The Plant Science Research and Extension Farm, often referred to as the Adelphia Farm, is a 206-acre facility that has been owned by the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station since 1962. During the 1980’s, the turfgrass breeding program (established in 1923) expanded under the direction of Dr. C. Reed Funk. As the farmland in the area began to be used for housing, the need for better turf was growing. The Adelphia Farm was the ideal site to develop more drought, heat, and pest resistant cultivars of cool-season grasses. In 1996, Dr. Meyer started serving as director of the turfgrass breeding program and has since applied for or issued over 450 Plant Variety Protection applications. Some of these turfgrasses are listed below. In 2021, Dr. Stacy Bonos became director of the turfgrass breeding program after more than 20 years of involvement with turfgrass breeding at Rutgers.
The Center for Turfgrass Science, in cooperation with the New Jersey turfgrass industry, holds a field day for stakeholders each year at the Adelphia and North Brunswick research farms that attract over 750 turfgrass managers from throughout the United States and Canada. The Center has developed a close partnership with the turfgrass industry and takes great pride in developing practical, science-based solutions to turfgrass problems.
Chewings: Radar, Zodiac, Fairmont, Shadow II, Longfellow III, Ambassador and Ambrose Creeping: Marvel, Wendy Jean, Navigator II, Pathfinder, Kent, Gibraltar Gold, and Lustrous Hard: Jetty, Beacon, Firefly, Sword, Gladiator, Spartan II, Reliant IV, and Blueray Slender Creeping: SeaMist
Evolution, Xcelerator, Fastball RGL, Pangea, Rinovo, Wicked, Pizzazz II, Stellar 3GL, Metolius, Ruckus, GrandSlam GLD, Karma, Benchmark, Manhattan 6, Homerun, Apple SGL, Sideways, Sox Fan, Silver Dollar, Peridot, Pharaoh, Expedite, Shield, Umpqua, Provost, Spark, Vision, Intense, and Amazing A+ For decades, improved perennial ryegrass varieties developed at Rutgers have been used to dress the fairways, tees, and roughs of the Augusta National Golf Club, which hosts the Masters Tournament each spring.
Martha, Bluebank, Blue Note, Midnight, Skye, Avid, Mazama, Dauntless, Merlot, Fargo, Bolt, Zinger, Brooklawn, Wild Horse, Shamrock, Midnight II, Heidi, Mercury, Bewitched, Ridgeline, Gaelic, Shannon, Zinfandel, Diva, Hampton, Volt, Fullback, and Malbec Sod growers throughout the United States recognize Rutgers for developing some of the most desirable bluegrass varieties, known for producing attractive and disease-resistant turf for sports fields, conventional lawns, and scenic landscapes.
Regenerate, 4th Millennium, Annapolis, Rebounder, Traverse 2 SRP, Raptor II, Hot Rod, Avenger, Supersonic, Amity, Paramount, Valkyrie LS, Titanium, Firecracker SLS, Titanium 2LS, Leonardo, Firebird 2, Screamer LS, Cochise IV, Rambler 2SRP, Rowdy, Trinity, Xtender, Mustang 4, Monet, Falcon IV, and Rebel 5
Creeping: Barracuda, Luminary, Declaration, Proclamation, Shark, 007, PinUp, Authority, L93XD Tyee , Piranha, Chinook, Coho, and V8 Colonial: Musket, Heritage, Puritan, and Capri Improved varieties developed at Rutgers have been selected to seed some of the most famous and well-respected golf courses in the world.
An ornamental energy crop. These high biomass grasses could be utilized as a renewable energy source for the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic US to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
In 1960, Dr. Funk became the first full-time cool-season turfgrass breeder at a university in the United States. Dr. Funk had a productive career that spanned over four decades, and during his tenure produced hundreds of new turfgrass varieties, revolutionizing the turf seed industry. Dr. Funk was responsible for developing landmark cultivars of ryegrass, tall fescue, bluegrass and fine fescue.
Dr. Bill Meyer, turfgrass breeder, joined the program in 1996. Under the leadership of Dr. Meyer, the Rutgers turfgrass program has evolved into the leading turfgrass breeding program in the world. It also maintains the largest germplasm pool of cool-season turfgrasses available for breeding.
Dr. Stacy Bonos, professor and turfgrass breeder at Rutgers, joined the program in 2001 and was awarded the Early Career Excellence in Plant Breeding Award by the multi-state Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee. In 2021, Dr. Bonos began serving as director of the turfgrass breeding program.
There are currently over 36,000 individual turf plots under evaluation. Over 25 acres are used each year for spaced-plant nurseries for seed production and clonal germplasm evaluation. Since the inception of the Rutgers Turfgrass Breeding Program, over 500 improved cultivars have been developed and marketed in cooperation with the seed industry.
At Adelphia, there is now an extensive breeding and evaluation program for bioenergy grasses, comprised mostly of switchgrass, directed by Dr. Bonos. She is also evaluating Miscanthus as a bioenergy crop. Another exciting program conducted by Dr. Bonos is the development of cool-season grasses with improved salinity tolerance that require less water, fertilization, and mowing. These low-input sustainable turfgrasses are in strong demand.
- Rutgers turfgrass seeds are being sold to commercial farmers and growers internationally
- Rutgers is not currently selling turfgrass varieties directly to the public
- For more information, visit Licensing and Technology: Agricultural Products