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THE INTERNATIONAL AWARD-WINNING MAGAZINE For all sports turf professionals in golf, football, rugby, cricket, tennis, horse racing, independent schools, universities and local authorities

May-June 2020 | £4.95

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…but still the grass keeps growing How our industry is coping in these troubling times WATER MANAGEMENT ON THE WEB

RIDE-ON MOWERS IN tHE SPOTLIGHT

SYNTHETICS: THE ‘OSCA’ GOES TO…

51 Technology in action

45 The latest equipment

60 Maintaining artificial turf


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WELCOME

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iWelcome

Essential, not Sport… sensational Don’t forget Well… in the last issue I talked about the report released by the R&A and theThe USGA driving distances. It seemed important at the time.in certain last in two months have been a nightmare for many people partsmonths of the country and my heart goes out everyone with Two on, the world has changed andto every sportdealing is now looking of unprecedented flooding and devastating at the howaftermath best to survive, full stop. Survive! One minute you areerosion. chugging The best case scenario for many is months of temporary along, tweaking things around the edges and then – bam, theliving. world For has others, lives will never return to what they were. literally changed on what amounts to no more than a blink of an eye. While the fate of sports grounds and golf clubs might seem The world sport – football – was so popular that nothing could possibly inconsequential in the face of such hardship, we at Turf Matters have touch it but then Covid-19 found its Achilles’ Heel. If years socialofdistancing a particular empathy with everyone who has seen agronomic has to take place, no crowds can gather; players can’t compete husbandry literally washed away in the space of a few weeks.on the pitchItwithout or the risk –ofthe bodily fluidsinstitutions, being shared; must becontact hoped that banks financial notand the thingsawhich – takeand an understanding approach without game edge thereoverflown is nothingrivers to televise the multi-million pound to sporting which companies have been unable loans a contracts withfacilities the television cannotto beservice fulfilled. Theas house of result of them being unplayable and so unable to bring in revenue. cards collapses. As we have seen with the recent Winter Olympics, sport has such a And for football you can also include so many other sports: rugby, galvanising effect on society and can be the catalyst for so much good, cricket, golf, horse racing, cycling, all are now fighting to find ways of that it is imperative sporting facilities are not forgotten when the keeping going at theassistance professional level at least. promised is being allocated. No-one couldOn have predicted that the pandemic, althoughwe many have the issue of improving sporting facilities, have been said one was due, would hit in such a way to cause maximum damage. invited by Briggs & Stratton to become involved in its Pitch to Win from competition, which provides a £3,000 When we do emerge this nightmare, sports will havemakeover to becomefor what is judged to betothe Undergreater 18s football pitch much more self-sufficient – relying a much extent on in most need –income find out more on eye-watering pages 16-17. I weekly am on the judging attendance generated and those wages for panel and visits will be made to a shortlist of deserving the superstars will have to go, as will youth players earning more in a pitches soon. We will be looking not so much at the week than we do in a year. Agents will be livid. DESSO but the desperate! But through it all the grassnote, will keep growingby and need that the On a final I am thrilled thewill reception maintaining – even if sensational maintenance is being replaced first issue of Turf Matters received. Many peopleby have essential taken maintenance. time to say how much they liked the look of the and how Staymagazine safe and take care.they enjoyed the articles. We’re all pleased you found it to your liking and we will work hard Scott MacCallum, Editor to maintain the high standards. Thank you all very much.

Distributed every two months to sports turf professionals, independent schools, universities, local authorities and buyers of turfcare machinery and products. Editor: Scott MacCallum Distributed every two months to sports scott@turfmatters.co.uk turf professionals, local authorities Design andof Production Editor: Tim and buyers turfcare machinery andMoat tim@turfmatters.co.uk products. Customer Relations Manager: Editor: Scott MacCallum Sinead Thacker scott@turfmatters.co.uk sinead@turfmatters.co.uk Design and Production Editor: Tim Moat Sales Executive: tim@turfmatters.co.uk Marie Anderson Sales Manager: Pauline Thompson marie@turfmatters.co.uk

To advertise in Turf Matters, call Pauline onin07720 055676 or To advertise Turf Matters, email pauline@turfmatters.co.uk call Sinead 07841 927500

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All material © Turf Matters magazine 2020. Turf Matters is published by Straight Down TurfMiddle Matters was awarded Best the Communications Ltd. Writing and Best Design in the 2019 Turf & Ornamental All material © TurfAssociation Matters magazine 2014. Communicators (toca) Awards No partFollow of this publication may be us on Twitter reproduced in any form whatsoever, @TurfMatters either for sale or not, without the written permission of publication the publisher. No part of this mayInformation be reproduced contained Turf Matters is published in any formin whatsoever, either for sale or in good faith and every effort has not, without the written permission been of the made to ensure its accuracy. TurfinMatters publisher. Information contained Turf Matters can accept no anyeffort error is published in responsibility good faith and for every or All its liability for loss, hasmisrepresentation. been made to ensure accuracy. Turf disappointment, or other Matters can acceptnegligence no responsibility for any damage caused by reliance information error or misrepresentation. Allon liability for loss, contained in Turfnegligence Matters ororinother the event of disappointment, damage caused by reliance information contained in any bankruptcy or on liquidation or cessation Turftrade Matters or incompany, the eventindividual of any bankruptcy of of any or firm or liquidation or of trade of any company, mentioned is cessation hereby excluded. individual or firm mentioned is hereby excluded. Printed byWarners WarnersMidlands MidlandsPLC. PLC. Printed by

Scott MacCallum, Editor You can follow me on Twitter @TurfMatters

Inside Inside this thisissue issue News..........................................................4-18 News .........................................................4-15 Agrovista Q&A...........................................14 Pitch to Win........................................16-17 Tea Break Teaser.......................................21 Mowing .................................19-22, 24-27 GroundWow. .......................................22-25 Tea Break Teaser ......................................29 Natural turf maintenance............27-33 Gleneagles..........................................30-35 Coronavirus. BTME review........................................34-43 ......................................36-41 Ride-on mowers...............................45-48 Diary of a Golfing Nobody.................42 Water management........................49-59 As seen on Twitter..................................43 Synthetics............................................60-63 Buyers’out Guide. ...................................64-65 Check our .website: Check out our website: www.turfmatters.co.uk

www.turfmatters.co.uk The majesty of Gleneagles, pages 30-35 Next magazine distributed 2 May CLAP FOR CARERS: Coronavirus and change , pages 34-43 Next magazine distributed June 2020 Subscribe FREE to our e-zine: Details at www.turfmatters.co.uk

Turf Matters | March-April Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE2014 2020| 3 |3


NEWS

INNOVATION CONTINUES WITH DEEP TINE AERATOR GKB Machines are providing the solution to ground compaction with the launch of the revolutionary GKB Deep Tine Aerator. From the use of heavy-duty machinery to a footfall of thousands on sports pitches over time, many grounds staff do not comprehend how bad compaction really is and can be. Compaction is considered one of the major causes of poor sward density, root development and water logging. “We’re really pleased to have this machine added to our range, it now enables us to offer golf clubs and sport pitches the full maintenance package,” said Tom Shinkins, Operation Manager. Featuring a 3-speed heavy duty gearbox, you can adjust the speed on the tines to create the required hole pattern in the turf, and with its unique tine mounting system, quick changeover for different size tines has never been easier. The GKB DTA was launched to market in April. www.gkbmachines.com

Kubota moves into India Kubota is to invest in leading Indian tractor manufacturer, Escorts Ltd, with a view to increase its presence in India – the world’s largest tractor market – as well as its commitment to the competitive tractor market, which has massive growth potential, thus further expanding its business. The two companies intend to deepen their cooperative relationship by leveraging each other’s strengths, create synergy across a broad range of their business, including development, production, sales, distribution, and parts procurement, in a bid to extend their reach in the Indian market. Meanwhile, the competitive tractors which currently form the core of the

Indian tractor market, are gaining popularity in other markets around the world. Kubota hopes to expand its global reach in those model markets by tapping into EL’s parts procurement networks and capability to reduce cost. The investment will ultimately equate of 10% of Escorts’ share capital and

Rigby Taylor is UK reseller for Soil Scout Finnish company Soil Scout has announced Rigby Tayor as its UK reseller. “We are excited to be taking on the Soil Scout product in the UK. We see this technology as a step forward for our customers to make better more timely and sustainable decisions,” said Peter Corbett,

PRIMO AND RYDER PRODUCTS ARE NOW SUPERSIZED ICL now has Syngenta’s Primo Maxx II growth regulator and Ryder turf pigment available in larger sized packs. With immediate effect, turf managers now have the option of purchasing Primo Maxx II in 20-litre 4 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

drums and Ryder in 5-litre bottles. Both are significant increases on the former sized containers and are set to provide better turf at better value. The new pack sizes mean that Primo Maxx II is now available in 5 litre,

amounts to approximately £120 million (16 billion yen) and is likely to be completed by June. Kubota aims to establish a joint research and development centre with EL to develop products that are optimised for the local market and shorten the development period.

10 litre and 20 litre packs while Ryder is available in 1 litre and 5 litre bottles. Launched last year, Ryder has gained plaudits from users with many praising its ability to instantly enhance the colour and visual

appearance of turf. The innovative technology behind Ryder also protects leaves from the harmful effects of excessive sunlight and instead manages light more effectively. www.icl-sf.co.uk.

Business Development Manager for Rigby Taylor. “To have a company with the professionalism, and reach, of Rigby Taylor is a massive coup for our relatively new business,” said Adam Sedgwick, Soil Scout’s International Sales Manager. www.soilscout.com


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Pure-rye mix pays off As a sole Groundsman, Robin Wilcox has his work cut out looking after the 19 courts and five croquet lawns that make up East Dorset Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. On the site’s nine grass courts, ProMaster 36 from DLF Seeds has given Robin the advantage, with its tolerance of low cutting heights freeing him up to conduct other maintenance which keeps the courts and lawns competition ready. Having been absent for a number of years, one of Robin’s key goals when he joined EDLTCC two years ago was to bring the grass courts up to standard required to once

again host qualifying stages of The County Cup. “The courts had accumulated layers of thatch so we could have gone down the road of scarifying and adding additional loam, but we decided to go for a full renovation.” In his first year at the club, Robin skimmed off the top layer, cultivated, levelled and seeded with Masterline’s PM36 perennial ryegrass mix. “A great combination of warmth and rain in the late summer/early autumn of 2018 meant the courts were green in under three weeks and I carried out the first cut at six weeks – everybody at the club

was amazed at the germination. Our artificial and clay courts took the strain while the grass courts were under renovation but when they re-opened for play in 2019, there was a new wave of members wanting to play on them and they coped and recovered from the high levels of wear very well.”

The decision to go for a purerye mix gives Robin the playing and resistance characteristics he requires, even under close mown conditions. “I am limited to mowing just twice a week. With the PM36 it is hardy enough to cope with going as low as 5mm without compromising turf quality.”

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NEWS

Real Splash of Colour for Ealing A range of Limagrain UK’s Colour Splash flower mixtures have lifted community spirits and made the London Borough of Ealing a brighter place to live in more ways than one. Ealing has long been known as the “Queen of the Suburbs” due to its many parks and tree-lined streets and this is reflected by the tree emblem seen on the Ealing Council logo. Ealing continues to live up to its regal nickname and after seeing over 200,000

CLEARWATER PRIZE DRAW ClearWater was a hit at a very successful BTME for Acumen Waste Services Ltd in January, with a good number of enquiries taken. “This was a record breaking year for us with ClearWater enquiries and the new location in the red zone seems to be paying off, for the second year! It was also a great opportunity to showcase all the new branding and ClearWater logo as well as familiarising customers with the Acumen brand,” explained General Manager, Matthew Mears. The stand was certainly busy and footfall up on last year with continued overseas interest too. The latest ClearWater display unit was on hand and proved useful to explain the virtues of the system. The traditional last day prize draw was conducted by Jim Croxten, CEO of BIGGA, and the system was won by Trevose GC. The winning entry was placed by Course Manager Neil Ivamy. “ClearWater has been wanted by us here at Trevose for some time now!” said a delighted Neil.

6 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

sq.m of the borough covered in an array of magnificent colourful flower species – it could well be the most majestic of them all. Bradford Decker, Contract Monitoring Officer for the Ealing borough, claims that he was inspired after seeing how local authorities transformed various areas around London in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. “This wildflower project started back in 2013 and it was for both visual and bio-diversity

reasons,” said Bradford. “We trialled various mixtures in a few different areas, which included a poppy mixture at some of our World War memorials, and I believe in that first year we had around 8,000 sq.m of flowers.” Limagrain UK’s range of Colour Splash flower mixtures are used in a broad range of landscape and amenity areas throughout the UK. The brand was first established over ten years ago where the development of the mixtures were created in the beautiful

county of Loir-et-Cher, in the centre of France. Since launching the project in 2013, Bradford and the park service team have continued to add more mixtures each year and there are now a total of 91 sites around the Ealing borough which have Limagrain’s wildflowers equating to over 200,000 sq.m. The stunning flowers are not only catching the eye of the Ealing residents as Bradford explains. www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm

New agreement with Toro for Royal Portrush Fresh off the success of the 2019 Open Championship, Royal Portrush Golf Club has signed another five-year agreement with Toro, bringing the relationship between the historic club and the brand to 30 years. “I’ve been using Toro for the majority of my career and during that time the machines have proved themselves to be reliable and robust,” explained Course Manager Graeme Beatt. “The finish they provide is second to none. Combined with the excellent service from Reesink Turfcare, there really was no question who we would turn to for our next renewal, especially after the huge success of The Open, which was a real team effort. “Reesink loaned us 25 Toro machines, joining our 50-strong existing fleet, and we simply wouldn’t have been able to make such a success of hosting the

event without that help. With many of the players staying late to get extra practice, we had to get the course – all 7,300 yards of it – ready within a very short time period each morning. And it wasn’t just the increased number of machines that allowed us to do this, but the efficiency and quality of those machines,” he revealed. With so many spectators, a huge 237,750 making it the highest attended championship

outside of St Andrews, Toro was needed to help with the recovery of the links course. “We’re looking at bringing in Infinity sprinklers after seeing them in action on the new holes. They perform so well, particularly in windy conditions. We’re also considering introducing hybrid mowers to the fleet. Not only are they better for the environment, but they are now tried and tested machines.”


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Cleaning up with Zelup The wet and windy winter may have inflicted much misery and mud on longsuffering British golfers but it has provided the opportunity for one environmentallyfriendly product to make a more than welcome mark. Firing a pressurised mixture of air and water from a high-velocity nozzle, Zelup’s cleaning system has been greeted with enthusiasm across the country by both club members and greens’ staff. Manufactured in France, where it is a well-established brand with nearly 180 clubs on board, Zelup is swiftly making inroads into the UK market and, significantly, its latest signing is the state-ofthe-art JCB Golf & Country Club in Staffordshire. Other high-end clients

include several well-known Home Counties names Wentworth and Foxhills in Surrey, Middlesex quartet Muswell Hill, Hendon, Sudbury and Mill Hill, Marriott Tudor Park in Kent, Burnham Beeches (Buckinghamshire) and Mill Ride (Berkshire).

