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turF CliPPings SPRING 2012

welCome to the sPring edition

inside this issue Field re-establishment at Rakaia Rugby Club

Welcome to another edition of Turf

keeping New Zealand working, so we are


Clippings, following what has been a very

committed to both growers and end-users

Back on Track


wet end to the winter this year, with most

buying our New Zealand produced

Migratory Mark


pleased to see the lengthening days and

innovative seed.

Challenges of the Course – TIC Projects 5 Transitioning Times


Getting to know the Turf Team


Walmsley’s Word


warmer weather. At the time of writing the All Blacks have won the inaugural Rugby Championship well in front of the other teams, and it is with pride that we watch them perform their New Zealand games on stadium surfaces where most of the turf inputs are from products sourced from PGG Wrightson Turf. At this time of year many Turf Managers are undertaking renovations ready for the summer ahead, and our technical staff have similarly been busy with customers as the season gets underway.

There have been some further management changes at PGG Wrightson Turf recently. Cameron Henley has returned to Australia, still with PGG Wrightson Seeds, but now as the National Sales Manager for Wrightson Seeds specialising in forage seed for livestock. David Green has stepped into the role as Turf Group Manager – as well as his role as the General Manager - New Zealand Seeds. I remain in my role as the Sales and Marketing Manager and Mark Shaw in his role as Business Development Manager with a focus on our growing international

International seed pricing is edging up following a poorer harvest and drought in the US, but with our local New Zealand production we are in a good position to

business. Best of luck for the upcoming season, may the weather gods be kind to all.

supply seed this season. Nonetheless with pressure from dairying in New Zealand it is a continual battle to remain competitive in the production cycle – paying our growers sufficient returns while keeping prices to customers at an appropriate level. We think our local production for local users is an integral part of our business philosophy in

George Tothill

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Field re-establishment at Rakaia Rugby Club

In October 2011 Rakaia Rugby Club reestablished their fields due to poor field quality and undesirable existing grass species.

was sown at a rate of 400 kg/ha and fertilised using DAP and 6 weeks later a follow up application of Sulphate of Ammonia at 150 kg/ha.

They blew out the existing turf cover with a mixture of glyphosate and carfentrazone (Hammer). Using an agricultural-type seed drill making multiple passes, Duraturf® Sports Oval

A challenge that they found with the reestablishment was the quick turnaround that was needed – there were only a few months to complete this as the field obviously had to be

back up and running for the 2012 season. Speed of establishment in the Sports Oval mix has been important in getting the two fields from bare ground to a quality surface to play footy on. The end result as shown in these photos speaks for itself!

Back on Track The Waimairi Beach Golf Club couldn’t be blamed for asking the question “Why us?” . After rebuilding their back 9 from the February and June earthquakes and with one week from opening, December’s 5.3 magnitude quake destroyed the course yet again. For most clubs this would have spelt the end of their existence but not Waimairi Beach Golf Club. Due to recent land sales and investing, their nest egg wisely allowed the club to rebuild bigger and better this time. Course superintendent Andrew Grimes was asked by club management to come up with a plan as to what action would be taken to get the back 9 operating again. The first thought was to begin again but there was the one question… what if we get another quake?

A special AGM was held and the plan went through with a unanimous vote with work to start immediately. Work on new holes 7, 8 and 9 started in April 2012 and seeded in early May 2012 with a 7 month window to have them in play and holes 12 to 18 to be constructed and in play by January 2013 Work will then begin on new holes 6, 10 and 11 with minor work on untouched holes 1 to 5 with an opening date for the new look course being April 2013 including the new clubhouse. Arrowtown browntop was sown at 10 g/m2 sown in the tees and greens. “I found by visiting other sites that the Arrowtown is exceptionally fine and dense and can recover rapidly from renovation and I loved the medium green foliage colour ” says Andrew.

A phone call to Adam Jones from Grass Ltd course builders of Pegasus Golf Club in North Canterbury is a phone call Andrew will never forget! “I was thinking there was just no way Adam would even be interested in looking at the course let alone rebuilding it as it was a real mess- reduced to pot holes and subsided turf - however a quick chat confirmed I was wrong” says Andrew. Over the next three weeks that single phone call lead to a course walk with Adam and Kristine Kerr from Kura Design. From that course walk a proposal to rebuild 13 new holes, a driving range and two putting greens as well as the resurfacing of the 5 remaining holes was developed.



