Tifton, GA

TifGrand and TifSport bermudagrass developed by the University of Georgia in Tifton covered the Olympic stadium in Tokyo

LaShaun Williams

ATLANTA, GA — UGA’s Tifton campus, world-renowned for its turfgrass research, has been chosen to develop bermudagrass to sod the Olympic stadium in Tokyo. The bermudagrasses are called TifSport and TifGrand, two of the best bermudagrasses made by UGA.

TifSport bermudagrass is a dense, medium-to-fine-textured grass that can withstand the high-traffic sports field and can stand up to pest and cold.

TifGrand bermudagrass is a very dark and dense green grass and it is also shade-tolerant. TifGrand’s shade tolerance is suitable for Japan’s stadium that has high walls of seating and roofing.

“It’s easy to claim ‘shade tolerance’ verbally, but it’s not easy to verify such traits scientifically,” said Chubu Company official Fumi Miyachi, the company responsible for grasses used for the Olympic stadium. “TifGrand was the only scientifically proven variety in the industry. We quickly signed an experimental evaluation agreement and tested TifGrand locally. The result was more than our expectations.”

UGA researchers created and tested various of grass for years to get the best bermudagrass. Started by Glenn Burton in 1950, USDA and UGA researchers at the Tifton campus finally made it to create Tifway and Tifdwarf. Both are used for years to cover golf courses, athletic fields, and many other fields.

Researchers then continue to develop the grasses to get the best ones. They try to kill all the turfgrasses to see which ones can survive the process. TifGrand and TifSport are two of those last grasses made to survive.

Other than TifGrand and TifSport, another grass that survived is TifTuf, a beautiful bermudagrass that can stand up to daily wear and tear due to its superior drought and wear tolerance.

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