But golf is not the only sport to benefit from this innovative new technology, which uses 15 times less water than the current generation of highpressure cleaners. Watford Football Club is on board with Zelup 3 at both its Vicarage Road stadium and training ground at London Colney; other Premier League teams are showing an interest while rugby clubs, another established market in France for Zelup, are also on the radar. Owner Thomas Issler, an engineer founded Zelup nearly eight years ago. “I sold my previous company in 2011 because I wanted to concentrate on developing a device that would use less water during the cleaning process. “I knew that water shortage would increasingly become

an issue and that equipment was needed to do a better cleaning job while using a lot less water. As a result of our ongoing research, the ratio of water to air in our latest patent, Zelup 3, is roughly 1:10 - 10% water and 90% air in other words. “Our initial models, Zelup 1 and Zelup 2, were designed mainly to clean shoes and the wheels of trolleys, but Zelup 3 is more powerful and cleans buggies and greenkeeping machinery as well. Additionally, Zelup guns are nothing like as noisy as the old traditional cleaners.” Zelup’s UK and Ireland representative, golf industry veteran Tim Greenwood, is preparing for a massive spike in interest from clubs over the next couple of years. www.zelup.com

Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 7


NEWS

Bionema link with Scientia Colombia Scientia Colombia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with world-leading biopesticide technology developer Bionema, to collaborate on making more environmentally sustainable biological controls available in the fight against pests and diseases in less developed countries. Leading biopesticide technology company Bionema attended the AgriTech 2020 mission to Colombia, organised by the UK Prosperity Fund. During the visit, Bionema explored the opportunity to collaborate in a new geographical territory. This resulted in a partnership with Scientia Colombia, which offers biological solutions for integrated pest management in Agriculture. The two companies signed an MoU during a networking event organised by The British Embassy in Colombia and AgriTech 2020 that will add value in a multitude of ways, with

benefits to both parties. Specifically, its aims are to: • Set up a Good Experimental Facilities for testing the plant protection products. • Commercialise new biopesticide products for high value crops in Colombia. • Transfer knowledge in the field of biopesticides, and • Provide training to end users in high value crops. International collaborations between biopesticide companies in different geographical territories are particularly valuable, considering limitations placed on the movement of live organisms in many parts of the world, and the fact that the organisms in biopesticides may act differently in different environments. The new experimental facility will be able to demonstrate the efficacy of Bionema’s range of biopesticide products – already proven effective and available in Europe – in the

South American climate and against native forms of target pests in the region. “I am very confident that our proven technology will lead to commercialisation of new products and service in Colombia, to combat some of the difficult pest and disease which are causing millions of damage to exports products

– the warm temperatures will favour these organisms, and I think we can expect to see some great results in the near future,” said Dr Minshad Ansari, Founder and CEO of Bionema. Picture shows Dr Minshad Ansari, (right) and Milton Najar, CEO of Scientia Colombia.

Compo Expert increases its UK profile Compo Expert has appointed Matthew Williams as National Account Manager for Turf to increase the company’s profile in the UK’s sports turf sector. A BASIS-registered Turf Agronomist and a member of the European and International Turfgrass Society, Matt brings 15 years of sales and turf consultation experience at high-profile sports venues, landscape 8 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

businesses and public green facilities to his new role. He had previously worked at Spunhill Amenity where

he was UK Turf Sales Manager, having moved from Barenbrug UK in 2018 where, over a 10-year period, he held the roles of UK Key Account Manager and New Product Development Manager. “I intend to increase Compo Expert’s brand presence in the UK. The brand is number one in Europe and with the company’s high-quality chemistry products, I believe

there is plenty of room for expansion in the UK & Ireland market,” revealed Matt. “‘We are delighted to have recruited someone of the stature of Matt Williams. Matt has extensive experience in a wide range of turf environments and we look forward to achieving greater growth in this market,” said Compo Expert Managing Director, Gerald Bonner.


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Agwood joins Ventrac network Agwood Ltd, based at Swingfield, near Dover, is the latest turf machinery dealership to join the Ventrac dealer network in the UK. Agwood was formed by Ian Wood back in 1978. An independent company, they pride themselves on their record of exemplary customer service demonstrated by their recognition as BAGMA Approved Testers for Trailer Brakes, PUWER and LOLER Approved Installers of Tracker and Cesar Datatag and NSTS Sprayer Testers. “Since Rupert Price launched his business three years ago, the Ventrac product has really taken off in the UK. It’s a very well-made piece of equipment, yet easy to work on. It’s also very versatile because of the numerous attachments that can be mounted on it,” said Phil Bush. “Rupert has done a tremendous amount of groundwork in the past three years and it’s certainly paying off as our industry recognises the potential of the multipurpose machine. We are delighted to

add this remarkable brand to our product portfolio that already includes Massey Ferguson’s range of tractors, harvesting and groundcare equipment, along with Lemken, Opico and Suzuki ATVs.” “We are steadily building our dealer network and only taking on reputable dealers who we believe will add value to the brand. We require our dealers to be pro-active, focussed on the product and capable of providing exceptional customer back-up and support. Agwoods’ exemplify these requirements and we’re delighted to welcome them to the Ventrac family,” said Rupert, Managing Director of Price Turfcare. Price Turfcare’s current dealers are: Fairways (GM) Ltd; Nairn Brown; Lairds Grass Machinery; Davies Tractors; John Osman Groundcare; Russell Group’s Groundcare Division; Sharrocks; Cheshire Turf Machinery; Fentons of Bourne; RT Machinery; Upson Mowers; Agwood Ltd; TH White Groundcare; and Devon Garden Machinery.


NEWS

Farewell to the IOG and a big welcome to the GMA The Institute of Groundsmanship has a new name and brand – the Grounds Management Association. Following unanimous backing by the Board, a member vote was called on the new name at the beginning of March. Votes have been cast by members via post over the last month, with 84% of those who voted supporting the new direction and name. Extensive research conducted by the organisation, including the 2019 report “Groundsmanship – Sport’s Vital Profession”, identified an ageing demographic within both the paid professional and voluntary sectors, and a lack of diversity within the existing profile. The organisation decided to modernise, to widen the appeal and status of the profession. The new, fresh identity befits the modern-day approach to the management of sports turf in the 21st Century. The new name is part of

a wider re-brand, including updated branding and the new tagline – Making sport possible. The icon is inspired by pitch markings and intersecting grass patterns. This creates a unified mark symbolising teamwork and partnership with the different elements working together. The rebrand provides clarity on the role of the industry and is in line with the Grounds Management Association’s ‘Grounds for Sport’ campaign, which seeks to highlight how vital grounds management is to sport nationwide. The independent report ‘Groundsmanship – Sport’s

Vital Profession’, found that 40% of the industry’s workforce is over 50. One in five grounds managers will be leaving their jobs within the next five years and only 1% of the current workforce is female. Furthermore, more than two thirds of community grounds volunteers are aged over 60 and almost all are over 50, making modernisation vital to attracting a new generation crucial for the future success of the industry. Further research which looked at how the IOG was perceived, found that one in five thought the word ‘groundsmanship’ was a barrier to

attracting new talent. “Our Board, senior team and members all know that the future success of the industry depends on us attracting more people from all backgrounds to the profession, which is why we’re so pleased to announce our new name and brand,” said Geoff Webb, CEO at the Grounds Management Association. “Under the banner of the Grounds Management Association, we are ideally placed to promote the profession to the wider public, raise awareness of the vital work of grounds managers and staff and attract a new generation of grounds staff to the profession. “The support of our members has been absolutely crucial, and now means we can meet the challenges and expectations we face to elevate the standing, status and value of our sector today. We’re excited to take this first step on our new journey and continue to support our members, who make sport possible.”

An official R&A appointment for ETL ETL has been appointed the official testing laboratory for The R&A, supporting testing for all Professional & Amateur event venues. “This is an amazing opportunity for the laboratory, and we are looking forward to working with The R&A’s agronomists, Alistair Beggs, Richard Windows and Adam Newton,” said Sharon Singleton-Bruce, 10 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

Managing Director. Testing for The R&A includes several of ETL’s Golf Green Health Testing tests using bespoke sampling kits. This service is providing course managers and agronomists with data for the performance of their golf greens, including undisturbed infiltration rates, organic matter content at incremental depths

and nutrient analysis. ETL is A2LA-accredited in the field of “Geotechnical, Putting Green Materials” since 1997, with experience of testing venues from all over the world. Adhering to the rigorous protocols of the accreditation provides the industry’s most reliable laboratory data. “We are delighted to be partnering ETL laboratories,

and we are looking forward to working with Charles and Sharon who are able to give us the supporting information and knowledge we need to ensure the venues we use are maintained optimally and provide first class surfaces for member and championship golf,” said Alistair Beggs, Head of Agronomy at The R&A.


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Gary Robertson appointed UK Technical Sales Director Precision Microbes has appointed Gary Robertson as their new technical sales director for the United Kingdom. Gary has held various positions during his 25-years in the turf industry including golf Course Manager, Groundsman at a Premier League club, working in Bulgaria as a construction and Grow-in Manager and more recently as Technical Sales Manager at Consolidate Turf. In his new role, he will be overseeing the expansion and development of Precision Microbes products in the UK amenity sector. Precision Microbes produce blends of up to 60 different microorganisms

that can benefit the plant in different ways. These blends focus on the behaviour and benefits of microorganisms on the plant and the growing medium which it lives in. Gary’s arrival at the company has unfortunately coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, with this in mind, a greater level of sensitivity has been adopted regarding a lower key introduction. He feels that the products Precision Microbes offer can assist turf managers who may be disrupted or feel short of renovation time as a result of the uncertainty over the resumption of this season and beginning of the 2020/21 season. “I’m confident Precision Microbes are set up to have

a beneficial impact on the UK turf market because they offer a diverse and evolving product range, particularly with the growing demand

ICL’s organo-minerals ICL has launched Gronamic – a new range of organomineral fertilisers. The Gronamic range comprises various analyses and particle

sizes to suit the demands of all types of fine and coarse turf. The range combines the benefits of mineral and organic sources of nutrient to provide consistent and longlasting growth responses. The granulation process produces consistent, uniform and dust-free products. This range allows you to incorporate all the benefits of organic sources of nutrition into your fertilizer programme without compromising on quality or reliability. Ed Carter, UK Sales & Development Manager is delighted with this new addition to the ICL fertilizer portfolio. “The introduction of the Gronamic range is a really positive step for ICL. We are world leaders in the production of mineral and controlled release

fertilizers and adding organic technologies into our portfolio really broadens our reach. “We know that our customers utilise organic nutrient sources within their management programmes and the Gronamic range now allows them to do this with ICL branded material.” The Gronamic fertilisers utilise organic and mineral nutrient sources to provide a phased consistent release that creates consistent growth responses. The consistent granulation facilitates even spreading and ensures reliable performance. There are four products in the Gronamic range: Gronamic Golf - “High N” 16-3-6 +2MgO +2CaO +0.5Fe; Gronamic Golf - “High K” 5-0-22 + 2MgO +1.5CaO +0.5Fe; Sport - “High N” 16-3-6 +2MgO +2CaO +0.5Fe; Gronamic Allround - 10-4-5 +2MgO +0.5 Fe

for alternatives to chemical products,” said Gary. For further information contact: gary@ precisionmicrobes.com

Pellenc offers new four year warranty Pellenc UK has announced the launch of a four-year commercial warranty for all its tools. Following its UK introduction in 2009, Pellenc has quickly established itself, with a range of batteries able to undertake a full working day on a single charge. Productivity was brought to a new level, while reducing vibration, noise and Co2 emissions. Pellenc has a tried and tested knowledge and understanding of what a true professional user needs to undertake the move from petrol to battery tools. That now includes a warranty that gives peace of mind and confidence in equipment lasting the testing conditions of commercial use. www.pellencuk.com

Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 11


NEWS

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Year round use for Valdor Flex is granted The residual herbicide, Valdor Flex, has received a label update, extending usage periods and application areas, providing contractors with an opportunity to adopt a flexible approach to weed control. Lewis Blois, Bayer’s amenity specialist, says this updated authorisation will allow contractors to adapt their approach depending on weather conditions and weed growth, so they can manage weeds in public spaces effectively and efficiently. “Valdor Flex® can now be used on amenity vegetation (around), permitting applications to be made around the base of trees, shrubs and other plants in amenity areas, allowing this herbicide to be used in a wider range of situations,” he added. In addition, this product could previously only be

used from February to June, however the application window extension allows Valdor Flex® to be used year-round. “The new year-round application period allows

users to take a different approach and adapt their herbicide programme depending on the weather conditions and weed growth. “For example, this may mean using Valdor Flex® as

a residual control in August to prevent weed growth in the autumn, rather than a spring application of the product in conjunction with Roundup® earlier in the season,” said Lewis.

Woods expand landscaping range Woods Equipment have added two new products to their expanding landscaping range, in the form of the Box Scraper and Landscape Rake. Both products are based on Woods durability and reliability. “The landscape rakes offer a working width of 1.3m 1.5m 1.8m 2.1m and 2.4m, for tractors between 25hp and 45hp, for tough clean-up jobs, as well as fine raking for lawn care and general maintenance,” said UK agent Simon Richard “A box-type structural tine beam holds fully spring-loaded steel tines one-inch apart for superior material collection, 12 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

while allowing soil or sand through for a smooth even grade. Adjustable angles and 360 degree pivot control the flow of material to left, right or centre while gauge wheels allow better depth control. A parking stand allows easy attachment to the tractor.” The reinforced steel A-frame, tough, reversible cutting edge and replaceable scarifiers mean the new Woods Box Scrapers can handle the toughest spreading and grading jobs. The BSM models have a 6.35 mm plate welded inside the end plates for extreme conditions and extra durability.


NEWS


NEWS

Questions and answers

An insight into Agrovista Amenity – Q&A with Head of Amenity, John Marland

John Marland has been integral in the development of the newly formed Agrovista Amenity. With more than 25 years’ experience in the industry, John claims that the launch of the new company is his proudest moment yet. In this exclusive Q&A, John explains what Agrovista Amenity truly represents and why the industry should start getting excited.

Now Agrovista Amenity has officially launched, how do you think it’s going so far? We’re right in the depths of integration now, and that always presents a challenge, but it’s going as well as we expected. There’s a great team within the Agrovista business, and this isn’t the first integration project that they’ve worked on – they’re well versed in integrating businesses into our internal system. We’ve had a fantastic reception from both customers and suppliers – people really understand why we did it and what we are trying to do. It’s not about buying another business, it’s about finding the right business that helps you to create what you’re trying to achieve in the industry - a business that can service all the marketplace whether it’s online, by telephone or by face-to-face.

What does the new organisation look like? As you can imagine, there were two existing structures that needed to come together, and we’ve certainly made progress. It may well be early days, but the thing that excites me is that we have a national sales team that rivals any in the market. As we start to turn the strategy into reality there will be a whole new level of customer support, whether that be internet support, field sales or telephone support.

What does this mean for customers? Customers come first and that’s the primary motivation – not just for Agrovista Amenity, but for Agrovista as a whole. There’s no need for us to radically hike prices just because two businesses have come together – that’s 14 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

not a consequence or a motivation. The industry regulates the industry and we are part of that. We hope that our uplift, if you like, will be increased by efficiencies and bigger critical mass. We’re not expecting the customer to finance us – it will just be a case of being better at what we do.

What are your hopes for the Agrovista Amenity business and in turn, your role? My hope for Agrovista Amenity is that the industry welcomes what it’s trying to be – a science-based company offering real solutions to customers and adding value wherever possible. Inevitably there will be changes within my role, but I just want to see this group of people maximise their potential and help them to become all they can be.

What do you think are the current industry challenges? It’s a lack of solutions for challenges. I think soil-borne pests are becoming a real issue. We’re really starting to witness the effects of a lack of chemistry and an expediential rise in issues caused by the likes of leatherjackets and chafer grubs. Also, I think we still face the same challenges that arise due to a lack of investment in green spaces, or government provided green spaces. I would love to see this market come together and try and approach government to increase standards in local-level sports facilities. I have coached youth football for nearly ten years now, and I’ve seen that although people work hard, the standards just aren’t good enough because there isn’t enough money there. I think that we need to work harder as an industry to raise our profile and the value of what we do. However, as I sit here today, the weather is top of the agenda. I’m very conscious that the greenkeepers and the grounds people of the industry are adept at facing challenges from weather, but the constant wetness is becoming unbearable.

Do you see any potential growth areas? I think there needs to be an

acknowledgement of the fact that amenity has a lot of markets within it, and we see fit to grow in all of them because we just need to be better than everybody else out there.

Is the development of Agrovista Amenity a career highlight? I’ve been in the industry for more than 25 years but seeing Agrovista Amenity launch to the team and the market must be one of my biggest career highlights. This is because of the size, scale and magnitude of the business that we now have. Also, in terms of highlights, I take huge pleasure in seeing how far some of the younger members of the team have progressed. Seeing people succeed within the business that we have is really a highlight. I don’t think you can take too much value in personal achievement. It’s more about what we have achieved collectively over the time we have been in the marketplace.


