Research Update From New Mexico State University

By Brian Whitlark, agronomist, Southwest Region
December 11, 2013

‘Princess 77’ bermudagrass irrigated under drought conditions (50 percent of ETo) performed better when routinely treated with Primo MAXX® (left) compared to non-treated plots (right).

The Southwest Turfgrass Association Conference wrapped up prior to Thanksgiving in Ruidoso, N.M. Drs. Bernd Leinauer and Ryan Goss, along with their skilled team of graduate students, presented an update on 2013 research findings. In all, seven research projects were presented, with the primary focus on salinity and water conservation. Highlights from three studies are offered below.

  1. Seed coating to establish turfgrasses under drought and salinity stress  

The goal of this study is to determine if an experimental seed coating will enhance germination and establishment of perennial ryegrass and seashore paspalum when irrigating with saline water on both hydrophilic (water loving) and hydrophobic (water repellant) soils. Initial findings indicate the experimental seed coating did indeed improve germination and establishment when grown in a growth chamber and in greenhouse soils when irrigated with saline water. Further research will strive to identify if this strategy will yield positive results in the field.

  1. Surfactants and plant growth regulators for water conservation  

Several commercially available wetting agents, Primo MAXX® growth regulator and an experimental hydrophilic sand were repeatedly applied to ‘Princess 77’ bermudagrass and ‘Sea Spray’ paspalum irrigated at 80 percent and 50 percent of reference evapotranspiration with saline and potable water. Initial results revealed the polymer-coated sand, wetting agents and Primo MAXX enhanced turf quality under drought conditions.

  1. Comparison of water quantity applied to bermudagrass turf using soil moisture sensors versus evapotranspiration-controlled irrigation  

Four varying irrigation regimes were employed over a two-year period on tall fescue and bermudagrass turf. Water was applied based on: 1) the Toro Precision soil sensor, 2) the Irritrol® Climate Logic weather sensor, 3) historical ET, and 4) constant run time irrigation, or set run time irrigation. Irrigation scheduled by the Toro Precision soil sensor yielded water savings of 61 percent and 45 percent on tall fescue and 46 percent and 38 percent on bermudagrass in 2012 and 2013, respectively, when compared to constant run time irrigation.

Please visit the New Mexico State University Turfgrass website for more information on these topics or to contact Drs. Leinauer and Goss.

Source: Brian Whitlark (bwhitlark@usga.org)

Information on the USGA’s Turf Advisory Service

Contact the Green Section Staff

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image