Kaminski and McElroy Seminars 2014

Colin Campbell (Chemicals) Pty Ltd hosted 2 turf seminars 12th and 14th August 2014 in Sydney and Cairns featuring Dr John Kaminski from Penn State University and Dr Scott McElroy from Auburn University Alabama in the USA.

Both speakers were very well received and delegates went back to their facility with ample information to better manage their turf.

Dr Kaminski as many of you know visited our shores last year and it was great to have him again come out and speak to supers again from Sydney. I’d like to thank Royal Sydney Golf Club and Steve Marsden in hosting us.

Dr McElroy made his first visit to Australia and thoroughly enjoyed the talks talking to turf managers about their weed issues. Dr McElroy and had a great handle on common weed names as in the US common names can be very different.


Rather than a review from myself of the seminars I am privileged to have some guest bloggers who were at the event.

From the Royal Sydney golf Club Seminar- Cameron Stuart Deputy Superintendent.

From Cairns session Peter Lonergan President of the AGCSA and GSCAQ and superintendent of Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club

Cameron Stuart Deputy Course Superintendent Royal Sydney Golf Club

Last Tuesday, AGCSA members went to Royal Sydney Golf Club to attend the education seminar presented and organised by Colin Campbell (Chemicals) Nadeem Zreikat and hosted by the Course Superintendent Steve Marsden.

The special guest speakers for the day were Dr John Kaminski (Penn State University) and Dr Scott McElroy (Auburn University). Fresh off the plane without a chance to adjust to their new surroundings, McElroy went straight into some home truths about weeds , particularly Poa annua, and their resistance to both pre and post emergent herbicides. McElroy focused on the importance of mixing chemistries and how critical it is to get the timing of pre-emergents just right, don’t forget to apply the old chemistries from time to time to avoid resistance issues.

Dr John Kaminski then opened to the floor to discuss any turfgrass disease that people wanted to know about. Instantly, there was a very loud shout  “Pythium!” trying to catch Kaminski off guard because it wasn’t included in the list on his screen. Weary from the long flight, Kaminski didn’t stumble, and went on to explain a very complex management strategy. He also explained his “go to” strategy for controlling Root Pythium.

It turned out that Kaminski had a “go to” strategy for every disease the crowd could ask for, and openly shared these strategies, what to spray, the importance of the correct water volumes  and at what intervals, to treat any disease that was discussed.

The event was very informative and everyone who attended left with a couple of pages of secrets. Special thanks to Nadeem and Steve for organising the event and thanks to Dr Scott McElroy and Dr John Kaminski for such great presentations.

Cameron Stuart

Deputy Course Superintendent

Peter Lonergan Superintendent Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club

I had the opportunity to represent both the AGCSA and GCSAQ in Cairns recently at the Colin Campbell (Chemicals) seminar which was headlined by John Kaminski from Penn Sate University who has been to Australia before and Scott McElroy from Auburn University who was in Australia for the first time.

The reports on John’s last trip to Australia were very complimentary and I was eager to hear him speak and he certainly didn’t disappoint, and Scott was just as good.  They asked the audience what their major disease and weed problems were and tailored their presentations to suit the warm season turf dominated audience.  The day took on more of a discussion session with attendees able to get answers to their own specific problems which created an excellent forum atmosphere amongst the fifty strong audience which is the highest ever attendance at a turf related local seminar in far north Queensland.

John’s specialty is disease prevention and control and he gave some excellent information about management practices to lessen the onset of disease and then was insistent that you need to make sure your water volume is right and you have the right nozzles.  As he said, fungicides are proven to control disease and any lack of control following application relates to the application itself.

Scott’s area of expertise is weeds across the board from germination, life cycles, mode of action of active ingredients, application, control and resistance.  He had broad knowledge of application of product and methods of getting control and didn’t just say “put out xyz and it will work.”  He also stressed the need for correct water volumes and application rates to ensure successful application.  Resistance to pre-emergent herbicides was also very high on his agenda and he was adamant of the need to rotate your chemical groups.

Overall the response from all attendees was nothing but positive with many saying John and Scott were two of the best speakers they had heard, me included.  Both had taken the time to adapt their presentations to suit Australian conditions as far as metric conversions and name differences were concerned and really engaged the audience and seemed genuinely interested in the topics raised.  I personally took two pages of notes and have already started tweaking application and spraying schedules as a result.

A first class day and thanks to Nadeem and Colin Campbell (Chemicals) for providing the opportunity to be part of such a successful day.


Thank you to Cameron & Peter for being my first guest bloggers. I would like to thank the Royal Sydney Golf Club for hosting us and the AGCSA and GCSAQ for running the even in  Cairns. Without associations like this we cannot have the quality of speakers of John & Scott. So if you are not members of your state or national association I urge you sign up.