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Louth’s lease deal looks long term Louth Golf Club, in the Lincolnshire Wolds, offers attractive panoramic views from every hole over the Lincolnshire countryside and towards the Humber Estuary. Responsibility for the course’s upkeep is down to a young team of three full-time greenkeepers headed by Sean McDonnell, who was Deputy Head Greenkeeper at East Herts before moving from Bedfordshire about a year ago. Sean’s arrival coincided with the club’s decision to upgrade its older competitive course maintenance equipment and invest in its first package for eight new John Deere machines from local dealer F G Adamson & Son. The new fleet includes a 2500B triplex greens mower, 2500E hybrid electric greens mower, 7700A PrecisionCut fairway mower, 8800A TerrainCut rough

mower, 2653B tees & surrounds mower, 3038E compact tractor with front loader, ZTR 997R commercial zero-turn mower and an HPX 815E Gator utility vehicle. General Manager Nikki Chantry, who is also a qualified PGA golf professional and was the club’s Director of Golf before taking on her new managerial role in summer 2018, had recognised that Sean’s predecessor was spending far too much time repairing ageing equipment and not enough time out on the course. They were familiar with John Deere as the club had already been running a newer 8700A fairway mower and 8800A rotary rough mower as part of the mixed fleet. Together with Chairman of Green, Richard Ablott, a meeting was therefore set up with Adamson’s Commercial Sales Manager Tony Jenkins

and salesman Scott Trestrail. Scott knows the course very well as he had worked as a greenkeeper at Louth Golf Club for 15 years before joining the dealership. He put this knowledge to good use in recommending a package to meet the club’s specific requirements without overcommitting it financially,

and when Sean took over he only changed one machine on the proposed list. “Some of our other older machines were simply falling to pieces, and we decided that buying a couple of new replacements now and again was not a sensible approach long term,” said Nikki.

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Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

STRI’s part in world’s richest

STRI Group has completed one of the most ambitious projects in its 90-year history – a turf racetrack in the challenging terrain of Saudi Arabia. STRI was chosen by His Excellency Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, to support his vision of making Saudi Arabia a destination for world

class horse racing on turf. Critical to achieving this was the delivery of an elite turf track in time for the inaugural running of the world’s richest horse racing event, the Saudi Cup. As the principal contractors for engineering and construction of the new turf track at The King Abdulaziz Racecourse, STRI provided an endto-end design, build and operate solution to Riyadh Equestrian Club. Prince Bandar’s vision was to

“We engaged some of the best people in the world to design and work on the track. They said they would deliver and they have, so I’m extremely happy. STRI has done an amazing job” – His Excellency Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal 16 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

create the first ever elite turf racetrack in Saudi Arabia. The course had to perform to the highest possible standards and be constructed using the finest materials available. The entire design required the construction and establishment of the track to be undertaken in a recordbreaking period of just six months, requiring a large-scale resource input to achieve such a fast turnaround. The major hurdles to overcome were timescales and climate. Following their engagement in July 2019, STRI’s teams of researchers and consultants quickly established the most effective way of producing a surface that would meet the needs of their client. The on-the-ground mobilisation was immediate, to ensure they made the most of the time available to deliver the track and deal with the challenging and variable climate of Saudi Arabia. Engineering a track of this standard is a highly complex


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horse racing event process requiring input from STRI’s world-leading experts in drainage, irrigation, construction, materials analysis and biomechanics. The primary constituents that make up the track are relatively few in number, but the type and amounts of those constituents are critical to making the track a success. First steps are to understand the baseline environment of the development site. The team conducted a detailed study of the site including a comprehensive review of climatic conditions. From there, an extensive materials selection regime was undertaken, taking a range of sands and gravels from around the Kingdom and testing them for their compatibility to create a firm surface ideal for racing. This rootzone, once mixed with stabilising fibres, provides

the perfect medium within which to install the grass surface. The construction process itself was rapid and extensive resources were drafted from across the Gulf Cooperation Council to excavate the existing track material and install the new one. Timing was critical and the earth movement work had to be completed at breakneck speed as they needed to be ready to sow with the selected grass species as soon as temperatures reached the optimal level. To meet the needs of a winter race in Saudi Arabia, the track was established with a “cool season� grass species. This grass thrives in the winter climate of Saudi Arabia and, when combined with a special blend of stabilising fibres incorporated into the mix, it provides a surface which not only performs exceptionally well

but also looks visually stunning.

Timing was critical and the earth movement work had to be completed at breakneck speed as they needed to be ready to sow with the selected grass species as soon as temperatures reached the optimal level. Once sown, a daily bespoke maintenance regime was developed to ensure the correct levels of water }

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NEWS

“What they’ve done in the space of two months is remarkable” –Frankie Dettori

} and fertiliser were applied to maximise

Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

strong sward establishment. Deep rooting was critical to develop a grass surface that not only looked fantastic, but also held together under the stresses created by galloping horses. After several months of careful maintenance, the team was delighted to have presented and demonstrated, a track that is befitting of this prestigious race event. HRH Prince Bandar’s project in Riyadh is a great example of the STRI Group’s ability to problem solve. STRI has made its name developing elite sports surfaces across the world and the in-house R&D, combined with global network, means that

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they were able to adapt to even the most challenging of situations. “I’m very happy, although I’m not surprised. We engaged some of the best people in the world to design and work on the track. They said they would deliver and they have, so I’m extremely happy. STRI has done an amazing job,” explained His Excellency Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal.

“What has been achieved in a short period of time is staggering. We know STRI are world class, world leaders in their field, I think what they’ve done is superb. The detail and the attention that they’ve gone to is phenomenal. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with them. This track is unbelievably consistent, I don’t think you’ll walk on a more consistent racing surface anywhere in the world. It’s level, beautiful cambered bends. It’s some achievement. “What they’ve done in the space of two months (with this turf course) is remarkable,” said acclaimed jockey Frankie Dettori after his win on Dark Power.


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TEA BREAK TEASER

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Tea Break Teaser HHHHHHHHHH

Namesakes

HHHHHHHHHH

1. Which of these events was first: Alex Higgins winning his first World Snooker Championship; and John Higgins being born? 2. Which of the Bryan Brothers has won more titles, Bob or Mike? 3. Who has scored more World Cup final goals – Ronaldo (Brazil) or Ronaldo (Portugal)? 4. Who has the better Test average Robin Smith, of England, or Graeme Smith, of South Africa? 5. Who scored more goals for England, Andy Cole or Ashley Cole? 6. Who got more Welsh Rugby Union caps, Merv the Swerve Davies or Jonathan Jiffy Davies. 7. Who won the more individual Tour de France stages, Robert Millar or David Millar? 8. Who won more Grand Prix, Graham or Damon Hill? 9. Who scored more goals for Manchester United, Gary or Philip Neville? 10. Who made more appearances for Scotland, Gavin or Scott Hastings? 11. Who was older when they won The Open Championship, Fred or John Daly? 12. Who has more Formula 1 starts, Jos or Max Verstappen? 13. Which of the Norwegian Ingebrigtsen brothers is the European 1500 and 5000 metre champion – Henrik, Jakob or Filip? 14. Who was younger when they won their first Wimbledon title, Jamie or Andy Murray? 15. What was first – James Wade, dart player, being born or Virginia Wade winning her Wimbledon title? Answers on page 65

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GROUNDWOW

Scott MacCallum catches up with Tony Rhoades, CEO of GroundWOW, the world’s first automonous ground printer

Eureka moment for all to see W

Tony Rhoades

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e‘ve all experienced “Eureka!” moments in one form or another. Classical scholars among you will know that the exclamation “Eureka!” (from Greek heuréka, meaning “I have found it”) is attributed to the 16th century Greek scholar Archimedes who discovered volume displacement theory by observing the water level rise as he submerged into his bathtub. Eureka! is now used by anyone who makes discoveries. I, for instance, last exclaimed “Eureka!” when I discovered a £20 note down the back of the sofa. Great news for me, but not something which had a major impact on anyone else. For Tony Rhoades, however, his “Eureka!” moment came in the confines of his loft office but the consequences of his “discovery” will impact right across the globe. Tony is CEO of GroundWOW, the makers of the world’s first full colour

autonomous stadium ground printer. Like many great inventions, Tony’s came at an unexpected time. He’d recently resigned from a top innovation role to spend time with his father who had vascular dementia. In between six hour round trips home three to four times per week – “to visit dad or help mum fight for proper care” – he consulted on innovation projects (working until 1-2am most nights). While raising tens-of-millions in finance for clients, it occurred to him that he should raise finance to answer his own innovation questions. “What if you could print on ground as easily as printing on paper? What if anyone could print any image, any colour, any size, on any surface with a fully autonomous robot?” asked Tony. “I researched the market and technology, then proposed the idea in a competition run by InnovateUK, and within weeks I’d


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won two grants,” he explained. A few months later and Tony’s loft was a hive of industry as he juggled time between his dad (and mum), home, and a team growing in the loft. GroundWOW was born, although that name came later. “Our first proof of market and feasibility studies (and patents) originally targeted the thermoplastic market, i.e. road, pavement, and playground markings,” explained Tony. “In fact, our first working robot bonded thermoplastics to concrete/ asphalt, but we pivoted into full colour paint applications on turf after witnessing backbreaking work that stadium logo painters did everyday,” said Tony. “The more we observed it, we realised innovation was necessary. Sponsorship is the lifeblood of organisations at every level in sport. It was clear GroundWOW

could make printing sponsor-driven content in stadia incredibly fast, safe, environmentally friendly, and cost effective. We could make the capability accessible to all,” explained Tony. “Of course, sports surface painting has been around for ages, delivered by skilled installers using pre-prepared stencils, but increasingly facility owners want to achieve more with less, which GroundWOW achieves,” said Tony. He explained that GroundWOW can be printing in full colour within 10 minutes straight-out-of-the-box. With a fully supported management platform, any number of images/logos (or field layouts) can be pre-saved and printed on demand. It’s as easy as using a home printer. Users simply select the image, set a few preferences (surface, resolution, drag/drop location, etc), then press print and GroundWOW robots do the rest using pinpoint accuracy.

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After several years in development, with minor interruptions following the passing of Tony’s father, then his business partner, GroundWOW is on a firm foundation. Backed by co-founders of a global Unicorn business, GroundWOW today operates a 10,000 sq ft state-of-the-art innovation and production facility – with its own indoor turf test field. GroundWOW launched officially at Saltex last October and it’s fair to say that if GroundWOW was hoping for a gentle introduction to sports sponsorship, they were in for a shock. “The reaction has been mindblowing. We have enquiries worldwide; from places and sources you’d never expect, including cricket, cycling, football, rugby, education, golf, MLS, MLB, NFL, as well as broadcasting companies and others interested in global licensing,” explained Tony. Among those to get in touch was }

The Jockey Club wanted a logo of their title sponsor Magners Irish Cider on the turf at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

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GROUNDWOW

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“Like most other sectors, sport will take a hit financially as a result of coronavirus. But one thing is certain. Sport will return, and when it does, automation/ innovation, cost efficiency and new ways to generate revenue will be more important than ever.” } Tony’s University of Liverpool alumni, who placed him on a small list of graduates from 2000-2009 that were making significant achievements. “60,000 graduated during that time, so it’s amazing to be included – and on the back of it we had an enquiry from Canada.” One of GroundWOW’s first opportunities came from The Jockey Club who wanted a logo of their title sponsor Magners Irish Cider, on the turf at the Cheltenham Festival in March. “David Pritchard, our CCO, is tasked to prime the market – in fishing terms, to put some bread on the water – and engage early adopters who want to innovate within their sector. The Jockey Club stood out immediately as forward thinking, creative, and innovation focused. When they gave us the opportunity at The Festival we were delighted. “It’s a great example of what GroundWOW does. Cheltenham is a fabled venue and The Festival has a worldwide profile. The huge Magners logo took centre stage and was viewed by not only the thousands attending The Festival but the millions of television viewers across the world,” said Tony. After the thrill of delivering Cheltenham you’d think the impact of coronavirus, and the shut down of sport worldwide, would be a frustration but Tony is particularly bullish. “Not at all. We operate a streamlined, goal-driven plan, broken into sprints, so operating in isolation has made no difference. We’re not pressing pause. In fact, we’re in overdrive so we’re able to support the sports sector when coronavirus lockdown is lifted,” explained Tony. “We’re also investigating how deploying GroundWOW’s tech could help in future pandemics.” “Like most other sectors, sport will take a hit financially as a result of coronavirus. But one thing is certain. Sport will return, and when it does, automation/innovation, cost efficiency and new ways to generate revenue will be more important than ever. We believe GroundWOW can help the sector recover quickly – enabling executives and managers at clubs,

stadia, and event organisers to save money through automation, and to make money by turning grounds into advertising real estate in a matter of minutes,” explained Tony. “We’re prepared for rapid growth, advancing multiple international partnerships, and replication of our facility around the world. Our UK production facility has been designed and built to make scaling up an exact replica easy and fast. Effectively, we have a template for future factories. We’re an advanced engineering business, so why shouldn’t our entire operation be the same?” The company is growing apace with Tony’s philosophy, “if you are going to do it, plan deeply, mitigate risks, but get on with it.” There is one thing that he is keen to stress. It is something which was borne out of his childhood, learned at his father’s knee, and involves the threat new technology can have on jobs. “My father was a welder and latterly his job was augmented by robots. I can remember him saying to me that robots were a great thing as it meant no more repetitive strain injuries and no more back pain. He could see that his job was more secure, because working alongside robots made them more efficient as a business – and in fact the business expanded.” “He told me that all you need to do is make sure that you’re always the architect of progress and not its victim. That has stuck with me.” Tony explained that the best part of being a tech entrepreneur is that you get to invent great things, work with brilliant people (he emphasises that the GroundWOW team are amazing), and solve genuine problems, but that’s also the worst part because it impacts people negatively sometimes.

“I see GroundWOW being of interest to skilled pitch painters. They operate in backbreaking environments, often for eight hours per day. Ideally, those skilled painters become the masters of GroundWOW robots, removing backbreaking work and enabling them to be the architects of progress. That could be a win:win for both themselves and stadia owner/operators.” Now that would truly be a Eureka moment.

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NATURAL TURF MAINTENANCE

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Non-chemical solutions for fusarium and worm casts T

he final banning of the fungicide Propiconazole in March has added fresh urgency to the need for greenkeepers and groundsmen to find non-chemical, or cultural, alternatives to their turf challenges. Two turf problems that have traditionally been treated by chemicals are worm casts and fungal diseases such as Fusarium Patch, Dollar Spot, Anthracnose, and Brown patch. The have typically been treated with fungicides containing chemicals such as Prochloraz, Iprodione or Propiconazole.

Banned chemicals Prochloraz based products were banned from June 2017, followed by those containing Iprodione in June 2018. More recently, those with the active ingredient Propiconazole were banned from sale in June 2019, and the final date for their use or disposal has now just expired in March 2020. Admittedly, there are still products containing other fungicide ingredients available on the market at the moment, but for how long? And added to this is the problem of diseases becoming resistant to repeated use of the same chemicals. Worm suppressants are a similar situation, with the long-time favourite ingredient Carbendazim having been banned in 2017.

Alternative treatments So what alternatives do sportsturf professionals have to meet the need to provide high quality playing surfaces? There is an increasing awareness

that a combination of better soil management assisted with mechanical treatments is the sustainable way forward in managing these problems. Some greenkeepers are turning to biological controls and increasing their fungi and bacteria content within the soil to help them combat disease. This is a long-term, and potentially expensive strategy, and certainly not an overnight solution like a dose of the old fungicide. On the worm cast front, again a soil management policy, in this case to increase its the acidity, is believed to reduce worm presence.

Cultural practices One option that helps with both problems is brushing. This longestablished cultural practice has multiple benefits. These include dispersing the dew and standing the grass plant up to allow better air circulation around it, thus

creating a less humid, and diseaseprone environment for it to live in. Further benefits include improved quality of cut of the erect grass blades, and better clipping dispersal without clumping when the dew is brushed off prior to mowing. Worm casts are also easily dispersed by brushing, and with modern brushing equipment such as the GreenTek MaxiBrush having working widths in excess of five metres, it is possible to brush whole golf courses or multiple sports pitches on a daily basis. The smallest of modern lightweight compact tractors have the capacity to operate these wide brushes, ensuring that turf wear through regular use is minimised. Despite the understandable concern each time the banning of another chemicals is announced, greenkeepers and groundsmen are still managing to find innovative ways to continue to maintain healthy sports turf.

