SCANGREEN : Turfgrass species and varieties for integrated pest management of Scandinavian putting greens, 2019-2022

Summary

Testing of new varieties is key to improving turfgrass quality. Breeders are focusing on disease resistance and tolerance to abiotic stresses. STERF programmes for IPM and ‘Winter Stress Management’ recommend variety evaluation as one of STERF’s most
important tasks. Since 2003, STERF has tested species and varieties under realistic green conditions. Results are updated annually at www.scanturf.org and www.sterf.org.

SCANGREEN 2019-2022 is being carried out at NIBIO Apelsvoll Norway (62°N) and Reykjavik GC Iceland (64°N) in the northern zone, and NIBIO Landvik Norway (58°N) and Sydsjælland GC Denmark (56°N) in the southern zone. There are similar trials in Massachusetts and Minnesota, USA. Ongoing trials are testing 30 new varieties and 24 controls representing 8 species. Seed mixtures are also included, as they showed good results in the southern zone in the previous SCANGREEN test round (2015-2018). They are thus included at NIBIO Landvik, Sydsjælland GC and in the American trials. In this test round, seed mixtures of 85% Festuca rubra + 15% Agrostis stolonifera, 85% Festuca rubra + 15% Agrostis capillaris and 85% Festuca rubra + 7.5% Agrostis stolonifera + 7.5% Agrostis capillaris will be studied. The SCANGREEN trials were seeded 18 June (NIBIO Apelsvoll), 1-2 July (NIBIO Landvik), 6-10 July (Reykjavik), 15 August (Sydsjælland), 1 September (Minnesota) and 18 September (Massachusetts). Each trial has a three-replicate split-plot design, with species
on main plots and varieties on subplots. The sowing rate was 0.7, 3.0, 1.5 and 4.0 kg 100 m-2 for Agrostis, Festuca, Poa and Lolium, respectively. Establishment was very uniform at Apelsvoll, Korpa and Landvik, except for one variety of Festuca rubra which was resown
with new seeds at all sites. For unknown reasons, creeping bentgrass established very slowly at Sydsjælland. The American trials were late-sown but established well and fast. All trials were assessed monthly for visual turf quality and other quality parameters. The first ranking of varieties will be presented in 2020 after one year of assessment.

Preliminary results from 2019 showed that Poa pratensis established more slowly than other species in both climate zones. At assessments in October, Agrostis canina and A. capillaris had more disease symptoms (Microdochium nivale) than the other species. At the latest disease assessment at NIBIO Apelsvoll on 1 November, all varieties of Festuca rubra also showed microdochium symptoms.

FACTS
Category: Turfgrass
Status: Ongoing
Project period: 2019 - 2022

Fundings (kSEK)

 

2019

2020

2021

2022

Total

STERF

500

500

500

500

2000

Variety entrance fees (50% in 2019, 50% in 2022)

153

 

 

153

306

NIBIO communication department (video)

 

 

 

44

44

Total

653

500

500

697

2350

Project objectives

• To screen in the field and clarify which varieties of Agrostis, Festuca, Poa and Lolium are
most winter-hardy, most stress-tolerant and most disease-resistant on putting greens
at four experimental sites representing the two major climate zones in the Nordic
countries.
• To create meeting places for discussions between plant breeders, seed companies and
greenkeepers in order to encourage variety awareness, integrated pest management and
continued efforts into turfgrass breeding for northern environments.