Recently Matt Roche, DAFFQ Turf Scientist from Redlands Research Facility inspected trial sites in Mackay and Darwin which were setup to monitor the performance of warm-season grasses with potential to grow in the tropics.
A total of 15 varieties were established by either seed, plugs or sod at both trial sites. The findings from the latest inspection are included within the latest HAL milestone at the bottom of the article.
On 29 December 2011 correspondence from Dr Yok Tan, Head of Centre of Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE) to Garry Fullelove, Science Leader, DAFFQ, informed DAFFQ that CUGE had decided to withdraw from the TU09001 research partnership.
The withdrawal was a result of the inability for contracts to be finalised on the basis that CUGE Singapore was unable to be listed within the TU09001 HAL head agreement between DAFFQ and HAL. This meant that a subsequent collaborative agreement where DAFFQ was to act as a subcontractor and material transfer agreements (MTAs) could not be agreed upon.
CUGE's withdrawal meant that the budgeted sum of over $145,000 of matched funds would not longer be available to the project. Discussions between DAFFQ and potential voluntary contributors (VCs) to buy into the project commenced early in the New Year. This included a proposal put forward to the Turf Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) to invest $30,000 of turf R&D levy money to support the project and stop it from folding as a result of CUGE's withdrawal. The project
variation request for levy funds was not endorsed by the IAC through communication received by DAFFQ on 12 March 2012. The IAC felt that the project (TU09001) was not aligned with the Strategic Investment Plan initiatives to date, and the project only benefitted a minority of levy payers.
DAFFQ senior management thought that the project still had merit and that significant information would still be gained from having the Mackay and Darwin trial sites continue, albeit in a limited capacity. A voluntary contribution of $30,000 was made from DAFFQ royalty money to support the adaptation of warm-season turf grasses for the project study by DAFFQ on 4 April 2012, which was agreed to by HAL on 14 May 2012.
Following the modified HAL head agreement, the project in its current form (available budget) will allow for a total of 3 formal assessments to be conducted by DAFFQ research staff of the Darwin and Mackay trial sites to track comparative turf performance only (e.g. turf quality, colour, mowing requirements, incidence of disease) within the later tropical locations. Within the original HAL application nutritional studies aimed to reduce nitrous oxide emissions through reduced fertiliser
applications and "traffic stress" (implementing wear and compaction) studies using a simulated wear machine (similar to work undertaken within TU08018) were to be undertaken at both the Darwin and Mackay trail sites. However, due to a significantly reduced budget as a result of CUGE's withdrawal and no financial support being made available from the turf R&D levy; these parameters are unable to be researched.
The most recent inspection of the Mackay and Darwin trial sites was conducted on the 26 and 27
June 2012 respectively. A summary of each trial site are included in the attachment.
Digital images were also taken at both trial sites and these can be found the Redlands Turf Research flickr® web site (http://www.flickr.com/photos/redlandsturfresearch/sets/).
Download Full Finding Above or - https://media.pitchcare.com/O/7R7y0xjMEc5UCUEeSwgr.pdf