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To complement his extension program Dr. Minner conducts applied field research to supply problem solving results for the turf industry.
A vibrant turfgrass industry produces many new products for turfgrass managers. The product testing program was developed to determine product efficacy in a scientific setting. Pesticides, fertilizers, plant growth regulators, biostimulants, and soil physical amendments have been evaluated. Along with these products Dr. Minner is evaluating the efficacy of natural products that can be used as alternatives to lawn pesticides.
As part of the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program several turfgrass varieties of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, and creeping bentgrass are evaluated. To make statewide recommendations grasses are rated for high and low maintenance and tolerance to shade and traffic.
Golf Course Winter Injury:
Golf course greens, tees, and fairways can be killed from winter stresses that occur in Iowa. Dr. Minner evaluates various winter conditions to determine if superintendents should allow winter to take its natural course of events or should they actively manage to reduce winter injury by practices such as using protective covers and removing ice.
Athletic field research:
The goal of this project is to develop traffic tolerant grass systems that provide a safe and attractive playing surface. Dr. Minner has completed many athletic field research projects involving; traffic simulation machines, traffic tolerance of species and varieties, rubber particle topdressing, seeding rates, synthetic reinforcement of natural grass, stability of sandbased fields, athletic field heating and forced air systems. Currently he is studying 1) the role of biomass in traffic tolerance, 2) traffic tolerance of seedling grasses, and 3) the benefits of compost on athletic fields.