Marco Simone Ryder Cup this fall. Jim Culley of Seed King Enterprises discussed his role of providing turfgrass to Pebble Beach and the LA Country Club. Rick also gave an update on the new RainDance National golf course in Colorado, which is aiming to be a more sustainable golf course. We do have a new Chewings FF coming to market soon, called Hixson after Oregon’s local golf course designer, Dan Hixson.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass stop: Dr. Shaun Bushman blew the crowd away speaking on molecular markers and DNA fingerprinting to identify varieties with the USDA. His program works with molecular markers that speed up the breeding process and make it more efficient to shorten the process in developing a variety for the market.

We were excited to announce the new quick-germinating Kentucky bluegrass coming to market, KickStart. KickStart has a similar germination speed to the well-known Jumpstart.

  • Warm Season stop: One of our longer stops was the warm season stop. Standing on our seeded paspalum trials, with a paspalum seed production field behind us, the stop was much anticipated.

Special guest Dr. Paul Raymer shared with everyone about the new herbicide-resistant paspalum varieties that he and his team have been working on in partnership with Pure-Seed Testing. So be on the lookout for the product launch soon!

It was an honor to have paspalum guru John Riley speak about his positive experience with paspalum at his course in Florida, Longboat Key Club. He shared how his management team can cut their paspalum all the way down to 0.055 inches and manage uniformity, trueness, and smoothness in their greens.

John Holmes, president of Atlas Turf International, talked about the use of Pure Dynasty Seeded Paspalum at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Italy, the venue of the upcoming Ryder Cup. He also discussed the recent elite seeded bermudagrass product launch, Sun Queen.

Dr. Melodee Fraser, PST East Director of Research, gave an update on the much-anticipated seeded Zoysiagrass varieties coming to market in the next couple of years.

  • Rainout Shelter stop: Jack Karlin, the executive director of TWCA, Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance spoke about the 3rd party validated research on drought tolerant varieties through the TWCA. He shared how we can meet conservation goals and create more sustainable and livable communities together by using 40% less water with TWCA varieties.

  • Seed Yield Trial stop: Austin shared the importance of seed yield trials for the development and longevity of a variety. A variety that does not yield much seed will not bring a high enough profit to the grower to be interested in growing it. No matter how amazing the turf traits are for the variety, if the seed yield is low, Pure-Seed Testing will not progress with the cultivar. This is why Pure-Seed Testing values seed yield trialing and keeps the grower in mind.

  • Tall Fescue stop: Dr. Fraser gave an update on PST East in North Carolina. She spoke about the ongoing research on better resistant turfgrass to dollar spot, gray leaf spot, and summer patch, which are all common diseases that plague the transition zone every year. She shared the newest GLX (Gray Leaf Spot Extreme Resistance) TF variety out of Pure Seed's portfolio, GLX Star. GLX Star joins GLX Aced and GLX Revive in the GLX series.

  • Ryegrass Stop: Justin Balich introduced special guest speaker Tyler Truman superintendent at Sun City Palm Desert. Tyler discussed overseeding in the California market and his success using Pure Seed perennial ryegrass for overseeding the last several years. Justin pointed out the varieties that were used on the World Cup this year, Silver Sport, Gray Fox, Gray Hawk and Silver Dollar.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass Traffic stop: Kelly Lynch introduced special guest speaker Nina Oldenkamp. Nina is on the board and a founder of the Women in Turfgrass Team, and she is also the vice president of Odey's Field Experts and the president of the Nebraska Turfgrass Association. Nina has been a Pure Seed customer for five years. She shared her positive experience switching from a previous seed supplier to Pure Seed products, calling the Pure Blue brand the "Pure Confidence" bag of seed because she knows that when she plants a Pure Seed bag, she will get the results she is looking for.

We capped off a great tour with a delicious BBQ!

Now we look forward to planning the 38th Field Day in Rolesville North Carolina next year at Pure-Seed Testing East, directed by Dr. Melodee Fraser. We hope to see you there!!

Check out blog post on the 2023 Bill Rose Foundation events here:

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