The Turfgrass Group (TTG) and New Concept Turf (NCT) announced in November that Tiftuf® Bermudagrass, developed by the University of Georgia (UGA) Turfgrass Breeding Program has surpassed one billion square feet installed in the United States. TifTuf® has gone further and faster than any prior warm season turfgrass and has also surpassed 14,000 production acres, in the U.S. in just over six years. Making these milestones even more notable is TTG’s Limited Licensing Program — TTG limits the number of production licenses in each state, and, and TifTuf® licensees must follow a strict regimen of inspection and production protocols, including third party certification, all for the purpose of maintaining the genetic integrity and quality of the variety.
TifTuf® was developed and rigorously tested for over 20 years by Drs. Wayne Hanna and Brian Schwartz at UGA. This was followed by National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) trials and the first five-year Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) research cycle. TifTuf® bermudagrass emerged as the leading drought-tolerant bermudagrass and was approved by UGA for release in 2015.
The Turfgrass Group was chosen as the licensing partner to bring this extraordinary grass to market. Building on its production network and launching a national marketing strategy led to a tremendous impact in the warm-season market and maximizing the footprint of production and sales of this groundbreaking product.
TifTuf® takes drought tolerance to the next level – even environmental and water conservation advocates are taking notice of the water-saving qualities of this grass. With water-use reduction of more than 38% over the most popular bermudagrass, TifTuf® is turning heads world-wide, including those in water regulating agencies serving millions of people and elected officials concerned with sustainable growth in states and cities in regions where TifTuf® is produced. The national TifTuf® production network is 64 growers strong and is making dramatic investments to meet the market demand for this product, from countless landscapers and developers, homeowners, sports field managers, golf course superintendents, and parks directors who are recognizing TifTuf®’s extraordinary characteristics, creating this turfgrass industry sea-change.