AusGAP undertakes ITGAP inspections in Asia
During the course of the year, AusGAP was engaged by ITGAP to act as consultants and undertake turf certification inspections on their behalf at turf farms in China, Thailand, and Vietnam. This visit to Asia took place during the first week of June and was a successful and productive trip that AusGAP was proud to accept and complete.
AusGAP is the only independently endorsed certification program from ITGAP internationally. ITGAP has exclusive arrangements with AusGAP in Australia. AusGAP uphold and maintain the stringent set of standards of ITGAP protected grasses including TifTuf and Sir Grange (Zeon).
The start of AusGAP’s time in Asia began in China. Monday 5th June AusGAP inspector Michael Sutton visited Schenzen Forward Group at their two farms in Sihui village, Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province, China. AusGAP had the pleasure of being accompanied by the farms General Manager Mr Zheng and farm staff Zhang Yuanhai, Wang Tainjun, Yang Fei.
During our time in China our AusGAP inspector audited 30,000m2 of TifTuf, 40,000m2 of Zeon, and 43,000m2 of Tahoma 31. While Tahoma 31 is part of the ITGAP certification program it is not eligible for certification here in Australia at present time. It was evident through turf quality, density, and colour that staff are passionate about producing quality certified turf. All paddocks during this inspection met ITGAP standards and all grasses achieving their key varietal attributes.
After China, AusGAP conducted ITGAP inspections in Thailand. Our time in Thailand extended over two days, 7th and 8th June accompanied by Brad, Ning, and Brandon Burgess of Sports Turf Solutions (STS) and Sustainable Turf Farms (STF). Inspections were completed on the farm material at the grounds of Parichat International Golf Links and Laem Chabang International Country Club, south of Bangkok.
The Parichat farm was a brand-new nursery planting of TifEagle Bermuda spanning 2,500m2. Despite sprigging occurring only three weeks prior to AusGAP’s visit, the grass was already vibrant green with 90% coverage. At the Laem Chabang farms it was predominately Zeon Zoysia where the staff were actively harvesting sprigs and sod to send to their clients. 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. Thailand’s STS / STF staff are extremely commitment to the certification program, their process, practices, facilities, and uniformity of the turf varieties made the inspection process here very supportive and hospitable.
The final stop in Vietnam on the 9th and 10th June was another STS and STF operation in Hoi An accompanied by Evan Du Plessis & Mr Tan of STS and STF. During this time 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.
The unwavering commitment demonstrated by the staff at this farm to sustainable and environmentally conscious turf farming was outstanding. The methods include innovative site water management, fertilisation, remarkable sanitation around contamination control, and pest control. This ensures that their turf varieties are at optimal health and meet key varietal attributes, while minimising ecological impact. The dedication to producing exceptional turf quality, while prioritising environmental sustainability sees this farm at the forefront of turf farming in the world.
With all these inspections successfully completed, AusGAP gained a wealth of knowledge and experiences during these farm inspections with a reaffirmed admiration for the artistry and science behind maintaining high-quality turf. These insights help to serve as valuable contributions to the turf management community, inspiring others to prioritise excellence and sustainability in their own endeavours.
As exclusive agents for ITGAP, AusGAP were fortunate to complete international inspections in Asia. AusGAP were also able appreciate the wealth of knowledge all participants were able to impart on each other. This successful trip highlights our dedication to upholding international standards and supporting the growth of the turfgrass industry worldwide. Our commitment to quality, professionalism, and environmental sustainability remains unwavering, positioning AusGAP as a trusted leader in the field of turfgrass certification.