Oklahoma State University Turfgrass Science

Oklahoma State University Turfgrass Science

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Oklahoma State University Turfgrass Science

  

 There are approximately 163,800 km2 of cultivated turfgrass in the United States representing an area three times larger than any irrigated agricultural crop.  The turfgrass industry contributes approximately $40 billion per year to the United States economy and approximately $1 billion per year to the Oklahoma economy.

Turfgrass research began in the mid-1900’s at Oklahoma State University (OSU) with the leadership of several faculty including Dr. Wayne Huffine.  Dr. Charles Taliaferro began breeding and developing turf bermudagrasses in the mid-1980’s.  Since then, OSU has independently or collaboratively released seven bermudagrass cultivars to the turf industry, namely ‘Midlawn’ and ‘Midfield’ in 1993, ‘Yukon’ and ‘Riviera’ in 2005, and ‘Patriot’ in 2006.  Most recently, 'NorthBridge' and 'Latitude 36' turf bermudagrasses were released in 2011. These cultivars are popular in the U.S. transition zone primarily due to their improved turf quality, cold hardiness, and spring dead spot tolerance.

Students compete at 2017 GIS

#okstate Turf Bowl team on the GIS trade show floor with #latitude36. #madeinoklahoma

The OSU Turf Club sponsored a team of four students to attend this year’s Golf Industry Show in Orlando, FL, Feb. 4-9The team comprised on Colton Craig, Nate Parks, Phil Davis and Eric Elrod explored the trade show floor, met with potential employers, and interacted with fellow students from across the country. Nearly 60 teams from over 30 universities competed in the Turf Bowl Competition. The Cowboys finished somewhere in the middle of the pack this year and hope to build towards next year’s competition in San Antonio. The Golf Industry Show provides the golf management industry with a dynamic, progressive week of unparalleled networking opportunities and hands-on access to golf course and facility management solutions for professional members. Special thanks go to those who have contributed to the Turf Club this year as well as the CASNR Student Council and Student Government Association for co-sponsoring the trip. Craig, Parks, Davis and Elrod make a stand on the OSU developed turfgrass Latitude 36 while exploring the trade show during the conference. (photo above)


 

RESEARCH PRIORITIES

  1. Develop and screen turfgrasses for improved turf performance and environmental adaptation to both biotic and abiotic stresses. 
  2. Develop environmentally sound turfgrass management practices. 
  3. Assess the pest management research needs of Oklahoma’s turf production and maintenance industries. 
  4. Further investigate and develop environmentally sound yet efficacious and affordable alternatives to conventional turfgrass pest management practices. 
  5. Document the current economic impact of Oklahoma’s turfgrass production & maintenance industry.

EXTENSION PRIORITiES

  1. Develop resources for educating clientele on selection of turfgrasses with improved environmental adaptation to both biotic and abiotic stresses.
  2. Develop resources and transfer information on environmentally sound turfgrass management practices.
  3. Assess the pest management educational needs of Oklahoma’s turf production and maintenance industries.
  4. Development of educational resources and tools that offer environmentally sound yet efficacious and affordable alternatives to conventional turfgrass pest management strategies.

TEACHING PRIORITIES

  1. Prepare undergraduate students to enter the turfgrass industry by communicating basic scientific principles and applied management techniques.
  2. Prepare graduate students to enter industry or academia through a program including advanced education, innovative research, and effective technical writing.
 
 
 
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