Golf Course Management

OCT 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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gcm ex t ra The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program coordinates a nationwide effort to grade and report on the performance of new and existing turfgrass cultivars. Photos courtesy of Jeff Nus A turfgrass report card Editor's note: The following previously appeared in the June 8, 2012, edition of the USGA Green Section Record and is reprinted here with permission of the Green Section. The turf industry and golf course superintendents depend on the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program to grade the performance of new and existing turfgrass cultivars. Jeff Nus, Ph.D. 72 GCM October 2013 The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, or NTEP as it is commonly called in the industry, is a cooperative effort between the non-proft NTEP Inc. and the United States Department of Agriculture and is headquartered at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Md. From its inception in 1980, NTEP's goal has been to coordinate a nationwide network of universities to grade and report the performance of new and existing turfgrass cultivars. With over an estimated 50 million acres of the U.S. covered by turfgrass, it is an important responsibility for the third largest crop in America. Although it is common knowledge to professional turfgrass managers, many nonprofessionals do not appreciate the fact that different turfgrass species are used in different parts of the country and according to different needs. In addition, since dozens of new turfgrass cultivars are introduced into the market each year, a system of objective testing to determine which cultivars perform best in a given location is needed. That is the purpose of NTEP. NTEP trials compare the quality and other performance measurements of experimental and commercial turfgrass cultivars at several locations across the nation and report this information to turfgrass breeders, seed producers and interested end users. NTEP has conducted turfgrass trials with warm-season turfgrasses such as bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, seashore paspalum and St. Augustinegrass, as well as cool-season turfgrasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, creeping bentgrass, colonial bentgrass, velvet bentgrass, tall fescue, creeping red fescue, Chewings fescue, sheep fescue and hard fescue among others.

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