Fusion Media's Posts (621)

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Lee Marshallsay, grounds manager at Charterhouse in Surrey, has reported successful results after using a range of MM grass seed from Limagrain UK.

Lee has been grounds manager at the prestigious Charterhouse for the last two and a half years. He oversees a team of fourteen members of staff who meticulously tend to the school’s grounds and sports fields. Currently there are 3 hockey pitches, 12 tennis courts, 18 artificial cricket nets, 7 cricket squares, 15 grass football pitches, 1 rugby pitch, 1 lacrosse pitch AND a 9-hole golf course.

Ever the perfectionist, Lee insists on working only with the best products and equipment which is most suitable for his site. Therefore, when it came to looking for a grass seed for his cricket squares it was not a decision he took lightly.

“Last summer we were looking at re-building our cricket square and it was an opportunity to look at other grasses, other mixtures and what other suppliers had. I was looking around and the MM50 kept coming to mind – a lot of groundsmen seemed to be using it and seemed to be really happy with it. I trialled a number of other mixtures and I have to make a decision on what seed I believe works best on our site. For me that was MM50.”

MM is one of the most respected brands in the UK sportsturf and amenity industries and is relied upon at top sports grounds throughout the UK and beyond. In particular, MM50 is ideal for cricket squares and outfields. This hard-wearing mix has rapid germination, very fine leaved appearance, high shoot density and is tolerant to very close mowing, along with high disease resistance. All these attributes together produce a fantastic sward that has great colour all year round.

“I’m really happy with MM50,” said Lee. “It provides fast establishment, strong rooting, a strong plant, and the playability is good. We’ve now got rooting down at 4/5 inches which is really promising.

“My main cricket square was renovated back in August and then we went onto use it on our other squares too. Again, the uptake was fantastic. In cricket loam it can be quite difficult to grow grass but MM50 has been great so I’m really pleased I made that decision.”

With prolonged heat and drought conditions challenging turf managers this year, Lee was no exception, and with this is mind he was looking for a seed that could potentially help after a particularly difficult summer. As a result Lee invited Richard Sheppard (Limagrain amenity seed specialist) to the school and together they identified a potential solution.

“This summer, coming away from a really dry spell, Limagrain created two tailor made mixtures for us – one a complete rye mixture and the other a combination of both rye and fescue. This was to be used mainly on our golf fairways and also on some other areas that have less disturbance. It established really well and had great coverage in every area it was used.”

As well as reporting excellent results from the products, Lee was quick to praise the service and the support he receives.

“I can’t fault the service I receive at all. Richard comes in and we have a walk around the site to look at where we have used Limagrain products; we look at what we want to try and achieve and he goes away and thinks about what mixtures could work and improve the site. It’s great support and if I ever have any questions I can always call him.”

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm

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ICL a key supplier for John Ledwidge

John Ledwidge has praised the consistent support he receives from ICL – particularly during what is an incredibly exciting and somewhat busy period for the Leicester City Football Club Grounds Manager.

John first became familiar with ICL products when he started his groundsmanship journey as a volunteer at Coventry City FC. It was in his next role at Aston Villa FC under the guidance of Jonathan Calderwood that he had more of an active role in applying the products. At the age of 24, he returned to Coventry City as the Head Groundsman of the Ricoh Arena before joining Leicester City four years later.

However, even though ICL may well be a brand that he has relied on at every club he has been at during his career, he is the first to admit that sentiment can afford to play no part in his decision to use the products.

“It all stems back to when I was at Coventry City and I first started seeing the products being used on the pitch. But my association with those products from an early age hasn’t influenced our decision making and it isn’t just because we’re comfortable – it is purely because of the results we get from the products. Ultimately, we want to be the best we can be and ICL products have worked for us and have consistently given us great results. It is that product quality and the support we receive from ICL which makes them a key supplier.”

John adheres to an ICL structured iTurf nutritional programme for both the stadium and the training ground. It is a proven programme which John claims helps deliver not only the nutrition that the plant needs but also offers those aesthetic qualities which is expected of the Premier League as well as the standards that are expected from the players, the staff and the owners (King Power).

Recently, King Power bought the Belgian second-flight football club Oud-Heverlee Leuven (OHL), and they signalled their ambitions by significantly investing in all areas of the club. John was tasked with improving the stadium pitch and the training ground, and was keen to implement his ICL programme which has worked so well at Leicester City.

“The day after the owners purchased the club I was flown over and given four days to put together a strategic plan for the development of the pitches, development of the grounds department and to basically replicate what we do here.

“We now have a full-time team in place that manage the stadium and the training ground and through that we have translated our use of ICL products and the framework that we use here. I like to think we have created a nice structure in a way of working with the products and it’s given us the results that we’ve wanted at this standard for a long time. Using this framework of ICL products, we’ve managed to do that successfully in Belgium and the pitch has gained a lot of credit.

“Based on what I’ve seen travelling round various clubs in Belgium and listening to feedback from the players and coaches I would suggest that football groundsmanship there is nothing like the top end of professionalism that you would expect here in the UK. With that in mind I see this project as an opportunity to try and change the culture over in Belgium. The Belgium FA are saying that what we are doing is incredible and they are looking at it from a whole view across Belgian football. So, we are hoping to not just make strides in the sense of creating great pitches for OHL but we are also trying to spread that a bit further across the country for the benefit of the industry.”

It is safe to say that John is extremely passionate about the industry he works in. From facilitating educational days for school children to working alongside the Young IOG (Institute of Groundsmanship) board of directors in encouraging young people into the industry – John is a proud and pro-active groundsman. He is always looking for that next opportunity to make a difference and very recently he was presented with exactly that. 

Last year, Leicester City Football Club revealed plans for a brand new, state-of-the-art training facility, as part of its long-term commitment to strengthening Leicestershire’s status as a home for the development of world-class sport. Not only will the training complex help to nurture footballing talent but it will also play host to a very unique sports turf academy.

“It’s going to be quite a dynamic site in the sense that it will cater for a lot of different areas of the industry as a whole. The purpose of the sports turf academy was really to capitalise on that amazing venue and hopefully train the next generation of groundsmen. It’s going to be something that has never been done before and the unique part of this academy is that we can give students access to the reality of what they will work on a day to day basis. Whether it’s a one-day course for volunteers or an intensive three year course for someone that wants to go into management – there will be something for everyone and the students can receive a qualification and then move into a work place. There will be a variety of pitches to work on, there will be a golf course for aspiring greenkeepers; there is the option for those interested in horticulture and also for those keen on learning mechanics – which in my opinion there is big shortfall of in the industry.

“Our aim for the sports turf academy is to provide that elite setting for the highest possible standard of training for the industry.

“It is such a huge project and we’ll be looking to engage with our key suppliers, such as ICL, for growth and development, of not only the department and the club but also for the industry as a whole.”

John admits that his key suppliers are integral to the Club’s long-term plans and he believes that loyalty is an essential ingredient in these relationships.

“When times have been tough, ICL has always been there - they haven’t just jumped in when they’ve seen the pound signs, which does unfortunately happen in this industry. To us, that loyalty is incredibly important.

“It’s also the confidence in the back-up and the technical support that you get. Ultimately, we know the products that we like, but for me it’s the advice and education that ICL can offer to my members of staff. We want them to know exactly why they might be using a fertilizer or a bio-stimulant and that’s the good thing about having ICL on-board, because guys like Nick Martin (ICL Technical Area Sales Manager) are always quick to help them understand.

