A four year Australian Research Council (ARC) linkage project was conducted by turf researchers at The University of QLD and the former QLD State Government (DAFF) to develop water and nutrient use efficient couchgrasses (Cynodon spp.) from Australian biodiversity. The project was also funded by Jimboomba Turf Group and the South East Council of Mayors.
A collection of over 1000 naturalised green couch varieties was assembled from a range of soil types and climatic zones across Australia. The naturalised varieties were trialled against commercially available green couch varieties in comprehensive drought, soil stability, wear and salinity studies. To date 3 of the Eco Turf varieties have been selected from the collection that have performed exceptionally well within the research studies showing they have superior drought resistance, are highly rhizomatous (for wear and recovery) and have significant salinity tolerance. The 3 varieties have been included in a Plant Breeder’s Rights trial setup by Australian Sports Turf Consultants at Jimboomba Turf’s Allenview Turf Production Facility in n South East Queensland. The trial run by ASTCs Qualified Person, Matt Roche, is to assess the Distinct, Uniform and Stable (DUS) morphological-agronomic characteristics of the Eco Turf varieties and the varieties of common knowledge (VCK). A series of measurements is to be undertaken to meet PBR requirements set out by IP Australia. The trial is likely to run until the end of 2014.
Candidate and comparator turf varieties being prepared for planting in the field
A randomized complete block design containing 9 varieties of Cynodon dactylon have been planted at Jimboomba Turf’s Allenview Production Facility in South East Queensland.