RESEARCH UPDATE
Green Section Reviews Funded Research Projects March 11, 2015

Dr. Patrick McCullough discusses his research on management practices and prediction models for controlling seedheads on warm-season grasses.

During the first week in June, the Turfgrass and Environmental Research Committee meet in Atlanta to discuss the projects funded by the program. The committee also received summary presentations from three researchers, and the two-day meeting included a visit to the University of Georgia turfgrass research program in Griffin, Ga. 

Dr. Patrick McCullough, University of Georgia, discusses his research on management practices and prediction models for controlling seedheads on warm-season grasses. The seedheads are sometimes a nuisance on golf course tees, fairways, and surrounds. Bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, and seashore paspalum cultivars are evaluated at different cutting heights using a growing degree-day model to estimate when seedheads emerge in the spring. Five application timings of plant growth regulators are under evaluation for seedhead suppression.

The research committee reviewed fifty-eight research summaries from projects receiving $960,000 in grant funding in 2013. The general research areas included:

  • Integrated Turfgrass Management
  • Physiology, Genetics and Breeding
  • Environmental Impact
  • Product Testing 

You also can review the research summaries by going to theTurfgrass and Environmental Research Online (TERO) website. The research summaries appear as short articles in first four 2014 issues of TERO.  

The University of Georgia was the successful secured $11.5 million state funding for new research facilities in Griffin, Tifton, and Athens, Ga. The Griffin Campus will receive a new 24,000 sq. ft. Turfgrass Science Research and Education building, as well as a 12,000 sq. ft. greenhouse complex. The Tifton Campus will have a new 10,000 sq. ft. greenhouse complex, and in Athens, a new 2,000 sq. ft. classroom and 4,000 sq. ft. greenhouse will be built.

Dr. Albrecht Koppenhofer, Rutgers University, presented results on research to improve annual bluegrass weevil management. Dr. Koppenhofer and his research team are evaluating different integrated pest management (IPM) approaches: plant resistance/tolerance, monitoring, and biological or chemical control. Dr. Beth Guertal, University of Auburn, presented early results on new turfgrass fertilizers to evaluate the claims made by various manufacturers. Dr. Dale Bremer, Kansas State University, discussed a Kentucky bluegrass water use study completed a few years ago. His research revealed that some cultivars used three times more water than those needing the lowest amount of water during the summer months.   

During the visit to the University of Georgia, Griffin, the research committee listened to presentations by several of the scientists. One highlight was the successful $11.5 million funding of new research facilities in Griffin, Tifton, and Athens, Ga. The Griffin Campus will receive a new 24,000 sq. ft. Turfgrass Science Research and Education building, as well as a 12,000 sq. ft. greenhouse complex. The Tifton Campus will have a new 10,000 sq. ft. greenhouse complex, and in Athens, a new 2,000 sq. ft. classroom and 4,000 sq. ft. greenhouse will be built. The research committee reviewed several field studies underway at the Griffin Campus including seashore paspalum breeding, growing degree-day model for seedhead appearance in warm-season grasses, and the NTEP warm-season putting green trial.   

Source:  Mike Kenna (mkenna@usga.org)    

Additional Information:

Integrated Management of Annual Bluegrass Weevil

New Turfgrass Fertilizers: Field and Laboratory Studies

Thirsty But Green

Management Practices for Controlling Seedheads on Warm-Season Grasses

 

More from the USGA