Stabilizing grasses

first_imgAccounting for half of seed salesSome turfgrass seed companies are now selling as much as half oftheir seed for land stabilization and reclamation uses, he said. Another UGA turfgrass is being promoted for reclamation, too.Seaspray, a seashore paspalum grass, was co-developed by UGA andTurf Seeds of Oregon. The world’s first seeded seashore paspalum,Seaspray is available now in limited quantities. “Seaspray’s parent grasses originated along coastlines,” saidPaul Raymer, a UGA agronomist and one of the grass’ breeders.”The new seeded variety should be a natural fit for reclamationprojects in coastal areas or were salt is a problem. And itsoriginal selling point was that it is very salt tolerant.”Raymer says Turf Seed representatives see the potential for thisgrass in reclaiming and stabilizing soils in coastal areas.”Seaspray’s perfect for areas where the ground cover has beenlost from saltwater storm surges like hurricanes or even therecent catastrophic tsunami,” Carrow said. Perfect for neglected areasCarrow said seed companies are marketing tall fescue for plantingin harsh environments.”It’s being used to rebuild areas after fires and for highwaystabilization to prevent erosion,” Carrow said. “Landmark SeedCompany is using our tall fescue releases to rebuild the westernU.S. after fires and they’re using it in China where there aresevere erosion problems.”UGA turf breeders discovered the alternative uses for theturfgrass during research trials. “We found, and the seed companies obviously agree, that thesetall fescues are perfect for areas that you don’t maintainoften,” he said. “The Southeast tall fescue variety in particularis perfect for planting along roadsides.” By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaWhen University of Georgia researchers bred their latestturfgrass varieties, they had home lawns, athletic fields andpastures in mind. Now grasses they bred are also being used toprevent erosion and rebuild land after wildfires and hurricanes.”When we bred our new tall fescues, we bred them to be suited forGeorgia and to be drought tolerant,” said Bob Carrow, anagronomist with the UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences. “Now the seed companies’ major business with thesegrasses is in land reclamation.”last_img

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