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Research

Research

The Florida Turfgrass Research Foundation (FRTF) provides financial resources to help fund turfgrass research in Florida. The FTRF looks for new procedures, products and provides funding for researchers to develop grasses that require less maintenance with increased tolerance to shade, cold, heat, drought and traffic.

With ever increasing pressures on statewide budgets, it is now more important than ever that turfgrass professionals and the private industry take an active role in helping fund this critical research by making a tax-deductible contribution.

Over the past decade the FTGA has funded research covering a wide-range of topics.

Most recently, the FTRF, along with other green industry associations in Florida, helped to fund the mining of over a million data points that were developed during the 7-year, $4.2 million urban fertilizer study conducted by the University of Florida. The study was funded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, but more money was needed to glean additional information for the preparation and publication of peer-reviewed articles. This process began in 2015 and is ongoing.

Prior to that, the FTRF/FTGA took the lead in a USDA-funded Specialty Crop Block Grant of over $200,000, titled “Florida-Friendly Turfgrass: Benefitting the Environment and Increasing the Competitiveness of the Turfgrass Industry”. Partnering in the effort were the Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Turfgrass Producers of Florida. Dr. George Hochmuth was the lead scientist on the project for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The two and a half-year project was completed in September 2013. The final results can be found on page 36 of this report from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Click Here to view report.

In 2011 the FTRF/FTGA undertook an economic impact study, “Economic Contributions of the Turfgrass Industry in Florida”.

Study highlights include:

  1. Florida is #1 in the U.S. for turfgrass related economic activity;
  2.  There are a total of 3.94 million acres of managed turfgrass in Florida;
  3.  Total revenues for the Florida turfgrass industry is estimated at $7.82-billion; and
  4.  Total employment of the Florida turfgrass industry is estimated at 173,166 jobs. More details on the study can be found here (hot link).

A list of research projects that were undertaken by the FTRF/FTGA prior to 2010 include:

  • Breeding Bahiagrass for Reduced Flowering Period & Dwarfness
  • Breeding Bermudagrass for Improved Response to Sting Nematode
  • Biological Control of Sting Nematodes on Golf Course Turf with Pateuris Usage
  • Comparative Maintenance of Paspalum & Bermuda Grasses
  • Rapid turfgrass disease diagnosis assistantship
  • Best management practices for a culturally diverse workforce
  • Breeding turfgrass for improved performance & reduced maintenance
  • Effect of nitrogen on the southern chinch bug
  • Field evaluation of bioherbicidal control of tropical signalgrass
  • The billbug species complex, seasonality and management in Florida