National market development program for the Australian turf industry (TU16002)
What’s it all about?
Beginning in early 2018, this investment is designed to support the development of the Australian turf industry, and drive an increase in the value of turf.
It is assisting growers in developing their skills, knowledge and businesses through a range of extension activities, including delivering training and disseminating market research and R&D findings. It is also tasked with engaging the wider industry and key influencers, such as landscape architects and planners, while facilitating collaboration and engagement with and between key industry bodies
Specifically, the project supports the role and activities of National Market Development Manager Jenny Zadro, who was appointed at Turf Australia in January 2018. Jenny provides project updates in regular market development reports in the levy-funded Turf Australia magazine.
For any questions about the project, or to discuss ideas or issues, Jenny can be reached on 0408 441 119, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Turf Australia office on (02) 4588 5735.
Strong engagement continued during this period despite the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions continuing in several states:
- Two videos were produced promoting the benefits of turf and R&D outcomes, Why Wouldn’t You Choose Turf and Natural turf and the environment
- A Turf Specifiers Survey was sent to landscapers, landscape architects, sports turf managers and parks coordinators. Results were collated and shared with industry for direction in future industry development projects.
- A number of workshops and extension activities were run to educate industry, students and stakeholders of the benefits of living turf, turf varieties, what turf where, water requirements, best practice turf installation and turf maintenance, soil profiles and amelioration. Fact sheets. and usable information from these workshops are listed below.
Numerous fact sheet were developed, including:
- About the Levy
- Buffalo Yellows
- In the trenches with fall armyworm
- Mowing as an ineffective agent against couch smut
- Turf is the key to cooling our cities
- Bushfire beefits of natural turf
- Natural turf is the best choice
Over the past six months, several key outcomes have been achieved at national and state levels, despite it being a generally quieter time of year for engagement and with lingering COVID-19 restrictions.
Early in the project, five key areas were identified through consultation with growers, researchers and the wider turf industry. Addressing these continued to be a strong focus for the project team.
- Collaboration across the wider turf sector was supported via joint projects, with a willingness to share information and work towards a united greenspace industry
- Sustainability around water security remains a strong topic of conversation with growers and in maintenance planning for greenspace in urban settings. The demand for information on comparisons and facts on natural turf versus synthetic was strong, with support materials developed and shared by the team.
- Support in relation to weeds, pest and disease involved the distribution of information to Queensland Growers, working closely with the Department of Agriculture, to provide updates on the emergence of imported red fire ants
- Discussions were held with key support organisations about the current employment and education needs of the turf industry, aimed at improving the training opportunities
- The first stages for developing industry best practice for turf transport safety and compliance was undertaken, with further work scheduled in this area.
Articles, fact sheets, events, presentations, webinars and social media messages were prepared, promoted and extended to a wide audience across the industry. Additional activities and resources are underway, including videos, other resource and engagement opportunities.
Visit the Turf Australia website for more information from this and other industry projects. Access resources for using turf as erosion control, information about natural turf versus synthetic grass, the turf grower toolkit, and material for turf maintenance professionals.
Several fact sheets were also made available online:
And you can read these related articles:
- Improving your energy efficiency, Turf Australia magazine, Summer 20/21, pp22-23
- Turf Australia Magazine, Spring 2020 edition
- Turf Australia Newsletter, September 2020
Including coverage from an industry-wide campaign regarding bushfire resistant gardens:
- Landscaping for bushfire in the GIA Newsletter on their website
- Tony Fawcett: New study examines lawn’s fire barrier credentials, The Weekly Times (online), 30 December 2020
- Re-writing our gum-tree fantasy to fire-proof the future, Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax syndication), 2 January 2021
- Templeman discusses turf's natural bushfire protection benefits with local farmers, Hawkesbury Gazette, 28 August 2020
- Natural turf and greenlife to stop fires, Outdoor Design Source website, 12 November 2020
- Australian research finds turf helps bushfire management, Turf Magazine (USA), 16 February 2021
You can also follow Turf Australia on Facebook for extra information.
This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Turf Fund