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Turfgrass analysis is helping the Pete Dye River Course stay green

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Category: research Video duration: Turfgrass analysis is helping the Pete Dye River Course stay green
Take a look at how researchers use precise data to keep turfgrass safe and playable.
Our lab focuses on precision turf grass management as a major emphasis. Turfgrass industry is a major, major industry. Billions of dollars are spent each year just in Virginia. We do a lot of work with golf courses, with athletic fields. What we're trying to do is essentially figure out what products need to go to certain areas at the specific time. Rather than applying blanket applications everywhere. Right now we're at the Pete Dye River Course. We're actually going out flying a drone across several acres of the golf course, taking hundreds of images that we then stitch together. We put those together like puzzle pieces, and then we can go through and do some processing to the end to try to go through and figure out and just where the the pests are that we're most interested in. Our program focuses on a lot of emerging technologies. We use GPS sprayers, using machine learning to try to figure out where specific things are occurring. We've got a high resolution drone up in the air. We're looking at the diseases inside of the canopy on the fairway. And so we fly it about 80 feet above the ground. And we're looking for spots that are about two centimeters in diameter. So we're looking for very small things. We've got where the disease is, we've got super accurate GPS nowadays as well. So we know exactly where it is. We can plug that into our GPS sprayer technology. So we're able to, using all of these different technologies, kind of meld them together. Really, what we're trying to do is make the area as playable as possible and as safe as possible. I think there's a good balance between playability in sustainability out here and especially being next to the river. But our goal is to create the best possible playing conditions that we can. The guys that do the research out here, they're the ones developing the new products that we're going to use in the future It's the river course. The New River is right beside it. So I have to be very, very aware of my surroundings and just be very environmentally conscious and sustainable is as much as I can be. By reducing those inputs, spraying only where we need to. We're able to save them a little bit of money, help reduce those pesticide inputs into the environment and also make everything still look nice and green.