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  • Author or Editor: Richard J.M. Fitzpatrick x
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Adequate turfgrass sod strength for harvesting and handling is typically determined by the producer’s past experience and subjective appraisal. This study was conducted to determine the relationship between producer subjective sod-strength assessments and quantitative shear-strength measurements with predominantly kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) turf. Across three consecutive growing seasons, 93 samples were collected from sod fields in Rhode Island and assessed for sod strength by subjective and quantitative methods. Producer subjective ratings of sod strength were significantly (P < 0.0001) associated with quantitative measurements of peak force required to shear a sod strip. Minimally acceptable strength occurred most frequently when peak shear force was between 55 and 85 kg·m−1 width of sod; whereas preferred sod strength occurred most frequently when peak shear force was between 70 and 140 kg·m−1 width of sod. Once peak force exceeded 58 and 86 kg·m−1, there was a > 50% probability that sod strength would be judged at least adequate and at preferred strength, respectively, up to a peak force of 140 kg·m−1. The results suggest that quantitative measurements of shear strength can be related to producer subjective assessments, and provide unbiased benchmark values to guide management decisions for kentucky bluegrass sod production.

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