WCTA Announces 2018 Turf Research Project Funding

Based on funds raised in 2017, cash available to the Research Committee for new project funding in 2018 is just under $14,000.

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, the WCTA Board is pleased to announce $19,000 in approved 2018 Turf Research project funding as follows.  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:  Environmental Turfgrass Outreach Project, Guelph Turfgrass Institute
The turfgrass industry is aware of the benefits of turfgrass and its necessity in our communities, but the same cannot be said about public stakeholder groups.  To educate public stakeholders and the various end users of turfgrass facilities, a targeted outreach program needs to be implemented.  This project will include the creation of education programming and outreach initiatives to public stakeholders including golfers, recreational athletes, school board faculty, students, homeowners and the general public.  It will also involve the creation of materials for all turfgrass sectors to distribute to their clients which will foster improved communications and understanding between the turfgrass industry and public stakeholders.

WCTA COMMITMENT: $15,000 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

Recently completed projects:

Project Title: Investigating Alternative Irrigation Strategies, Oregon State University
Researchers in arid regions have explored greywater as an alternative irrigation source for turfgrass; however, poor-quality water sources have a tendency to increase soil nutrients (particularly salts) to toxic levels.  Fortunately, the cool-humid climatic regions of North  America have significant precipitation throughout the year; potentially enough to mitigate nutrient toxicity associated with regular greywater use.  This study includes cultivar assessment of salt-tolerant perennial ryegrasses, irrigated under three levels of greywater applications (continuous, supplemental, and control) throughout multiple years.  An additional study is being conducted to determine optimal irrigation scheduling for perennial ryegrass in the Pacific Northwest, in an effort to reduce water consumption. 

WCTA COMMITMENT: $6,000 CDN (partnering with CTRF, $6000 each for a total of $12,000 CDN)

Project Title: Evaluation of Alternative Management Strategies to Reduce or Eliminate the Use of Fungicides for Control of Microdochium Patch, Oregon State University
More money is spent on fungicides to control Microdochium patch than any other turfgrass disease in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest United States. Turfgrass managers continue to be scrutinized when it comes to pesticide use for the control of problematic turf pests.  This project will evaluate cultural practices as well as new alternative products that have shown potential to control Microdochium patch. Each component will be evaluated individually and upon completion of the two year research project be integrated into a complete management program for the control of Microdochium patch with the intent of greatly reducing or eliminating fungicide use.

WCTA COMMITMENT: $15,000 USD, approx. $21,000 CDN
TOTAL PROJECT VALUE: $30,000 USD (50/50 split with OTRF)

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