The Turfgrass Group has been named the licensing and marketing agent for TifTuf Certified Bermudagrass, (experimental name DT-1), the new
drought tolerant turfgrass developed by a team of researchers led by Drs. Wayne Hanna and Brian Schwartz at the University of Georgia in Tifton. TifTuf has been in testing at the University of Georgia since 1993.
“I’ve seen the potential in this grass since 2009,” which was the year Dr. Brian Schwartz came to the University of Georgia as a turfgrass breeder.
“That was a dry year and I remember TifTuf keeping its green color while a lot of the other grasses were turning brown. That was when I began trying to figure out why it was so drought tolerant,” Schwartz said. “After three more years of field research in two different soil types, we found evidence that TifTuf was using less water than Tifway 419 and TifSport. This was exciting because initially we believed it might just have a deeper root system capable of extracting more water. But instead, it seems that it’s just using less of the available resources.”
Further research conducted at UGA, demonstrated in ongoing National Turfgrass Evaluation Program trials, and other test at farms from Texas to Georgia, confirm Schwartz’s initial findings. In addition to perfoming best under drought stress and greening-up earlier than Tifway, it also used 38% less water during a 2011 drought trial.
“With the extreme drought conditions being experienced in California, and around the United States, there has never been a greater need for a drought tolerant grass like TifTuf.” said Ken Morrow, co-founder of the Turfgrass Group.
TifTuf is available now for sod production license with limited foundation material ready for planting this summer.
Photo above: Celebration and TifTuf (experimental name DT-1) bermudagrasses mowed at 1.5” after sustained droughty conditions in the Linear Gradient Irrigation System (LGIS) evaluation during 2011 at the West Florida Research and Education Center (WFREC) in Jay, FL. Field trial planted from sod during 2010.