AgriDark

AgriDark, the new kid on the block from over the ditch

AgriDark is a new premium green couch sports turf to the Australian market, that has been developed in New Zealand by Dr Warren Hunt (Cervadon Limited), at this stage All Turf Solutions is the sole grower of AgriDark in Queensland, this new grass is quite exciting & shows some real promise for both sports fields & residential customers alike.

Features include;

  • Excellent drought tolerance
  • Rapid recovery from damage
  • Very dense & tightly knitted leaf matrix
  • Beautiful dark green colour all year round
  • Even & fast growth + rapid establishment
  • Low seed head production

More information

AgriDark is a ‘subtropical’ grass called Cynodon dactylon or Indian doab

  • Also known as couch grass (Australia) or Bermuda grass (USA)
  • AgriDark was selected by Dr Hunt at AgResearch from winter active material in Hong Kong
  • Research has shown AgriDark to be markedly superior for sports fields and turf generally to other grasses of this type in New Zealand
  • Research in Hawkes Bay (NZ) identified potential for use on roadsides to reduce maintenance costs.

AgriDark for sports fields

  • AgriDark provides high quality sports turf surfaces
  • A subtropical turf grass that thrives in cold areas such as NZ
  • High dry matter = Anti-skid
    – (30% DM compared to 19% ryegrass)
  • Summer green (drought tolerant)
    – provides a strong turf cover in summer
    – Stolons add strength in winter
  • Deep rooted
    – Stolons give high lateral shear strength and cover gaps

What about the competition?

  • The other grasses of this type (Cynodon couch) on the market are Windsor Green and Legend.
  • Windsor Green has been compared to AgriDark in trials at Palmerston North (NZ), the growth rate of Windsor green was 50% of that of AgriDark.
  • The establishment (spreading) rate of Windsor green was 40% of that of AgriDark
  • Windsor green sports fields take at least 2 years to establish completely.

What about Legend?

Legend (left below) was included in the Seddon Park fields (planted Jan 2004) for comparison with AgriDark (right below) in April 2004

Propagation

  • Recent research has developed simple effective methodology
    – Standard field preparation
    – Spread cut washed stolon
    – Power harrow and roll
  • Auckland City Parks Services simply spread stolon through a soil shredder, roll and water
  • Desiccation is the only threat to good establishment

Weed control

Weed control is simple where there are no restrictions to the use of sprays.

  • Wide band weed control is possible using Glyphosate in winter
  • Broadleaf weeds are controlled with spays like Duplusan KV
  • Grass weeds are controlled with Kerb Flo in winter and spring
  • The low growth habit of AgriDark facilitates weed control by weed-wiping, especially on roadsides

Conclusions

AgriDark has passed the test

  • Proven ability to perform well throughout the North Island (NZ)
  • Proven superiority to other grasses of this type on the market
  • Proven durability in heavily used sports fields
  • Proven performance on high wear areas of golf clubs

The high wear-tolerance and non-slip characteristics of

  • AgriDark will improve the performance of sports fields anywhere in Australia