Canadian Turf Research Foundation Approves $231,000 In Grants

12.03.15-CTRF-logo3Media Release: May 21, 2013

The Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation (CTRF) has announced a total of $231,000 in turf research funding over a three year period to help fund three new projects.  The announcement follows an eight month process to generate, evaluate and decide on which of 16 project submissions would be funded for the period 2013 – 2016. The approved projects will be sponsored by Olds College in Olds, Alberta and at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario.  The three projects include:

 • Increasing winter hardiness of golf greens and fairways by fall fertilization regime & manipulation of plant hormones;

• Fall applications of nitrogen and potassium & effect on winter hardiness on annual bluegrass, and;  

• Identification of drought resistant turfgrass cultivars for water conservation.

Winter survival of golf greens and fairways continues to be a major concern of golf courses throughout Ontario and Canada.  There is acceptance within the research community that an important aspect of survival is the ability of the grass to maintain dormancy during thaw and refreeze events in late winter.  The research proposed will explore different management practices and their effect on the dormancy of golf greens and fairways experiencing thaw and refreeze events.  The result of the research will be management recommendations regarding fertilizing and plant nutrition, plant growth regulators and hormone manipulation to increase the winter survival of the golf course greens and fairways.  Conducted by Dr. Eric Lyons, Ph.D. from the University of Guelph and the Guelph Turfgrass Institute, this research will span a three year period with the objective of producing results that have application across Canada for golf courses and other highly managed turf spaces, including sports fields and bowling greens.

The winter hardiness of annual bluegrass project will focus on fall fertilization practices that will maximize the cold hardiness of turfgrass in cold climates.  Little information exists on this important issue and the recommendations that have come from previous research are somewhat contradictory.  Nitrogen and potassium will be applied at various rates and intervals in the fall period in order to determine application impacts on cold hardiness.  Results from this study are expected to provide specific recommendations for turf managers on fall fertilization in order to ensure maximum cold hardiness.  The lead researcher for this project is Jim Ross, from the Prairie Turfgrass Research Centre at Olds College in Olds, Alberta.  Another three year project, its results should also prove to be valuable to all types of turfgrass users in order to prevent severe winter injury in turf stands that have a large percentage of annual bluegrass.

The third project is about water use in urban environments.  This is an important issue given that, over the past few years, watering restrictions have become commonplace in many parts of Canada.  Restrictions on turfgrasses as landscape plants have also been proposed in a number of jurisdictions in North America.  This project will assist the turfgrass industry by:

1) helping the industry select turfgrass varieties that maintain green cover and playability with less water use, and;

2) determining the actual water use of different turfgrass species and varieties at different mowing heights.

This project is a collaboration involving Dr. Eric Lyons, Ph.D. as the lead researcher and Jim Ross.  The three year project will receive $111,000 in CTRF funding and is expected to result in research with a value of over $300,000 in both research grants and in-kind services.

In total, the three projects selected will result in research being conducted with a value in excess of $500,000.  Combined with the other projects that the CTRF is currently funding, the Foundation will spend $369,000 and the total research expenditure will be in excess of $750,000 over the period 2013 - 2016.  This research is focussed on generating results to assist the turf industry in Canada.

The CTRF is a registered charity with a mandate to raise monies and sponsor research projects that advance the environmental and economic benefits applicable to turfgrass.  The CTRF is funded by contributions received from the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association, Golf Canada and regional golf and turfgrass research organizations from across Canada including the Western Canada Turfgrass Association, the Alberta Turfgrass Research Foundation, the Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association, the Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association, the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation, The Quebec Turfgrass Research Foundation and the Atlantic Turfgrass Research Foundation.

For further information contact:

Ken Cousineau, CAE Executive
Secretary Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation
905-602-8873 ext. 222