Category Archives: Turfgrass

The future look of urban Texas landscapes

By: Kerry Halladay The Texas landscape is changing and becoming more urban. In her new role in Dallas — one of the fastest-growing cities in the country — Dr. Becky Bowling hopes to see that urban landscape become more water efficient and uniquely, beautifully Texan in the future. “I would say conservation is my passion,” Bowling said. “And I’m really interested in it from an urban perspective.” Bowling is an assistant professor in the Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and a Texas A&M AgriLife… Read More →

Straw joins Department of Soil and Crop Sciences faculty at Texas A&M University

Dr. Chase Straw has joined Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Research as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences turfgrass program. He will be assuming the duties of retired professor Richard White in a tenure track position which is 30% teaching and 70% research. Straw comes to College Station from St. Paul, Minnesota, where he held a postdoctoral position in the University of Minnesota Department of Horticulture. A native of Frankfort, Kentucky, Straw earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Plant and… Read More →

New St. Augustinegrass hybrids highlighted at annual turfgrass field day

Turfgrass needs to be drought tolerant, shade tolerant and disease resistant in order to thrive in Texas. A Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass breeder discussed genetically engineered St. Augustinegrass events and hybrids bred to meet these criteria during the recent Texas A&M AgriLife Turfgrass Field Day in College Station. Ambika Chandra, Ph.D., a turfgrass breeder in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences based at the AgriLife research and extension center in Dallas, and Lucas Freshour, from Scotts Miracle-Gro, are working together to test Pro-Vista St. Augustinegrass for… Read More →

Engelke receives 2019 turfgrass Breeder’s Cup

Dr. Milt Engelke, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, will receive the Turfgrass Breeders Association’s Breeders Cup Award during the Agronomy Society of America meeting in San Antonio November 13. Engelke earned the honor for his work on Diamond zoysiagrass, released in 1996 under U.S. plant patent 10,636. “We are very fortunate to have leaders and visionaries like Dr. Engelke in the turfgrass industry who have laid a strong foundation for a strong future,” said Dr. Ambika Chandra, Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass breeder… Read More →

Texas A&M-bred zoysia turf varieties tested in High Plains climate

By: Kay Ledbetter A turfgrass project aimed at finding a water-smart alternative to Bermuda and fescue grasses for the High Plains has been installed in front of the 1938-vintage “white house” at Bushland. The original headquarters of the Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, this facility is now jointly operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research. The project, titled Zoysia Turfgrasses for Residential and Commercial Landscapes in the Texas Panhandle, will be conducted by Dr. Brent Auvermann, AgriLife Research center director, Amarillo;… Read More →

Texas A&M-designed irrigation runoff mitigation system patented, available for licensing

By: Kay Ledbetter Contact: Dr. Ben Wherley – Just as temperatures begin to heat up and lawns begin to seemingly beg for water, Texas A&M AgriLife faculty were recognized at a patent award banquet for their irrigation runoff mitigation system. With water waste a growing problem nationwide, an interdisciplinary team of engineers, irrigation researchers and turfgrass experts have spent the past two years designing a solution to conserve strained water supplies in municipal landscapes. Leading the invention were Dr. Ben Wherley, Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass ecologist,… Read More →

TAMU Turfgrass team displays research to USGA

By: Beth Ann Luedeker Contact: Dr. Ben Wherley, The Texas A&M Turfgrass Science team recently hosted members of the United States Golf Association Green Section’s research committee at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Center for Lawn and Garden Research. During the visit, faculty and grad students from the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences provided updates on several multi-year research projects that are currently being funded by the USGA Green Section. Drs. Ben Wherley and Kevin McInnes, respectively Associate Professor and Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop… Read More →

New Turfgrass specialist joins faculty in Dallas

Writer: Gabe Saldana Contact: Dr. Chrissie Segars, (979) 952-9212 or The newest state turfgrass specialist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service aims to inspire sustainable management of safe sports fields and other turfgrass applications. Dr. Chrissie Segars’ office is at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas. Her focus is coaching field managers on a system of approaches where primary goals are user safety and healthy turfgrass. Segars’ extension outreach efforts cover aeration, fertilization, irrigation, variety selection, pests, weeds and a wide array… Read More →

National team to use $5.7 million USDA award to address annual bluegrass epidemic in turfgrass

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, Photos: Beth Ann Luedeker, COLLEGE STATION – The most widely grown irrigated crop in the U.S. – turfgrass – is being threatened, and Texas A&M AgriLife is leading a project to find solutions. Annual bluegrass, known as Poa annua, is the most troublesome weed of turf systems, according to a recent Weed Science Society of America survey, and this weed has grown to epidemic proportions, causing severe economic losses. Texas A&M AgriLife is joining scientists across the nation to address the threat… Read More →

Texas A&M leads $5.7 million research project to attack annual bluegrass

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, Contact: Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan, 979-845-5375, The most widely grown irrigated crop in the U.S. – turfgrass – is being threatened by annual bluegrass, and Texas A&M AgriLife is leading a project to find solutions. Texas A&M AgriLife is joining scientists across the nation to address the threat through a project called Research and Extension to Address Herbicide-Resistance Epidemic in Annual Bluegrass in Managed Turf Systems. A team of 16 university scientists will be involved in the four-year, $5.7 million project to limit… Read More →