Brushing disperses worm casts and dew, reducing fusarium risk, and enabling clump-free mowing

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What’s underneath my feet? B

eing able to observe visual symptoms certainly makes diagnosing playing surface problems easier. However, what happens when you see your turf is not happy, but there are no obvious causes? STRI’s Research Operation Manager, Dr Christian Spring pulls on his deerstalker and encourages turf managers to use their detective skills to hunt for clues. Soil being opaque, certainly makes it hard to see what is going on, but there are pointers there if you know what to look for. Are there root or capillary breaks? Are there layers where growing conditions are poor, such as black layer or water-logged regions? However, sometimes we can’t see what is causing the issue. Step-up soil testing. Being able to test soil to assess the physical and chemical growing environment of turf can be a critical tool in resolving issues. If it was felt that the causes of observed problems lay in the soil growing environment, what can we do to shine a light onto these causal factors?

Take good representative soil samples There are some golden rules we need to follow for how we take soil samples from sport surfaces and how we do this will be directed by the nature and distribution of the turf issues. If we are doing routine testing, then a representative sample from across the whole pitch or green is essential (Figure 1). This is best achieved by taking multiple cores from across the whole surface, so that the sample is representative of all the topographical and environmental gradients we typically see across playing surface. However, if we have only certain areas affected by a particular problem, the best approach is to take multiple samples from the affected area, as one sample, and then multiple samples from unaffected turf in the surrounding area. By taking separate samples from both areas, it allows comparison of the affected turf with unaffected healthy turf. 28 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

Figure 1, above. Figure 2, below

What to test for?

Physical testing

The type of diagnostic test needed will depend on whether the testing is part of a routine monitoring programme or to investigate particular turf issues. However, we can divide testing into whether we are interested in the physical or chemical environment. Physical testing of a soil or rootzone tends to focus on the following aspects: • Particles size analysis of the components that make up the soil • Organic matter content of the soil, either on bulk construction materials or measured at various depths down a profile • Air/water balance in the soil, as defined by the proportion of the pore structure that is filled with air or water under typical conditions • Water flow through the rootzone to provide a direct indicator of drainage capacity. Chemical testing tends to investigate the following: • Soil pH • Plant available nutrients, such as phosphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium • Phytotoxic contaminants, such as heavy metals.

Testing of the physical components of a soil or rootzone, to establish how they fit together and their effect on the physical growing environment, is most often carried out during construction of a surface. Physical testing is often carried out as part of the feasibility and design stages of sports surface construction. Testing should also be carried out during the building of the surface to ensure that the materials install meet the design specification. However, on problematic surfaces, physical testing is often used to diagnose issues and help to identify mitigation strategies. For example, if a surface is not draining sufficiently and is retaining too much water, physical testing will be important to identify the root causes and therefore highlight what could be done to resolve these issues. This will often involve analysis of: • The presence of any layering (especially with fine materials that would retard drainage) • The fineness of the particles making up the growing medium, as how the individual particles fit together strongly affects drainage • The pore size distribution,


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which affects both drainage and water retention • Presence of organic layers that hold onto water and can retard water infiltration • Measurement of compaction at different depths in the profile.

Chemical testing Testing a growing medium for its chemical characteristics is often important as part of both routine maintenance and when resolving specific turf issues. One of the most important soil chemical properties is pH. This property strongly affects the ecology of the soil environment and what will grow in it. Grass species have specific pH preferences (Figure 2), which means that turf managers can use soil pH modification to encourage grass species they want and discourage those they don’t. Modification of soil pH is often used on golf courses to encourage fine grass species, such as fescues and browntop bent, whilst discouraging earthworm activity (earthworms tend to prefer neutral pH or mildly alkaline soils). Soil pH also has a significant effect on soil nutrient availability. Most plant nutrients tend to be available when

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Soil testing is often used to provide an indicator of soil nutrient status. From this any deficiencies in any of the nutrients can be assessed and addressed. soil pH is around neutral. If we see deficiency symptoms, there maybe sufficient nutrient present, it may just be locked up due to extremes of pH. By adjusting pH, it is possible to release those locked up nutrients. However, before trying to adjust soil pH it is essential to look at the whole agronomic situation to ensure that by solving one issue, another more problematic issue, such as worm casting activity, is not created. Assessing the exact nutrient requirements of turf and relating this to fertiliser recommendations is a very important but often confusing agronomic subject. The aim is simple, to provide enough nutrients during a grass plants growing season to maintain plant health and optimal growth. However, the execution is often less straight forward. This is in due to: • Deficiency symptoms in grass plants can often be difficult to tell

apart from other stress symptoms • Different theories about what constitutes sufficient levels of nutrition • Differences between laboratory test methods in how much nutrient is extracted from the soil and how plant available that nutrient it • Interpretation of what levels of nutrient constitute low, adequate or high. Soil testing is often used to provide an indicator of soil nutrient status. From this any deficiencies in any of the nutrients can be assessed and addressed. Typically, a standard soil nutrient analysis will comprise soil pH, available phosphorous and potassium and could also include soil calcium and magnesium. These provide indicators of what key nutrients might be needed. It is noticeable that nitrogen, one of }

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NATURAL TURF MAINTENANCE

What’s underneath my feet? } the most important plant nutrients, is not measured. Why is this? It is because the release of nitrogen in soils is controlled by microbial activity. If a sample was taken and it sits in a warm moist environment in the plastic bag during shipping, nitrogen will be released as a result of microbial activity, and therefore available nitrogen levels will be considerably different to those under field conditions. Therefore, to assess soil nitrogen requirements, it is much better to use grass growth data, plant health information and past

experience to set nitrogen input levels.

Super sleuth Soil testing can be a very useful tool in a turf sleuth’s armoury. It can give us a great way to visualise and understand aspects of the soil physical and chemical environment that may be detrimental to plant health and growth. However, we must remember that soil testing is only as good as the test methods used and for these data to be useful they need careful interpretation, based on scientific knowledge and

experience. Therefore, it pays to go through soil testing results with an agronomist to interpret what areas may or may not be of concern. Soil testing is a very useful tool, but is certainly not the answer to a problem, but will help us get to the answer! n Turf Matters is grateful to the STRI Group for permission to publish this article, which first appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of the STRI’s Bulletin. For more information on the STRI Group and its services, go to strigroup.com

Koro FTM perfect for Feyenoord F

or six years Feyenoord Head Groundsman, Erwin Beltman, has evolved pitch maintenance at Rotterdam’s biggest football club, and having his own Koro Fieldtopmaker with Universe Rotor is the latest part of his plan. During his time at the club, he and his team have been awarded the Eredivisie Pitch of the Year five years in a row from 2014-2018 for the surface at De Kuip. When he joined the club, after spending eight years at the Royal Hague Golf and Country

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Club, a majority of work including renovations was done by contractors. This caused certain irritations around scheduling and often left his plans at the mercy of the weather, but as the club has progressed, they have invested in machinery, and the grounds team are now able to carry out their own renovations. “When I started six years ago, the club didn’t have enough money for machines, and they didn’t know what the club would be in six years. We had fewer machines, and we did everything using

contractors, that included seeding, using the FTM and aerating,” explained Erwin. “I’d have to call a contractor and hope that it would be good weather to do the job and it really irritated me sometimes. If you say you want to do the work on a Monday you have to call up the week before, and the weather in Holland isn’t predictable, so for me, it was a problem. “I wanted to be able to do everything by myself, and over the six years, we’ve got all of our own machines. This summer we have made some good investments, including the Koro,” he said. }


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“…we renovated two amateur pitches. We were able to do both in one day starting from half six and ending at five, and they were cleaner than they’ve ever been before.” } “The Koro is particularly useful

because it has the Universe rotor which was developed for renovation use on natural and Desso pitches leaving a perfect surface to carry on with the rest of the renovation processes. As we have three Desso pitches and three natural, and we can now do our own work on them. “Last summer we did three, but in the future when the new academy is finished, we will use the Koro® on six pitches. We can start whenever we want, go as late as we want and do two pitches in one day, so it’s all in our own hands.” In August 2018 construction began on the new Feyenoord Academy and Sports Club Feyenoord. During this time the club has had to use some

amateur pitches which have also been renovated using the FTM. With help from Campey dealer, Heybroek, Erwin and his team used the machine for the first time themselves on a hybrid first-team pitch before using it on the amateur pitches, and the results across all surfaces have been impressive. “Last summer we did the first pitch at 1908, the first team training facilities, and it was the first one we did by ourselves with the machine. It was very exciting, but we were very nervous about how the machine works and how we would do it, but the results were very nice to see. It was easy to use, and we got a lot of good advice from Heybroek, and they spent a lot of time with us and advising us – I know a lot about grass but not about the

machines so that combination was good. “After that, because we haven’t finished building the new academy, we renovated two amateur pitches. We were able to do both in one day starting from half six and ending at five, and they were cleaner than they’ve ever been before. “One of the amateur pitches is a really, really old Desso and it was quite satisfying to see how the Koro worked on that because every year there were problems on that pitch with the contractor. It’s an Under-19s pitch which they use for training, and they love it now. I think it’s 40 or 50% better than last year and for that pitch, it’s really satisfying.”

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NATURAL TURF MAINTENANCE

SISIS keeps turf at Colliers Park

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wo SISIS machines are helping to keep the natural grass pitches clean and healthy at Colliers Park according to Dylan Thompson, Grounds Maintenance Manager. Colliers Park in Gresford, Wales, has recently benefitted from a major renovation following the FA of Wales’ acquisition of the site. It has now transformed into an elite training facility which boasts two full-size training pitches and a synthetic pitch. Dylan embarked on his new role in March 2019 and found himself with an arsenal of brand-new turf maintenance equipment at his disposal. The new equipment was based on what the grounds staff use at Dragon Park (the 32 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

FAW’s other football development centre) and there were two machines which particularly caught Dylan’s eye. “After using them for the first time I could immediately see why both the SISIS Quadraplay and the SISIS Multitiner were high priority,” said Dylan. “They are both superbly built and can carry out a wide range of tasks.” As Dylan explained, the multifunctional SISIS Quadraplay single pass maintenance system is perfect for busy groundsmen as it 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. “We’ve got the four implements and we mainly use it for brushing and raking. When we are brushing, we will have the slitter down and go as low as we can go just to provide a little aeration – it is great at breaking up the surface algae if we have any. The roller is used to give the pitch a light roll, rather than compacting and is perfect for a nice presentation. “With regards to raking we will vary


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healthy the depth depending on how aggressive we want to be. We’ve done a lot of raking this summer because there was a lot of thinning out required. It has kept the pitch nice and clean so that it is not suffocating. “I would say that we use the Quadraplay at least once a month – it’s nice and easy to use and changing the depth of the implements is incredibly simple. It is one of those machines which you can get on and complete a number of tasks within a short timeframe. “Likewise, the Multitiner has 3-point linkage, no hydraulics and there is no messing about – it is quick, simple to set-up and effective.” For further aeration requirements Dylan relies on the SISIS Multitiner 1.8m - a tractor mounted drum-type aerator. It has three drums with independent rotation and its interchangeable tines with a maximum depth of 100mm ensure excellent turf care when the time comes to aerate. “The amount we use it all depends on the amount of pitch usage and the weather conditions but we have a general rule of trying to use it on a fortnightly basis,” said Dylan. “On the fibresand pitches we try and keep the structure firm so we will use the Multitiner just to give us a bit of surface aeration. “Ultimately it keeps the turf healthy and clean and that is exactly what I want.” www.sisis.com

People with something to say, say it on the Turf Matters YouTube channel Go to YouTube.com, search for ‘Turf Matters’ and find out why we’re our industry’s most watched channel. New, views, glimpses behind the scenes and opinions from those at grass roots level, to those at the top of their game.

More than a magazine… our cameras search out and bring you stories from across the UK

Because Turf Matters… Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 33


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THE INDUSTRY STANDS TOGETHER

STAY HOME

PROTECT THE NHS

SAVE LIVES

Together,

CORONA We at Turf Matters are well aware of the impact Coronavirus is having on every aspect of our lives. It is something that has not been faced by any of us in our lifetimes. We are all trying to get through the next few weeks and months as best as we can. Keeping working, if we are at all able to, helps retain some sort of normality in what are anything but normal times. We are a small, close-knit industry which is good in so many ways. We always have someone to call on while help is always there when needed. In other ways it is not so good, however. Being small makes us more vulnerable and we can lack the resources which help bigger industries cushion themselves through hard times. It can be a hand to mouth existence, something we’ve seen when weather extremes have impacted on various elements of our industry.

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we’ll beat

AVIRUS It all means we must stick together wherever possible. For that reason we at Turf Matters are giving a shout out to all our partnering companies. We wish you all well over the difficult times ahead. You can be assured that Turf Matters will be with you, side by side, through it all. We not only have our health to protect but our futures and we will provide all the help we can to showcase the work you continue to do and perhaps shine a light on the wonderful, often behind the scenes acts of kindness, for which our great industry is known. Let’s take care, let’s stay well, let’s stick together, let’s get through this. Scott MacCallum Editor

Turf Matters | MAY-JUNE 2020 | 35


CORONAVIRUS

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WEMBLEY’S HEARTFELT TRIBUTE: The national stadium is bedecked in NHS blue as it salutes those caring for the country at a time of crisis

In our world, this equates to rightly prioritising drainage Well, here we are in what should be a celebration of spring and welcoming it with an anticipation of what should be a new season of outstanding sport. And yet, and yet that is furthest from our minds. I bow to no-one in my enthusiasm for sport of all persuasions. I love it all. But even I have consigned that to a small corner of my consciousness and, instead, devote all my thoughts and prayers to hoping that we come out of this natural catastrophe, blooded but unbowed, and able to start afresh. To be honest, I don’t see life going back to what was considered normal only a matter of weeks ago. This is a real game-changer and even when the curse of coronavirus has finally met its match, life will be completely different. And I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. We have, through no fault of anyone, devoted our thoughts to all things superficial in modern times – the flashiest new phone; the most powerful games console; the most exotic holiday, and so it goes on. We are all guilty of it. But then so are our powers-that-be. I’m thinking

of HS2, speedy rail travel is a laudable ambition but not at the expense of a fully functioning, but dare I say it, more basic service; the third runway at Heathrow, and the promise of 5G across the land, when many of us are still pining for the third generation. All have diverted resource and effort from what will now become much more important – strong, well-funded health and social care services. In our lives it equates to drainage. We all know the importance of drainage, and what a difference it makes if it is functioning well or invested in. But it’s not sexy. From a golf perspective, members, frustratingly, prefer to see that great new green complex, imposing new bunker or, indeed, new carpets or lockers in the clubhouse. Lovely and very noticeable but not what keeps the wheels turning. That drainage, which causes grumbles from those members who even know it has been done, will allow a course to remain open, or a pitch keep a match from being postponed and let more people enjoy their sport. Going forward, and for some considerable time to come I suspect, we will be thinking carefully about

jumping on a plane and heading off somewhere sunny or heading off across the country to attend a music festival. More mundane pursuits will become more important – our local open spaces and parks; our stately homes; our local sports teams and not the superstar clubs 50 miles away. Local bus services will become more important again and not ripe for scrapping; local convenience stores will again help prevent large congregations of people; more people will discover that it is possible to work from home, lessening the daily commuter congestion and decent and local health provision, preventing the need for visits to massive centrally-located hospitals. All good things which will become the new normal. And let’s face it. It will give the planet itself some much needed breathing space and it might help restore the balance whereby the planet outlives us and not the other way around. The world will, and needs to, hit the reset button and get back to more drainage work. Scott MacCallum Editor Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 37


CORONAVIRUS

Phil uses line marker to issue a big thank you Phil Isherwood Turfcare of Clitheroe, Lancashire, has used his Rigby Taylor TinyLineMarker (TLM) robotic line marking machine and Impact paint to mark a ‘Thank you, NHS’ message on Clitheroe Rugby Club’s pitch. Phil provides a range of services to the turf industry – including work at the rugby club – and he has created the message to thank the NHS. “They do amazing work,” he said in an interview with the Lancashire Telegraph, “and deserve the recognition and applause they are getting. I just want to say thank you for working on the front line and helping save lives.” Used to create this special ‘thank you, NHS’ message, Rigby Taylor’s TLM utilises the latest GPS technology with RTK receiver and antenna that connects with global satellites and mobile network connections. It takes the input of pitch line dimensions and multiple pitches via an app and re-positions them to best fit the site using Google Maps. Once stored, the lines are never lost, even if they disappear if a pitch is not used for any length of time.

