Beltsville, MD-The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) Policy Committee met in February to discuss many items related to its programs, upcoming trials and potential new trials. Trials slated for establishment in 2008 include bentgrass (putting green and fairway/tee) and fineleaf fescue. Each trial will include a total seventeen trial locations, which includes several ancillary trials sites. Ancillary trials test cultivar response to specific stresses or under unique environmental conditions. For example, the bentgrass and fineleaf fescue ancillary trials will be conducted on one site each that is irrigated with saline or recycled irrigation water. Other ancillary trials will focus tolerance to stresses such as snow mold (bentgrass putting green), traffic (bentgrass putting green and fineleaf fescue); and shade (bentgrass fairway/tee and fineleaf fescue). In addition, two bentgrass putting green locations will be established on golf courses where they will receive golf traffic.

Other items discussed during the meeting include NTEP’s efforts to strengthen it data collection protocols and methods, visits to NTEP trial sites and two new trials in the planning stages. These new Trait Specific Trials focus on the evaluation of drought tolerance and traffic tolerance, over multiple species. The meeting highlights along with selected locations for the 2008 trials can be found in the NTEP News Room at http://www.ntep.org/newsroom.htm .

NTEP, established in 1981, coordinates evaluation trials and publishes objective data on turfgrass performance. For additional information on NTEP or the trials, visit http://www.ntep.org or contact Kevin Morris, NTEP Executive Director, at (301) 504-5125.

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