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David W. Williams, Paul B. Burrus, and Kenneth L. Cropper

Use of seeded-bermudagrasses (Cynondon dactylon) is expanding rapidly, especially on high-use athletic fields. Previous work has defined significant differences in several parameters among cultivars. Experiments were conducted in Lexington, KY, in 2004 and 2005 to test the tolerance of the cultivars Riviera, Princess, Transcontinental, Savannah, Yukon, and the experimental line SWI 1012, with and without applications of trinexapac-ethyl to simulated athletic traffic. Plots were established in June of each year and managed as athletic field turf. Simulated traffic was applied using a Brinkman traffic simulator during high school football seasons in Kentucky at a level roughly equivalent to three games per week. Percentage of bermudagrass cover was visually rated weekly during the trafficking periods each year. Turfgrass quality was rated once before beginning traffic treatments each year. There were no consistent significant interactions (P > 0.05) among trinexapac-ethyl treatments and cultivars in either year of the study for either response variable. The main effect of cultivars was highly significant (P < 0.0001) for percentage of bermudagrass cover in both years of the study. Among cultivars, the ranges of percentage of bermudagrass cover at the end of the trafficking periods were 10.2% to 39.2% and 43.3% to 76.7% in 2004 and 2005, respectively. The main effects of trinexapac-ethyl on percentage of bermudagrass cover were significant (P < 0.0052) and more pronounced in 2004. Significant differences (P < 0.0200) were also recorded in 2005. Applications of trinexapac-ethyl resulted in increased tolerance to simulated traffic and improved turfgrass quality. Under the conditions of this study, data indicate that both cultivars and regular applications of trinexapac-ethyl have significant effects on overall turfgrass quality and the tolerance of these seeded bermudagrasses to simulated traffic.

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Gregg C. Munshaw, Jeffery S. Beasley, Christian M. Baldwin, Justin Q. Moss, Kenneth L. Cropper, H. Wayne Philley, Chrissie A. Segars, and Barry R. Stewart

Hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon × Cynodon transvaalensis] is frequently used throughout the southern and transitional climatic zones of the United States. These grasses can only be vegetatively propagated, such as by sprigging. Turf managers will often apply high rates of sprigs and nitrogen (N) in an attempt to minimize the time to establishment. However, little is known about how planting and N rates affect establishment. The objective of this study was to determine optimum sprigging and N rates during the establishment of ‘Latitude 36’ hybrid bermudagrass to minimize time to full surface cover. The study was conducted in four locations across the southern United States during Summer 2015. Sprigging rates consisted of 200, 400, 600, and 800 U.S. bushels/acre (9.3 gal/bushel), and N rates were 0, 11, 22, and 44 lb/acre N per week. Results showed that as the N rate increased, percent cover generally increased but only slightly [7% difference between high and low rates 5 weeks after planting (WAP)]. The effect of sprig rate on percent cover indicated that as rate increased, cover also increased. Differences in establishment due to sprig rate were present until 6 WAP at which time all plots achieved 100% cover. The greatest difference between N and sprig rate was that sprig rate showed differences in percent cover immediately, whereas N rate differences were not apparent until 2 WAP. Increasing sprig rather than N rate should be considered to speed up establishment.