Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Shreb) is a cool-season turfgrass native to Europe and parts of Africa. Brought to America in the 1860s, it gained in popularity with the release of Kentucky 31 from the University of Kentucky in 1940 and was used in vast acres in the transition zone for pastures, lawns and erosion control.
In 1979, C. Reed Funk, Ph.D., Rutgers University, released the first turf-type variety (Rebe), an improved cultivar which was finer and denser than KY-31 and became very popular for home lawns and golf course roughs.
There are now over 130 cultivars of tall fescue in the National Turfgrass Trials (NTEP.org) This 60-minute webinar, presented by the Oregon Tall Fescue Commission and taught by William A. Meyer, Ph.D., reviews improvements to cultivars made including disease, insect, drought and heat tolerance. Uses of this species are covered including strategies to mix with other turf types to improve turf performance. Listen in to learn more about cultural practices, Brown patch tolerance and genes that may be resistant to gray leaf spot.
Original presentation date: April 17, 2019 External education points: 0.10
About the Instructor
William A. Meyer, Ph.D., is a professor and director of Turfgrass Breeding, C. Reed Funk Distinguished Professor of Grass Genetics, SEBS/NJAES/Rutgers University. He earned his bachelors, masters and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois then spent over 20 years as a commercial turfgrass breeder in Oregon. Meyer teaches in the undergraduate program at Rutgers and his breeding and research goal has been to use classical approaches to develop improved turf. His numerous awards include GCSAA’s Distinguished Service Award.
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