Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 18, 2005 15:26 ET

AAFC: Keeping the Greens Green, Research Projects Aim to Reduce Pesticide Use on Golf Courses in Quebec and Ontario

BELOEIL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 18, 2005) - Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Andy Mitchell today announced just over $ 500, 000 in funding for two collaborative research projects in partnership with the industry that aim to reduce pesticide use and promote non-chemical alternatives for protecting golf courses in Quebec and Ontario.

The research will be done in partnership with the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation and the Coalition for Responsible Golf which will also invest an additional $ 500,000 in this project. The two organizations have joined forces with the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to study turfgrass pests, identify means to reduce the use of pesticides, and to develop an integrated pest management (IPM) network strategy to protect golf links from insects and diseases. The information will also benefit the farming community because many of the insects and diseases affecting golf courses are also found in agriculture.

"AAFC is pleased to partner with these organizations and to share scientific expertise that will help golf courses find effective pest control alternatives," said Minister Mitchell. "Reducing pesticide use is in the best interests of all Canadians and the development of new integrated pest management techniques could make an important contribution to keeping both our golfing greens and our crops healthy."

Under one project, researchers will lead a three-year study to increase knowledge of major insect pests and diseases that occur under eastern Canada climatic conditions. The research project, to cost $750,000, will more accurately identify turfgrass pests and predict insect outbreaks in Ontario and Quebec. The data will help golf course superintendent's better plan the use of pesticides, thereby reducing applications. The project will also include research on alternative pest control measures. An integrated pest management strategy will also be developed to assist the industry.

The second project, a three-year study valued at $277,000, will investigate the characteristics of winter freezing and snow mold diseases on bluegrass and identify more tolerant varieties. This information will help develop seed sources better adapted to winter stresses and contribute to the development of best management practices to improve winter survival and minimize pesticide use.

The turfgrass industry in Canada is estimated to be worth more than $5 billion, including golf courses, sod production, home lawns, commercial turf, sports fields, and municipal parks. The information gained from these studies will benefit not only to the entire turfgrass industry, as well as agricultural crops such as winter cereals and forage grasses which experience similar problems but also to farmers, producers, industry and communities.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972 or 1 (866) 345-7972
    Minister Mitchell's Office
    Matt Tolley
    Press Secretary
    (613) 759-1059
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Horticulture Research and Development Centre
    Guy Belair, M.Sc., nematologist
    (450) 346-4494 ext.239
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre
    Yves Castonguay, Ph.D., physiologist
    (418) 657-7985 ext. 231