The Australian Turf Accreditation Program (AusGAP) has received an overhaul, raising the bar for turf quality in Australia.
AusGAP has been created for the country’s leading turfgrass producers to provide consumers with assurance that their turf adheres to a stringent set of quality standards.
The turf quality program has now been upgraded to include an even higher level of turf certification and business compliance. Furthermore, a new section covers the new ‘Chain of Responsibility’ laws.
What you need to know…
AusGAP has been further developed to strengthen turf certification. Until now, businesses were AusGAP certified under an all-inclusive program that combined business compliances and turf certification; the two will now be separate.
The separation means turf business compliance such as licensing, chemical storage and handling, work, health and safety, Chain of Responsibility laws, etc, will fall under the AusGAP business accreditation, basically a quality assurance and business compliance program, while individual paddocks and turf varieties will be separately.
Why the changes to turf certification?
Individual varietal turf certification is becoming more important now with the recent introduction of new turf varieties that have been brought into the market, because specific genetic traits must be retained.
The refreshed turf certification highlights the traceability and proof of the origin of each . Now, each grass that is produced on an AusGAP Certified farm will be guaranteed under the quality assurance accreditation, but only the grasses that have been brought in under the AusGAP program with absolute proof of origin can claim certification.
On top of the quality assurance guarantee, the certified varieties will be guaranteed to be true to turf type. These will show the exact traits and appearance of the first selection of that .
Key details of the turf certification program:
No turf that is sold as AusGAP certified will be more than three generations from the original-breeder material. This can be traced through the program’s system of inspections and paperwork.
Turf varieties TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda, Sir Grange Zoysia, Sir Walter DNA Certified and Eureka PBR kikuyu are all in the current certification program and all new varieties will be included.
Foundation material for each of the certified varieties is closely monitored and all plantings of these varieties must be sourced from this foundation stock.