GENETIC IMPROVEMENT

Cool Season Grass

Genetic change for the improvement of cool season grass is happening quickly.  Grass varieties today are completely different than varieties even just 10 years ago.  The biggest changes have been with:

  • Faster germination

  • Aggressive growth for fill in from seed and recovery from heavy play

  • Stronger, deeper roots for more stability and requiring less irrigation 

  • Disease resistance to reduce/ eliminate fungicide use

  • Traffic tolerance for seedlings to withstand immediate play after germination 

These genetic improvements have completely changed what is possible for natural grass surfaces.  Sod is no longer the only option when it comes to building or repairing a high use natural grass field, saving money and reducing overall inputs.

Warm Season Grass

Warm season turfgrass genetics are also improving quickly, moving warm season grasses north of the I-70 corridor for the first time ever.  Evolution in warm season has focused on:

  • Cold tolerance for the grass to survive cold winters of the north

  • Reduced light requirements for max photosynthesis to allow grass to green up earlier and sustain growth into late fall

  • Finer textured leaves and runners to create a more desiriable playing surface

  • Salt tolerance to allow recycled/ reclaimed water to be utilized for irrigation 

Warm season grasses now range widely in species and variety.  All genetic improvements lead to stronger growth and new possibilies for high use natural grass surface.  

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