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Neil L. Heckman, Roch E. Gaussoin and Garald L. Horst

Sod heating during storage can limit the distance sod may be shipped. Two experiments were conducted to determine the effect of multiple preharvest applications of trinexapac-ethyl [4-cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid methyl ester] at 0.23 kg·ha-1 (0.21 lb/acre) on kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) sod temperatures during the first 24 h of storage. Experimental design was completely randomized with three replications and a 2 (trinexapac-ethyl verses control) × 3 (8-h storage intervals) factorial arrangement of treatments. Trinexapac-ethyl treatments were applied 6 and 2 weeks before harvest in the first experiment and 10, 6, and 2 weeks before harvest in the second experiment. Two and three applications of trinexapac-ethyl reduced sod storage temperatures. The reduction in rate of heating in treated sod became significantly different than untreated sod within 4 h after harvest. Mean sod temperatures in both experiments were 3 °C (6 °F) cooler in treated sod after 12 h of storage than untreated sod. These results suggest that trinexapac-ethyl could be used by sod growers to extend storage times and increase shipping and market areas. A multiple application program can enable sod growers to maximize the enhancement effects of trinexapacethyl on sod storage life.

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Neil L. Heckman, Garald L. Horst and Roch E. Gaussoin

Buffalograss [Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] is a warm-season perennial grass native to the North American Great Plains region and has been used as a low-maintenance turfgrass. Turf-type buffalograsses are available and are commonly used on nonirrigated land. Our objectives were to determine the deepest planting depth of burrs that would allow acceptable emergence, and to evaluate planting depth effects on buffalograss seedling morphology. Two greenhouse experiments were conducted in Fall 2000. Experimental design was a randomized complete block with 4 replications and a 3 (cultivar) × 6 (planting depth) factorial treatment arrangement. Results showed that buffalograss emergence decreased as planting depth increased. All cultivars had <10% total emergence at planting depths >50 mm. Emergence rate indices were greatest when planting depth was 13 mm and were significantly lower at planting depths of 51 and 76 mm. Average coleoptile length was 11 mm. Coleoptile length was similar between all planting depths except for the 13 mm depth which resulted in 9-mm-long coleoptile. Subcoleoptile internode length increased with planting depth up to 38 mm. Planting depths deeper than 38 mm did not significantly increase subcoleoptile internode length.

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Neil L. Heckman, Garald L. Horst, Roch E. Gaussoin and Linda J. Young

Heat accumulation during storage of sod may reach lethal temperatures within 4 days, decreasing sod quality. Treatment with trinexapac-ethyl reduces heat accumulation during sod storage. However, heat tolerance of grasses treated with trinexapacethyl has not been documented. Our objectives were to: 1) determine the lethal temperatures for Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.); and 2) identify the effect of a single application of trinexapac-ethyl on heat tolerance. Experimental design was a randomized complete block with three replications and a two (trinexapac-ethyl vs. control) × two (cultivars) factorial arrangement of treatments. Ten days after chemical treatment, Kentucky bluegrass sprigs were exposed to heat stress for 4 days in a temperature gradient block under low vapor pressure deficit. Treatment with trinexapac-ethyl at 0.23 kg·ha-1 reduced heat tolerance. Temperature needed to kill 50% of the population was 35.5 °C for treated vs. 36.1 °C for nontreated grass. Trinexapac-ethyl is in the same chemical family as the cyclohexanedione herbicides that interfere with lipid syntheses in grasses. This may be a reason for the slight decrease in heat tolerance. The practical value of trinexapac-ethyl treatment in reducing heat accumulation during storage of sod may be partially negated by a decrease in heat tolerance. Chemical name used: [(4-cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid methyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl).

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Neil L. Heckman, Garald L. Horst, Roch E. Gaussoin and Kevin W. Frank

Internal heating during sod storage can lead to plant deterioration and is a limiting factor in sod transportation. Storage practices such as the use of refrigeration and vacuum packaging have increased storage time; however, these are usually not practical or economical. Experiments were conducted to develop a feasible growth regulator management technique, using trinexapac-ethyl, to increase the storage life of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) sod. Experimental setup for all experiments was a completely randomized design with a 2 (trinexapac-ethyl vs. control) × 3 (storage times) factorial treatment arrangement with 3 replications. Trinexapac-ethyl was applied at 0.23 kg·ha-1 to Kentucky bluegrass 2 weeks prior to harvesting. Results showed that sod treated with trinexapac-ethyl was as much as 10 °C cooler than the controls in the center of the sod stacks after 48 hours of storage. The reduced sod temperatures led to a 30% greater tensile strength and 17% better quality ratings in treated sod after 24 hours of storage. A preharvest application of trinexapac-ethyl appears to increase storage times of Kentucky bluegrass sod, which may improve sod market quality. Chemical name used: [4(cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl).