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MSU Turfgrass program to acquire low-temperature
growth chamber for turf research
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CONTACT: Mariah Montenegro, email@example.com, 517-884-7080
MSU Turfgrass program to acquire low-temperature growth chamber for turf research
EAST LANSING, Mich. ‒ Polar temperatures combined with ice this past winter left turf areas in mid- through southeastern Michigan with a large amount of winterkill damage. The destruction is seen on putting greens and other turf areas. The harsh winter weather has had an impact on the turfgrass industry resulting in potential business losses.
“Golf course superintendents not only have to resolve the issue of re-establishing the greens by purchasing seed, fertilizer and covers, but they also may lose revenue from golfers not playing the course, and also losses in food and beverage sales,” said Michigan State University (MSU) AgBioResearch scientist Kevin Frank.
The turfgrass industry faces the challenge of the best way to solve the current problem and to prevent similar damage in the future. Because of limited information on winter damage, the MSU Turfgrass team and board members of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation (MTF) have agreed to obtain a low-temperature growth chamber to help investigate new findings.
The MSU Turfgrass team consists of nine faculty members focused on research, extension and teaching in the areas of turfgrass science that include golf courses, athletic fields, home lawns, sods and commercial properties. The MTF is a nonprofit organization that supports MSU research for better turfgrass maintenance methods.
“The partnership between MSU and the MTF is very strong and effective,” said director of MSUAgBioResearch Doug Buhler. “Together, we are able to promptly respond to this major industry issue and provide scientific insight that will help golf course superintendents throughout Michigan. It’s another example of how industries have come to trust and rely on MSU for research solutions to meet their needs.”
Emily Merewitz, AgBioResearch scientist, said there is a great need for research facilities, such as this growth chamber, to support research on extreme weather tolerance of cool-surface turfgrass species.
“A low-temperature growth chamber can imitate harsh winter conditions in a controlled setting so that researchers can investigate topics such as ice damage, cold acclimation and de-acclimation, and other issues related to winterkill damage year-round.”
Based on this research the MSU Turfgrass team and the MTF hope to identify ways in which superintendents can minimize winterkill injury in the future.
The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation (MTF) is a nonprofit organization which supports research at Michigan State University to find better turfgrasses and better methods of turfgrass maintenance. Incorporated in 1957, the MTF has achieved success in fulfilling these needs through research and education. Located at the Robert W. Hancock Turfgrass Research Center on the Michigan State University campus, the MTF continues its successes in these areas by working closely with the University and the industry.
Our membership reflects the full diversity of turfgrass professionals including homeowners, golf courses, seed and sod growers, municipalities, parks and recreational areas, lawn and landscape contractors, sports turf managers, athletic associations, cemetery associations, and other facets of the industry. Membership is offered to anyone interested in the betterment and enjoyment of turfgrass.
The mission of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation is:
"To work in partnership with Michigan State University, supporting ongoing programs in research, education, and extension in the area of professional turfgrass management that will benefit all individuals who manage turfgrasses or derive pleasure from the results of such management."
MSU Turf Diseases Web Site
The MSU Department of Plant Pathology has created a Web site intended to help you learn the key identification characteristics of common and not-so-common turfgrass diseases found in Michigan and the midwest. Correct identification is the first step to proper management.We have created biography pages for each disease to help you better understand why diseases invade. The biography pages include information on habitat, alternative common names (AKA), look-a-likes, management practices and chemical controls. Please visit msuturfdiseases.net to utilize this invaluable tool.
Rebecca Schoch, Executive Secretary
Michigan Turfgrass Foundation
PO Box 27156
Lansing, MI 48909-7156
517.392.5003 | Fax: 989.936.5911
Dr. Kevin Frank's podcast of interview with Frank Beckmann/WJR: