Article written and supplied by David Doguet – Bladerunner Farms
Successful turf breeding can result in new turf varieties that provide many benefits.
Ensuring this new grass variety stays true to type and does not become mutated is critical in ensuring these varietal characteristics remain in place. This is particularly important when it comes to the exporting of these new varieties to new markets across the globe.
Therefore, turf breeders undertake steps to ensure their turf variety is supplied to only accredited turf suppliers who undertake a strict set of protocols and testing. These protocols are put in place to ensure that the grass you might play golf on in Texas, is the exact same grass genetically that you could be having a picnic on in Tamworth. For example, BRF Zeon Zoysia in the US is licensed as Sir Grange Zoysia in Australia and through these protocols it is ensured that the Sir Grange Zoysia you buy here in Australia, is the exact same grass that you would buy in the US as BRF Zeon Zoysia.
Here is the story of how BRF Zeon Zoysia (Sir Grange) was first exported to Australia:
The production of BRF Zeon Zoysia is exclusively by licensed producers throughout the world and in Australia that exclusive licensee is Lawn Solutions Australia (LSA) and its fully accredited members who supply BRF Zeon Zoysia as Sir Grange Zoysia. Bladerunner Farms and The Turfgrass Group are the only authorised agents to issue licenses globally for BRF Zeon Zoysia.
Unlicensed growers of Zeon Zoysia or BRF Zeon Zoysia, or those claiming to supply Zeon Zoysia under different names or labels will face legal action for the unauthorised use of IP and Trademarks by Australian and International organisations.
For consumers, both domestic and commercial, premium turf varieties are a considered investment. To protect consumers when BRF Zeon Zoysia was first introduced to the Australian market, strict expansion protocols were followed. After first spending many months in government quarantine, three foundation farms were set up in different climatic conditions across Australia. These, to this day, remain the only source of new crops of BRF Zeon Zoysia in the country.
True BRF Zeon Zoysia must be certified and produced under the strict production and certification protocols of ITGAP, The International Turfgrass Genetic Assurance Program – the only recognised international official certification agency for turfgrass. If your turfgrass provider cannot provide the ITGAP certification, it is not authorised BRF Zeon Zoysia. In Australia, the ITGAP program is operated by AusGAP, The Australian Genetic Assured Purity Turf Certification Program. AusGAP is the exclusive agent for ITGAP in Australia and administers the ITGAP standards and protocols.
To protect the genetic purity of BRF Zeon Zoysia in Australia, any shipment labeled as BRF Zeon Zoysia or Sir Grange Zoysia are authorised exclusively by Bladerunner Farms by license to the Lawn Solutions Australia Group as the exclusive licensee. Purchases from LSA with AusGAP certificates assures the buyer of true Sir Grange Zoysia (BRF Zeon Zoysia) developed by Bladerunner Farms and David Doguet.
Under the AusGAP program, the turfgrass producer (grower) is responsible for the genetic purity of the certified grasses sold in a wholesale, commercial or retail capacity. The grower must meet minimum standards, as directed by AusGAP, covering the entire planting, production and harvest process.
For a turf variety to be eligible to enter the AusGAP certification program, the following requirements must be met:
- The origins of the turf cultivar must be proven by the breeder or owner of the variety.
- A genetic resource of the original material must be kept by the breeder or agent of the breeder for the purpose of testing or re-establishment should the commercial cultivar become impure due to inclusions, cross-pollination, or mutation.
- All planting stock must be sourced from either a certified foundation farm or the grower’s own registered stock following approval from AusGAP.
Bladerunner Farms, The Turfgrass Group will continue to work with Lawn Solutions Australia, ITGAP and AusGAP to ensure the integrity of new varieties exported to Australia remain in place.