Iowa Turfgrass Field and Demo Day to Focus on Automation

Sept. 13 field day to offer industry updates, product demos and certified applicator trainings

September 5, 2023, 1:51 pm | Adam Thoms

Hand holding turf.AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Turfgrass Field and Demo Day brings people together from across the turfgrass industry for a day of food, fun, networking and a little education. This year’s session, scheduled for Sept. 13, will feature a special focus on automation in the turfgrass industry.

The field day will also include expert-led discussions on weed control, turfgrass pests and cultivar evaluations, along with testing updates from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The educational session will be held at Iowa State University’s Horticulture Research and Demonstration Station. Registration is $40 and includes lunch, refreshments and equipment and product demos. Visit to register.

This year’s session includes a special focus on technology in the turfgrass industry, including autonomous and remote mowers and GPS spray technology.

“A lot of people are curious about the automation and robotics that are available within the industry,” said Adam Thoms, assistant professor in horticulture and extension turfgrass specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Things that people learn at this field day should make their operations more efficient and economical, and better for the environment. It will be a great experience – I really encourage people to come out!”

Educational topics and speakers

  • Weed Control Options, Quincy Law; North Dakota State University.
  • Explaining Autonomous and Remote Mowers; Bill Tharrington, RC Motors.
  • Cultivar Evaluations; Nick Christians, university professor of horticulture at Iowa State.
  • Iowa State University Testing Updates; Zac Messer, Molly Briggs and Adam Thoms.
  • GPS Spray Control Demo; Ken Rost, Frost Inc.
  • Autonomous Mower Testing at Iowa State University.
  • Turfgrass and Ornamental Pest Walk; Nick Christians, Adam Thoms, Zac Messer and Molly Briggs.

Pesticide applicator training sessions begin at 9 a.m. and include restricted entry level, recognition of sensitive sites, right of way and pesticide labels. Continuing instructional credits are being offered to certified pesticide applicators for recertification of commercial or private licenses in categories 3O (Ornamental Pest), 3T (Turf Pest), 3OT (Ornamental and Turf Pest).

Registration is $40 and includes lunch, refreshments and product demos. To register, visit For information, contact Adam Thoms at or 515-294-1957.

Shareable photo: Hand holding turf.

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