“Every month we have educational seminars where we invite our key suppliers to talk to our members of staff and I sit in there too, because we may have a talk on fertilizer and for me at the top of the tree it doesn’t mean that I know everything and actually sometimes my knowledge will slip because I’m so focused on the strategic plans. I feel that it’s vital that we have that outside knowledge from suppliers and Nick is more knowledgeable than me on the ICL products.

Therefore, it’s important that he can come in and translate that knowledge to them.

“In my opinion, ICL has gone hand in hand with the evolution of the industry. The company is forward thinking; they have looked at developments and identified exactly how they can help us achieve the results that we are all after.”

Please contact ICL on +44 (0)1473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie.

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Dennis & SISIS have announced an exciting new free-to-attend Groundcare Seminar which has been designed with education in mind for those involved in groundcare on a variety of sports turf topics.

The seminar, which will take place at St. Albans School, Woollam Trust Playing Fields on Tuesday 19 February, is expected to attract grounds staff from all over the UK including volunteers and professionals representing schools, sports clubs, local authorities and contractors.

With a variety of high quality speakers and insightful topics, the seminar aims to connect like-minded people where they can learn new skills and techniques as well as offer fantastic networking opportunities.

Registration will start at 9am in which delegates will get the chance to meet their fellow colleagues before Robert Jack from Dennis and SISIS provides an introduction at 9.45am.

The following seminars will then take place:

  • Renovate & Rejuvenate a surface - Rob Kendle (ATB Sports Solutions)
  • Getting the most out of a sportsground construction project - Dr Iain James (TGMS Ltd)
  • Drainage - Managing sports fields - Alex Vickers (IOG Consultant)

A complimentary lunch will signal the halfway point at 12:30pm and attendees will be able to network and meet with event sponsors.

After lunch the following seminars will commence: 

  • Winter sports pitches to cricket outfields - what do we do next? - Keith Kent (RFU Head Groundsman – Twickenham)
  • 50 years in cricket - Looking to the future - Chris Wood (ECB Pitch Advisor)

Following presentations, informal discussions will commence where all delegates will get the opportunity to ask any questions they may have to a host of industry professionals including the seminar’s guest speakers.

To register your interest please contact Roger Moore at Dennis & SISIS on 01332 824777 or email Roger on roger.moore@dennisuk.com.

Further information about the range of maintenance products available can be found by visiting www.dennisuk.com / www.sisis.com.

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Invasives Science Live Success

Over 60 contractors and invasive weed eradication specialists recently attended Invasives Science Live – a unique event that showcased the latest research and technological innovations in invasive weed control.

The event, held in Cardiff, was hosted by ICL, Complete Weed Control and Green-tech in association with Advanced Invasives and provided education for delegates to gain a better understanding of chemical performance and various control methods, focussing primarily on Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam.

Complete Weed Control Managing Director Ian Graham introduced the event by offering an insight into the recent trial work with Advanced Invasives – something which the delegates would later explore in more detail at the impressive private trial facility.

Roundup Technical Development Manager Barrie Hunt from Bayer was the first speaker to provide an update on legal and best practice information of glyphosate to help plan ahead of their 2019 weed control programmes.

Next was Dr Dan Jones, Managing Director of Advanced Invasives, to give an insight into their seven year-long field trial on Japanese Knotweed control – the largest in the world. The ai:LAB is the company’s 12 acre field-testing site in South Wales where research has been undertaken into how to best tackle invasive plants in real-world conditions. The research tested 19 methods over 3 years of treatment and sets a new standard for evidence-led research. 

Following Dr Dan Jones was Business Director Dan Clugston to explain the dangers of Japanese Knotweed, how it is best dealt with, and the impact it can have on property.

After lunch, delegates were transported to the nearby trial site where they were separated into three smaller groups in which they visited three specific work stations.

Station One

Beyond Balsam Bashing

Physical and herbicide control of Himalayan Balsam

Iván Martin from Advanced Invasives explained how a number of land managers are reluctant to use herbicides to control this plant, and that 'Balsam Bashing' - physical control, is a popular treatment for many conservationist groups. He went onto reveal research which consisted of benchmarking the four most commonly used balsam treatments in 5×5 m (25 m2) commercial field trial plots.

Of the treatments tested, herbicide spraying was not only fastest but also was the only treatment that does not create plant waste - and Iván claimed it is an advantage that needs to be considered when weighing the environmental benefits of treatment options.

Station Two

Life After Knotweed

Using plant functional traits to enhance recovery of invader-dominated habitats

Sophie Hocking from Swansea University and Complete Weed Control’s Ian Graham were on hand to explain how re-invasion by knotweed and secondary invasion by other plant species can often hinder future development. Sophie and Ian stated the necessity of a shift from a single, target species approach to a whole ecosystem view of recovery. This station highlighted the ongoing research which investigates the role of the functional traits of plants in habitat restoration, and the broader, long-term dynamics of Japanese knotweed invasion in field conditions.

Sophie and Ian concluded by claiming that the work will create a better, more scientifically informed framework for habitat restoration and give a clearer picture of Japanese knotweed dynamics and the habitat legacy effects of invasive species dominance.

Station Three

From Crown to Underground

Bayer Stump Treatment Trial

ICL’s Henry Bechelet and Dr Gareth Bruce from Advanced Invasives firstly discussed how stump treatment can be extremely effective as the distance the herbicide has to travel to reach the underground rhizome — the target of all herbicide treatments — is dramatically shortened.

They went on to reveal research in which three stump treatments were tested against Japanese knotweed, in triplicate 5 x 5 metre (25 m2) plots, with a control plot and also a single out-group comparison to stem injection treatment. All of the stump treatments tested were statistically comparable in effectiveness to stem injection. Results concluded that Ecoplug Max® treatment is by far the safest of the stump treatment application methods.

Commenting at the event, Ian Graham said: “We feel that this is one of the first steps in what will be a very long process in establishing facts relating to invasive weeds and we look forward to inviting guests back to the site and ensuring the work started continues.”

Professor John Moverley OBE, Chairman of the Amenity Forum commented: “Today has been very interesting. The control of Japanese Knotweed is a major issue. It’s been a great opportunity to see first-hand different approaches and some of the complexities that are involved in this level of control.”

Tony Saunders, Area Manager for JSD Rail, said: “I found the day very insightful. It introduced some new ideas that we don’t necessarily come across on the railway as we are not looking at remediating the land; we are looking at removing Japanese Knotweed. There are a number of processes that are being trialled here which added to the knowledge we have learned we are able to take back with us.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

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Visitors vote SALTEX 2018 the best yet

The SALTEX 2018 post-show visitor survey has revealed that an overwhelming amount of attendees felt that SALTEX 2018 was the best and most vibrant show to date.

SALTEX at the NEC, Birmingham has again proved to be the annual meeting place for the UK and European groundscare industries. Only at SALTEX does the industry have the opportunity to experience a comprehensive overview of the latest developments and innovations in groundscare and to find out about the capabilities of this sector.

Following two days of networking, education and innovation, the 73rd SALTEX exhibition closed with an independently audited, visitor total of 8,902.

Visitors attended from 44 different countries and according to the findings of this year’s visitor survey, these attendees included grounds personnel, greenkeepers, landscapers and contractors.

