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On Top of the Turf World

On Top of the Turf World

OSU is rapidly solidifying its stature as a developer of world-class turfgrasses.

This summer, both the NFL’s Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans installed one of OSU’s most recently released varieties, Latitude 36, on their home fields. The Baltimore Ravens and the Philadelphia Eagles also have sodded multiple practice fields with the grass.

“The NFL is the ultimate for any football player, so we are delighted that a Bermuda grass created by OSU experts has reached this pinnacle of success,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “The NFL also is the ultimate test of a turf’s durability, and we’re confident the teams will be pleased with the performance of Latitude 36.”

The award-winning variety was released in 2010, and currently nine outlets nationwide, including two in Oklahoma, are sublicensed to produce the grass through the licensing firm Sod Solutions.

Latitude 36 is ideal for use in parts of the eastern, western and southern United States where traditional Bermuda grasses tolerate summer conditions but can experience winter-kill during particularly cold winters.

The grass is well suited for sports fields, golf course fairways and tee boxes, commercial grounds and residential lawns because of its tolerance for traffic; recuperation rate; improved cold hardiness; and excellent color, texture, density and uniformity.

Dennis Martin, OSU Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist and one of five DASNR researchers credited with developing the grass, said it is meaningful for the turfgrass program to be linked to such high-profile venues because it shows researchers did their jobs well.

“That means we did our jobs, assessed the market correctly and the market is accepting the product,” he said. “We’re on the front end of Latitude 36’s popularity.”

Latitude 36 was intensively tested at OSU before being independently evaluated in the rigorous National Turf Evaluation Program (NTEP). The grass claimed overall top honors in the national Bermuda grass test in the 2007-2012 NTEP trials.

Riviera, an OSU seeded Bermuda grass, was used on two baseball fields at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Another OSU variety, Patriot, is installed on the Purdue University football field, the Indianapolis Colts practice fields and the Chesapeake Energy’s Green Roof Sports Field in Oklahoma City.

-LM

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