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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objectives of the National Evaluation Program (NTEP) are to develop and coordinate uniform evaluation trials of turfgrass varieties and experimental selections in the United States and Canada.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Cooperate with university and private industry personnel in establishing, maintaining and collecting data from turfgrass trials. The NTEP will be responsible for the summarization and distribution of data collected

3. Progress Report
National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) tests were initiated, established, maintained and evaluated using standardized testing protocols. Data was collected across the U.S. and Canada by university researchers using standard procedures and formats. Data was submitted to NTEP, computer formatted, and statistically analyzed. Cultivars with superior disease, drought, heat and cold tolerance have been identified as well as cultivars with improved traffic tolerance. This information will be useful to turf managers in reducing pesticide and water and fertilizer use, thereby reducing environmental impact while maintaining the quality desired by users.

4. Accomplishments
1. Turf species show differences in salt tolerance. Researchers from the National Turf Evaluation Program and ARS Scientists in Beltsville, MD have evaluated the tolerance of turf cultivars to low quality/saline irrigation. The use of recycled, low quality and/or saline irrigation water on golf courses, athletic fields and parks is required now in some regions of the U.S., and is being considered for use in many other areas as the amount of potable water available for turf irrigation is becoming limited. A multi-year study demonstrated true statistical differences among cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. This research shows that it can take 3-5 years, under controlled field conditions, to adequately test for differences in salt tolerance in turf species.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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