Turfgrass certification is unique to GCIA. Most certification is with seeded crops. However, warm season turf grasses are mostly hybrids which do not produce seed and are planted vegetatively. The turf industry has unique requirements. As with all crops, weeds and off types plants must be rogued from production fields. Certification is the only quality control offered for protection of the consumer, as state and federal laws do not address vegetatively produced crops.
In Georgia there are two certification programs. One administrated by the State Department of Agriculture issues a certificate for “apparent freedom” from insects, diseases, or other pests. GCIA members grow all certified grass under rules and regulations of GCIA which prevents the sale of grass containing noxious weeds, common bermuda, and other contaminating turfgass varieties. Many landscape architects specify Georgia certified “blue tag” turfgrass on their projects.
To review the GCIA Certified Turfgrass Standards, click HERE.
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GCIA also manages the International Turfgrass Genetic Assurance Program (ITGAP). Mr. Don Roberts serves as the ITGAP Managing Director. For more information on ITGAP, click HERE.