The event organisers are very pleased to hear that 90 per cent of visitors, who took part in the survey, were successful in meeting their show objectives and equally as many rated their overall show experience as either very good or excellent and no less than 90 per cent of visitors have already put SALTEX 2019 into their diaries, which takes place at the NEC from 30-31 October.

Survey respondents said that their top priorities for attending were to source new products/services and suppliers (79 per cent) and discover new innovations (77 per cent).

More than 47 per cent used their visit for professional development by attending show features such as the Learning LIVE education programme, Ask the Expert and the Job Clinic.

More than half of the survey respondents held a leading or management position at their respective companies, with 84 per cent either having sole responsibility for purchasing or contributed to the process. In addition, 65 per cent had the ability to sign-off on amounts up to £50,000 and 12 per cent had the ability to sign-off on amounts of more than £500,000.

The survey findings also revealed that SALTEX visitors had very specific interests: almost 80 per cent attended to find out more about machinery, power and hand tools for their daily work and nearly half of the visitors were interested in seed, turf and aggregates. More than 38 per cent of visitors wanted to see exhibitors representing both sport surfaces and facilities and landscaping materials. Other areas of interest included: arboriculture, horticulture and forestry (37 per cent); commercial vehicles, tyres and trailers (33 per cent); synthetic turf (24 per cent) and security, personal protection, health and safety (18 per cent).

Vic Demain, head groundsman at Durham CCC, believes that the show is well attended because it caters for everyone in the industry: “I consider SALTEX to be the best show in the industry and it is ideal for everyone to come to, whether you are a volunteer, a professional or an international groundsman - there is something for everyone,” he said.

For Adam Witchell, head groundsman at Forrest Green Rovers FC, attending SALTEX provides him with a great opportunity to continue his learning. “For me it’s all about education. I love the seminars and here at SALTEX I’m learning lots of things from great people in this industry. It is a fantastic event, there is some absolutely brilliant machinery on display and a good range of exhibitors.”

Alison Saxby, estate team leader at Workington Town Council also thought the opportunity to enhance her knowledge was a top priority for attending SALTEX: “I like the live talks because they keep you abreast of the current regulations and new innovations,” she said.

With the NEC being located in the centre of the UK and boasting fantastic travel links, it is no wonder that 85 per cent rated the accessibility of the venue as excellent. Stuart Kerrison, head groundsman at Essex CCC said: “The NEC is so easy to get to. I attended to look at a couple of new machines because this is where you see all of the latest innovations. Anyone who attends SALTEX gets so much from it - from viewing new products, attending seminars and networking,” he said.

Benjamin Imamovic, assistant groundsman at FK Željezničar Sarajevo, believed that his journey to SALTEX was certainly worthwhile.

“It’s awesome; I came all the way from Bosnia and Herzegovina to see all of the new machines and learn something new and I am amazed.”

SALTEX 2019 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on October 30 and 31. 

For more information visit www.iogsaltex.com

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Glyphosate Roadshow Success

Complete Weed Control’s glyphosate roadshow has been hailed as a huge success after the seminars provided vital guidance on the application of glyphosate to over 150 delegates throughout four UK locations.

Glyphosate is the world's most widely used herbicide and has been proven to be effective in controlling unwanted vegetation in public spaces, gardens and in agriculture. However, over recent years it has been exposed to an abundance of scrutiny and debate which has left more unanswered questions and created further confusion.

In this series of seminars, which took place in York, Bristol, London and Stirling, Complete Weed Control aimed to provide a greater clarity on glyphosate, as managing director Ian Graham explained in his introduction at each venue.

“As an organisation we felt it was time to put together a series of seminars to deal with the issues surrounding glyphosate and its use in the amenity sector. There has been a considerable and sustained volume bad press and a much negativity surrounding this product - so we felt it was essential that we explore the reality and present the data that exists from numerous agencies around the world that have all declared this product to be safe.

“As contractors we are very happy that our using it is entirely appropriate as it delivers a safe, environmentally sound and cost-effective means of dealing with weeds.”

Following Ian’s introduction, Bayer’s Roundup Technical Development Manager Barrie Hunt shared his wealth of knowledge and offered a fantastic insight into the history and development of glyphosate.  Barrie also discussed how and why glyphosate was re-approved for use in the EU back in 2017 and provided best practice information to help delegates plan ahead for their 2019 weed control programmes.

Commenting on his participation in the roadshow, Barrie said: “I got involved because I believe the stewardship of glyphosate and our Roundup brand is incredibly important - it is not something that can be left to chance.

“These seminars have been a great opportunity to engage with so many local authorities and contractors and to present the facts about glyphosate, present the science about glyphosate, and to address everybody’s questions which have ranged from glyphosate safety through to the specifics of controlling Japanese Knotweed.

“Without doubt this amenity usage is the place where pesticides meet the public so we have a responsibility to ensure that they have a good clear stewardship message and that they understand the safety of glyphosate.”

Delegates also got the chance to see a live demonstration of the Weed-IT machine and discovered the environmental and productivity benefits that this unique technology offers the industry. Developed specifically for the control of weeds on public footpaths and similar hard surface areas in urban situations, the WeedIT technology allows for spot treatment, which is a label requirement for glyphosate.

Complete Weed Control’s Technical Director Alan Abel then went on to further discuss spot treatment options and provide greater clarity on glyphosate label legislation.  Alan also talked about the relative costs of alternative treatments such as acid, heat and hand weeding, concluding that the WeedIT machine is both financially and environmentally economical.

To conclude Ian Graham presented information regarding the ongoing Japanese Knotweed trials currently taking place in Cardiff in partnership with Swansea University– which have demonstrated that glyphosate is the product that best controls Japanese Knotweed making it more important still that this valuable active ingredient is not lost through lack of knowledge and understanding.

Each seminar concluded with a Q&A session before lunch, and Ian Graham was pleased to see each event so well attended.

“Over the four venues we have seen in excess of 150 delegates, which we consider to be a success. These delegates are keen to learn the truth about glyphosate – they are the ones dealing with the public and are being asked the difficult questions. They want to make sure they have the answers at their disposal for when they are asked and I think these seminars have provided them with the knowledge they need.

“As an industry, I think it is very important that we collectively put our weight behind supporting glyphosate. It is important to us and it is important to be able to deal with weeds effectively and in an environmentally sound fashion.

“We are looking to reach out and gain more support from other organisations within our industry and hopefully that will continue to have positive results in representing the product.

As a consequence of the shows we are now developing an online product that will be launched in January that will serve as an information resource for clients and the public alike.”

For more information, please contact Complete Weed Control’s national office on 01325 324 277 or visit www.completeweedcontrol.co.uk

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With an incredibly short renovation window to transform his Summer sports pitches into Winter sports pitches, Andy Richards, Grounds Manager at Shrewsbury School, can’t afford to take any risks with the products he uses.

It is for this reason that he relies upon ICL products– all of which he says will guarantee him the results expected at the prestigious school.

2018 marks eight successful years at Shrewsbury School for Andy Richards. His groundsmanship journey all began at Birmingham City Council where he stayed for seven years before moving to King Edwards Grammar School. Three years later Andy accepted the position of Head Groundsman at Birmingham City FC but his passion for a multi-sports environment was always evident. Further spells at British Airways Clubs and Christ College in Brecon reignited his passion before being named as the Grounds Manager at Shrewsbury School.

