Tournament Players Club (TPC) Sawgrass and Whitemarsh Valley Country Club have been selected to serve as demonstration courses in Bayer Crop Science's Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow program, it was announced today.
Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow is a multi-faceted program aimed at advancing plant health research and education for superintendents to help ensure the health of their courses and the industry for the future.
Whitemarsh Valley in Lafayette Hill, Pa., was chosen to represent the cool season region. TPC Swagrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., represents the warm season region. They will serve as living labs for researchers and superintendents to test plant health technologies in a real-world setting.
Research trials will assess parameters such as visual turf quality (rating), disease incidence, fertility and radiometric measurements; and from the data collected, correlations will be made between visual parameters and radiometric outputs including RVI (Ratio Vegetative Index). Stressors introduced in the studies may include aerification, shading, water reduction and fertility reduction.
Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow was launched May 8. It is a four-pronged initiative, including the demonstration courses. Also, there will be an academy for 12 GCSAA member superintendents who have applied to be part of it. Those who are picked will receive in-the-field training Sept. 25-27 at Bayer's Training and Development Center in Clayton, N.C., followed by classroom training March 3-5, 2014, at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan.
There also will be webinars on plant health, and scholarships funded by Bayer for superintendents to advance their educations in plant health-related studies.
To fund Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow, Bayer is investing a percentage of its StressGard Formulation Technology product sales each year for three years, which is expected to generate a minimum $100,000 investment annually for three years for the program. The program is in collaboration with GCSAA's Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG).