University of Minnesota

Fine-grain spatial information may enhance the value of turfgrass cultivar data

By Majid Farhadloo, and Shashi Shekhar, Department of Computer Science, University of Minnesota

Two graphs with color coding showing turfgrass quality in the first graph and the plot randomization in the second graph.

Thanks to NTEP-DB 1.0 [1], the relational database we created for the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP), obtaining turfgrass cultivars' data will soon be much easier. In addition, a user-friendly web application by U-Spatial allows homeowners, researchers, and other stakeholders to extract meaningful information from NTEP data in a variety of formats.  For example, retailers can learn the best cultivars to stock in different store locations around the country.

Evaluating fine fescues for golf greens in cold climates

By Gary Deters and Eric Watkins, University of Minnesota

A roller with tines attached to a golf cart

For a golf course superintendent, managing creeping bentgrass/annual bluegrass putting greens on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis is always a challenge. The goal, regardless of turfgrass species, is to manage the turf to be as healthy as possible while the greens are subjected to daily play from golfers. Cultural practices, nutrition, and water management are important to the success of the golf course playability and overall health of the turf.

Out of the shadows: Using data to breed better turfgrasses for shade

turfgrass growing beneath several trees

By Dominic Petrella, University of Minnesota

Foliage (trees, shrubs, etc.) and structures (buildings, fences, etc.) can shade turfgrasses either by directly being over turf areas, or by casting shadows over the turf – both leading to poor turfgrass performance. As researchers, we try to classify how light changes under these areas to better understand how turfgrasses might respond, and to be able to breed better turfgrasses for shade. We collect data on spectral quality under trees, structures, and their shadows, then we can expose various germplasm to simulated shade to find the best plants.