The Celebration X Program On Display at the MSU Field Day
The Mississippi State Turfgrass Research Field Day returns in-person this year after a virtual show last year. On display in Starkville on September 22 and 23 will be the Celebration X research program. The program was started in 2014 to breed new progenies from world standard Celebration® Bermudagrass. Now several new lines are close to commercial release.
Celebration has been an outstanding bermuda on the market for several years. Its ability to block perfectly, resist drought and endure shade better than other bermudas have made Celebration one of the best options for homes, sports, golf, commercial areas and parks. However, some characteristics, such as excessive thatch and seed head production, make it more challenging for some managers and homeowners to maintain it looking its best.
The Celebration X breeding program was developed as a partnership between Mississippi State University and Sod Solutions. This breeding program has been designed to improve Celebration Bermudagrass, cross-pollinating it with other varieties to create new lines that feature all the best features current to Celebration but with better cold tolerance, a finer texture, less seed heads and less thatch.
“We are really looking forward to this event showcasing the emerging bermudagrass lines that we’ve been working with Mississippi State on to develop a new Celebration Bermudagrass variety,” said Sod Solutions Executive Director of Research Roberto Gurgel. “These new lines have the potential to become standards in the industry.”
The program has produced more that 150 lines in just a little over five years. Of that group, six were advanced in 2019 with many entered in the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program trials. Now, four lines have been singled out and advanced:
- MSB 1017: very good cold tolerance, excellent blocking ability and density, dark green genetic color.
- MSB 1042: very fast-growing, excellent density and very good disease resistance, spring green-up.
- MSB 1050: fine texture (dwarf), fast-growing and dark genetic green color, excellent winter color.
- MSB 1080: bluish-green color, fast-growing, little seed heads, very good speed of growth.
The grasses from the program will be perfect for golf, sports, commercial and residential landscapes. The MSU Turfgrass Field Day will be a showcase for these and other lines in the program. Those expected to attend the field day include county extension agents, lawn care professionals, golf course superintendents, sports field managers, coaches, school superintendents, turf and landscape students, landscape architects. Homeowners are welcome, but the event is intended for turfgrass industry professionals and county agents.