The Importance of Turf Certification
Sir Walter DNA Certified buffalo grass has been around for more than 20 years. Over 450,000m2 has been laid in Australia and it’s still the number 1 lawn in the country. But how do you guarantee you’re buying genuine Sir Walter?
You want the best new grass like TifTuf, but how do you know you aren’t just being sold any old couch?
This is where turf certification comes in.
The International Turfgrass Genetic Assurance Program (ITGAP), was developed to ensure the years of research and development into a new turf variety wouldn’t be lost to contamination or cross-pollination. ITGAP provides licenses for turf producers to grow and sell these certified grasses and monitors their productions systems and supply of planting material. This ensures the traits for selection are not lost.
In Australia, the ITGAP program is implemented through The Australian Genetic Assured Purity Program (AusGAP).
The process of certification begins with the turf developer or breeder. The inventor of a new variety must complete an application for approval of the variety to be certified. The application includes information such as breeding history, leaf colour, leaf shape, stolon colour, length of internodes, all of the characteristics that determine a variety. The claims regarding characteristics such as shade tolerance, or drought resistance must also be substantiated.
Once a variety has been certified, it can be licensed to turf growers who must plant it on sterilised land, free of weeds, pests and foreign turf varieties. As the turf grows it is then subjected to a minimum of four inspections by the grower and two inspections by an ITGAP representative. AusGAP as a registered agent for ITGAP in Australia undertakes these inspections. This means in Australia that only AusGAP Accredited turf farms will be provided with a license to grow these particular certified turf varieties.
All Lawn Solutions Australia turf growers are AusGAP Accredited. Which means if you purchase your turf from a Lawn Solutions Australia turf grower, you can be assured that the turf variety you are purchasing is exactly what you are paying for. This is particularly important if you have an area that requires a particular level of shade tolerance, wear resistance, drought tolerance or required growth rate.
The only assurance you can have as a consumer that you are getting the turf variety you have selected, is through AusGAP Certification.
For more information about turf certification, visit the AusGAP website here.