The University of California Riverside (UCR) turfgrass and landscape program recently held their 2014 Research Field Day in Riverside, Calif. More than 225 golf and landscape professionals attended the full day event to learn about the world-class research activities conducted at UCR.
Headed by Jim Baird, Ph.D., turfgrass specialist at UCR, the day provided a synopsis of UCR’s current research activities and featured numerous tours through state-of-the-art research areas designed to study water and salinity management issues on turf and landscapes.
|Dr. Jim Baird speaking to GCSAA superintendents at the annual UC Riverside Turfgrass and Landscape Research Field Day.|
Some of the highlights of the day included the evaluation of natural and hybrid turf for water conservation; drought tolerance of turfgrass species and cultivars/evaluation of fertilizer products under deficit irrigation; evaluation of products for alleviation of salinity and drought stress; evaluation of fungicides for control of anthracnose; nematode control and managing of Kikuyu grass under deficit irrigation using Maxx and wetting agents/herbicides.
New to the field day this year was the UCR turfgrass breeding project. Due to the long-term drought concerns and diminishing potable water supplies, UCR is developing drought tolerant turfgrass cultivars specifically for California climates. The objective of the program is to develop cultivars with improved drought, heat and salt tolerance, as well as winter color retention. Major efforts are being employed in selecting superior germplasm and early cycles of hybridizations in tall fescue, bermudagrass, perennial ryegrass and Festulolium. I found the breeding project to be of great interest and look forward to seeing its progress in the coming years.
The UC Riverside turfgrass research facility and program, funded in part by the California Turfgrass & Landscape Foundation (under the executive leadership of former GCSAA pas president Bruce Williams, CGCS) currently provides the only university based turf research in the state of California.
On behalf of the California GCSA Chapters, thanks to Dr. Baird and his team for a research program that meets the interests and continuing needs of the golf industry. To learn more about the field day, visit the website at http://ucanr.org/sites/turfgrassfieldday or donate to the program by visiting the California Turfgrass & Landscape Foundation site at www.CAtlf.com.