Highlightsof Extension TYI NG RESEARCH TO REAL LI F E COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, H EALTH AND NATURAL RESOURCES are funding field research evaluating several different management regimes over time. The eight management strategies being tested include organic low, organic high, pesticide-free low, pesticide-free high, integrated pest management (IPM), integrated systems management (ISM), calendar-based, and a mow-only control. These management regimes are being evaluated on a plot area managed as a home lawn as well as an area managed as an athletic field. “These research plots will help identify strengths and weaknesses for each of the management regimes as well as provide a demonstration area for education, and to correct misinformation turf managers receive,” Jason says. “These results will help improve our current recommenda- tions to keep fields as safe as possible for the end user when managed without the use of pesticides.” “Looking at management strategies over time will show us differences, and allow a potential cost analysis to be prepared for each management strategy,” says Associate Extension Educator Vickie Wallace. “Heading into the fourth year of the trials, you can see differences in how the plots are managed, and it can translate to landscapes and athletic fields.” A full report will be published after research concludes in April 2018. A complicating factor to pesticide-free management is the fact that many of the athletic fields that fall under the pesticide ban do not have irrigation. Another project is currently underway to improve overseed- ing recommendations for non-irrigated sports fields. A new multi-state overseeding project evaluating three species, two cultivars, and multiple overseeding rates began in 2016. The New England Regional Turfgrass Foundation and the New England Sports Turf Managers Association sponsor the project. Research on these plots is unique in that it’s occurring on actual fields in use and not at a research facility. Three fields were selected at three separate locations based on the high intensity of traffic they receive. Treatments were initiated in September 2016 and overseeding will be repeated in the spring and fall of 2017. “While certainly different from athletic fields, backyards are also subject to wear and tear, and there may be parallels with care recommendations,” Vickie says. Another complementary research study led by Henderson and Assistant Professor John Inguagiato is quantifying the amount of dislodgeable foliar pesticide residue remaining following a pesticide application. The study is evaluating four different commonly used active ingredients for weed control on sports fields. The results of this research can help improve recom- mendations for minimizing potential exposure risks, and help lawmakers make science-based decisions concerning future legislation. In addition to the field research and demonstrations, a smart phone app is being released later this year for Apple and Android that will help turf managers and homeowners select the correct fertilizer, and purchase the proper amount. Videos in the app demonstrate fertilizer spreader calibration and application techniques. Extension outreach is an important component of research at a land-grant institution. The biannual Turf Field Day is held in even years at the Research Farm, and draws a crowd of over 300, including 40 commercial exhibitors from all over New England. In 2017 the team will host a sports turf workshop at UConn. Future workshops are being developed as research con- tinues and needs of turfgrass managers evolve. One thing is certain; the UConn Extension team will continue to meet the demands and challenges of the diverse industry. 1 UConn Extension. Economic Impact of the Turf Industry in Connecticut. (2015). Retrieved January 17, 2017 at extension.uconn.edu “These results will help improve our current rec- ommendations to keep fields as safe as possible for the end user when managed without the use of pesticides.” 2016 HIGHLIGHTS OF EXTENSION 23