WCTA Supports Turf Managers by Investing in 2021 Research Projects

The WCTA Board is pleased to announce it will continue supporting important and valuable turf research in 2021.  Based on funds raised in 2020, cash available to the Research Committee for new project funding is $24,000.

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 Board has approved approximately $31,000 in project funding.  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:  Effects of Plant Growth Regulators on Putting Green Aerification Recovery, Alec Kowalewksi, Oregon State University
On golf courses, core cultivation is one of the most damaging events to occur, but no research currently exists that demonstrates the effect of PGRs on recovery from core cultivation or if plant hormones such as gibberellic acid can be used to reduce recovery time.  It may be possible to use post-inhibition growth enhancement to decrease recovery time. The first objective of this project is to determine the effect of trinexapac-ethyl (Primo) application timing on core cultivation recovery.  The second objective is to determine if ethephon (Proxy) treatments applied in the spring for annual bluegrass seedhead control influence cultivation recovery time.  The final objective is to evaluate the effect of gibberellic acid (GA3) on core cultivation recovery.

WCTA COMMITMENT: $15,000 USD for first year

Project Title:  Enhancing Turfgrass Carbon Sequestration to Improve Sustainability and Market Access, Alec Kowalewksi, Oregon State University
Oregon State University will evaluate the impacts of turfgrass maintenance practices (nitrogen fertilization, irrigation, mowing height, and mowing frequency) on turfgrass carbon balance and soil carbon accumulation.  This project will investigate how to enhance accumulation of soil organic carbon in order to reduce the climate footprint of turfgrass, which can provide ways of addressing regulatory burden imposed by greenhouse gas reduction programs and improve market acceptance of natural turfgrass.  Results of this research will be disseminated to turfgrass seed producers, turfgrass managers (golf course superintendents, commercial turf managers, school and park employees), and other users (home owners and master gardener programs) through extension activities including field days, presentations, and written materials.

WCTA COMMITMENT: We are partnering 50/50 on this project with QTRF, total value $15,000 USD (our share is $7500)

An interim report has been received ahead of schedule and is posted at the following link:

Previously funded projects in progress:

Project Title: Efficacy of Trichoderma Fungal Biocontrol Agents for the Control of Snow Mold Disease in Turfgrass, Michelle Franklin and Deborah Henderson, Institute of Sustainable Horticulture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University*
The cost of chemical controls for snow mold disease in Western Canada is greater than that for all other diseases of turfgrass.  Demand for alternatives to chemical controls are mounting due to concerns of the environmental impact of chemical pesticide use coupled with cosmetic pesticide bans.  Research has shown that fungal biological control agents such as Trichoderma can suppress the growth of several of the pathogens responsible for snow mold disease. Here we propose to identify the pathogens responsible for snow mold on golf courses in British Columbia using genetic tools and test the efficacy of local Trichoderma isolates in laboratory and field trials for the control of pink snow mold.  Trichoderma isolates that show pathogen suppression in research trials will be considered for registration in Canada as the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture moves forward with their first Trichoderma product registration.   


*this project was just completed and paid out 3rd week of May 2021.  A final report is pending.

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