Fall Update for Members of Turf Research North Carolina

On August 11, 2021 we saw another successful NC State Field Day at the Lake Wheeler facility in Raleigh, NC. For those of you that were able to attend the TRNC meeting we had immediately after lunch, we thank you for sticking around. For those unable to make it, provided below is a summary of the information shared at the Field Day and the TRNC meeting.

The TRNC Growers Meeting following the 2021 NC State Field Day.

The TRNC Growers Meeting following the 2021 NC State Field Day.

Zoysiagrass XZ14069

The result of a cross between Meyer(M) and Victoria (MxJ), XZ14069 is a semi fine zoysia grass bred for low input use, resulting in superior color retention that has been top in trials across the country compared to both industry standards and variety trials. Although selected for is hardiness with minimal inputs, XZ14069 presents itself as a dark green, dense, beautiful stand of grass when properly maintained – making it a suitable grass for higher end uses like home lawns and golf course fairways.

View the below video for further details:

Selecting a name for XZ14069

A naming committee was composed in July. They will submit their recommendation to the steering committee for final approval. The committee consists of Dr. Grady Miller of NC State, Linda Bradley of Turf Mountain, Dr. Art Bruneau of NCSPA, Christian Broucqsault of Sod Solutions and Justin Wallace of Sod Solutions. If you have any ideas, thoughts or suggestions, please reach out and let one of the committee members know at your earliest convenience.

Propagating 1,500 plugs trays of Zoysiagrass XZ14069

From April – July 2021, Dr. Milla-Lewis and her students worked furiously in not only the greenhouse but also in the privacy of their own homes cutting sprigs so that there would be enough material to create 1,500 72-cell plug trays (108,000 individual plants) to be planted on 2.5 acres of fumigated land at three North Carolina farms.

  • The first one-acre plot of 600 trays was planted mid-July under the supervision of Chris Jones at Neuse River Turf Farm in Arapahoe, NC.
  • The second one-acre plot was planted on August 17 from 600 trays at Sandhill Turf in Eagle Springs, NC.
  • The final one-half acre plot of 300 trays was planted at Piedmont Turf Farm in Maiden, NC, under the watchful eye of David McCart on August 25.

Many thanks to Dr. Milla-Lewis and her students for their dedicated work and to Neuse River Turf Farm, Sandhill Turf and Piedmont Turf, who have undertaken the responsibility of growing in these 2.5 acres of XZ14069 for production evaluation and to be used as seed stock in 2022.

Please feel free to visit one or all three of these locations to evaluate grow in. Ask questions of either the producers or Dr. Milla-Lewis. At some point in the future, we plan to have a field day at one of these sites to share information learned during this production evaluation. Time and place TBD, but you will be reminded.

Dr. Milla-Lewis has a few remaining plug trays at her facility. If you are interested in planting a tray, please reach out immediately and we will get you set up with a Material Transfer Agreement and you can pick up some material to look at on your own land.

License Agreements for XZ14069

Work is being done to finalize a license agreement for interested TRNC members. The finalized agreement should be available at the January NCSPA meeting, where plans are also being made to allow interested TRNC members to submit a plant stock request for truckload quantities of XZ14069. Distribution of plant stock material will be based on available material divided evenly to farms wishing to plant. Farms will be able to plan for as early as late summer/early fall.

NC SPA Field Day

On November 10, 2021 the NCSPA meeting will take place at Super Sod Laurinburg. This has been a long time coming and we hope to have good attendance. Please come out and support your sod producer’s association. More details will be made available online here soon.


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