Preparations for a successful trialing year are well underway at Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance (TWCA). With the completion of the first TWCA Cooperators call in and the final check off for TWCA cameras both finalized in February the pressure is on to get equipment shipped. As the first program to require objective data TWCA is the industry leader in standardizing research equipment and practices. TWCA calibrates and inspects a fleet of standardized equipment to ensure accurate trialing results meaningfully compared across locations. TWCA Standardization efforts also include the cooperator calls happening three times per year to discuss management issues and update the research team on progress and challenges. Other supplements include standard TWCA Talking points specifically for cooperator trials, FAQ handouts addressing specific cooperator questions from prior trials, and Growing Great Grass, the TWCA cooperator manual. TWCA also issues a set of standard research lights; this half dozen lights ensure cooperators have access to 1.5 full arrays of fresh bulbs with the same anticipated lighting profile. The point of all this standardization is simply to remove confounding factors from any trialing results, giving the clearest view of drought tolerance in turf.
Predictability and reliability are essential for long term reliability. In an industry where development is, sometimes, years in realization, TWCA is providing a schedule for trialing. Released today, the trialing schedule is an important tool for Seed Producers and trialing cooperators alike.
Jack Karlin is the Program Administrator for TWCA. His interest is in using policy and the built environment to create livable and sustainable communities.