Now Andy finds himself at arguably one of the most used sports facilities in the UK’s education system. If it was a challenge Andy was looking for, then it is safe to say he has found one.

“I don’t think I’m far off having the most amount of football, cricket and rugby matches in the whole of the UK,” he says. “Last year we played host to just over 1,900 winter sports games - which is a lot especially when you have to cater for that amount in such a short renovation period.”

Last year, Andy’s final cricket game was played on the 6th August, leaving him an incredibly short window to prepare football pitches for the first game which was played on the 7th September. After ‘Koro-ing off’ eight of the pitches Andy had just 28 days to ensure the pitches were playable for the opening fixtures.

“Last year was hard,” he says. “Fortunately, I have 100% confidence in the ICL products I use and even though the weather went against us we still did it.”

After “Koro-ing off” the pitches, Andy applies Qualibra wetting agent at 10 L/ha (half rate) to aid the seeding process. He then top dresses before applying a base feed of SierrablenPlus Renovator 20-20-8 at a rate of 35g/m² in which the micro mini-granules ensure even distribution for young seedlings while its high Phosphate levels encourage strong root growth.

Once the seed has germinated and Andy reaches the second leaf stage, he applies Primo Maxx II at 0.8 L/ha which he tank-mixes with humic and fulvic acids to help with the uptake of iron and to avoid any yellowing of the leaf. Based on his assessment of the plant Andy will, more often than not, go with another granular feed in the form of Greenmaster Pro-Lite NK 12-0-12 at 35 g/m² which gives the turf an added boost complimenting SierrablenPlus which is consistently offering a controlled release of Nitrogen.

Seven to ten days after the first application of Primo Maxx II, he reapplies it at a slightly higher rate of 1 L/ha, before another application of Qualibra at 10 L/ha just to help hold water in the profile.

“These particular products just seem to work for us,” he says. “Take Qualibra for example, it gives us a huge advantage in the seeding process. If you happen to have a hot spell, sometimes you only need as little as three hours of it being too hot and then your seed dies but Qualibra gives you that protection because it is extremely effective in holding moisture in the rootzone.

“The products I use guarantee results at each stage of our renovation programme and that makes this renovation window so much easier. I can’t risk anything not working. I have a tried and tested method with these products now – I have done it for the last five years and it works perfectly.

 “I trust in ICL and in my opinion the products just seem to be getting better and better all of the time. They are creating new technologies which turf and sports pitches need. There are no gimmicks – it is all fact and they have trials and research to prove it.

“I also receive great support from Emma Kilby (ICL Technical Area Sales Manager) who helps me put together the programme.  We speak a lot on the phone and she is always there if I need her. It’s nice to be able to bounce ideas off one another and we are always looking at any improvements we could make.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

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ICL, who can be found at Stand 426 in the Purple Zone, will be showcasing a range of new products and innovative technologies at BTME 2019.

Visitors to the stand can learn about the new and improved range of ProSelect grass seed mixtures which are ideal for golf courses, sports fields, turf growers and landscape contractors. The updated range contains highly ranked STRI varieties which have been developed through an extensive breeding selection.

Torsion TRT, the unique turf repairing tiller perennial ryegrass or Riptide, the UK’s No.1 ranked creeping bent are just some of the outstanding developments in the portfolio which can be seen at this year’s BTME.

As a leading innovator in the industry, ICL has a vast range of products and solutions trusted by turf managers across the globe. The company continues to invest in new trials and technologies visitors will have the chance to see at first hand the exciting new innovations in liquid and granular nutrition that are being showcased on the stand.

Visitors will also get the opportunity to discover what new qualifying products and rewards will be added to the Turf Rewards loyalty scheme in 2019.

ICL has been a long-term supporter of BIGGA’s Continue to Learn education programme, which runs alongside the exhibition, and ICL will be playing a part in this year’s schedule.

Henry Bechelet, UK & Ireland Technical Sales Manager and Dr Andy Owen, International Technical Manager, will be taking to the stage twice across the week, presenting a ‘Whats in a Soil Analysis on Monday and then on Wednesday they will be delivering a 45 minute seminar that will continue to develop the discussion about the relative merits of granular and liquid applied approaches to turf nutrition.

The ICL barista team will be on hand to provide refreshments on the stand so if you would like to talk about products, projects or turf and landscape management in general then make sure that a visit to Stand 426 is on your agenda.

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

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Visitors to the Sherriff Amenity stand (110), located in the Blue Zone at BTME 2019, will be able to find out more about the award winning PrecisionPro app, which recently scooped the SALTEX 2018 Innovation of the Year Award.

PrecisionPro, is a dedicated app for sports turf to measure any area, guide the operator in calibrating a spreader for any granular product and also help apply fertilisers accurately. It was created due to the common issue of turf managers misjudging green/sport surface size which often results in problems such as over applying or under applying fertilisers - both of which can have a negative effect on turf performance, disease and budget.

PrecisionPro allows turf managers to have an accurate measured area by simply opening the app and walking the perimeter of the area. Calibrating spreaders has always been a difficult task but with the Calibrate feature in the PrecisionPro app, users are guided through each step of the process. Furthermore, its advanced GPS functionality informs the user when to start and stop the calibration process.

The app also features a function to ensure that every operator walks at the same speed – if someone is walking too fast or too slow then they are alerted by colour coded screens. As well as calculating the g/m2 and the operator’s walking speed, the Apply feature ultimately ensures that the exact amount of nutrition is being applied to the turf.

Sherriff Amenity’s all new Plant Bio-Stimulant Guide, which will be available to pick up on the stand, seeks to explain the term ‘Plant Bio-stimulant’ and explores the activity of an extensive range of plant bio-stimulants, along with their specific claims and intended area of influence. The guide also includes a table of bio-stimulants, indicating their main benefits and specialisation. There are also further considerations on choosing the correct bio-stimulant product, relative to its area of use and to ensure, the purchase of a quality product, given current UK bio-stimulant regulations.

Turf professionals visiting BTME will also be in with a chance of winning some warm merchandise clothing. Simply visit the stand to register your interest and by the end of the day you could be walking away with an Evolution fertiliser branded hoodie or a PrecisionPro branded snood.

The Sherriff Amenity technical team will be out in force at BTME and will be on hand to offer any advice on all things turf. The stand will also feature a coffee barista so why not visit stand 110 in the Blue Zone, have a coffee and find out just how Sherriff Amenity can make a significant difference to the way you manage your turf.

For further information, please contact Sherriff Amenity on 01638 721 888 or visit www.sherriffamenity.com

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Improve your course with Limagrain UK

Visitors to the Limagrain UK stand (140), located in the Blue Zone at BTME 2019, can expect a range of market leading products that can significantly improve both the quality and aesthetics of a golf course.

The demand and pressure placed on the modern day greenkeeper to produce a consistent playing surface continually grows at a pace. Seed quality, purity and vigour are the essential ingredients of a first-class golf course and Limagrain’s MM range of seed mixture provides exactly these.

For a number of years, greenkeepers and course managers have been reaping the benefits by choosing the MM brand. All the varieties in the MM mixtures are thoroughly tested at the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) – ensuring that the finished product will meet your requirements for play, appearance and maintenance. 

