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.
To join the conversation on our Facebook page, click HERE.
To review Turf Buyers Guides from previous years, click HERE.
For more information, contact Billy Skaggs, Certification Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Becki Hicks, Turfgrass Administrative Assistant, at email@example.com.
Check out the latest issue of LSA's Turf Talk magazine. It includes an article on Billy Skaggs & Dr. Brian Schwartz's visit to Australia last year.
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.