By Dr. Jack Fry
This is the time of year when we hope all warm-season grasses green up uniformly with no signs of winter injury. K-State researchers have been working with Dr. Yanqi Wu, bermudagrass breeder at Oklahoma State University (OSU), for the past several years. Dr. Wu is consistently working to improve bermuda cold hardiness and release improved cultivars for the transition zone region of the U.S. ‘Latitude 36’ and ‘Northbridge’, a couple of high quality, vegetatively propagated bermudas, were released by OSU in 2010. These have been used extensively on sports fields and golf courses. However, there have been some winters in which significant winter injury occurred to these cultivars in Kansas. In the article linked below, you’ll see that some of the new bermudas that are being evaluated by OSU and K-State have superior freezing tolerance to any of the existing cultivars in use. This likely means that in the next several years, we’ll have improved bermudas for our region that will be more likely to tolerate extremely cold winters.