Silhouette and Jasper fairways with pure Arrowtown browntop on the green

On the fairways, a creeping red fescue was mixed with a chewings fescue at 25 g/m2 . Jasper II creeping red fescue spreads rapidly by producing a strong underground rhizome system, it is well adapted for use in shade and partial shade situations and under low to moderate fertility levels with outstanding disease resistance. Silhouette chewings fescue only needs low fertiliser inputs and has been proven to tolerate wear which was needed for this busy course. Silhouette also shows strong disease resistance for less pesticide use, and is endophyteenhanced for improved insect resistance. A mix of Silhouette and Jasper II was used for the rough and was sown at 15 g/m2 .

Conwed 1000 Hydromulch

“It sure has been a busy 18 months and we look forward to the progress over the coming months” says Andrew.

migratory mark

Al Badia Golf Club

Our Business Development Manager, Mark Shaw, has recently travelled to many parts of the globe supporting our current international seeds business. His objective: to seek out new opportunities and promote AVANEXÂŽ unique endophyte technology range of grasses to the aviation and turf industries. Earlier in the year Mark visited the Middle East including Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While there Mark met with a variety of golf course and turf managers. PGG Wrightson Turf currently supplies a few clients in these areas with Colosseum ryegrass for over-seeding into couch or paspalum fairways, tees and sportsfields. He found it interesting to see how many New Zealanders and Australians are working in these regions and what a challenging environment it is to grow grass in!

airports, airlines and military departments. Presentations over the five days were given from representatives from countries such as Russia, Brazil, Nigeria, Australia, Ireland, Norway and many others. The main focus of reducing bird populations in and around airport facilities to aid in minimising bird strikes to planes makes for a very interesting industry! Ireland was next on the travel agenda where Mark met with our Irish distributor Declan

McCarthy from Independent Seed Company. Declan supplies Colosseum turf ryegrass and Troy colonial browntop to a UK pro turf supply company called Turfcare Group. Turfcare deal with many of Ireland’s top golf courses, rugby union, football and Gaelic football and hurling grounds. Mark was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with Pat Galavan (Turfcare Group Owner) and a couple of his staff Jim Holden (Sales

Mark saw some familiar faces whilst visiting this part of the world with Russell Hewitt at The Royal Bahrain Golf Club (now at Arabian Ranches), Wayne Holmes at Aspire Logistics Qatar, Corey Finn and Darren Shaw at The Doha Golf Club and Mark Hooker at Al Badia Golf Club. All of these New Zealanders took the time out to show Mark around and were great hosts during this trip. Mark also visited Norway and attended the International Bird Strike Conference in Stavanger where the Conference was attended by over 140 delegates from around the world representing

Royal Bahrain Golf Club

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migratory mark continued Manager) and Eamonn Maguire (Technical Sales Representative) visiting some of their clients. One visit that was memorable was to Thomond Park, as it’s the home of Munster Rugby, Mark was quickly reminded of Munster’s victory over the 1978 All Blacks! Turfcare Group sells Colosseum ryegrass in a blend called Pro 365 which is their premium turf ryegrass blend. Thomond Park had recently been heavily over-seeded with this blend with great success. More recently Mark visited the USA where he met with the San Francisco Airport who has been enquiring about the range of AVANEX® unique endophyte technology grasses. There is currently construction going on at San Francisco Airport; they have an opportunity to sow down 2.5 ha of AVANEX® Jackal tall fescue to monitor its performance. Following this visit Mark attended the North American Bird Strike Conference in Memphis Tennessee. There were around 300 attendees and the theme for this conference was Beyond the Fence and Off Airport Hazards. Mark Shaw attended many educational sessions throughout the conference and some points of interest were:

Thomond Park - home of Munster Rugby

T here has been a 40% decline in damaging bird strikes since the year 2000 which equates to a saving of USD500 million.

In the US there are 50,000 flights per day!

 f all documented bird strike occurrences, O 41% happened at 0 feet. Meaning these can be controlled as they are within the airport compounds.

 amaging bird strikes at a height of 500ft are D not decreasing.

3 7% of bird strikes occur within the take off and land phase.

In 1991 the population of Canadian Geese was one million in North America, in 2011 it had grown to 3.5 million!

