Turfgrass Certification changing industry standards for the better
The evolution of certification programs like AusGAP, have stimulated change to industry standards. Introducing improved turfgrass varieties and ensuring their quality attributes have created market transparency and increased consumer protection. As certification signals quality and purity of the product, the certification process makes it necessary for producers to adhere to strict quality assurance regimes. Read on the explore how standards in the turf industry have been affected by certification.
The purpose of turfgrass certification programs is to provide assurance of a quality product. This includes having an unbroken chain of traceability back to the pure source of the breeder’s material. Due to the large number of cultivars available on the market, there is more opportunity for misidentification and contamination of varieties. As producers seek to grow and sell certified varieties the industry standards of growing conditions and business practices improve.
How has turfgrass certification changed industry standards?
Constant support during the production of turfgrass that has the highest genetic purity is raising standards everywhere. Consumers now expect their turf to be produced and supplied to a certain standard. Certification provides consumers with the assurance of a quality product that has been independently verified to be true to type. This means turf is audited by trained inspectors and is without noxious weeds, pests, and diseases. Therefore, as more certified turf is produced and sold, the level of turf nation-wide improves. This creates superior sporting facilities that require lower maintenance and watering requirements, and easier to maintain home lawns.
Modern turfgrass varieties bred for certification are chosen and planted for the specific characteristics that they possess. With the increase in cultivar stress tolerance characteristics, this also increases the standards of turfgrasses and the level of expectations within the industry.
Why is change needed to turfgrass industry standards?
No longer can we treat grasses like we have in the past. With improvements and advancements, it is important that the conditions that they are grown under must change too. This means certification programs are looking to evolve the industry to ensure grass isn’t treated like ‘just grass’ but an investment in environmental sustainability and more sustainable greenspaces for everyone. Certification ensures that the standards of every step in producing, harvesting, and delivering turf are the highest in the industry.
Consumer habits over time are changing as well. Placing emphasis on ensuring the product they are receiving is what they asked for while also achieving a certain quality standard. Industries change with change in demand, proving AusGAP certified producers are on the forefront of the turfgrass industry.
Turfgrass certification continues to set the highest industry standards. As new turfgrasses are introduced to the market and protected by certification programs, industry standards are expected to continue rising. AusGAP continues to certify hundreds of acres of fields. Grown to standards that ensures turf is genetically pure, free from weeds, pests, and diseases, and remains true to type.