U of M-led project could mean improved grass options for homeowners, public spaces

October 04, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (10/04/2012) --A new research project led by University of Minnesota scientists could lead to sustainable, drought- and wear-resistant turf grasses that could be used in both home lawns and public green spaces.

The 5-year project is funded by a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is part of a national research effort to improve specialty crops. Researchers hope to develop new grass cultivars that would require less water, fertilizer, pesticide and mowing and to explore ways to share the ecological and economic benefits of the new grasses with homeowners, landscapers and public land managers.

"The fine fescues provide many characteristics that most people would want in a lawn grass--they don't need to be mowed very often, they don't use a lot of water, and they are very tolerant of shade," says Eric Watkins, an associate professor of horticultural science at the university and the project's lead investigator. "Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find these grasses at local retailers. This project will lead to the development of new varieties of these grasses that are well-adapted to adverse conditions and more available to consumers."

The project includes four objectives:
-end-
Along with Watkins' team at the University of Minnesota, scientists from Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison also are involved in the project.

University of Minnesota

Related Agriculture Articles from Brightsurf:

Post-pandemic brave new world of agriculture
Recent events have shown how vulnerable the meat processing industry is to COVID-19.

Agriculture - a climate villain? Maybe not!
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that agriculture is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases, and is thus by many observers considered as a climate villain.

Digital agriculture paves the road to agricultural sustainability
In a study published in Nature Sustainability, researchers outline how to develop a more sustainable land management system through data collection and stakeholder buy-in.

Comparisons of organic and conventional agriculture need to be better, say researchers
The environmental effects of agriculture and food are hotly debated.

EU agriculture not viable for the future
The current reform proposals of the EU Commission on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are unlikely to improve environmental protection, say researchers led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Göttingen in the journal Science.

Global agriculture: Impending threats to biodiversity
A new study compares the effects of expansion vs. intensification of cropland use on global agricultural markets and biodiversity, and finds that the expansion strategy poses a particularly serious threat to biodiversity in the tropics.

A new vision for genomics in animal agriculture
Iowa State University animal scientists helped to form a blueprint to guide the next decade of animal genomics research.

New pathways for sustainable agriculture
Diversity beats monotony: a colourful patchwork of small, differently used plots can bring advantages to agriculture and nature.

The future of agriculture is computerized
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab Open Agriculture Initiative have used computer algorithms to determine the optimal growing conditions to improve basil plants' taste by maximizing the concentration of flavorful molecules known as volatile compounds.

When yesterday's agriculture feeds today's water pollution
Water quality is threatened by a long history of fertilizer use on land, Canadian scientists find.

Read More: Agriculture News and Agriculture Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.