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Texas A&M AgriLife showcases new varieties of turfgrass at research field day

By |  November 2, 2022 0 Comments

Texas A&M’s recent Turfgrass and Landscape Field Day in College Station, Texas, highlighted new turfgrass varieties expected to release soon or that are in the development pipeline.

The field day drew more than 250 participants, showcasing the latest research and fieldwork by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, which also included demonstrations and industry vendors.

Ambika Chandra, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research professor and turfgrass breeding program lead in Dallas, provided an update on work being done at the urban research center. (Photo: Michael Miller)

Ambika Chandra, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research professor and turfgrass breeding program lead in Dallas, provided an update on work being done at the urban research center. (Photo: Michael Miller)

“A lot of issues that are part of this field day pertain to lawn, golf, sports field and the sod industries working collaboratively with our breeding program in Dallas,” said Ben Wherley, Ph.D., AgriLife research turfgrass ecologist. “A lot of the projects that were discussed highlight that relationship, whether it be traffic tolerance from simulated athletic traffic, different cultivars of turfgrass or shade tolerance that affects homeowners, golf courses and sports fields.”

Wherley said irrigation management is always a big focus as well. As an industry, he says AgriLife looks for ways to improve water management and through breeding to develop turf that requires less water.

At the Field Day, Chrissie Segars, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist, presented results from the Zoysiagrass Cultivar Traffic Tolerance study. Varieties tested included Tiftuf bermudagrass.

Lazer is the newest golf greens variety of zoysiagrass, while the Zeon variety held up well under light traffic. All of the varieties underwent weekly traffic studies to indicate which would withstand different settings such. Traffic simulations conducted used a Baldree traffic simulator to measure tolerance and recovery.

The AgriLife team said variety still in the testing phase, TAES-28, has shown favorable growth traits for Texas conditions, including heat tolerance.



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