The results of some bird strikes on aircraft



In New Jersey alone there is a resident population of 76,000 geese. There is

currently a programme which has removed 2,200 of them and 350 nest sites have been identified. •

T here are 15,000 airports in the US and 3,306 sq km of grass area makes up only 2,900 of the main ones.

T here have been 184 eagle-aircraft collisions between 1990 and 2011 of which 52% caused significant damage to aircraft.

Challenges of THE Course – TIC PROJECTS

Harewood Golf Club

Golf Course Construction throughout New Zealand has taken TIC Projects to some amazing sites. What more could you ask for than to be overlooking the gorgeous Lake Wakatipu or seaside at the Coromandel towns of Pauanui or Matarangi. On the other hand its seasonal elements like snow and permafrost for 2 months at Millbrook that offer its’ challenges to the construction of these powerfully scenic sites and keep us rising to the testy parts of that location. A job that involves a combination of construction and creativity, technical knowledge of drainage and irrigation installation along with a love of sport and the outdoors – all in the same day! Our customers require quality outcomes in these majestic sites with discerning golfers critiquing playing conditions year round. TIC Projects has been fortunate to provide these results for the past 16 years. These sites can vary from newly constructed golf courses like Jacks Point, to major upgrades such as the current Royal Wellington GC project; to relocation of land such as Harewood Golf Club making way for the Christchurch Airport runway project; alongside local clubs requiring upgrades and improvements.

TIC staff

Golf courses around New Zealand are significantly different in ground types and weather patterns demanding individual approaches to their construction and seeding requirements. TIC is happy to work with the clubs and their members to determine drainage requirements, re-construction of features and possible irrigation options. Nationally golf club

memberships are declining and an option for clubs is to step up and look at providing a better facility to attract more golfers to their part of the country. TIC can provide quality construction services to clubs throughout New Zealand with a strong team of long term employees and leadership second to none with Geoff Andrew at the helm.

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Colosseum one day out before kick off!

A year ago New Zealand was gripped in World Cup fever; this was felt throughout the country especially at the home of the Mighty Taniwha Northland. Twelve months earlier it was decided that Whangarei would host 2 pool games in the Northland Arena and offer training facilities at the Kensington domain in the centre of town. The team from Recreational Services (Anita Sloot and Ross Hart) were instructed to put a programme in place to make sure the chosen fields were in peak condition in time for the biggest event in the town’s history. There was a challenge slightly different than any others as it would involve transitioning their couch fields into a high performing rye grass sward. At the end of summer 2011 the couch fields were in excellent shape after hosting both Auckland Blues and Warriors pre-season matches. Both teams commented on how well the fields looked and performed. Now the challenge started. After a series of meetings, and plenty of debating, it was decided that the field would be transitioned with Colosseum ryegrass. The light green appearance of Colosseum would help to mask any Poa annua invasion while giving exceptional wear tolerance, winter activity



and a striking appearance. The amount of Colosseum to be transitioned into the couch was also debated but with some advice and information from a trial that PGG Wrightson Turf had helped fund in Australia, it was decided that 300 kg would be the magic number. The process to add the Colosseum was to lightly disc-drill the seed into the couch taking extra care not to damage any couch stolons. D.A.P was then added and within 6 days the Colosseum was jumping out of the ground. Unfortunately, there would be no let up in play as Northland participated in the ITM cup. Ross and the team were only given 2 weeks before the Rugby World Cup would kick off to prepare and manicure the surface. A solid feed of Andersons 26-0-8 (26-0-10 Oxide) Extend™ PCU, then 7 days later a liquid feed consisting of Agrichem High NK™, CPR and FeRROMEC® AC 15-0-0 along with a contact fungicide was sprayed onto the surface 5 days out before the 1st World Cup game. On Wednesday 14th September at 3pm the eyes of the rugby world were on the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei. Mighty Tonga would take on Canada, in front of a capacity crowd, who would

Simon, Ross and Anita of Northland Recreational Services turf division

enjoy a fantastic game on a top quality playing surface. Ross adds “I was very impressed with the performance of the Colosseum throughout the winter months; there was no let up in play, during really wet and cold conditions. The recovery between games was exceptional. Also, the visual appearance through the World Cup was outstanding”. The team at Recreational Services worked extremely hard under trying conditions, but thoroughly enjoyed the World Cup experience.

