LAWRENCE, KS—The SAFE Foundation, STMA’s charitable arm, is funding a three-year traffic tolerance study of cool-season grasses on athletic fields. The research project is being conducted in conjunction with the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP). The research project begins in 2009.
This project evaluates traffic tolerance and performance of cool-season grasses used on athletic fields under simulated football-type conditions. Although there are many species, blends and mixtures available to sports turf managers, there is very little information on their relative traffic tolerance and persistence under athletic field conditions. NTEP’s previous research evaluations on traffic tolerance was very limited. This project proposes to take the next step in athletic traffic evaluations, with more trial locations and comparative evaluations of species, blends and mixtures.
The project will provide practical information on the performance of cool-season species, cultivars, blends and mixtures used on athletic fields. Since the project will be conducted in several distinct geographical locations, information can be utilized by sports turf managers across much of the U.S. to help with decision-making on establishing new fields, renovating fields or overseeding existing stands.
NTEP has conducted similar projects in cooperation with the USGA and the GCSAA, either for putting greens or fairway overseeding. More information on these trials can be found on the NTEP website (http://www.ntep.org/onsite/ost.htm).