Comparing Sod Strength Parameters of Warm-season Turfgrasses Using a Hydraulically Driven Sod Strength Machine

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 Associate professor and agronomist, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762.
  • | 2 Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762.
  • | 3 Assistant professor, Experimental Statistics Unit, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762.
  • | 4 Professor and weed scientist, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762.

Research was conducted to evaluate the performance of a hydraulically driven turfgrass sod strength machine equipped with a force transducer to measure various strength parameters. The most commonly reported strength parameter, peak force (PF), continued to provide the quickest and easiest measurements of sod strength. Calculations of work involving the continuous measurement of sod strength over the duration of the stretch did not consistently improve the information provided by the PF measurement. Changes in sod bed pull speeds altered the calculations of work, whereas pull speed changes generally had little effect on force measurements, an important consideration for sod strength measurement devices that have limited control of sod bed pull speed. The unit was marginally successful in distinguishing sod strength differences between St. Augustinegrass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze.] treated with various levels of pyridine herbicides. The device also provided strength parameters that distinguished the relative strengths of four warm-season turfgrass sods.

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