38 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

What the With one voice, our industry is urging everyone to adopt sensible precautions, maintain two-metre distances apart and observe common sense. Sticking to government advice and guidance will enable us to return to our jobs and the industry we love as soon as we can. For now we all have to adhere to the clear message of ‘Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives’. MEMBER associations

The Grounds Management Association, formerly the IoG, offers comprehensive advice on its website, www.thegma.org.uk. A specific Covid-19 section offers guidance in products and services, guidance for professional and volunteer grounds staff, guidance on health and wellbeing and guidance for employers and employees. It also contains useful links to national governing bodies of sport and guidance on interim work on sports turf across a range of disciplines. In a message to members, Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Webb, says: “At this difficult and unprecedented time, we understand that livelihoods and businesses may be at stake. It has proved difficult to get complete clarity for our entire membership, but we’re working hard to get a deeper understanding by networking and raising your concerns with the sports bodies, and government. “Our membership is hugely diverse and operates across multiple sports and sectors – and we’re listening to concerns from professionals and volunteers working in multiple environments, and across sectors. We strongly advise that all those working in the grounds industry monitor the government’s latest guidance, and frequently check the website for your relevant body. “Ultimately, our primary concern is protecting the safety and wellbeing of anyone and everyone across the turf care sector.”

The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) also has a Covid-19 section on their website, www.bigga.org.uk. It contains a useful FAQ section, explaining, among other topics, that greenkeepers are not considered key workers and offering guidance on furloughing. Other services that BIGGA offer members, such as the HR Helpline, BIGGA legal assistance, confidential counselling helpline and the Greenkeepers Benevolent Fund, are continuing to operate as normal throughout this period.

Rugby The Rugby Football Union has suspended all rugby activity in England at both professional and community level. Where possible, players at all levels are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, while following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environments. The RFU will continue to review and monitor government advice and will provide detailed updates on their website, www.englandrugby.com The main message to Rugby Union ground staff and volunteers is to ideally continue with all, or most, of the typical good maintenance practices but at a reduced intensity to meet the needs of your particular pitch.

Golf The R&A has set out a reduced, essential maintenance regime for greenkeeping that protects workers, jobs and secures golfing facilities for the physical and mental wellbeing of millions of golfers who will resume play when social distancing rules are ended. The UK’s £2bn GVA golf industry is only sustainable if greenkeepers continue to work, safely and securely. The industry statement outlines those treatments considered essential for the safe maintenance of a golf course during the current government restrictions. It is accepted that golf courses exist in many different forms, on many different soil types and in differing landscapes and that this guidance may require adaptation.


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industry is saying The primary consideration must be the health and wellbeing of greenkeeping staff. All golf facilities should implement stringent measures to ensure staff members are not at risk. The amount of time that greenkeeping staff are at work should be kept to a minimum and be tailored to fit with the agreed essential maintenance programme. Measures should include but are not limited to: • Focus on hygiene and social distancing • Ensure staff members work separately • Allocate individual machinery to one worker only • If multiple staff on site, then stagger working hours and break times • Limit or prohibit use of communal areas • Regularly disinfect any surface that is contacted e.g. door handles, fuel pumps, communal machinery • Ensure there is a robust lone working policy. Greens should be mown according to the rate of growth to a maximum of three times per week. Dew removal should be considered on non-mowing days as required to prevent disease spread. Tees and green surrounds should be mown according to the rate of growth to a maximum of once per week. Fairways should be mown according to the rate of growth to a maximum of once per week. Managed roughs and grass paths should be mown according to need to a maximum of once every two weeks. Only roughs considered to be in direct play should be mown allowing for naturalisation to areas largely out of play. The height of cut adopted for all these areas is site specific but the elevation of the cutting height on fine turf areas is advised to minimise unnecessary stress on the turf. The aim of the above operations is to maintain uniformity, density, texture and health to allow surfaces to be quickly brought back to an appropriate playing standard once play resumes. Irrigation and nutrition should be carried out as necessary but with the objectives of keeping the turf alive, maintaining a full sward and preventing turf thinning. Avoid excesses of either input which will only serve to promote unnecessary growth and necessitate more maintenance. Machinery and equipment maintenance should be carried out as required to ensure that essential equipment is kept safe and operational. Operations such as maintaining

bunkers, penalty areas, wider practice facilities (other than greens and tees), aeration, top dressing and spraying are not considered essential at this time. However, it is conceivable that occasional spraying to control an acute pest, weed or disease problem may be considered essential at times and in some circumstances.

Cricket The England Cricket Board guidance is a collaboration between Professor Nick Pierce (ECB Chief Medical Officer), David Newman (ECB Emergency Care Coordinator) and Andy MacKay (ECB Pitch and Grounds Advisor). In this instance, the advice relates ground staff performing essential work, both paid and volunteer. Should you decide that essential grounds care needs to continue to look after your facilities, you must do so in line with current government guidance. This includes keeping ground staff to minimum numbers, preferably no more than two, that any visits are carefully staggered and particular heightened attention is made to evidence that surfaces carry significant and prolonged risk of contamination. The use of regular shared indoor facilities such as rest rooms, kitchens and changing rooms should be avoided where possible.

Horseracing The British Horseracing Authority has confirmed that all horseracing in Britain will be suspended until further notice. Jump racing will not return until at least 1 July 2020. The formal decision was taken by Board of the British Horseracing Authority based on statements made by the government and after consultation with senior industry leaders. Medical advisers to the RCA and the BHA, who have been advising an industry group on the response to the crisis, have also been consulted. The BHA took the decision to protect essential emergency services and the health and welfare of staff working in the racing industry. Racecourses and racing have obligations to ensure the safety of participants and provide medical cover which clearly cannot be fulfilled in these circumstances.

Football The most important fixture of the year so far, according to the English Football League is STAY (H). In an open letter to football supporters, Rick Parry, EFL Chair, said: “It is often said that football is like a family, and we have seen that many of those undertaking vital work are fans of EFL Clubs. From Bristol to Bolton and Colchester to Carlisle, supporters across the country are among the heroes making a positive impact, and it has been heartening to see and hear the stories of people coming together at such a crucial time. “Our Clubs are also rising to the challenge and are carrying out important work in their local communities. We know that eight in 10 people in England and Wales live within a 15-mile radius of an EFL club, so whether it’s offering practical, emotional or physical support, the help football Clubs are providing should not be underestimated. “It is, of course, by continuing to adhere to Government guidelines that we can all play our part in the national effort against coronavirus and so I’d also like to take this opportunity to urge you all to stay at home. In doing so, you will save lives. “When it comes to footballing matters, I understand the desire among fans for definitive answers, particularly around the conclusion of 2019/20 campaign. As I am sure you will appreciate, the situation presents significant operational and financial challenges, including the logistics of Clubs returning to full operational status, the practicalities of playing football behind closed doors, and the possible knock-on effects for the 2020/21 campaign. Please be assured that we are working hard on these and will update you as soon as we can.”

Bowls David Tucker, Chair of Bowls England, said: “The staff team has been inundated with requests for assistance from clubs and individuals, especially with regard to greens maintenance and funding. We worked closely with the Institute of Groundsmanship to produce a detailed guide on essential greens maintenance work and have also released a detailed document highlighting just some of the financial support that is available both locally and nationally for clubs.”

ON A ROLL: Who would have thought that toilet rolls would become so sought after?

Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 39


CORONAVIRUS

‘They put aside their own safety for us’ Ian Darler, Stadium Manager at Cambridge United FC writes: “During my 40 years at Cambridge United, as well as being the head groundsman, I was very fortunate to work alongside all the emergency services for 30 years whilst acting as the football club match day safety officer. “The doctors, ambulance officers, paramedics, police and fire service I worked alongside were a great team. When an emergency situation happened, it was like a well-oiled machine – because that is what they do in our time of need. “I have always been amazed by the quality of service the NHS staff and emergency service staff provide whilst putting aside their own safety. I feel very privileged to have worked alongside so many of these outstanding people and have witnessed their outstanding commitment to help others. “I felt that we had to say thanks to all the very brave, caring NHS staff and emergency service staff for working in such challenging times.”

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Advice for employers E

mployees’ health, safety and well-being during this pandemic should be paramount. Employers have a statutory duty of care for people’s health and safety, and to provide a safe place to work, but there’s also a strong moral responsibility to ensure that employees feel safe and secure in their employment. Employers need to be proactive to protect their people and minimise the risk of the virus spreading. The government has said that anyone who is able to, should work from home. Employers’ duty of care for the health and safety of their employees includes anyone who is working remotely. Many people will be concerned about the risk of infection and will need reassurance. Communicate clearly to employees that they need to take basic hygiene precautions, such as effective hand-washing, and avoid all non-essential travel and social contact to help reduce the spread of the virus. Follow official advice closely and advise them on what to do if they think they may have caught the virus, or are at risk of contracting it.

Self-isolation and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Many people will need to selfisolate based on official guidance. The government has announced a range of new measures around statutory sick pay (SSP). If employee or worker needs to self-isolate, they are entitled to SSP. This includes individuals who have been told to self-isolate by a doctor or NHS 111, those who have Covid-19, or who have the symptoms, or if someone in their household has symptoms. It also applies to people caring for those in the same household who display Covid-19 symptoms and have been told to self-isolate. If someone has symptoms, everyone in their household must self-isolate for 14 days. If someone lives alone, they must self-isolate for seven days. The government has also announced that SSP will be made available from day one (instead of

from day four) for those affected by coronavirus when self-isolating. The Budget also announced measures whereby employers with less than 250 employees can claim a refund for Covid-19 related SSP costs (up to two weeks per employee).

Medical evidence for SSP Employees can currently self-certify for the first seven days, and government advice is that employers should use discretion around the need for medical evidence for absence where an employee is advised to self-isolate in the current exceptional circumstances. In the Budget, the Government announced it will introduce a temporary alternative to the current fit note for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak whereby those in self-isolation can obtain a notification via NHS 111 to use as evidence for absence from work. An alternative option to providing sick pay is to allow people who are asked to self-isolate, but are not unwell, to work from home wherever possible, and they continue to be paid as normal. • Reassure employees if they have concerns, and keep them well informed about your organisation’s policies and contingency plans, particularly in relation to the specific guidelines for employees who have returned from affected areas, or have been in contact with an infected person or with an individual who has returned from affected areas. • Make sure everyone, including managers, understands which sick pay and leave policies apply and how these will be implemented. Actively communicate this advice with your people, customers and suppliers. • Implement an internal communication strategy so that employees are aware of measures being taken to manage the situation in your organisation. Understand that some people may have real concerns about catching the virus, while others may have worries about family or friends stranded in an affected area or in a higher-risk group. It’s important to strike the balance between your organisation


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and its people being prepared for the significant spread of the virus whilst reassuring people that there is no need to panic. Ensure that line managers are regularly informed about the organisation’s contingency plans and how to discuss the situation with any concerned employees, and where to signpost people to for further advice or support, including employee assistance programmes and/or counselling if they are anxious. • Promote the resources you have available to support people’s health and well-being generally, including those through an employee assistance programme. If large numbers of people are now working from home in line with government advice, provide ongoing support and communications. Some could start to feel socially isolated and/or anxious about the situation. Make sure you listen to any concerns, and that they take care of their mental well-being. Mental health charity Mind has published guidance on coronavirus and well-being. • Now that the virus is spreading widely and the risk of infection is heightened, be prepared to increase the level of support you provide to staff and adjust your resourcing plans accordingly. Keep in mind anyone who may be more vulnerable due to a pre-existing health condition, or disability, age, or pregnancy, and be aware of the additional duties you have as an employer to these specific groups of employees.

STAY HOME

PROTECT THE NHS

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SAVE LIVES

Stay at home n Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home) n If you go out, stay two metres (6ft) away from other people at all times n Wash your hands as soon as you get home. How is it transmitted and how do I protect myself? n The virus mainly spreads from person to person through droplet transmission. It can survive on surfaces for 72 hours. n The best way to protect yourself is to properly wash your hands often and stay at home Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 41


CORONAVIRUS

Organisers: SALTEX should be OK for November These are challenging times for us all. First and foremost, everyone at SALTEX hopes that you, your colleagues, businesses, and your families are keeping safe and well. Recognising the challenges in front of us, we wish to assure you that planning for SALTEX 2020 continues to be in full swing. After recent consultation with our strategic partners we are hopeful that the situation we face today will have passed and that SALTEX will take place on 4 and 5 November. SALTEX has faced many challenges in its 74-year history and everyone associated with the exhibition has always shown resilience. It is this strength and unity that defines this fantastic industry. We are ever mindful of the government advice and guidance. We live in hope that after this period of darkness, SALTEX and the groundscare industry will be a shining light as we plan for a brighter future and return to better days ahead. SALTEX 2020 will be a great opportunity for the industry to come together, to re-unite and to look ahead to the future. It is our hope that we can all gather as one and that SALTEX’s 75th anniversary will be the most vibrant and celebrated event in its long history. Please take care of yourselves and loved ones and remember to offer extra support to those most vulnerable. Try and maintain a positive outlook and we look forward to brighter days ahead – because they will come.

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How are you During this time, you may be bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also feel low, worried, anxious, or be concerned about your health or that of those close to you. Everyone reacts differently to events and changes in the way that we think, feel and behave vary between different people and over time. It’s important that you take care of your mind as well as your body and to get further support if you need it.

What can help your mental health and wellbeing Consider how to connect with others: Maintaining relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family via telephone, video calls or social media instead of meeting in person – whether it’s people you normally see often or connecting with old friends. Help and support others: Think about how you could help those around you – it could make a big difference to them and can make you feel better too. Could you message a friend or family member nearby? Are there community groups that you could join to support others locally? Remember it’s important to do this in line with guidance on coronavirus to keep yourself and everyone safe. And try to be accepting of other people’s concerns, worries or behaviours. Talk about your worries: It is quite common to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember that this is a difficult time for everyone and sharing how you are feeling and the things you are doing to cope with family and friends can help them too. If you don’t feel able to do that, there are people you can speak to via NHS recommended helplines or you could find support groups online to connect with. Look after your physical wellbeing: Your physical health has a big impact on how you are feeling emotionally and mentally. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise inside where possible and outside once a day, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs. If you are able to go outside, consider

walking or gardening (keeping the recommended two metres from others as outlined in the social distancing guidance). If you are staying at home, you can find free easy 10 minute work outs from Public Health England or other exercise videos to try at home on the NHS Fitness Studio. Sport England also has good tips for keeping active at home. Look after your sleep: Feeling anxious or worried can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Goodquality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically, so it’s important to get enough. Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns and keep good sleep hygiene practices – like avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment. The Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep. Try to manage difficult feelings: Many people find the news about coronavirus concerning. However, some people may experience such intense anxiety that it becomes a problem. Try to focus on the things you can control, including where you get information from and actions to make yourself feel better prepared. It is okay to acknowledge some things that are outside of your control right now but constant repetitive thoughts about the situation which lead you to feel anxious or overwhelmed are not helpful. The Every Mind Matters page on anxiety on the www. nhs.uk website and NHS mental wellbeing audio guides provide further information on how to manage anxiety. Manage your media and information intake: 24-hour news and constant social media updates can make you more worried. If it is affecting you, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading, or listening to media coverage of the outbreak. It may help to only check the news at set times or limiting to a couple of checks a day. Get the facts: Gather high-quality information that will help you to accurately determine your own or other people’s risk of contracting coronavirus so that you can take reasonable precautions. Find a credible source you can trust such as www. gov.uk, or the NHS website www. nhs.uk, and fact-check information that you get from newsfeeds, social


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COPING? media or from other people. Think about how possibly inaccurate information could affect others too. Try not to share information without fact-checking against credible sources.

to engage in useful activities (such as cleaning, cooking or exercise) or meaningful activities (such as reading or calling a friend). You might find it helpful to write a plan for

Think about your new daily routine: Life is changing for us all for a while. Whether you are staying at home or social distancing, you are likely to see some disruption to your normal routine. Think about how you can adapt and create positive new routines – try

your day or your week. Do things you enjoy: When you are anxious, lonely or low you may do things that you usually enjoy less often, or not at all. Focussing on your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax indoors should give you some relief from anxious thoughts and

feelings and can boost your mood. If you can’t do the things you normally enjoy because you are staying at home, try to think about how you could adapt them, or try something new. There are lots of free tutorials and courses online and people are coming up with innovative online solutions like online pub quizzes and streamed live music concerts. Set goals: Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose – think about things you want or need to do that you can still do at home. It could be watching a film, reading a book or learning something online. Keep your mind active: Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting. Find something that works for you. Take time to relax and focus on the present: This can help with difficult emotions, worries about the future, and can improve wellbeing. Relaxation techniques can also help some people to deal with feelings of anxiety. If you can, once a day get outside, or bring nature in: Spending time in green spaces can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. If you can’t get outside much you can try to still get these positive effects by spending time with the windows open to let in fresh air, arranging space to sit and see a nice view (if possible) and get some natural sunlight, or get out into the garden if you can. Remember that social distancing guidelines enable you to go outside to exercise once a day as long as you keep two metres apart from others who are not members of your household group.

