The Turfgrass Science team from the University of Minnesota was well-represented at this year’s ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting held on November 10-13, 2019 in San Antonio, TX. Seven people gave oral presentations and five people presented posters.
By Yinjie Qiu
With about 450 species, fescues (Festuca L., Poaceae) are a large and diverse genus of perennial grasses. Based on various features, fine fescues are currently divided into two groups referred to as the F. rubra complex and the F. ovina complex. While it is relatively easy to identify fine fescue species into their proper complex, it is challenging to differentiate species within the same complex.
By Eric Watkins
My grandfather was born in 1922 near Warroad, Minnesota on a farm his father had settled shortly before. As a turfgrass researcher, I am also a regular visitor to Roseau County, Minnesota, the same county where my grandfather was born. The cold, unforgiving winters combine with just the right amount of daylight and rainfall during the summer to provide an excellent environment in which turfgrass seed can be produced, and grass seed fields now cover vast acreages near Roseau and Warroad.
by Yinjie Qiu
Turfgrass grows in a complex environment that is full of stresses. For example, in the summertime, turfgrasses may be under abiotic stresses such as heat and drought stress. Some biotic stresses, such as summer patch and dollar spot disease, can occur at the same time. Situations like this cause stress for golf course superintendents and other turf managers. Some of these problems could be solved by cultural management methods; however, these methods can be labor intensive and expensive.
by Yinjie Qiu
Fine fescues are often planted in mixtures, rather than as a single species, because the different species have complementary characteristics that work together to form a good quality turf stand. Yet when fine fescues are planted in mixtures, it is difficult to establish final community composition because the species are so similar morphologically. We are working on a technique to quickly determine fine fescue mixture species composition, which will benefit turfgrass researchers across the country.