For greens, the traditional Chewings Fescue / Browntop bent mix, MM11, remains a popular choice in many cases and can be used from spring to autumn. It is ideal for new constructions and overseeding existing swards. A slight variation of which is MM10; both mixes are fine leaved, disease resistant and make good, dense putting surfaces. Where it is difficult to maintain fescue in the sward or where levels of wear are greater, many choose to use MM9 – a three way Browntop bent mixture - in late summer/early autumn for best results. For links style courses, sustainable golf or for early season overseeding, MM8 may well be the solution - a three way fescue mix with excellent disease resistance, drought tolerance and minimal fertiliser requirements.

If you are looking for a mixture ideal for tees then the all ryegrass MM50 should be considered. It is capable of rapid establishment and fast recovery from divot scarring. For large tees where play is less intense, MM22 is a viable option. Where damage and wear are minimal, use MM12 or MM13, both are suited to ‘Links style’ courses, are drought tolerant and have low maintenance requirements.

For fairways, adaptability is the key attribute because soil conditions, light and shade, contouring and wear will vary markedly in different areas of the course. Choose low maintenance, drought tolerant mixtures with creeping varieties where wear levels are low, such as MM12 or MM13 and select ryegrass mixes, such as MM22, on high divot or intense wear areas.

Visitors to the stand can also find out how Limagrain’s Wild Flower and Colour Splash mixtures have been benefitting countless golf courses throughout the UK and beyond. The mixtures are ideal for those wanting to bring a splash of colour to their golf course as well as attracting some fantastic wildlife.

With a wide range of mixtures available, both the Wild Flower and Colour Splash mixtures are extremely easy to sow and the resulting flowers are vigorous plants which are more than capable of competing with weeds. Their vigour is equally matched by robustness; resisting long periods of drought. They are also fast flowering and cost effective.

Limagrain’s amenity seed specialists will all be on hand at BTME to discuss the products in more detail and will also be available to offer their expertise on any queries you may have.

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm.

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Dennis and SISIS head to BTME

Dennis and SISIS will be heading to Harrogate and BTME 2019 on their new stand -located in the red zone on Stand 247.

By visiting the Dennis and SISIS stand, greenkeepers, course managers and turf managers responsible for a wide range of various sports surfaces will get the opportunity to find out how the SISIS Rotorake TM1000, the Dennis FT510 and the exciting new Dennis PRO 34R could have a significant impact on the way they manage their turf.

The SISIS Rotorake TM1000 is a tractor mounted heavy duty scarifier and linear aerator and is un-rivalled when it comes to removing and controlling thatch. It includes a collector box and floating unit to follow ground contours. Its contra-rotating reel throws debris forward ensuring a clean, consistent groove resulting in an excellent finish when the time comes to scarify. With interchangeable blades and a quick, simple depth setting without tools, it's no wonder that so many turf managers have reaped the benefits from using the TM1000.

When it comes to all areas of fine turf, the Dennis FT510 professional mower, has for many years, been celebrated for its top performance and durability. With a 51cm working width, the FT510 provides its user with comfort, flexibility and excellent presentation. A true sense of control is obtained through the unique roller clutch drive for a smooth take-up and a variable clip rate helping to create the desired finish. Available with five-bladed and ten-bladed cutting cylinders the machine can be matched to any situation and the interchangeable cassettes can be changed without the requirement of any tools. The range of 11 different cassettes mean that one machine can be used for several key maintenance tasks including scarifying, verticutting or brushing. This feature combined with the click height of cut adjustment system makes it extremely user friendly for its operators.

The PRO 34R was the machine that everyone was waiting in anticipation for – and now it is here. Officially launched just last month (November), this 34″ (860mm) rotary mower has been designed to help turf managers achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance and desired playing surface.

The mower is ideal for sports pitches and lawns producing the enviable ‘Dennis Stripes’ while a powerful vacuum flow collects debris quickly and efficiently. The angle of the cutting deck and twin blades can be easily adjusted using a single ‘click adjuster’ ensuring the mower is suitable for changing conditions and meeting operator requirements.

Unique features of the Dennis PRO 34R Rotary Mower include 5 forward / 1 reverse selection for speed of operation, 90 litre capacity grass box, fully adjustable angle of deck for changing conditions, 2 section cast aluminium rear roller, single point height of cut adjustment for ease of operation, optional front wheel or smooth/weile roller options and front brush for standing grasses upright.

Dennis & SISIS have been regular exhibitors at BTME for a number of years and as always, the company’s experienced staff will be available to answer any queries and offer valuable advice about the machinery on show.

Further information about the range of maintenance products available can be found by visiting www.dennisuk.com / www.sisis.com.

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Terra Firma expands machinery portfolio

Terra Firma has significantly increased its groundcare machinery offering by adding four new brands to its portfolio.

Terra Firma, one of Scotland’s largest specialist suppliers to the amenity and local authority markets, has recently announced dealership agreements with Kioti UK Ltd, Muthing flail mowers, Woods finishing mowers and Shibaura slope mowers.

First imported into the UK in 1996, Kioti has had a rapid impact in the groundcare sector with its range of tractors, utility side by side vehicles and WD1260 cut and collect mowers. UK sales of these products continue to grow and the ranges continue to evolve.

Woods high-performance finish mowers ensure a clean, crisp, manicured appearance year after year and the unique rounded front, tapered-side rear discharge deck allows operators to mow with better manoeuvrability – reducing trim time and increasing productivity. Heat-treated, alloy steel blades provide maximum performance and precision cutting for all turf care applications. The combination of a deep deck, baffling and unique rear discharge design ensures premium results.

The Muthing Mulching range is manufactured in Germany to the highest of standards and is renowned for producing high performance flails for the agricultural and groundcare markets. Notorious for their high quality of cut and mulching capability, there are a wide range of flail mowers available whatever the requirement.

Shibaura manufacture professional multi-purpose slope mowers for precise daily maintenance of slope areas. The machines are notoriously high powered, feature a low centre of gravity and allow operators to work comfortably and safely over steep inclines.

Commenting on the new dealership agreements, Allan Wright of Terra Firma, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to further extend the portfolio of machinery offered by Terra Firma. The Kioti product range has proven to be robustly built, well-designed and offers top quality products at a competitive price. We look forward to further promoting the Kioti brand across our territory in Scotland and Northern England and building new relationships with our ever-expanding customer base – we feel it will fit perfectly for our customer profile.

“We are also delighted to announce our partnership with Muthing flail mowers, Woods finishing mowers and Shibaura slope mowers - further expanding our capability to provide our customers with a wide range of quality specialist equipment.

“In my opinion, Muthing flail mowers are recognised as one of best flail mowers on the market with fantastic reliability and quality of finish; Woods finishing mowers are rugged, dependable and are proven to be very productive in terms of area cut per day and Shibaura is unique in offering bank mowers that can cut on inclines of up to 30 degrees.”

Terra Firma is well-placed to offer an excellent customer experience for sales and after-sales support, spare parts and service, and the new machinery is available with immediate effect.

The full range of groundcare equipment will be showcased in the all new Terra Firma Machinery Catalogue which will be released in January 2019.

For more details visit www.terrafirmascotland.co.uk or call head office on 01786 478902

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From robotics to hybrid mowers and digital apps, ground-breaking ideas to thought provoking debates, career enhancing advice to limitless opportunities; the recent SALTEX 2018 at the NEC was a landscape of possibility and prospect for the future of groundscare.  