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RIDE-ON MOWERS

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Etesia launch Hydro 80 ride-on mower T

he Hydro 80 MKHP5 can cut and collect in all conditions with the added benefit of a differential lock. The new model joins the popular Hydro 80 range and will give operators extra traction and stability on difficult, uneven and undulating terrain by reducing wheel spin, reducing damage to the grass and aid in cutting presentation. The versatile mower also benefits from a mulching insert included as standard. The 80cm cutting width, 240 litre collecting box and impressive Kawasaki FS481H 11.7 kW engine give it the cutting performance and raw power to impress while operating. Thanks to a range of additional accessories including a snow plough, users are able to extend the versatility of the machine so that it is ready for any scenario 365-days-a-year. The Hydro 80 MKHP5 cuts

and collects both long and short grass – without clogging. Add to that its compact dimensions measuring just 1.98m x 0.90m wide, it is easily transported in a van or trailer. It can pass through most gateways and its tight turning circle make it ideal for small or awkward areas. It mows close to walls and fences and is highly manoeuvrable and efficient offering the kind of output that would easily replace three walk-behind mowers. Cutting height and emptying of the grass collector can all be adjusted or carried out from the driving seat, while the steering console is fitted with a timer, rev counter and electric starter. A hose pipe fitting makes cleaning the cutting system quick and easy, while the tool-free access to the engine allows for easy maintenance thanks to quick access to all mechanical parts. As with all Etesia machines,

the new Hydro 80 MKHP5 rideon mower comes standard with a comprehensive two-year commercial and three-year domestic warranty. www.etesia.co.uk

Cutting height and emptying of the grass collector can all be adjusted or carried out from the driving seat, while the steering console is fitted with a timer, rev counter and electric starter. Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 45


RIDE-ON MOWERS

The Toro Grandstand – high productivity in a compact size T

oro Grandstand mowers, available in 36” and 48” models, work to provide the speed and comfort of a zero-turn mower, while yielding the benefits of a professional walk-behind machine. The innovative speed controls allow for precise manoeuvres in delicate areas, while keeping the controls simple and easy to use. The Grandstand allows for 2-in1 versatility. If an operator is in a situation where they need to walk, they can simply convert the foldable operator platform into a walk-behind. Similarly, when it’s time to ride, the platform can be lowered back down. This feature helps with maximum versatility and will save time, money and trailer space by eliminating the need to switch mowers. The suspension system on this revolutionary operator platform will help to reduce user fatigue, leading to increased productivity throughout the day. The system is also self-compensating for operators of different heights, making work comfortable for all. The stand-on aspect of the Grandstand will help operators increase their overall output. The ability to get in and out of tight spaces and quickly get on and off the mower, all contribute to less time spent per job. Standing on the platform also helps with better visibility; the operator is better able to see, and steer clear of obstacles, identify changes in terrain and easily pass beneath overhanging branches. In terms of the traction and handling

of the mower, the wide stance and optimal weight balance help to enhance stability and control. Also, due to there being no restrictions to limit operator motion, users can shift their weight as needed to further enhance the performance of the machine. The high-capacity Turbo Force deck delivers excellent strength, cut

In terms of the traction and handling of the mower, the wide stance and optimal weight balance help to enhance stability and control. Also, due to there being no restrictions to limit operator motion, users can shift their weight as needed to further enhance the performance of the machine. 46 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

and increased productivity, even in more extreme mowing conditions. The patented adjustable baffle can be fine-tuned to suit changing conditions, unique job sites or different times of the season. In extreme conditions, the baffle can be opened to conserve power and achieve faster mowing speeds, while in less demanding conditions, the baffle can be closed to yield micro-sized particles and maximise discharge velocity. The Grandstand will provide a flat, crisp cut with the 6.35mm thick precision blades used by the machine. The high-strength, heat-treated alloy steel blades help to survive impacts and provides resistance to the rapid wear commonly associated with abrasive conditions. Both Grandstand models are also available with an optional Recycler kit, which turns grass clippings into a fine mulch to nourish lawns all season. www.toro.com


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Get ready for the Walker R Series T

his spring is an exciting time at Walker UK as it heralds the arrival on these shores of the brand new Walker R Series. The Model R is the perfect Walker Mower for residential properties. The belt-driven mower blades make operation smooth and quiet without compromising on the Walker Mower’s distinct advantages. It provides the premium Walker experience so you can bring home fast, easy, beautiful mowing. Features include an integrated, front-mount deck design available in 42- and 48-inch cutting widths. The deck mounts on independent articulating deck arms, allowing it to freely move up and down, }

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RIDE-ON MOWERS

Walker Mower steering levers, controlled with the operator’s left hand, give precise control the moment pressure is applied. The steering system is designed for precision. } minimising scalping and uncut areas of grass.

The torsion-flex carrier frame also allows the deck to flex side-to-side, so no matter the terrain, the Model R delivers a beautiful cut The tilt-open seat quickly exposes the drive belts, electric system, and drivetrain making service and maintenance easy. No special tools are needed. All Walker decks quickly tilt-up, making maintenance tasks safe and easy. The mower deck drive belt connection is automatically maintained as the deck is raised and lowered. The steering system uses a Forward Speed Control, controlled with the operator’s right hand, to engage and set the maximum forward speed of the machine. Once in the drive position, the Forward Speed Control uses a friction lock to work as a cruise control, allowing the operator to control the mower by simply applying pulling pressure on the steering levers. Walker Mower steering levers, controlled with the operator’s left hand, give precise control the moment pressure is applied. The steering system is designed for precision steering and handling using optimal linkage geometry and high-quality components. Zero-turn manoeuvrability is standard on every Walker Mower through dual, independent hydrostatic transmissions. Paired with its compact size, low centre of gravity, and operator position directly on the centre of the rotation axis, the Walker Mower is one of the most agile mowers on the market. Tight trimming is fast, accurate, and easy, allowing the operator to maintain constant forward motion, increasing productivity and quality of mowing. Features n 21 HP Kohler KT620 with Smart-Choke technology for easy starts in hot and cold weather n Hydro-Gear EZT transmissions n Ogura electric blade clutch and brake with easy pull/push switch operation n Tilt-up deck and tilt-open seat n 3-gallon custom moulded, low profile fuel tank with integrated fuel level gauge n Flexible deck carrier frame n Precision steering lever control system n Forward Speed Control n 42- & 48-inch cutting width n Belt-driven blades with dampened belt tensioner for smooth, quiet operation n Custom blade spindles with grease points and bleed valve.

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www.turfmatters.co.uk WATER MANAGEMENT

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How much water to apply? K

nowing how much water to apply to turf is often seen as a matter of guesswork. Peter Robin suggests that a more analytical approach is taken to irrigation. Firstly, why do we irrigate turf? This might seem a dumb question but let’s look at it in more detail. Irrigation applies water when rain hasn’t been adequate. The roots suck up the water; this keeps the leaves turgid, and the water mobilises nutrients (your fertilisers) in the soil so they can be sucked up and used. So, no water = no nutrient uptake = an unhealthy plant. Getting back to watering. How much water should you apply to keep your turf happy? You could make the same assumptions you made yesterday and the day before, but if you want to be more accurate then we can use daily evaporation figures from local weather stations. There are also very useful tools like the POGO if you’re lucky enough to own one (go to www.rigbytaylor. com if you want more information); this will accurately measure your soil moisture levels.

Stomata on leaf opens and closes to regulate evaporation/transpiration A temperate turfgrass has a crop coefficient of around 0.7 (coefficients never get above 1). This means that the amount of water lost through the leaf, called evapotranspiration (evaporation and transpiration stuck together), is the evaporation rate from the weather station x the plants’ crop coefficient. So when the weather stations’ evaporation rate is say 5mm, the amount of water the turf is likely to lose is 5mm x 0.7 = 3.5mm. This is the amount of water that you need to re-apply for the turfgrass to grow optimally. If you apply less than 3.5mm the plant is likely to become stressed, while more than 3.5mm is just a waste of water and kilowatts from your extra pumping. However, if you apply 3.5mm, is it even going to get down into the rootzone or just sit near the surface? This is a real concern, because the last thing most turf professionals want is a whole bunch of roots growing very close to the surface; made worse of course if you happen to be growing your turf on a sand carpet. If the main feeder roots are down an inch or two in the profile, how do we get 3.5mm of water to travel down deep enough?

POGO is a useful tool for measuring moisture content These figures are useful but we need to manipulate them. Let’s start by understanding water loss by daily evaporation. A plant is not the same as a puddle of water because it has stomata that open and close according to the turgidity of the leaf. As soon as the leaf starts to lose too much water the stomata close; this reduces how much water can escape from the plant. Therefore, while in the example of the puddle, water is still evaporating, the evaporation rate from the leaf has reduced. This ability of the stomata to control evaporation is called the Crop Coefficient. A tropical fern dropped into the sunshine will wilt within minutes; that’s because its crop coefficient is very high. Compare that with a cactus. It can sit in the same sunshine for a month and not lose any water. Its crop coefficient is very low.

It’s important to apply water in small doses so it has a chance to be absorbed into the soil This brings us to how we irrigate. We need to irrigate in such a way that the water reaches the feeder roots two inches below the surface. To do this we will probably need to apply significantly more than 3.5mm. If for example we apply two days’ worth; 7mm, then that water will wash down into the soil profile much better. To do this we need to change our irrigation to watering every two days. The problem is that you are growing the turf for reasons other than it just being healthy; it will have a ball kicked across it and players running

over it. It therefore needs to take a stud, provide a consistent bounce and help create the optimum playing surface. This perhaps can be managed by timing what day or days of the week you apply a deep irrigation. One useful process is to use your irrigation controller to apply the water in a better way.

Irrigation Controllers regulate the timing and amount of water to be applied If you just dump several millimetres of water onto the surface of your pitch, some will sink in, some will puddle, some might run off, and some will travel all the way through your soil profile and into your drainage. We need to make sure as much of the water you apply stays in the rootzone. In other words we want the soil to reach Field Capacity; this is how much water the soil can actually hold. To allow the soil to reach field capacity it is important to apply the water in a few smaller doses, so each dose has the chance to be absorbed by the soil. If you are applying say 10.5mm of water (3 days’ worth assuming a 5mm evaporation each day and a 0.7 crop coefficient), then by applying 3.5mm, waiting an hour, applying another 3.5mm, waiting another hour, then finally applying the last 3.5mm, there is much more chance for the soil to have absorbed and held onto as much of the water as possible. This can be achieved by changing from having one start time on your irrigation controller to having 3 start times an hour apart; many controllers name this “Cycle & Soak”. This is made simple because you can just tell the controller how many total minutes you want to irrigate for, and how many cycles (3 in this instance) you want. Then you can set how long you want to wait between applications, which is the “soak” part. This makes life simpler. It is important that an irrigation change of routine is not made overnight and hope for the best; if the turf has had lots of shallow watering, its roots will be designed for shallow watering. You’ll need to “train” your turf to grow differently, and this could take a few weeks at best. However, the results should be a stronger turf plant with more resilience.

n Peter Robin is the Irrigation Product Manager for Rigby Taylor Ltd.

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WATER MANAGEMENT

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mplementation of soil surfactants (or wetting agents) is a great way to manage water movement which maintains robust turf health at the top level of the rootzone. What happens when water, either irrigated or from rainfall, can’t get through that top layer? This is most commonly referred to as water repellency.

Paul Hallett, University of Aberdeen

Water management: Breaking through water repellency

Causes of Water Repellency Hydrophobicity in the soil profile is a wax-like coating that accumulates on soil particles and is a by-product of organic matter decomposition. It can also be caused by plant root exudates and fungal hyphae, and is exacerbated by wet/dry cycles. Water repellency causes problems in two different ways: n At the surface, it impedes water’s movement into the soil, sitting on top and evaporating or running off n Below the surface it can also disrupt water’s ability to move freely through the rootzone. This results in uneven distribution of water (and anything it carries with it) and can also lead to preferential flow patterns where the water takes the “easy way” through the soil, straight down past the roots. Depending on the location, type of repellency (localised or generalised) and the severity of the problem, there are different types of soil surfactant formulations to choose from. Your distributor and/or an Aquatrols representative can help you choose the right one for your situation.

Signs and Consequences On sports turf, this translates to localised dry spots, irregular shaped patches suffering from drought stress, or puddles of surface water (aside from those resulting from saturated soils due to heavy rains or faulty irrigation). In and around sloped areas, hydrophobic soil could cause runoff of both water and nutrients to pool in low areas. If water repellency is preventing water from moving effectively through your soils, it’s preventing watersoluble nutrients and other applied materials from moving effectively too. This not only prevents your turf from uniformly getting what it needs, but also increases the potential for loss of expensive inputs and can have a negative environmental impact.

Combatting Water-Repellency from the Top Down

Not All Wetting Agents are the Same

If signs of water-repellency emerge, surfactants can help break through the surface and deliver water and nutrients throughout the entire rootzone. Applying a wetting agent reduces runoff and becomes cost effective as you save water, fertiliser, and other resources.

While the basic science among wetting agents isn’t all that complicated, it’s important to remember that not all wetting agents are the same. New formulations and technologies have been developed in the six decades since Aquatrols introduced the world’s first commercially sold soil surfactant. These advances have resulted in vastly different performance characteristics, depending on the type of surfactant chemistry and soil conditions. Your local Aquatrols representative can help you to separate fact from fiction and find the right soil surfactant chemistry for your individual needs.

Staying Out Ahead of Water Repellency In addition to adding soil surfactants to your turf maintenance programme, keep track of where problem areas occur year after year. It is to note that along with water repellency issues, stubbornly reoccurring dry spots can also be an indicator of poor irrigation coverage or a larger problem beneath the soil.

