WCTA Continues to Support Turf Managers by Investing In Research

The WCTA Board is pleased to announce it will continue to support important and valuable turf research in 2019.  Based on funds raised in 2018, cash available to the Research Committee for new project funding in 2019 is about $14,300.

Current priorities for WCTA turfgrass research funding are as follows: 

Nutrient and fertility management, best management practices
Soil and root-zone management, best management practices
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
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

As recommended by the Research Committee, approximately $17,000 in project funding has been approved by the Board.  Any difference between total funding and available cash is made up from reserves.     

Project Title:  Canadian Turf Research Foundation Cooperative Funding
The CTRF collects and distributes research monies much like the WCTA but on a National Scale.  Along with other regional groups, we have contributed to this collaborative approach to research funding annually since 1992.

PROJECT LENGTH: multiple projects /varies
See www.turfresearchcanada.ca/current-research.ca for list of current research projects.

Project Title:  Comparing Iron Sulfate Versus Chelated Iron for the Suppression of Microdochium Patch on Annual Bluegrass Putting Greens in the Presence and Absence of Phosphorous Acid, Alec Kowalewski, Oregon State University
One negative aspect of long term applications of iron sulfate is a decrease in soil pH, therefore requiring judicious monitoring of soil test levels and likely the introduction of liming agents on a periodic basis. An area of focus yet to be explored and one that may mitigate changes to pH is the use of chelated iron sources to suppress Microdochium patch. Preliminary laboratory studies have suggested that chelated iron suppresses the growth of Microdochium nivale, although no field trial to date has assessed the use of chelated iron to mitigate Microdochium patch. Chelated iron applications may also lead to less turfgrass thinning than has been observed with iron sulfate additions as well as allay any adverse soil pH effects. Exploring chelated iron in combination or absence of phosphorous acid may further expand the options to turfgrass managers hoping to manage disease with alternative techniques.

WCTA COMMITMENT: $10,000 USD in year 1

Previously funded projects in progress:

Project Title:  Capital Cost of Natural and Synthetic Sports Fields, University of Guelph
This project is creating a comprehensive cost analysis of constructing and maintaining multitude of types of synthetic fields and compare those costs to the construction and maintenance of different types of natural grass fields. This information will aid in the decision making process when schools and municipalities undertake the construction of new facilities. The cost analysis will include a 30-year cost analysis encompassing construction, maintenance, renovations and disposal of materials.  The project will accomplish this by:

Creating a guide sheet comparing the cost of natural and synthetic fields cost fields over a 30 year cycle
Creation of a working model in which factors could be changed to estimate costs of synthetic and natural fields             

WCTA COMMITMENT: $15,000 total, $7,500 outstanding

Thank you to all those who have contributed to our turf research program!