EAST LANSING, Mich. – Polar temperatures combined with ice this past winter left many turf areas in Michigan with a large amount of winterkill damage. The destruction is seen on putting greens and other turf areas. The harsh winter weather has had an impact on the turfgrass industry resulting in potential business losses.

The turfgrass industry faces the challenge of the best way to solve the current problem and to prevent similar damage in the future. Because of limited information on winter damage, the MSU Turfgrass team and board members of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation have agreed to obtain a low-temperature growth chamber to help investigate new findings.

The MSU Turfgrass team consists of nine faculty members focused on research, extension and teaching in the areas of turfgrass science that include golf courses, athletic fields, home lawns, sods and commercial properties. The MTF is a nonprofit organization that supports MSU research for better turfgrass maintenance methods.

Emily Merewitz, AgBioResearch scientist, said there is a great need for research facilities, such as this growth chamber, to support research on extreme weather tolerance of cool-surface turfgrass species. Based on this research the MSU Turfgrass team and the MTF hope to identify ways in which superintendents can minimize winterkill injury in the future.

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