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Why wrong type of iron almost W

hen it comes to sporting facilities such as golf courses, staying on top of water management is essential. The Renaissance Club, a private members club with an 18-hole golf course situated on 300 acres of the famous golfing coastline on Scotland’s Firth of Forth, hosts events including the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Opens. Its greenkeeping team focuses on ensuring the course is always in tip top condition, favouring indigenous grasses with the minimum use of water and fertilisers. For essential irrigation however, the course relies solely on water from one main borehole. Over the period 2017 to 2018, Head Superintendent, Paul Seago, who is in charge of the Greenkeeping team, realised there was a problem. Original drilling works, carried out when the course was constructed in the mid-2000s, had taken several attempts to find a borehole capable of producing the amount of water required, which meant reduction in

52 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

Top: Badly blocked borehole casings which reduced the flow of water. Above: The postclean result after treatment with BoreSaver

flow was potentially a serious matter. “We were preparing for a major tournament when we discovered the amount of water coming from the main borehole had reduced

significantly,” said Paul. “I could see from the regular readings I was taking that there was a problem. Instead of the 24 cubic metres an hour required, we were getting nearer 12 cubic metres an hour and we were worried it was drying up. “We started looked at alternatives, but mains water was expensive and the cost of increasing our water storage capacity was also very high, so we then decided to take a closer look at the borehole itself.” Paul called in irrigation systems specialists M J Abbott, who in turn put him in touch with Bryn Ager at Treewaters Control Systems. Working together, the M J Abbott team removed the pumping equipment and Bryn carried out a downhole camera survey. “We could see the borehole casings were badly blocked due to the growth of iron-related bacteria. This prevented the free entry of the groundwater resulting in a reduced flow of water. “We treated it with a solution of BoreSaver Ultra C PRO, which is excellent at tackling contamination


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left golf course under par

problems. We brushed and cleaned the well on a Friday, left the solution in the borehole and returned on the Monday morning to do another brush to remove any further residues which had softened over the weekend. “We took water samples at regular intervals to test the pH and performed a further camera survey which allowed us to see that the borehole was now clear of contamination. “Once it was up and running again, the borehole was back to producing 24-25 cubic metres of water an hour, which was over double what they were seeing before the clean.” The process was so effective that Paul describes BoreSaver as “magic”. “I have worked on golf courses for over 40 years and I know that iron in the water will adhere itself to static sprinklers and drainage pipes, so it makes sense that the same contamination would be going on down the borehole,” he said. “The borehole is at the heart of our irrigation system but because it is below ground no-one sees it. When those first images came back from the downhole camera, it made sense because we could identify what was going on. “Once the BoreSaver had worked its magic and we saw the posttreatment camera images the difference was like night and day.” As part of the work, a new pump was installed by M J Abbott and Paul is now hoping to put in place a regular maintenance programme to

The borehole is at the heart of our irrigation system but because it is below ground no-one sees it. avoid iron contamination building up so badly in the future. Recently the club achieved its GEO Certified® certification from the Golf Environment Organisation which promotes sustainability and, as part of an ongoing commitment to environmental best practice, Paul is also working towards reducing water consumption while still maintaining the highest standards for the course. “It is the ethical way to go. As each year goes by, we are better equipped to cope with drier periods of weather and working towards our certification helped us realise the importance of making a difference by reducing the number of sprinklers we use and taking a more sustainable approach.” Mike Deed, from Geoquip Water Solutions, which supplies the full range of BoreSaver borehole cleaning and well rehabilitation treatments for a wide variety of sporting locations nationwide, says regular

monitoring of boreholes is essential. “Borehole contamination can impact on all equipment, it can block the casings so water can’t get through, or deposits can clog up the pumps and the motors which will affect flow rates, as happened in this case,” he said. “It’s really important to regularly monitor data and output so you can be alerted to potential problems before they become more serious. Depending on the type of problem, for example iron-related bacteria, iron oxide or manganese oxide contamination, there are different combinations of treatment solutions which can be applied.” Approved by the NSF, all BoreSaver solutions include a biodegradable marker which gives an instant all clear and allows the Geoquip team to guarantee that no chemical residue is left in the water supply. One treatment will usually be enough to remove the deposits that have built up and the solution is safe and easy to use.

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‘I’m over the moon with this system’ T

he Arthur Miller Stadium is home to Stanningley Sports & Rugby Club and is used as a training base for the Leeds Rhinos firstteam. It also plays host to Rhinos’ Academy teams from under 6s up to under 19s. Overseeing the maintenance of the full-sized pitch and three smaller pitches is Daniel Connor, who says that the playing surfaces have significantly improved since the new irrigation

system was installed. “We used to connect our old system up to the mains and used to do four runs which took six hours just to get a bit of water on the pitch,” said Daniel. “In the heat of the summer you just could never get enough water on it no matter how hard you tried with the old irrigation system. The pitch literally used to dry out in hot weather and from May until July it used to turn }

CHECK YOUR DATA – DON’T REPLACE YOUR SYSTEM Understanding your irrigation system and the effects of making changes, or not, can be a complex subject, but if you understand the basic principles it will go a long way to help you maintain your site and deliver your expectations. We are often contacted when a PC-based system is not performing as expected, assuming the problem is the controller hardware or the software running it. Users often perceive the controller and the software running it, as the sophisticated and intelligent means to deliver fail proof performance. Apart from obvious issues like cable breaks or damaged heads, in 9 out of 10 cases we find that the data entered in the system is the cause of the issue. 54 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

Each station in the software contains information (data) relevant to that station such as head type, nozzle sets, arcs, flow and spacings. So, if that information was either not entered correctly when the system was installed, or has changed over time, then your data is out of line and you will experience performance issues. So, if your irrigation system is underperforming ask yourself if any of the station data itemised above has changed. If the answer is yes, contact Bailoy for advice. Bailoy manufacture, distribute and support the GTI Gemini and GTI Trident range of controllers. For further information visit www.Bailoy.com


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“It really does offer top performance. The rotors go 360°, head-to-head and we can now get water onto the middle of the pitch – something we previously struggled with.” } into a dust bowl. It was

rock solid to play on and we lost grass coverage straight down the middle.” “I looked around to see what was on the market and I also got a number of quotes,” continued Daniel. “We had a lot of options but we were most impressed with KAR UK who came to visit us. They came across incredibly professional and knowledgeable and we concluded that the Hunter System from KAR UK was our preferred choice.” As a result, KAR UK – the UK and Ireland distributor of Hunter Industries irrigation equipment, supplied a variety of G885 and I-40 rotary sprinklers, PGV valves, an ACC2 controller with Wi-Fi and a Roam remote. The I-40 is a tough commercial rotor that delivers water with accuracy and efficiency at distances up to 23.2 m. Featuring diverse threeport nozzle options, a non-strippable drive, and a thick rubber cover built to prevent injury; it’s no wonder this rotor is found in more stadiums than any other in the world. With the strength of stainless steel, the I-40 is built to last in the harshest sports, public park, and commercial environments. Working in harmony with the I-40’s, the G885 rotary sprinklers boast one of the highest torque outputs on the market and its patented gear drive will push through anything that gets in its way. With such a powerful core, an array of efficient nozzles, and true

full circle and part circle capabilities, the G885 is relied on by turf managers throughout the globe. Throw in the convenient serviceability of Total Top Service (TTS) and DecoderIn Head (DIH) technology, and you don’t just have the most powerful choice in rotors, you’ve got the most intelligent choice as well. Daniel also benefits from the use of the ACC2 controller which is ideal for delivering advanced water management to meet the demands of large-scale commercial projects and the Roam remote - which eliminates the need to go back and forth to the sprinkler controller. “Since we have had the new system installed the difference in the pitch has been phenomenal,” he said. “It has also made my life so much easier. The controls are incredibly effective and simple to use and we can now water at night which has been a huge benefit. From a maintenance point of view, it is very straight forward. It’s a simple screw and you can get right into the head without having to dig them out. “It really does offer top performance. The rotors go 360°, head-to-head and we can now get water onto the middle of the pitch – which is something we previously struggled with. “Ultimately, I’m over the moon with the system. We’ve been able to maintain grass coverage and we have a consistently good playing surface.” www.karuk.com www.hunterindustries.com. Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 55


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Web-based irrigation management T

hrough its commitment to the Intelligent Use of Water™, Rain Bird is dedicated to the development of the most advanced irrigation products for commercial landscapes, sports turf applications and the residential market. With irrigation professionals continually looking to manage their installations more effectively in order to conserve water, save money and ensure healthier landscapes, Rain Bird is continually at the forefront of the development of central control systems. The company’s IQ Platform has for many years set the standard as a solution for contractors and end users with responsibility for the irrigation of commercial properties, sports stadia, training grounds and other amenities featuring both single and multiple zones or controllers. With the new IQ4-Cloud, the platform has been completely redesigned and rewritten to become more versatile, more user-friendly and more secure than ever before. It is also free of charge for anyone who has already invested in compatible Rain Bird controllers and connected devices. IQ4-Cloud is designed for use with Rain Bird’s established ESP-LX Series controllers or the new ESP-LX IVM range. It is 100% browser based and operates in

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a similar way to on-line banking, offering high levels of functionality and control over irrigation through any internet connected smartphone, tablet or desktop PC. The full suite of remote management tools is accessible through a mobile-ready, userfriendly interface with automatic scaling of pages and forms on any chosen device. New features, including streamlined navigation, allow fast and agile programming of controllers. For example, the time required to drill down to each controller’s program and the time spent setting a new program or adding new zones and controllers have been significantly reduced. From their device, users can see in real time which zones and controllers are operating and can immediately

access information on performance. For controllers equipped with flow sensors, minute-by-minute flow logs and graphical reports show actual versus projected flow rates. IQ4 can automatically create and share detailed analysis of irrigation times, total water usage and other key data. As well as automated e-mail alerts and alarms, text notifications on mobile phones are now available to help quickly identify and manage operational queries in the field. Securely backed up on the Cloud, all data and settings can be accessed at any time. For high security, IQ4’s operation is now permission based, with tiered user access. This gives managers the facility to permit or restrict which team members can view information, start/stop programs or make changes to irrigation schedules. The IQ4-Cloud package has the facility to add an unlimited number of sites, users and controllers. Anyone who has already invested in the previous generation IQ3 Platform can register and upgrade easily to IQ4 and use it without additional training. There are no fees to pay. Investment in additional Rain Bird products such as rain and flow sensors or weather stations will further enhance the versatility of IQ4-Cloud. www.rainbird.eu


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Data driven sports turf maintenance

Tips to optimise turf quality by using underground soil data Water Scarcity Water scarcity affects 2.3 billion people globally nowadays – that works out to approximately 31% of the world’s population. Over the coming decade, this number is expected to increase by more than 10%. Sustainable consumption of water is critical to all societies, economies, and industries. This lack of water is a problem that also affects sports and golf turf maintenance. As a sports turf professional, your priority is to provide a safe, durable, and high-performing playing field for the players. With an increased focus on sustainability and ever-increasing costconsciousness, everyone in the sports and golf turf maintenance sector needs to use water, admittedly our most valuable resource, as efficiently as possible.

The Solution – Soil Digitalisation We are living in the times of ubiquitous digitalisation. Everything that benefits from being connected will be connected. Luckily, now you can also digitalise the

soil and connect this data to the Cloud. By using underground wireless sensors you can measure soil moisture, salinity and temperature in multiple spots, detect the infield soil quality variations, monitor this data in real-time on a simple dashboard, and maintain each part of your turf in an optimised way – thus saving costs, time and water! For the turf professionals of the digital age, having real-time access to rich, underground soil data now opens up a new era in turf maintenance. You are able to know exactly what type of maintenance activities the soil underneath your turf needs. By analysing the various soil quality parameters at different parts of the turf, you can move ahead from merely scheduling irrigation sprinklers, to controlling the well-being of the soil, and optimising the growth of your turf. With this underground soil data readily available, you gain a holistic control of the turf; and are able to enhance your maintenance practices, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and use water smartly.

1. More Efficient Water Consumption By using the accurate, real-time underground soil data, you have the ability to only water where needed, or to reduce, or increase the amount of watering, according to your live current levels. Historically, the consensus has been that too much is better than not enough. With underground soil data, you don’t have to play by the old rules of thumb anymore. Now you can actively meet the real-time needs of the grass. This provides the following benefits: • More open playing days • Improved user and player experience • An optimum root zone condition helps to reduce the risk of compaction, and potentially mitigates the need to aerate. • The data collected facilitates a reduction of excessive irrigation, and optimises aeration procedures, which both result in fuel savings.

2. Proactive Agronomic Turf Improvement

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be better employed elsewhere. Manually obtaining this data is a slow, repetitive process, particularly on larger courses. Automation provides a better use of resources, delivers more consistent results, and provides significantly more data to answer questions or to help inform management processes.

6. Save Energy and Fuel

} underground soil data, you can predict the plants’ requirements for both moisture and nutrient. You can ensure that the plant remains healthy, and disease incidence can be reduced through accurate predictions of peak turf disease activity. It can also result in more effective preventative applications of turf fungicides and bio-stimulants, resulting in cost savings and create a better playing surface. With rich soil data, which includes parameters for moisture, salinity, and temperature, you can take a proactive and holistic, agronomic approach to the turf development – and not merely measure moisture to control irrigation.

3. Reduce the Black Layer and Thatch You develop a black layer when the oxygen levels in the soil drop because of saturated soil conditions. This occurs typically in low-cut, fine-turf areas and is especially damaging to turf roots. As the roots decline, your turf health is severely diminished, and thin, weak turf soon forms on the surface. By using underground sensors, the soil quality parameters can be monitored and more accurate aeration and top dressing regime can be established.

4. Use Fertilisers More Effectively Accurate and real-time underground soil data enables you to optimize irrigation and prevent overwatering. This, in turn, helps you to significantly reduce the leaching of nutrients from the soil’s natural elements, and applied fertilizers. With the help of real-time soil temperature data, you can apply the fertiliser products at the best time to ensure better plant uptake.

5. Reduce Labour Costs – Do Proactive Turf Development Real-time data allows you to improve work efficiency in maintenance, reduce labour costs, and save time that you can now spend on proactive turf development, instead of on reactive maintenance activities. Turf managers will now be able to make critical decisions from anywhere, via Cloud-based technology. Alternative mobile technologies require skilled staff that ties up labour that could 58 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

Every operation you and your staff carry out uses energy in different forms. With underground soil sensors, you can reduce your energy consumption in several ways. By optimizing irrigation, you can reduce pumping time, and consume less energy. Better management practices can reduce the amount of above the surface operations – these include mowing, aeration, and the application of fertilisers and pesticides. With expensive fossil fuels, savings can quickly add up.

7. Automate Irrigation and Subsurface Air Systems Turf Professionals that have irrigation systems with digital control interfaces, or sub-surface air systems, can now integrate, via software integration, this data via an open API, thus providing more accurate and timely usage and potential labour-saving benefits. Real-time data removes the stress of having to continually fine-tune irrigation for any changes in the weather throughout the day.

8. Auditable Recording of Data and Resource Usage Having an evidence-based approach to management provides a clear trail that can be used to justify the applications of costly resources. This demonstrates a sustainable approach and mitigates accusations relating to sustainable resource utilisation – a potential hot potato particularly, in draught-stricken areas.

9. Salinity Monitoring Electrical Conductivity Salinity levels have been a rising issue in the last few years, this is not just from recycled irrigation water, but also from salts rising through the soils. High salinity levels have a significant effect on the plants’ ability to take up water. Salt will abstract moisture from the plant first, resulting in a stressed plant. By monitoring the salinity levels, you can get ahead with chosen practices to alleviate this potential issue, eg. with the inclusion of salt-resistant grass varieties.

10. Detect Infield Soil Quality Variations By monitoring the underground soil data at multiple locations across your turf, such as in the areas that you know are different by experience, you can detect the variations

in soil quality, and apply an individual maintenance plan for each of them. This enables you to eliminate quality variations, avoid unnecessary maintenance activities, and refocus your maintenance efforts and use your budget on more pressing issues, and to exercise proactive turf development.

How Can you Monitor Underground Soil Data? The Soil Scout underground sensor measures soil moisture, salinity, and temperature levels in real-time. The sensors are easy and quick to install, and you can monitor the soil conditions with any number of sensors buried in the field. You can start with a small number of sensors, and simply dig in more whenever the need arises. Soil Scout sensors are entirely maintenance-free. The sensors are fully buried and the battery lasts for more than ten years of continuous operation. The patented radio technology adjusts itself to the soil’s electromagnetic conditions, reaching the antennas hundreds of metres away. No SIM card is required for the sensors. A simple above-the-ground antenna picks up the sensors’ signals and transmits the data to the Cloud via a cellular modem. Soil Scout is not just a simple soil moisture sensor without a cable. The complete system allows you to gain a deeper view with rich, accurate data to collaborate with your agronomist, to find out even better practices for pesticides and nutritional regimes, following the recorded moisture, salinity, and temperature levels from a season to another. It is a multi-faceted agronomic tool – you can decide how to use the data! Soil Scout sensors can be freely placed where the greenkeeper sees the biggest need to monitor. It is recommended to place the sensors at two different depths in the same area to see the vertical variation in soil quality. At least three area types are recommended to be monitored – these can include for example the areas with the best, worst turf, and average turf. This allows the greenkeeper to determine the underlying reasons for quality variations. For example, in stadiums, some parts of the turf are more exposed to sun and wind.

