Innovation within the turf industry

DLF’s pioneering efforts in developing resilient turf varieties

We want to be at the forefront of innovation within the turf industry, with a significant focus on enhancing the disease resistance of grass varieties.

The development of 4turf®, a tetraploid perennial ryegrass, underscores this commitment. Selected for its robust characteristics and broad disease resistance, 4turf® is recommended across several official turf variety lists in Europe, suitable for professional sports pitches and facing unique environmental conditions.

Beyond the success of 4turf®, DLF’s commitment extends through our ongoing disease surveillance efforts. Recognizing the dynamic nature of turf diseases exacerbated by climate change, DLF annually conducts a comprehensive survey across Europe, spanning various market segments. This “disease watch” initiative helps us stay ahead of emerging disease trends, ensuring that research, development, and breeding efforts are finely tuned to address the most pressing diseases affecting their customers. Such proactive measures allow sod producers to understand which diseases are prevalent in their customer bases and what resistances need to be built into the sod for different customer segments. This comprehensive approach will ensure that a wider range of grass varieties becomes available to meet the specific needs of different turf applications.

Based on end user input and survey results DLF has actively engaged in screening various perennial ryegrass varieties for resistance against prevalent diseases like gray leaf spot and brown patch.

Average brown patch resistance score
Average brown patch resistance score
Gray leaf spot relative resistance scores among perennial ryegrasses from DLF
Gray leaf spot relative resistance scores among perennial ryegrasses from DLF

The Importance of Disease Resistance in Sod Production

Incorporating grass varieties with specific and broad-spectrum disease resistance into sod mixtures is crucial for many sod customers. The disease resistant varieties will:

  • Enhanced longevity and aesthetics: Disease-resistant varieties maintain their aesthetic appeal and functional quality over longer periods, crucial for sports fields and landscaping where appearance and performance are paramount.
  • Reduced chemical dependency: With stricter pesticide regulations and environmental concerns, using disease-resistant grasses reduces the reliance on chemical treatments, promoting a more sustainable approach to turf management.
  • Adaptation to climate stressors: Varieties like 4turf® offer enhanced tolerance to drought and cold, traits that are increasingly valuable as climate change alters weather patterns and stress conditions for turf.

Practical Applications and Enhanced Performance

The practical benefits of using disease-resistant varieties are evident across various high-profile applications. For instance, European football stadiums utilizing 4turf® have reported excellent performance during major tournaments, showcasing the grass’s ability to withstand intense play and maintain its vibrant color.

Furthermore, the integration of disease-resistant varieties into sod mixtures enhances the resilience and longevity of the turf, preparing it for a future where environmental pressures and disease challenges are likely to intensify at the end user segment.

Futureproofing the Turf Industry

DLF’s focus on developing grass varieties with enhanced disease resistance is not just about meeting current market needs but also about anticipating future challenges. As the climate continues to change, having a portfolio of resilient, disease-resistant grass varieties will be crucial for sod producers to continue delivering high-quality, durable turf suitable for professional sports and recreational activities.

In conclusion, the integration of disease-resistant grass varieties into sod production is essential for the turf industry’s sustainability and adaptability. As we face more complex environmental challenges, our commitment to innovate and improve turf quality will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of outdoor spaces. This commitment is underpinned by our dedicated disease watch efforts, ensuring that we are always prepared for the evolving landscape of turf diseases.