The Groundsman

March 2014

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Page 23 of 51

TECHNICAL UPDATE 24 the Groundsman March 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions eveloped predominantly for use in the construction or renovation of winter sports pitches, the key to the success of Barenbrug's new BAR 7 RPR (Regenerating Perennial Ryegrass) is that it produces determinate stolons. These differ from typical stolons in that they have an end point – a terminal – and will produce a flower and reproduce sexually if allowed to. Normally, perennial ryegrasses exhibit a purely tufted growth habit, with limited lateral growth only possible from standard tillers. Determinate stolons arise from an auxiliary bud near the base of the mother plant then grow horizontally at, or just below, the surface and create identical new plants. The stolons appear when room allows; for example, when a divot is removed or the turf is damaged. The stolons deliver clear benefits in terms of sward strength, surface traction, drought tolerance and nutrient uptake – resulting in fast establishment, excellent wear tolerance, a dense sward and impressive wear recovery. RPR caught the attention of plant breeders at the company's research site in Virginia where new grasses are developed for wear, drought and cold Faster establishment, good wear tolerance and recovery are characteristics that most groundsmen would want from a grass seed – and that dream has become reality with the development of a new perennial ryegrass, as Barenbrug's Dr David Greenshields reveals tolerance. They noticed that RPR was thriving under tough conditions, expanding even in high stress areas - for example, where the tractor made turns at the ends of rows towing wear simulator equipment. Breeders then studied the lateral growth of RPR under frequent mowing conditions. BAR 7 RPR is a 100 per cent perennial ryegrass comprising, in equal measures, the new cultivars Barclay II, Barorlando and Barcristalla (which offer a combination of aesthetics, presentation and performance) plus Bareuro, which provides exceptional fusarium tolerance and cool temperature germination. The unique concept has, in America, led to a new subspecies classification – D Turning dreams into reality By: Dr David Greenshields Regenerating Perennial Ryegrass (right) compared with perennial ryegrass Spreading pattern Perennial ryegrass stolons comparison Regenerating Perennial Ryegrass crown of determinate stolon Lolium perenne stoloniferum – based on the determinate stolons and aggressive spreading habit. RPR has also been patented in the US. l

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