AusGAP: A Year in Review
AusGAP is Australia’s leading turfgrass certification program. The program oversees the production of certified turf by conducting biannual inspection of certified paddocks whilst also ensuring business practices are up to AusGAP’s stringent set of standards. Over the last 12 months AusGAP has been busy conducting biannual inspections, attending and hosting industry events, conducting international inspections and more.
First Quarter for AusGAP
During the first three months of the year AusGAP commenced their first biannual inspection for the year along the eastern states of Australia. During this time AusGAP visited its clients in New South Wales’s Sydney, Hunter, and northern regions. Finishing the quarter inspecting clients in southeast Queensland, and a round trip of Victoria visiting all clients.
During the second quarter of the year AusGAP was engaged by ITGAP – the International Turfgrass Genetic Assurance Program – to act as consultants and undertake turf certification inspections on their behalf at turf farms in China, Thailand, and Vietnam. During this time AusGAP gained a wealth of knowledge and experiences inspecting many ITGAP protected turfgrasses, upholding international standards and supporting the growth of the turfgrass industry worldwide.
Throughout our time in China our AusGAP inspector audited 30,000m2 of TifTuf, 40,000m2 of Zeon, and 43,000m2 of Tahoma 31. While in Thailand AusGAP inspected 2,500m2 of TifEagle Bermuda grass in one field, seven fields of Zeon Zoysia totalling 117,100m2 and one field of 21,000m2 that contains Stadium Zoysia. And finally in Vietnam AusGAP inspected 107,000m2 of Zeon Zoysia in three fields, 9,300m2 of Primo Zoysia in three fields, a 3,000m2 field of Trinity Zoysia, 2,200m2 field of TifEagle Bermuda grass and finished with a 19,000m2 of TifTuf Bermuda grass field.
After conducting AusGAP Certified Representative webinars for the last few years with great success it was fantastic to be able to hold AusGAP’s first National Meeting in June. AusGAP held its first National ACR Meeting with speakers Dr Ambika Chandra a turf breeder from Texas A&M who shared valuable insight into her work as a turf breeder and how turf certification plays a role in her work as a turfgrass researcher and breeder. As well as Ben Gibson from The Toolbox Team who discussed the role of safety culture in a workplace and his industry insights. It was a great success with everyone gaining important information valuable to their role as AusGAP Certified Representative for their business.
In August AusGAP conducted visits to Tyagarah Turf who had begun their first planting on farm, as well as Yarramalong Turf, Agland Turf, and Earl’s Turf in NSW.
AusGAP was also able to attend the NSW Turf Industry Seminar and Field Day. The day hosted over 100 attendees and had multiple speakers:
- AusGAP discussed the benefits of AusGAP certified Eureka PBR over other kikuyu varieties,
- The University of NSW professors Nano Bubble Technology trial work,
- Lynwood Golf Club General Manager Matt Bailey on the reinvention of the Golf Club following the floods,
- Accor Stadium/CommBank Stadium Curator Graeme Logan on the trials and tribulations of hosting a FIFA Women World Cup tournament,
- NSW Blues Coach Brad ‘Freddy’ Fittler on his rugby league playing and coaching career,
- And on farm machinery demonstrations by event sponsors.
To close out the quarter AusGAP conducted inspections throughout Victoria and throughout the Sydney region. Timing these inspection with the beginning of spring is essential to ensuring certified turf stock remains genetically pure and true to type. During this time our clients are in the busiest part of the year working hard to ensure stock is clean for harvest and delivery.
AusGAP’s Fourth Quarter
For the final quarter of the year our inspectors travelled to almost every state in Australia. Final Sydney inspections for the year were completed in October, as well as a trip out west to our Western Australian clients.
Throughout October, AusGAP were fortunate enough to teach the importance of maintaining genetic purity of certified turf varieties to NSW TAFE students in Moss Vale. We took this time to discuss the AusGAP program and how we work to stop substitution, maintain genetic purity of certified varieties, and how our standards are improving the production of turfgrass. We also took this opportunity to teach about morphological traits of different turfgrass species and how to identify off-types and mutations. It was a great day for all involved and we look forward to teaching the next generation of turfgrass professionals about the benefits of AusGAP Certified turf.
To close out a successful year AusGAP completed their final inspections in November travelling to Victoria, South Australia, and regional New South Wales.
This year has showcased exceptional turfgrass quality especially after the recent weather events most states in Australia experienced this year and last year. We would like to thank our clients for the hard work they have put in over the last 12 months, attending regular AusGAP training, submitting reports, accompanying biannual inspections, and much more work they have put in. We look forward to the next 12 months ahead, certifying more turf and teaching the industry about how essential AusGAP certified turf is to the future of the turfgrass industry.