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Analytical

Australian Sports Turf Consultants (ASTC) is pleased to offer to the industry the following independent analytical services, including organic matter (loss of ignition), leaf tissue and soil nutritional, water quality and DNA testing. Please contact us to discuss your testing needs in greater detail or click on the drop down boxes below for pricing, sampling and reporting information on our analytical services.

DNA testing of turfgrass

ASTC ha signed a Research Agreement with The University of Queensland’s (UQ) main commercialisation company UniQuest to deliver a reputable DNA testing service using Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) technology for the wider Australian turfgrass industry. The venture is to make available DNA testing of turfgrasses through ASTC to:

  • identify genetic variation between turfgrasses of the same species or proposed variety:  For example, venue operators of major stadia and elite venues have used DNA testing provided by ASTC to verify visible contamination (morphological-agronomic variation) present within their turf. If venues and stadia are paying top dollar for their turf, they expect perfection, not imperfection with contamination that is unsightly and poses a turf management issue because it is “different” to the chosen turf variety. To date, this service has been used by venue operators to distinguish contaminants within newly established and laid turf within the playing surface. The scientific rigour takes out the guess work and provides further assurance that venue operators are getting what they paid for. 
  • identify DNA variation against known commercial varieties of turf: DNA testing has also been requested to determine turf/genotype variation before commencing Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) work. With so many varieties on the market, it allows the breeder or owner to determine if their is a clear genetic variation will before field testing is to be undertaken to physically distinguish and measure morphological-agronomic (MA) traits.
  • assist in turf production quality control: turf breeders and industry groups have used the service provided by ASTC to assess and compare plant material between paddocks and turf producers. Such a service can ultimately be used to conduct turf certification, including DNA certified turf. Maintaining quality control and being able to deliver quality turf to the consumer is important; it also maintains the integrity of your brand. Lawn Solutions Australia (LSA) is once such group utilising the services provided by ASTC to undertake DNA testing of their DNA Certified Sir Walter buffalo grass.
  • assist with intellectual property protection: if someone is selling your protected turf without consent they are infringing on your rights. DNA testing has been used to compare the owners original plant material  e.g. acquired from a Genetic Resource Centre, against plant material legally acquired of the suspected infringed turfgrass. 

Please contact us to obtain pricing and instructions on sampling and delivery, or alternatively, ASTC can arrange to independently collect and prepare your analytical samples.

UniQest

Organic matter testing

Organic matter testing through Loss of Ignition (LOI), as per ASTM F1647 – 11, is a simple method for analysing the content of organic matter minerals in the rootzone. The process is commonly requested by golf course superintendents, bowling greenkeepers and sports turf managers that grow turf within a sand profile and wish to identify the amount of organic matter present within the rootzone.

Benefits of organic matter content testing include:

  • Assessment of thatch/organic matter at different depths within the rootzone. This helps to identify problem areas, shows how your thatch reduction program is or should be targeted, helps to provide firmer greens and will significantly reduce inputs.
  • Helps to monitor and determine the amount of physical control (thatch reduction) or amendment (increase in OC) required during renovations or routine works.
  • Assists with overseeding, by targeting desirable organic matter levels to allow for good seed to soil contact and successful germination.
  • Quantitative values obtained following testing will help to inform committees and managers of current conditions and justifiable actions to improve turf performance.

Generally testing is conducted at 3 depths in increments of 20 mm i.e. 0-20 mm, 20-40 mm and 40-60 mm. Testing can also be undertaken at greater depths and of blended sands. This service is provided for members of the wider turf industry with a fast turn-around. A minimum of three samples/increments are to be tested.

ASTC can arrange to independently collect and prepare your analytical samples or turf managers can collect and send the samples themselves. See below.