Getting to know the turf team Grant Bunting, Technical Turf Representative Previously General Manager/Course Superintendent Wanaka Golf Club, Course Superintendent Marenui Golf Club Napier, Course Superintendent Hanmer Springs Golf Club and 2IC and trainee at Coringa Country Club, Christchurch.

Career highlight so far? - NZGCSA Fellowship recipient - NZGCSA President - Hosting NZ Seniors Amateur in Wanaka - Redevelopment of 4th hole at Wanaka

What do you enjoy about working for PGG Wrightson Turf? The great team atmosphere and the diversification within the role i.e. dealing with all facets in fine turf management.

 escribe yourself in four words. Motivated, D supportive, loyal and (could not resist) Otagoooooooooooo! Hobbies: Watching Movies and reading sport biographies.

 hat is your favourite food? Homemade W chicken fried rice.

 hat do you like to do in the weekends? W Watching and participating in sport plus spending time with the family and friends.

 ow long have you been in the turf industry H and where have you worked prior to PGG Wrightson Turf? 20 years within the industry, only 5 months with PGG Wrightson Turf.

What PGG Wrightson Turf product appeals to you the most and why? Arrowtown browntop. …reminds me of home! It is renowned to get out of the ground quickly, has a fine leaf that helps with green speed and smoothness and I love the medium green colour – it can camouflage the Poa annua if you have any.

Funniest moment at work? Coming across a very startled young amorous couple early in the morning while checking the Hanmer Springs Golf club on a Sunday morning.

I f you were in traffic and your CD player was stuck on repeat what CD would you choose to be playing? Hootie and the Blowfish/Kings of Leon /Johnny Cash and the Pogues.

F avourite New Zealand sports venue? Wanaka showgrounds and the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

What sports have you played? Golf, rugby, refereed rugby (badly!) and ten pin bowling.

F avourite sports team? Team Bunting. Highlanders…. All Blacks…goes without saying.

Last words… The trouble with referees is that they just don’t care which side wins.

Weirdest thing you have seen at work? Staff member using a chainsaw like it was a handsaw.

Hamish Chapman, Customer Service and Logistics Representative •

 escribe yourself in three words. Dad, muso, D cyclist.

 obbies: Play in a punk band, cycling, fishing, H going to the golf driving range.

 hat is your favourite food? Anything at W Pizza Express with anchovies and a lager on the side.

 hat do you like to do in the weekends? W Spend time with the family, play gigs, get outdoors.

 ow long have you been in the turf industry H and where have you worked prior to PGG Wrightson Turf? 5 months and mostly in the produce industry in sales and logistics.

 areer highlight so far? Successfully C marketing a range of juices around New Zealand supermarkets.

 hat do you enjoy about working for W PGG Wrightson Turf? Good team vibe and lots going on.

 hat PGG Wrightson Turf product appeals to W you the most and why? Mulch – gets seed established quicker and in adverse conditions.

 eirdest thing you have seen at work? W Too early to say.

F unniest moment at work? Spending the day with one of the Turf Reps – not saying who.

I f you were in traffic and your CD player was stuck on repeat what CD would you choose to be playing? A tie - a mix cd of Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” and Metallica’s “Kill em all”.

F avourite New Zealand sports venue? Was the House of Pain – RIP! Now Forsyth Barr Stadium.

 hat sports have you played? Soccer, W volleyball, hockey, softball, cricket, athletics.

Favourite sports team? The Highlanders.

L ast words… “It’s better to regret something you did than something you didn’t do”.

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walmsley’s word transition zone challenGes The bulk of the population of New Zealand lives in the transition zone for turfgrass; that is the area between Kerikeri and Hamilton – Tauranga. The Bill Walmsley Turf Agronomist transition zone is the PGG Wrightson Turf climatic area between a true warm season climate and a true cool season climate. In the transition zone both warm and cool season turfgrass can be grown but neither truly thrive. Warm season turfgrass is dormant for a long period and does poorly in cold, wet soils. Cool season turfgrass grows well in winter but can struggle with heat and disease over summer. There is no one best turfgrass species for the transition zone; instead we see a range of species used for different circumstances. The range of options has increased substantially in recent years with both new cultivars and whole new species now available. On sportsfields perennial ryegrass performs superbly in winter under heavy wear, but it may be thinned in summer from heat, insects and disease. Fortunately high endophyte cultivars protect it from insect damage by argentine stem weevil and several other insects. New endophytes such as in AVANEX® in Colosseum may help to extend that protection, as AR37 is currently doing in forage. We aim to challenge our perennial ryegrass breeding material with summer diseases to help produce more disease resistant cultivars in the future.. Tall fescue such as Currawong II comes into its own in the transition zone as an excellent choice for lawns. It has greater heat and disease tolerance compared to perennial ryegrass, although it is slower establishing. It is not really a