Europe’s largest annual groundscare event featured 300 exhibitors, many of which embraced new technologies through the launch of their latest products and services showcased at the event. 

One visitor - Chris Wood, ECB pitch consultant, was certainly impressed with the machinery on show: “My job with the ECB is to gather as much information on all the new innovations and this is one tremendous outlet for that. I always think that we are one big family in this industry and SALTEX is the one occasion of the year where we can come together, network, and look at all the new machinery – it’s like a toyshop at Christmas.”

The vibrant show floor offered a fantastic opportunity to witness just how these latest technologies are having a positive impact in the groundscare industry - particularly in the all new Innovation Hub where visitors were free to attend live interviews with industry experts and trend setters at the forefront of new groundscare innovations.

This new Hub was also the ideal platform to showcase and celebrate the SALTEX 2018 Innovation Award. After making its successful debut at last year’s show, the SALTEX 2018 Innovation Award attracted even more entries from various exhibitors across the globe and included a wide variety of high-quality products, services and equipment. Judged by an independent panel of industry experts it was decided that the Toro Outcross 9060 from Reesink Turfcare, PrecisionPro from Sherriff Amenity and the ROBOCUT from McConnel were the stand out entries. Sherriff Amenity’s PrecisionPro was crowned as the winner.

Sherriff Amenity representatives however were not the only trophy winners at the show as Bridgewater & Taunton College saw off fierce competition to win the SALTEX College Cup and the winning students can now look forward to visiting the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in the run up to the Wimbledon tournament, to experience court preparation from Neil Stubley, head of courts and horticulture.

There were also an increased number of visitors looking to progress within the industry as Frank Newberry’s Job Clinic sessions were fully booked between 9am and 3pm on each day of this year’s show. The expert careers advisor offered some fantastic tips on: perfecting a CV and cover letter; how to succeed at job interviews; negotiating a package; proactive job searching and self-employment.

The many opportunities to gain expert advice prompted John Ryan, founder of Lawn Care Legends, to travel from Northern Ireland to SALTEX: “I found my visit extremely beneficial because there are a lot of industry people you can connect with that can help provide ideas on how to develop a business. It’s great to see people with such a passion for the industry and share it with others. For anyone who wants to know what’s going on in the industry, I would recommend that they visit SALTEX.” 

Free advice was available at every turn throughout the three large halls at the NEC. Visitors had the opportunity to gather one-to-one sports turf management advice from IOG regional pitch advisors at the Ask the Expert feature and Pathology and Soil Science LIVE provided an opportunity to share soil samples which were magnified, displayed on a large screen and assessed.

Learning LIVE 2018, SALTEX’s all-encompassing education programme, featured more than 50 free-to-attend seminars. Visitors gained CPD points for attendance and got to hear from expert speakers from the UK and abroad who focussed on vital issues that affect the industry.

James Pope, grounds manager at St Paul’s School in London, said he visited SALTEX to explore new concepts: “I’ve gained more ideas just from coming to this one show than I have all year. SALTEX is the right time of year and it’s the busiest and most vibrant show around - everyone is always in high spirits.”

Echoing James, was Ted Mitchell from the RFU, who was pleased to see just how the world’s longest standing groundscare exhibition has transformed over the years. 

“I’ve been attending SALTEX for many years and to see the event as it is today is incredible – it takes your breath away. It offers such a unique opportunity to meet the range of people at SALTEX in five or six hours that would, in any other circumstance, take me a huge amount of time over a number of months. SALTEX brings the industry together all in one place.”

SALTEX does indeed unite every corner of the industry – the manufacturers and suppliers, the visitors and speakers, the governing bodies and associations; who contributed to the conversations, the learnings, the ideas, the debates, and actively played their part in shaping the future of groundscare and creating opportunity for all.  

For more information visit www.iogsaltex.com

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ICL embark on four-year seaweed project

ICL has joined forces with Royal Holloway, University of London to embark on a unique four-year research project which will look in detail at the effects of seaweed products on turfgrass plant parasitic nematodes.  The project is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and ICL.

“It came about following a discussion with Andy Owen (ICL International Technical Manager) at a greenkeeper meeting a couple of years ago,” says Alan Gange, Professor of Microbial Ecology at Royal Holloway. “We started talking about the need for turfgrass research, particularly focused on nematodes because we had noticed that in the last ten years greenkeepers and groundsmen have become much more aware of these and they appeared to be becoming a real problem.”

Alan believes that the rise of nematodes could potentially be attributed to the loss of certain chemicals and the effects of climate change. As it stands, there are few options available for the turf manager who has a nematode problem but Alan feels that seaweed could well offer a sustainable solution.

“There are scattered reports that some seaweed products or extracts, contain various chemicals which can protect plants against pests and diseases. We think that when the right seaweed is applied to a grass plant it could change the resistance of the plant to disease and insect attack. Nematode infection could then be reduced when the seaweed product is applied. So that is the essence of what we are trying to do here in sports turf.” Someone asked me a while ago if we are creating antibiotics for plants and in a way that is indeed what we are trying to do - we are trying to harness the plant’s natural resistance mechanism and improve it.

ICL’s SeaMax product, which is used as a bio-stimulant and fertilizer, has been a huge success in the sports turf industry. It contains a premium high concentration of Atlantic Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed extract, sustainably harvested from renewable resources by Acadian Seaplants. We have already shown Many turf benefits through using Seamax says Andy Owen, and we wanted to explore its capabilities further, with a more detailed research project with Royal Holloway.

Integral to the research project is student Tamsin Williams, who was successfully appointed following a rigorous interview process. Tamsin, who throughout the four-year project will be working with ICL to better understand how the commercial side of the sports turf industry works, believes that this studentship was a perfect fit for her ambitions to develop a career in research.

“In my previous role I was working on pathogen and insect bio-control using fungal bio-pesticides. I had also worked with plant parasitic nematodes before, so when I heard this was a bio-control project for nematodes I felt that it was perfect and it made so much sense to apply. Nematology is one of my main interests, but it’s also the fact that seaweed products are sustainable – we could be finding an environmentally friendly solution for a serious turf problem, which potentially could transfer to other crops as well. This makes it a really valuable research topic.

Tamsin has already begun her experiments looking at how plants and the soil microbiota respond to SeaMax seaweed application, before she will add plant parasitic nematodes into the study. However, these are just the first steps in an ever-evolving project according to Andy Owen.

“We will start with a proof of concept to gather further evidence that it does indeed work. In subsequent years there will be a focus on investigating the modes of action that are occurring, and then optimising applications in terms of rates, timings and frequency, so that we can provide the right advise to the end-user.

“Hopefully this project will generate the research to show turfgrass managers that certain approaches can help support and develop a plant’s resistance to pests and diseases and that you might require fewer synthetic chemical applications,” adds Alan. “Ultimately providing a sustainable and integrated management approach to keep surfaces healthy.

“As an ecologist it concerns me that many biological products, which contain microbes, are being sold in the turf marketplace with little or no supporting research behind them whatsoever. It is never published in reviewed journals and therefore with most of the products, one has suspicions about them because you just don’t know what independent research has been conducted. However, ICL genuinely want to find out more about their own products and they are committed to research.”

In re-iterating Alan’s sentiments, Andy confirmed that ICL will look to publish this work where possible and intend to present the data openly at a number of events. The industry will be able to gain a greater insight into the project in January 2019 when Alan’s research group will speak at BTME’s Continue to Learn education programme.

