WCTA Conference in the Books

Our Superintendent, Travis Olson, attended the 2018 Western Canada Turfgrass Association Conference and Trade Show this past week in Richmond. Over the course of 4 days Travis attended numerous education seminars and took park in the industry trade show and networking opportunities.

He reports that one of the highlights from the conference was a Seminar with Dr. Micah Woods of the Asian Turfgrass Centre, regarding the use of MLSN (Minimum Levels for Sustainable Nutrition) Guidelines. This is a relatively new way of interpreting soil tests, which Dr. Woods helped develop in 2012. It recommends a minimum level of nutrients in the soil that the grass plant will need to stay healthy. It’s based on a simple calculation that involves measuring clippings removed from mowing.

Calculation: (A+B) – C = Q
A) A site specific estimate of plant (nutrient) use.
– Measured from clippings collected
B) What amount of nutrient is required by the soil to provide a healthy plant
– This is taken from the MLSN Guidelines.
C) The amount of nutrients actually present in the soil.
– Taken from a soil sample test
Q) The minimum amount of nutrients that needs to be applied through fertilizer application.
– A positive number is the amount of fertilizer required
– A negative number means that more than the minimum is already present in the soil

Keep in mind that these are the MINIMUM amount of nutrients required to grow healthy turf. This calculation can give you the MINIMUM amount required but you should always error on the side of having more than the MINIMUM. These are site specific recommendations based on grass species, soil type, and specific climate.

If you’d like to find out more about MLSN you can visit Dr. Woods’s website at asianturfgrass.com

Dr. Woods used an example that we could all relate to: the amount of beer we would need to host a party of 10 people. We want to make sure we have enough beer for everyone to drink, we don’t know exactly how much beer each person will drink, but we can make an educated guess. If everyone is going to have 2 to 4 beer we better have at least 40 beer just to make sure. But we don’t want to run out if people want to have more, so we should probably get a 48 pack of beer to make sure everyone is happy. If we have some leftover, we can use it at our next party.


Travis said that overall, it was a great conference and he was able to learn some new things and make some new connections in the industry.

About the WCTA
The WCTA is a 700+ member, inter-provincial, not-for-profit industry organization whose purpose is to promote the interchange of scientific and practical knowledge through education, discussion, research and to undertake advocacy relating to the care and management of turfgrass.

The WCTA is proud to serve and support a diverse range of professional turf management interests such as golf courses, school boards, municipalities, sod farms, nurseries, landscapers, lawn bowling greens, mechanics, horticulturists and industry suppliers.

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