Field studies are conducted in various regions of the United States. NexGen Turf Research has selected for drought and heat resistance in Griffin, Georgia and Fayetteville, Arkansas. Turf trials are planted in the fall of the year and irrigation is applied to allow for full establishment. The plots begin to dry drown late spring and no supplemental water is added after the spring rains have ceased. The plots are evaluated for drought stress throughout the summer and fall. Survivors are removed, propagated and placed back into drought trials again to evaluate progress. Breeding for drought in this manner is used for both tall fescue and perennial ryegrass.
Field studies are also conducted in Oregon. The summers in Oregon are very dry from July through September, which makes it suitable for drought evaluations. The turf trials are planted in the fall, allowing for full turf establishment. No irrigation is applied after the spring rains have ended. The turf plots are evaluated for drought stress using digital photography and then analyzed. This method is described in Research Highlights. Tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and Texas x Kentucky bluegrass hybrids have been evaluated for drought performance.