“What we want to do is support our products with robust research, and ensure that any claims we are making can be fully substantiated,” he says If anyone would like to find out more then come along to BTME in Harrogate next year.

“From our point of view, we are really excited to be working with Royal Holloway on this project. We are always looking to do independent research on our products and you don’t see very much of this happening in the turf industry. I can’t wait to see how it develops.”

Please contact ICL on +44 (0)1473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie.

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A volunteer groundsman at Dudley Kingswinford Rugby Club in the West Midlands has praised the SISIS Quadraplay single pass maintenance system after the club purchased it based on a recommendation from Keith Kent, head groundsman for the RFU.

Founded in 1922, Dudley Kingswinford is an English rugby union football club which was originally known as the Bean Football Club. The name Dudley Kingswinford was adopted in 1927 and after playing at several grounds the club moved to its current premises in 1962. The club runs seven senior sides, a ladies team and a full range of junior sides.

The teams play their games across four full size pitches and four junior sized pitches which are maintained throughout the year by a group of volunteers. Grounds chairman John Griffiths oversees the team of volunteers and explained how the club came to purchase the SISIS Quadraplay.

“We had a visit from Keith Kent through the RFU Groundsmen Connected scheme. He looked round to see what equipment we had and then he identified what he thought we needed. I already had my eye on the Quadraplay, so when Keith also recommended it, along with a grant which also assisted our purchase, it was a win-win.”

The SISIS Quadraplay multiple-purpose, single-pass maintenance incorporates a mounted frame for up to four implements such as grooming rakes, spikers, slitters, rollers and brushes. The implements can be fitted to the mainframe in any order and can be independently adjusted to achieve the desired effect. Compact, robust, versatile and with the ability to carry out up to four operations simultaneously – the Quadraplay makes life a lot easier for many groundsmen.

At Dudley Kingswinford, John uses the spiker slitter, the straight brush, the spring tine grooming rake and the roller, and believes that each plays a major role in his maintenance procedures. 

“We use it from October until March quite regularly on all of the pitches and at all times we have the four implements attached. I really like the spring tine rake which is great for standing grasses up to improve presentation and remove thatch; the slitter is a big help in relieving compaction which in turn helps absorb water, air and nutrients into the root zone; we use the straight brush to remove excess dew and then the roller is just what we want to level the bumps out and press the divots back into place. From a presentation point of view, it also give us that all important stripe.

“It even helped us when it snowed last year because we used the Quadraplay to clear the ice off the lines. We simply ran over the ice with the slitter to break it all up and then used the brush to move it off.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

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On the first day of SALTEX 2018, Sherriff Amenity’s ground-breaking new app, PrecisionPro, was announced as the winner of the second, annual SALTEX Innovation Award.

Established at the show in 2017, the SALTEX Innovation Award was created to encourage innovation excellence and celebrate the best products within the groundscare industry. The award is bestowed on projects that have a significant impact and ultimately make life easier for the person using them.

This year’s award received a record number of high quality entries from across the UK and beyond - spanning a wide variety of products, services and equipment. With the entries submitted and rigorously evaluated by an independent panel of judges, it was decided that there were three stand-out innovations - the Toro Outcross 9060 from Reesink Turfcare, PrecisionPro from Sherriff Amenity and the ROBOCUT from McConnel.

The three finalists were given a final opportunity to impress the judges as they took to the stage in the all new Innovation Hub. Representatives from each company delivered a product presentation in front of a packed audience causing the judges much deliberation before making their final decision.

Sherriff Amenity’s PrecisionPro was pronounced the overall winner. Second place went to the Toro Outcross 9060; a super-duty utility vehicle, designed specifically to simplify the groundsman’s day-to-day turf maintenance jobs. Third place went to the McConnel ROBOCUT; an all-terrain remote-control work platform that boosts safety, productivity and efficiency.

The winning innovation, PrecisionPro, is a dedicated app for sports turf to measure any area, guide the operator in calibrating a spreader for any granular product and also help apply fertilisers accurately.

According to Sherriff Amenity, PrecisionPro was created due to the common issue of turf managers misjudging green/sport surface size which often results in problems such as over applying or under applying fertilisers - both of which can have a negative effect on turf performance, disease and budget.

PrecisionPro allows turf managers to have an accurate measured area by simply opening the app and walking the perimeter of the area. Calibrating spreaders has always been a difficult task but with the Calibrate feature in the PrecisionPro app, users are guided through each step of the process. Furthermore, its advanced GPS functionality informs the user when to start and stop the calibration process.

The app also features a function to ensure that every operator walks at the same speed – if someone is walking too fast or too slow then they are alerted by colour coded screens. As well as calculating the g/m2 and the operator’s walking speed, the Apply feature ultimately ensures that the exact amount of nutrition is being applied to the turf.

Commenting on the award, Karl Parry, Sherriff Amenity’s PrecisionPro developer, said:

“We are really excited to win this award. PrecisionPro has been a long time in the making but it has all been made worthwhile now. SALTEX was the official launch of the app and after we won the award people kept coming onto the stand to find out more about it, so the word definitely got round at the show.

“I’m really proud of the whole team because it has been a big collaborative effort.”

For more information visit www.iogsaltex.com

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Dennis Razor shows its quality at Mapperley

According to deputy head greenkeeper and mechanic Michael Dickson, there has been a notable improvement in the quality of the greens at Mapperley Golf Club in Nottingham since purchasing two Dennis Razor mowers.

Mapperley is a beautiful parkland course with rolling fairways which have, for more than a century, presented golfers with an interesting challenge from the tee. The 600 plus members also find the tight greens testing while they soak up the stunning views of the nearby Gedling Country Park.

Michael is part of a four-man greenkeeping team that works tirelessly to keep the course in immaculate condition all year round. He admits that it can, at times, be a challenge with just four in the team and that it is therefore imperative they have the correct maintenance equipment in place.

In particular, cutting by hand in summer at Mapperley is just too tall a task for the four-man team but in winter there is no other option.

 “You don’t get much hillier than Mapperley, says Michael. “It can get incredibly wet in winter and no vehicle can get to some of our greens without either marking the ground or sliding all over the place – and that can be very dangerous.

“Our previous greens mowers were getting old, they were always breaking down and the quality of cut was never brilliant so we knew that we wanted to upgrade. Ultimately, what we wanted was a good quality mower to cut the greens in winter.”

Michael visited BIGGA’s BTME exhibition to see what was on the market and after visiting a number of stands he drew up a shortlist of potential greens mowers – one of which was the Dennis Razor fine turf mower. Upon returning to Mapperley, various mowers were demonstrated but for Michael and the team there was one which particularly stood out.

“We had the Razor on demo and were instantly impressed. The members loved it and they could instantly tell which green it had been demonstrated on. Even when the treasurer came out, he saw the quality of cut and said ‘”right, we’re having them now.”’

“The other mowers we tried just felt very heavy and more difficult to manoeuvre in comparison to the Razor. It was the best option by far.”

Superbly balanced and ideal for golf greens and other fine turf surfaces, the Razor features a 560mm (22in), 11 blade cutting cylinder for a perfect finish. An ultra-short wheelbase ensures easy manoeuvrability and excellent performance, even on undulating surfaces. The Dennis Razor encompasses the simple ‘no tools required’ click height adjusters for quick and easy operation, a feature which particularly struck a chord with Michael and his team.