In Conclusion Sports Turf Maintenance is only as accurate and efficient as the data behind it. With Soil Scout, you no longer have to settle for outdated information. Instead, you can take a proactive and holistic approach to turf development, and ensure that your turf is going to deliver a safe, high-quality arena for sports until the end of the season – with less water and lower costs. www.soilscout.com


making making turf turf matter matter

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Diffusing the situation… E

very year water management specialist Otterbine advises greenkeepers and groundspeople to be pre-emptive to the challenges hot weather can throw at lakes and ponds. This year the advice takes on new meaning considering the unprecedented circumstances the country finds itself in. Water left unattended for long periods of time can very quickly deteriorate, especially as the weather warms up. With warm water and plentiful sunlight comes an excess in nutrients; a combination that, without a proper water management system in place, can leave lakes and ponds with algae, aquatic weeds and odours. “Oxygen depletion or stress situations occur for different reasons, but many lake management issues are related to both the light and heat generated by the summer sun,” said Pete Newton, Otterbine sales representative at distributor Reesink Turfcare, “Once a lake has lost its ecological

balance and goes into crisis, the costs of restoring the lake increase dramatically. As well as often being more expensive to implement, reactive solutions tend to be less friendly to the environment too.” Low oxygen levels, combined with minimal circulation, prematurely ages water and throws the natural ecosystem out of balance. Only then do symptoms of poor water quality begin to appear, which as well as algae, weeds and odours, include sludge build up and dead fish. “By increasing oxygen levels and circulating oxygen rich water throughout a lake, water quality can remain high, inhibiting algae, aquatic weeds and foul odours. The most natural water quality management solution is to introduce aeration in to a pond or lake to eliminate stagnant water. That’s where Otterbine’s aeration systems can help,” explained Pete. With Otterbine’s aerating fountains, industrial aerators and diffused air systems and their proven high oxygen

transfer rates, you can easily increase the dissolved oxygen levels in your lake or pond, preventing or curing stagnant water, algae build up and bad smells for clean, clear, healthy water. And with Otterbine’s decorative range you can make your lake or pond an appealing beauty spot at the same time. www.reesinkturfcare.co.uk.

Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 59


SYNTHETICS

Consistency is the key W

hen it comes to looking after a synthetic surface, maintenance does not need to be complex or costly, but it does need to be consistent and effective. Infill is imperative in supporting the fibres of the surface, ensuring they stand vertically to achieve the desired playing characteristics. However, footfall during play will naturally compact the infill and flatten the fibres – reducing drainage ability and leaving the most vulnerable part of the fibre exposed

A regular maintenance plan incorporating de-compaction brushing and cleaning will give grounds managers a surface that they can be proud of 60 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

to loading and UV. The consequence of ineffective – or simply not enough – maintenance will undoubtedly lead to premature wear and reduce the expected life of the carpet. Regular brushing will help to move infill around the surface and stand fibres upright. It should be conducted in conjunction with surface cleaning – a little and often approach is considered the most effective. Providing the best of both worlds, the Redexim Verti-Top from Charterhouse Turf Machinery utilises a powered rotary brush to sweep the carpet, lift the pile and extract the top 1-15mm of infill, along with any foreign material. The infill is then passed over a sieve to separate any detritus before the cleaned infill is dropped and brushed back into the surface, leaving a clean, level and aesthetically pleasing finish. “A regular maintenance plan incorporating de-compaction brushing and cleaning will give grounds managers a surface that they can be proud of – one that looks great and, more importantly, is safe and playable

throughout the year” confirmed Jonathan Woolfall, Operations Manager at Premier Pitches. “Charterhouse have a great reputation for providing excellent tools for synthetic managers and on the back of this, we purchased a VertiTop 1200 in the summer of 2018.” “We’ve used the Verti-Top in a range of environments, with particularly high demand from local schools and sportsgrounds. It’s very simple to set up and easy to use, and it is exceptional at extracting dust and contaminants from the infill which helps to prevent those problems with dirt and compaction deeper down in the pile. Its ability to carry out multiple processes in a single pass makes it a convenient and effective part of ensuring the long-term life of an artificial pitch.” The Verti-Top is available in either a 120cm or 180cm working width, with both models featuring powerful vacuum extraction, adjustable decompaction tines as standard and interchangeable sieves for use on surfaces with different infill types.


making making turf turf matter matter

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University’s new sports pitches L

oughborough University has unveiled its new state-of-the-art sport pitches, installed by SIS Pitches. The new elite level water-based hockey surface is the first of its kind in the UK and has been designed specifically to encourage speed of play. The full-size pitch harnesses latest innovations and was manufactured at the company’s state-of-the-art £1.8m headquarters in Cumbria. The SISTurf Xcel Ultra surface is the product of SIS Pitches’ is a combination of a high-grade, polyethylene polymer, 10-ended texturised yarn and optimised turf construction provides a truly elite-level system, with exceptional ball speed and uniformity, as well as outstanding durability. SIS Pitches has also recently installed SISGrass hybrid technology into the newly built pitch at the Loughborough University Stadium. The pitch consists of 95 per cent natural grass supported with 5 per cent

synthetic fibres and is the same style of pitch as used at the 2018 World Cup. The football pitch was the first in the UK to be installed using a newto-market, 100% electric machine from SISGrass. This innovation can stitch a full-size football pitch in just seven days, a huge step forward in reducing the environmental footprint of each pitch installation. Joe Shaw, Sales Manager at SIS Pitches, said: “This partnership with Loughborough University – the leading sports university in the UK – represents a unique opportunity for us to work together with their elite staff and athletes to maximise our product quality, delivery, service and to conduct key research into athlete performance and interaction with natural, hybrid and synthetic surfaces in a variety of sports.” SIS Pitches made headlines in 2018, when SISGrass hybrid pitches were used at six of the stadiums for the

World Cup in Russia. Following this, the company has provided pitches for all major sporting tournaments across the globe, including the 2019 Rugby World Cup, 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, and the 2018 UEFA Champions League. The company has also recently installed the playing surfaces at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou, alongside the La Liga side’s first-team training pitch.

Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 61


SYNTHETICS

The O

nce Warwick School had decided to invest in a new synthetic pitch, Grounds Manager Duncan Toon felt that the SISIS Osca 3 tractormounted oscillating brush was the only machine that could maintain the new surface effectively and truly justify the major investment decision. Sport plays a significant role for the pupils that attend Warwick School and its teams excel in a number of sports including cricket, rugby and hockey. However, while the school’s sports teams are making the headlines on the pitch, it is Duncan and his newly assembled team of six grounds staff that make it all possible. Duncan was tasked by Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, which includes Warwick School, Warwick Junior School, King’s High School and Warwick Preparatory School, to improve significantly the sports surfaces used by all its schools. He is now responsible for the eight hectares of grassland and all of the gardens and sports facilities.

62 | Turf Matters | MAY-JUNE 2020


making making turf turf matter matter

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‘Osca’ goes to… “With the investment which has been made into the synthetic surface, I felt that we needed to have the best equipment to maintain it and for me the Osca was essential. “I was actually looking online and I came across some videos of the SISIS Osca in action and after much research I felt that it was the one machine which massively stood out and the one which I believed would make the biggest difference to us.” The SISIS Osca is a tractor-mounted powered oscillating brush with a 1.9 metre working width and is equally effective when used on synthetic turf with sand or rubber infill. The two oscillating brushes stand up the carpet fibres and redistributes the infill, minimising compaction on the surface and improving its performance – giving consistent playing characteristics while preventing pile damage caused by reduced infill levels. A contributory factor to the reduction of compaction is that the

Osca’s working width will use fewer passes than other more conventional drag brushes to complete a pitch. Its aggressive brushing action agitates the upper infill level of the surface from side to side as well as brushing forward, helping reduce surface compaction and encourage the fibres to stand up straight which reduces the risk of contamination, drainage problems and leaves a consistent playing surface across the whole pitch. For a school that thrives on sport, the synthetic surfaces at Warwick incur a lot of usage which means that regular maintenance is of the utmost importance. “Over the course of a year, the pitch averages four hours of play every day and we use the Osca on a fortnightly basis. It is a great machine and when you run your fingers through the pitch after you have used it, it is clear to see that the de-compaction it offers is simply on a different level. Since we have been using it the

pitch has significantly improved. “The Osca’s oscillating brushes are the best feature and are very unique. Not only do they get rid of any compaction problems but they also provide a fantastic finish. Thousands of pupils play on this pitch so maintaining it effectively is important for player safety but you can’t forget about the presentation either. The SISIS Osca ticks both of these boxes.” www.sisis.com

Turf Matters | MAY-JUNE 2020 | 63


BUYERS’ GUIDE

BUYERS’ GUIDE Statistics reveal scale of

To advertise contact Marie Anderson Email: marie@turfmatters.co.uk

AGRONOMY SERVICES MOWERS

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n Agronomy Audits n Advisory Services n Project Management n Construction over 70% of visitors said that there was an The 70th SALTEX exhibition exceeded all n Budgets after an independent audit excellent mix of products on display. Table 1 expectations www.gregevansmg.com shows what visitors were looking for. confirmed the exhibition as the largest turf www.campeyturfcare.com Call: 07951 157208 or email: Exhibitors at SALTEX 2015 reported management event in the UK with a total Telephone: 01260 224 568 gregevansmg@gmail.com 0118 Email: info@campeyturfcare.com huge3914540 success at the show, suggesting that of 8,714 unique individuals attending. Now, jamie@advancegrass.com the visitors were a very powerful group of the visitor surveys have been flooding in – buyers. With deals being done there and revealing a fascinating and in-depth insight GOLF COURSE TYRES then on the show floor, it’s no surprise to see into the visitor profile of the show. MANAGEMENT that over 80% had purchasing responsibility. With visitors traveling from every corner Over 75% of all SALTEX visitors also had of the UK as well as every continent around the ability to sign off purchases of up to the world it was encouraging to see that AGENTS £100,000. over 70% of the visitors rated their overall WETTING Golf Course Management As for the type of facilities that the SALTEX experience as being good, very SOIL SURFACTANTS Consultant visitors were responsible for, it was great to good or excellent. ORGANIC FERTILISERS see such a wide array of visitors (table 2). Over Golf 65% Course of visitors said that they Advice; LocumSALTEX Greenkeeper Service; Visitors also found the more central attended to source new products, 01233 633267 Projector Management; Practical location of the NEC to be more accessible services suppliers, while 20% wanted UK.aquatrols.com Genuine with 70% stating that the new location was toSolutions make thefor most of theProblems free educational GOLF BUNKERS www.billymcmillanassociates.co.uk either good or excellent. Within the halls of LEARNING LIVE seminars and to receive 07774through 632747 the IOG’s Ask the NEC, visitors favoured the more compact one-to-oneTel: advice setting with over 70% rating the layout of the Expert feature. With so much on offer the event either good or excellent. at SALTEX, there was something for MACHINERY MACHINERY Overall the visitor survey has everyone and over 80% said that they were demonstrated just how good the was the successful or very successful in meeting Toro Reelmaster 5010-H with PowerMatch quality of attendees – further enhancing their objectives. Horsepower SALTEX as the must attend event of the With such a large number of visitors on Demand year. attending SALTEX to source new products SALTEX 2016 will be held at the NEC, and services; they certainly came to the Birmingham on 2 and 3 November 2016. For right place. The exhibition is a great way www.whitemosseco.org.uk more information visit www.iogsaltex.com to launch and showcase new products and

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Table 2 Turf Matters | February-March 2016 | 33


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Tea Break Teaser

Answers 1. Alex. First World title in 1972 – John born in 1975; 2. Mike 123 titles to Bob’s 116; 3. Brazilian Ronaldo 15 goals to seven by Portugal’s version; 4. Graeme – 48.25 to Robin’s 43.67; 5. Andy. He got one goal in 15 caps. Ashley scored none in 107 caps; 6. Merv. He got 38 Welsh caps while Jiffy compiled 37; 7. David. He won four individual stages between 2000 and 2012 while Robert (now Philippa York) won three in 1984; 8. Damon. Damon with 22 wins, Graham with 14; 9. Trick question. Both scored five times. Gary in 400 appearances and Phil in 263; 10. Scott. He played for Scotland 65 times, four more than his older brother; 11. Fred. He was 35 while John was a mere 29; 12. Dad Jos. But only just – 106 to 102 by son Max; 13. Jakob; 14. Jamie. He was 21 when he won the Mixed Doubles with Jelena Jankovic in 2007. Andy was 26 when he defeated Novak Djokovic in 2013; 15. Virginia. She won Wimbledon in 1977. James didn’t arrive with us until 1983.

Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020 | 65


COMMENT

making turf matter

This Blog was written before the total lockdown… To play or not to play. My chums and I are so conflicted. Yes, we are all in the group of 70-plussers who have been instructed to sit by the fire wearing slippers, drinking cocoa and watching Countdown, Flog It and Richard Osman’s House of Games. But we are active souls.

66 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

We are not used to being caged. Three times a week we can be seen chasing after our Powakaddies; thrashing away in knee high rough, expecting to see a ball emerge with sufficient velocity to reach a green 170 yards away, and humping our bags to and from the boot of the car. We need exercise. We need human interaction, yet we are being told to stay inside and not to risk catching or spreading this God forsaken virus. For the last month we have gradually replaced our firm handshakes and high fives, when we sink those three footers for bogey, with elbow pumps, so we feel that we are genuinely doing our bit to reduce risk. But the thought of staying inside, as the real golf season is about to begin, even with the incentive which comes from watching Rachel Riley do her stuff, is a nightmare. We are happy to compromise. No more postround coffee and toasted teacake, even if that’s not what Kevin, the Club Steward, wants to hear, and no sharing of the hip flask on the 10th tee, but please, please don’t take our game away from us. We all reckon that by walking five miles three times a week we are fitter than most 40-yearolds, who are not being told what to

www.turfmatters.co.uk

do and I can tell you that we wouldn’t walk nearly so far, if indeed at all, if we weren’t chasing a little ball around. So, a stroll around the park or along the river bank is not a fair exchange. We need to meet up. We need to play. We need to make jokes at each other’s expense. We need to laugh at our, preferably their, golfing inadequacies. We need to share their delight when they make a par or hole that slippery downhiller. But hey. Another advantage of the new “rules” – the two metre gimmie! How can we successfully carry through social distancing if we can’t extend the length of the regular gimmie putt to the officially prescribed two metres – socially distanced putts. That alone will save me around 12 shots around. Sound a lot? I have been known to hole the odd six footer. I’d say about five a season so it could have been more than 12 a round. With my scoring potential now the mid 90s, golf would be so much more fun. We hear a lot of talk of community, and how “the community” is pulling together. But I can tell you that my community, and that of my friends, is the golf club and, for so many different reasons, we want to be able to keep going. The thought of not doing so is deeply depressing. So please do everything you can to keep golf clubs, and indeed, all sporting facilities open, the football clubs, rugby clubs, cricket clubs. I’m not talking about the bars, but the actual sports fields themselves. In exchange we promise to keep socially distancing and to stay away if we develop a cough or sniffle. Sensible precautions in exceptional times. *As told to Scott MacCallum


stadium of light

68 | Turf Matters | MAy-JUNE 2020

Profile for Turf Matters

Turf Matters May / June 2020  

Our cover story and main focus is on the current Coronavirus pandemic and how turf managers are coping. Also in this issue: - The STRI's par...

Turf Matters May / June 2020  

Our cover story and main focus is on the current Coronavirus pandemic and how turf managers are coping. Also in this issue: - The STRI's par...

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