Turf Line News

September 2012

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/82830

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 47

2012 TURFGRASS RESEARCH UPDATE BY JERRY ROUSSEAU "The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself." — Henry Miller RESEARCH UPDATE Over the last few years, we've opted out of printing a separate turfgrass research report realizing a savings of close to $15,000 in that time. It's a smart move by the Board as we've seen a decline in dollars earmarked for research and it's provided some time to figure out a new approach toward sourcing additional funding. It's important we continue promoting turfgrass research since problems don't usually go away by themselves and there are more external pressures facing turf managers than ever before. In the case of the pesticide debate, we have made claim to the provincial government that the golf and turf industry directs significant funds toward turfgrass research which includes reducing our environmental footprint. With this claim, we need to ensure our money is where our mouth is. In the past, annual research funding averaged about $30,000 per year which frankly, isn't a lot considering a single project can easily cost $100,000. The money we provide comes from fundraising efforts like the Silent Auction, Kwantlen Golf Tournament, donations plus 10% of all member dues and 30% of any excess overall funds at our year end. The last two years of disbursements reflect the decline in fundraising at $18,224 in 2011 and $23,263 budgeted In the spirit of cooperation and better communication, last year the Board voted to offer the Northwest Turf Association and the BC Golf Superintendents Association seats on the Research Committee. The BCGSA accepted our invitation immediately with the addition of Stephen Kerbrat, Superintendent of the Smithers Golf Club and more recently, the NTA put forward John Anderson from the Hayden Lake Country Club in Idaho. As well, an industry spot was created and has been taken on by Ladd Legeyt of AAT Direct for 2012. Reserve funds are close to $75k which is a significant amount but again, not huge considering project costs. Many research projects are jointly funded which helps to reduce the overall burden on one particular group. For example, the Canadian Turf Research Foundation (CTRF) collects funds from several provincial groups like the WCTA, rolls it all together and distributes it on a national scale. Our current priorities for turf research project funding are as follows: • Nutrient and fertility management, best management practices • Soil and root-zone management, best management practices duplication is a positive and the more money going to projects rather than administration the better. Non-Completed 2011 Two of the five 2011 approved projects remain incomplete. They are: Surveying for microbial entomopathogens for the three major turfgrass pests: European Chafer, European Cranefly and Cutworm and a literature and knowledge review to better understand management of Cranefly damage. • Evaluation of alternatives to pesticides • Irrigation and water use issues (water quality and reducing water usage) • Investigations into the biology, ecology and management of current and emerging pests Institute of Sustainable Horticulture, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Dr. Deborah Henderson • Alternative cultivar and species for new turf construction, integration and conversion into existing turf areas • Species/cultivar evaluation and improved management practices for areas of heavy traffic and wear tolerance In other turf research administrative news, the Ontario Turf Research Foundation which in a single golf tournament raises about $40k every year, is trying to streamline the funding application process for researchers by having a one-stop national shop to submit proposals. The WCTA position is anything that avoids redundancy and Solutions. Welcome John and Ladd! PROJECT LENGTH: 1 year WCTA COMMITMENT: $5000 TOTAL PROJECT VALUE: $14,500 CURRENT STATUS: The Ontario Ministry of Environment is currently conducting research on controlling cranefly larvae with nematodes so this survey was put on hold in anticipation of their report. In the meantime, Dr. Henderson reports having much more meaningful data from turf samples over what they had last spring. A final report is expected by September. $5000 in funding will be disbursed once the report is received. Evaluation of performance and safety factors of artificial turf surfaces in the south coastal region, Dr. Brian Holl. FUTURE FOR TURF RESEARCH IN WESTERN CANADA We have mentioned that researchers are not always aware of real world issues and what is concerning turf managers. Goals of the Research Committee include: • improve communication with local researchers so they know our priorities. These priorities need to come directly from the WCTA membership. • be proactive regarding hot topics. • direct funding to projects that maximize value of dollars spent and have the best chance 28 WESTERN CANADA TURFGRASS ASSOCIATION to provide solutions to problems. To accomplish our turf research goals, annual funding (currently around $20,000 each of the last two years) needs to be on par with Alberta and Ontario ($200-250k annually). To help achieve this, a document called The Need to Support Turf Research was created and presented to the BC Allied Golf Association in 2011 and we remain hopeful that our golf allies will commit to higher levels of support. To view the document, go to this link: wcta- online.com/turfgrass- research/item/22-the-need- to-support-turfgrass-research. We also hope that this same approach could be utilized in the sportsfield side, ie. soliciting user groups. We would like to thank all of our Turfgrass Researchers and of course all Turf Research donors and Silent Auction contributors, without whom our Turf Research program simply would not exist. Please note that the Western Canada Turfgrass Association accepts no responsibility in respect to the opinions and data expressed in the editorial material or outcome of the research projects. The views do not necessarily represent the views of the Association. SPECIAL NOTE: As many of you already know, long time Kootenay Superintendent Len Heyworth passed away on May 8 from cancer. His wish in lieu of flowers, was for friends to donate to WCTA Turf Research. We're very pleased to report that $1700 was raised in Len's name - thank you all who supported Len's wish. The objectives of this project are to develop a database on the condition and performance of synthetic turf surfaces of different types and ages relative to natural grass. The assessment includes measurement of the following field characteristics (selected primarily from the FIFA Quality Concept Handbook) on natural grass and synthetic fields at sites across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island: • Hardness (Clegg Impact tester) • Ball rebound • Ball roll • Surface Regularity PROJECT LENGTH: 1 year* WCTA COMMITMENT: $6600 TOTAL PROJECT VALUE: $11,100 CURRENT STATUS: A variety of challenges were encountered with this project primarily as a result of issues experienced by the principal investigator (Brian Holl). The 'physical' work of making the specific field measurements is now complete. As a generalization, synthetic fields are generally harder, faster, 'bouncier' and more uniform than natural grass. The questionnaire component is based on a similar survey that was used to assess the perceptions of field user groups using fields for Australian Rules Football. The format was changed from the original hardcopy proposal to an electronic version to facilitate circulation and reduce cost; it has not been circulated because of the Continued On Page 30 IMAGE CREDIT JERRY ROUSSEAU

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Turf Line News - September 2012