“I don’t like machines with too many gizmos - I like one that is simple, straight forward to use and does the job which it is supposed to do. We’ve been using the Razors for a year now and they have been fantastic.

“In my opinion the best features on the Razor are that they are reliable, incredibly well built and easy to use. They keep the weight off the greens in winter and the cut that it offers in terms of presentation is fantastic. Since we’ve been using the Razor the greens have been a different quality.

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com

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MM seed thrives at Redditch GC

Karl Williams, course manager at Redditch Golf Club, has reported fantastic results from applying a range of Limagrain’s MM grass seed on the tees and greens at the stunning 18 hole course in Worcestershire.

Redditch Golf Club is a 72 par course which provides a true test of golf. The part parkland and part woodland golf course is universally acclaimed for both its topography and the quality of its playing surfaces. In particular, the course is perhaps most famous for its last six holes, which are formed and cut out of dense woodland.

The greens are particularly outstanding, all 18 having been re-laid during 1995 and 1996 to USGA specification. The work was carried out due to their former foundations consisting of red marl clay which proved to be extremely problematic in wet winters. However, those days are firmly in the past and Karl Williams is the man tasked with ensuring that the greens remain at a consistently high standard.

Karl started his role as course manager at Redditch in 2014 and now oversees a team of eight full-time greenkeepers. The team has doubled in size since Karl arrived and marks just one of a number of ongoing improvements as the club continues to signal its ambitions. Karl, himself, was also keen to play his part and this started with ensuring that he had the correct seed mixtures in place.

“I’ve been using Limagrain’s MM seed mixtures right back to when I started out as an apprentice - so probably for about 18 years now. When I first came here they were using a different brand of seed but I wanted to use Limagrain because in my opinion it is an all-round package - I’ve had big success from the mixtures in terms of quality, results and the support you get from the company,” he said.

When it comes to product performance and appearance, top sports grounds, including many of the UK’s finest golf courses, tend to look no further than Limagrain’s MM range of grass seed. The MM range is one of the most respected brands in the UK turf industry and its wide array of mixtures have a proven track record of producing the best possible swards for the intended end usage.

The demand and pressure placed on the modern day greenkeeper and course manager to produce the best possible, consistent playing surfaces continually grows at a pace but Limagrain’s range of grass seed can ensure that you are always that one step ahead. Whether it be a mixture for your greens, tees or fairways – the MM range has it covered.

Karl has seen great results from applying MM22, which is a practical solution for those who are seeking a mixture for their tees that is great for divotting, repairing and overseeding.

“As a rule of thumb we normally do the tees renovation at the end of March and we apply MM22 at a rate of 30g/m2. So we apply that quite heavily and then it is just a case of topping it up by overseeding throughout the year.

“We get a lot of play here at Redditch and we don’t come off the tees all year, so I need a mixture which is going to give me a strong sward. Fortunately, MM22 gives me what I need – you always get a fast establishment and you get a great percentage of seeding from it. I also rarely suffer from disease so I don’t see any reason to come away from it.”

When it comes to his greens, Karl claims that he has never needed to overseed – which is perhaps testament to the quality of them. However, on one occasion there was a problematic green which needed a fast solution - so he turned to Limagrain’s MM7 mixture.

“It was a shaded green that had a lot of trees around it so it suffered with a lack of light and air – even in the summer. From 12pm, it would have been completely in the shade. In the first instance we tried to repair it but unfortunately it didn’t really work. So, we removed a couple of trees and MM7 was recommended to me. The difference was unbelievable – I wish I would have taken a before and after photo.”

A modern mixture for quick renovations of worn and damaged areas of fine turf, MM7 is ideal for emergency repair work. Containing Cyrena and Venice (both perennial ryegrasses), Caldris (chewings fescue) and Sefton (browntop bent), these top rated cultivars together produce a hard wearing sward that recovers from scarring.

While members at Redditch Golf Club are enjoying the superb playing conditions they are also treated to a stunning array of flowers, courtesy of Limagrain’s range of Colour Splash mixtures.

“The colour around the course is absolutely fantastic and it is a sight to behold when they are in full bloom. We have them spread out across the course such as around the tees, near the wooded areas and along the drive and they really do make a statement.

“The main reason we decided to apply the Colour Splash mixtures was for aesthetics but we like doing our bit to help the bees as well,” he said.

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm.

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Complete Weed Control has announced a series of roadshow events to provide essential guidance for the amenity sector dealing with the application of glyphosate.

The half day seminars will detail the latest information from Bayer regarding glyphosate as well as informative sessions dealing with the application of glyphosate for hard surfaces utilising Complete Weed Control’s Weed-IT technology.

In addition, there will invaluable advice with regard to handling public objections to weed control activities, with concise information to take away from the event.  Findings from the most extensive trials into Japanese knotweed and its control will also be provided along with advice as to how best manage the problem and its associated issues. 

There will be a live demonstration of the Weed-IT machine in order for delegates to appreciate the environmental and productivity benefits that the technology brings to the sector.

Dates and venues have been confirmed as:

 14th Kendleshire Golf Club (near Bristol) Henfield Rd, Coalpit Heath BS36 2UY

 15th Jury’s Inn, Hinckley Island Hotel (near Leicester) Watling St, Burbage, Hinckley LE10 3JA

 22nd Battle of Britain Bunker (Hillingdon) Wren Ave, Uxbridge UB10 0FD

 28th November King's Manor Library, University of York, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EP29th November Stirling Court Hotel, Airthrey Road, Stirling, FK9 4LA

The Seminar includes a complimentary lunch. Places are limited, so please book to avoid disappointment by clicking the below event you would like to attend.

Bristol

Leicester

Uxbridge

York

Stirling

For more information, please contact Complete Weed Control’s national office on 01325 324 277 or visit www.completeweedcontrol.co.uk

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KAR UK officially unveiled the Hunter I-80 gear-driven rotor sprinkler at SALTEX 2018.

Offering unparalleled levels of power, performance, and versatility, the all-new I-80 gear-driven rotor from Hunter Industries is the most technologically advanced commercial rotor on the market.

Engineered for sports turf the I-80 is built with a robust, dirt-tolerant gear drive that offers the highest torque output of any rotor in the commercial sphere, and extends a radius range from 11.3 to 29.6 meters. 

The I-80 features a wide range of highly efficient, dual-trajectory, wind-fighting nozzles for highly efficient performance in a range of applications. Provides total top serviceability (TTS) via its integrated, surface-mounted snap-ring for no-dig easy maintenance.

In addition, the I-80 offers an advanced ProTech Turf Cup System — an industry first. Thanks to ProTech TC™ technology, living or synthetic turf is retained in a cup mounted to the top of the rotor and installed flush to the surrounding turf.

The special retaining rings in the turf cup add surface area for increased root adhesion, helping to keep turf securely in place. The net result is an aesthetically pleasing installation that helps ensure safety during sports field play. The no-dig turf cup is also totally top serviceable and features no-tool quick-release removal, arc adjustments without riser removal, and a fully contained riser assembly that stays together when removed from the sprinkler body.

I-80 there’s nothing else like it available for sports surfaces.

Hunter Industries is distributed in the UK by KAR UK. For more information, please visit www.karuk.com or www.hunterindustries.com.

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