Dr. Tom Rufty of NCSU explains the experiments in turfgrass and plant sustainability at the 24-acre outdoor Turf Field Grass location in Raleigh, N.C.Bayer Environmental Sciences and North Carolina State University have been working together over the past several years to develop the sustainability initiative Protecting Tomorrow… Today (PTT). To introduce industry professionals to the research and development that has been taking place, Bayer and NCSU recently held their first annual Plant Health Symposium in Raleigh, N.C. on November 10 – 11.
The symposium highlighted research conducted by Dr. Tom Rufty, the newly-named Bayer Environmental Science Professor of Sustainable Development and current Director of the Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education, and Professor of Environmental Plant Physiology at the Department of Crop Science at NCSU. Dr. Rufty and his team have worked with Bayer to research the effects of certain chemicals on turfgrasses and other plants in an effort to find practical solutions to environmental issues.
Collaborative efforts between NCSU and Bayer CropScience include studies relating to managing carbon sequestration in trees and turfgrass, biodiversity surveys and research into improving plant health to better manage environmental and insect-related stress.
With continuing population growth, industrialization, and climate change coupled with limited resources, the need for sustainability will continue to be more and more important, according to Rufty. “The Plant Health program has been designed to determine whether we can do it with chemical intervention,” he explained.
Bayer’s Clayton, N.C., facility is home to the majority of the research for this program. Over 50 types of cultivars are used in experiments to determine methods of sustainability under myriad stress situations.