PACE Turf - Turfgrass Information Center

How we review products and practices

Selecting which product or practice will perform the best for you is one of the most important — and also one of the most difficult— decisions that turf managers face. The fact that some materials are marketed with little or no data, or with misleading data, complicates your decision ten-fold.

One of our main goals is to supply PACE Turf members with science–based guidance on the efficacy of turf products, practices and management strategies. Whether we are reviewing the performance of gray leaf spot control agents, sod webworm products or strategies for moss control, we always provide a listing of the options that will perform best, in our analysis.

But how do we determine which strategies to recommend, and which to omit from our publications and presentations? The internal guidelines shown below were developed here at PACE Turf over the past 20 years, and, because they are based in the scientific method, they give us confidence that the recommendations that we pass along to you are as useful and dependable as possible. The guidelines below may also be useful to each of you in product selection decisions, as well as in communicating to vendors the standards that you will use to evaluate the products that they are promoting.

PACE Turf internal guidelines for development of turf management recommendations:

  1. Each research trial must have a detailed protocol that describes the objectives of the study, as well as detailed materials and methods that include statistical analytical methods and experimental design parameters.
  2. Treatments must be replicated and include appropriate non–treated controls. In addition, current method(s) of choice should be included for purposes of comparison.
  3. Trials should be conducted, supervised or coordinated by a qualified independent researcher or consultant (university or extension researchers, Certified Crop Advisors, Certified Professional agronomists, Certified Soil Scientists, independent researchers with a minimum of a B.S. in agricultural or related sciences). Publication record in peer reviewed science journals is a plus. Unknown researchers are required to supply a resume and references with their research reports.
  4. Raw data must be provided by researchers to PACE Turf upon request. PACE Turf may re–analyze raw data to confirm conclusions.
  5. The product or practice should be tested in multiple locations (a minimum of 3) and, if feasible, in multiple environmental regions.
  6. Products that are selected for use in PACE Turf management recommendations must show a substantial positive effect. A statistically significant response alone is not sufficient, as it does not necessarily show that the product will provide a useful and practical solution for PACE turf clients.
  7. Data cannot be "cherry–picked" so that only favorable data is provided for review, and negative data is withheld.
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