SportsTurf

December 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

Issue link: http://read.epgmediallc.com/i/911866

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6 // December 2017 FROM THE SIDELINES www.spor tsturfonline.com EPG Media & Specialty Information 10405 6th Ave. N., Ste 210 Plymouth, MN 55441 The Official Publication Of The Sports Turf Managers Association SALES REPRESENTATIVES Chris Pelikan Senior Account Manager - East Phone: (763) 383-4408 cpelikan@epgmediallc.com Peggy Tupper Senior Account Manager - Midwest Phone: (763) 383-4429 ptupper@epgmediallc.com Leslie Palmer Senior Account Manager - West Phone: (763) 383-4460 lpalmer@epgmediallc.com EDITORIAL Group Publisher: David Voll Editorial Director: Eric Schroder Technical Editor: Dr. Joey Young Managing Art Director: Dodi Vessels Associate Art Director: Phil Tippin Production Manager: Angela Scott SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES Phone: (847) 763-9565 Sportsturf@omeda.com REPRINTS Wright's Media Wyndell Hamilton epg@wrightsmedia.com ((218) 419-5725, ext. 152 DIRECT MAIL LIST SALES MeritDirect, Jim Scova Phone: (914) 368-1012 jscova@MeritDirect.com // December 2017 ON PAGE 12 OF THIS ISSUE is an update from some turfgrass breeders on what's happening in their worlds. Here's another response, from Yanqi Wu, PhD, professor, grass breeding and genetics, Oklahoma State University: Q: Are you always actively breeding some species of turfgrass? Wu: Yes, I breed bermudagrass for turf use. Bermudagrass species include common bermudagrass and African bermudagrass. That is a major part of my job appointment. Q: What characteristics are you currently working to improve, in what turfgrasses? Wu: We, the Oklahoma State University turfgrass improvement team, are working on turf quality, host plant resistance to abiotic (cold, drought, shade, traffi c, low mowing), biotic (spring dead spot, leaf spot, nematodes), and production traits (sod tensile strength for vegetatively propagated cultivars and seed yield for seed-propagated ones). Q: What's the hottest topic in turfgrass breeding now? Wu: There are a few exciting topics in the turfgrass breeding world. Turf bermudagrass breeders released several superior cultivars. Latitude 36 and NorthBridge turf bermudagrass from our program have been widely embraced in the turf industry. TifTuf from the UGA bermudagrass breeding program has been produced in large acres in the South. We recently released OKC 1131 turf bermudagrass combing high turf quality, cold hardiness and drought resistance. [And] there are other turf breeders with new, exciting cultivars. Q: Explain how a new cultivar gets to market: breeder, tester, grower, marketer? Wu: It is a quite long journey from breeding raw germplasm into a new cultivar, averaging 10 years or longer. Breeders play a game of numbers, producing experimental genotypes as many as they can with their best germplasm and with their ideal dream of cultivars in their mind. We will perform tests to select elite plants and send them to turfgrass scientists for them to test further on specifi c characteristics. And then we will send best selections into the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) national tests for testing performance and adaptation in multiple locations over years (normally 5 years each test). Marketers will purchase a license of best vegetatively propagated cultivars and sublicense them to sod growers for producing sod on sod farms. There are large variances in each step in terms of specifi c operations among breeding programs. Q: What's the biggest change in turfgrass breeding over the past 5 years? Wu: With funding from the USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative, turfgrass breeders are able to collaborate with each other and collaborate with turf scientists, agronomists, physiologists, plant pathologists, extension specialists, social-agri-economists, colleagues from the turf industry, like leaders from US Golf Association, NTEP, Turfgrass Producers International, and many producers. We need to continue this trend to plow in funds supporting research. The outcome of research will directly benefi t the turf industry and the society. I hope more federal funding agencies like USDA will support turf research work. I hope sports turf industry can develop a research-funding program to support turf research for sports fi elds as well. /ST/ Breeders working hard for you Eric Schroder / Editorial Director / Eschroder@epgmediallc.com / 763-383-4458

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