 Price $ 60+GST per sample/section

 Sample preparation

  1. Use a soil corer/sampler, approx. 40 mm in diameter, or a similar tool to remove a core sample to the desirable depth from the rootzone you wish to assess.
  2. 20 mm sections e.g. 0-20 mm, 20-40 mm and 40-60 mm are to be separated using a knife.
  3. Each section is to be placed into separate sealable sandwich bags and labelled accordingly e.g. Green # or Field # and depth.

Sample submission

  1. Please complete the sample submission form.
  2. Place sealed sample bags and a completed sample submission form into an Australia Post Express Post (overnight) satchel and send to Australian Sports Turf Consultants.

Soil and leaf tissue nutritional analysis

The following criteria are independently measured:

pH [1:5 H20], Organic Matter (%), CEC (meq/100g), EC [1:5 H20] (dS/m), Nitrogen (ppm) [NO3-N], Phosphorus (ppm) [Olsen], Potassium [Am.Acet] (meq/100g), Calcium [Am.Acet] (meq/100g), Magnesium [Am.Acet] (meq/100g), Sulphur [MCP] (ppm), Boron [CaCl2] (ppm), Copper [DTPA] (ppm), Iron [DTPA] (ppm), Manganese [DPTA] (ppm), Zinc [DTPA] (ppm), Sodium [Am.Acet] (meq/100g), Aluminium [KCl] (meq/100g), Chloride (ppm), Ca base saturation (%), K base saturation (%), Mg base saturation (%), Na base saturation (%), Al base saturation (%) and Ca:Mg Ratio.

ASTC can arrange to independently collect and prepare your analytical samples or turf managers can collect and send the samples themselves. See below.

 Price $ 130+GST per sample plus P&H

 Sample preparation (for soil)

  1. Minimum of 500 g is required for analysis.
  2. Collect cores to a depth of 100 mm at regular intervals across each green or sports field etc. to be tested. One or two samples only does not provide a representative sample.
  3. The samples are to be contained within a sealable sandwich bag and labelled accordingly e.g. Green # or Field #. Each green or field is to be bagged separately.

Sample preparation (for leaf tissue)

  1. Minimum of 200 g of fresh clippings is required for analysis.
  2. Collect plan tissue samples from the top 1/3 of the leaf from at least 20 sample locations, then bulk them together, to obtain a representative sample. Avoid irregular or damaged turf.
  3. Place each bulked sample e.g. Green 1, Green 2 and Green 10, in separate strong paper bags that are clearly labelled with permanent marker. The place each bulked sample into a sealable sandwich bag before delivery. If the samples have to be stored keep them refrigerated but do not freeze.

Sample submission

  1. Please complete the sample submission form.
  2. Place sealed sample bags and a completed sample submission form into an Australia Post Express Post (overnight) satchel and send to Australian Sports Turf Consultants.

Water analysis testing

The following criteria are independently measured:

pH, Zinc (ppm), Sulphur (ppm), Sodium (ppm), Potassium (ppm), Phosphorus (ppm), Nitrate N (ppm), Molybdenum (ppm), Manganese (ppm), Magnesium (ppm), Iron (ppm), Copper (ppm), Calcium (ppm), Boron (ppm), Electrical Conductivity (EC) (dS/m) and Chloride (ppm). Optional extra: Bicarbonate (ppm), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) (ppm), Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR) (meq/L) and Hardiness (CaCO3).

ASTC can arrange to independently collect and prepare your analytical samples or turf managers can collect and send the samples themselves. See below.

 Price $ 120+GST per sample plus P&H

 Sample preparation

  1. Minimum of 200 ml is required for analysis.
  2. Collect water in a sealable clean plastic bottle. Allow for an air gap.
  3. Prior to collecting sample allow the irrigation system or bore to run for 30 minutes.
  4. Water from dams, rivers and streams need to be taken in deep water as far from the bank as possible and taken from a depth of at least 10 cm.

Sample submission

  1. Please complete the sample submission form.
  2. Place sealed plastic bottle and a completed sample submission form into an Australia Post Express Post (overnight) satchel and send to Australian Sports Turf Consultants.

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