NTEP establishes a new direction in cultivar testing

Beltsville, MD—The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) Policy Committee, at its recent meeting, took its cultivar testing in a new and exciting direction by establishing a new program, Trait SpecificTrials (TSTs). Trait Specific Trials focus on the evaluation of specific traits or stresses, comparing multiple species in the same trial at several locations. NTEP feels that the TST program will address the demands of the American consumer by identifying grasses with improved tolerance to stresses such as low-quality irrigation water, low maintenance, drought, etc.

The first TSTs for evaluation include tolerance of drought and traffic. Both trials are in the planning stages as testing protocols, trial locations and data collection parameters are now being developed. The trials are planned for establishment in fall 2009.

NTEP is excited to be partnering with the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA), through the SAFE (Safer Athletic Fields Environment) foundation, in developing and funding the traffic tolerance trials. STMA members and turfgrass researchers with traffic tolerance experience, will be involved in determining trial protocols and locations.

More information on TSTs can be found in the NTEP News Room at

http://www.ntep.org/newsroom.htm , click on Policy Committee meeting highlights link.

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.