grass for sportsfields except for those that have very light wear. It retains excellent appearance when fertilised adequately. Expect to see future tall fescues appearing with new endophytes that give greater protection from insects. Seeded bermudagrass cultivars have become available only in the last year or so and their place in transition zone turf needs to be established. Seeded bermudagrass establishes rapidly and has few weed problems. Princess 77 is a breakthrough cultivar having turf quality comparable to vegetative cultivars for use on golf course fairways. Once established they have good wear tolerance, so they appear to be well suited to sportsfields. La Paloma appears to be the fastest establishing of the seeded bermudagrasses available here. Seeding bermudagrass is likely to be more rapid, flexible and economical than other methods of establishment. A possible downside is the lower wear tolerance in the first year. There are other exciting possibilities for seeded bermudagrass such as spring overseeding of worn bermudagrass fields and grassing of nonirrigated areas. Regal Staygreen® kikuyu has been available for a number of years and the areas of use are expanding. It is a seeded turf-type and is a good sportsfield grass under moderate wear, but it doesn’t sustain very heavy wear. It is an excellent choice for coastal lawns and non-irrigated situations. Sea Spray seashore paspalum is currently being evaluated for its adaptation and it looks promising at this stage. It’s not possible to say exactly where it is best suited but it sure has a WOW factor about it. It’s a warm season grass that has a dark green colour, stripes up beautifully and can be used at any mowing height from golf greens to rough. Add to that its

tolerance of saline water and weed control using seawater and you have quite a WOW factor. Seeded zoysia species are being evaluated but their adaptation is uncertain. Zoysia is the species of choice in transition zone climates where both summer heat death of cool season turfgrass and winter cold death of warm season turfgrass is a problem. Browntop does well even in the far north, provided irrigation and often fungicide protection is provided. Fine fescue is more suited to a low maintenance situation. Hard fescue and chewings fescue are probably better adapted. Winter overseeding of bermudagrass with perennial ryegrass is widely practiced in the transition zone to improve the wear tolerance and appearance of turf. Rapid establishing winter-active types such as Colossuem or Duraturf® Sports Oval blend are a great choice. There are a multitude of issues to investigate relating to what is best practice in our conditions. Whole new species and types are now available that are being evaluated for different uses. Plant breeding and novel endophytes are giving us hardier turfgrasses that perform better than we have been used to. The scope of this work is large and we would like to work collaboratively with Turf Managers to make the best use of these new resources. If you have a site suitable for a trial and would like to take part, please contact your PGG Wrightson Turf Representative. I wish to thank the transition zone golf courses that are currently hosting turf trials, North Shore Golf Club, Titirangi Golf Club, Murawai Golf Club. Sadly there are no Councils at present, but that is a work in progress.

Pgg wrightson turF stores and staFF ContaCts christchurch 03 372 8719 auckland 09 570 2570 palmerston north 027 487 4002 North Auckland/Northland Brian Griffiths 027 430 2992

Auckland George Tothill 027 430 2972

Auckland Craig Johnston 027 344 6439

Central North Island/Bay of Plenty/Waikato/Coromandel Julian Holden - 027 289 2244

South Waikato/Taranaki Karen Crake 027 430 2995

Lower North Island/ Wellington/Hawke’s Bay Matt Kidby - 027 487 4002

Upper South Island/ Christchurch Jason Weller - 027 596 3974

Otago/Southland/ West Coast Joe Johnson - 027 596 3565

Christchurch/Central Otago Grant Bunting - 027 704 7520

International Mark Shaw - 027 499 8327

© PGG Wrightson Seeds 2012. This information has been checked for accuracy and published in good faith. However PGG Wrightson Seeds accepts no responsibility expressed or implied for misuse of information in this publication. This information is not to be reproduced without the expressed written permission of PGG Wrightson Seeds.


turF CliPPings sPring 2012


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