Locust World Cup Fears

Locust World Cup Fears: A plague of locusts could “disgrace” Russia by destroying World Cup pitches, claims The Russian government.

Locusts often feast on crops in southern Russia and Pyotr Chekmaryov, who oversees plant protection at the agriculture ministry, says they could descend on stadiums, too.

Locust World Cup Fears

In comments reported by state news agencies, Chekmaryov says ‘we’ve more or less learned how to deal with locusts, but this year I’m afraid we could end up in an international locust scandal.’

He adds that ‘locusts like places where there is a lot of green,’ and says that it is important ‘not to disgrace ourselves in front of global society, especially where we will have guests from all over the world.’

Chekmaryov pointed out the Volgograd region, situated more than 600 miles south of the capital Moscow, as a particular concern.

This summer’s finals will run between June 14 and July 15, with matches being played in 12 stadiums across 11 host cities.

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Game-Changer From Barenbrug

Game-Changer From Barenbrug: Grass expert, Barenbrug UK, has launched a grass seed that manages its own moisture content, which will increase germination and establishment rates – particularly in tough, dry conditions.

The patented technology in Barenbrug Yellow Jacket Water Manager, is the result of research between Barenbrug and Aquatrols and has been independently tested by the STRI.

Game-Changer From Barenbrug

It works like this:

  1. When the seed is exposed to water, the Water Manager technology spreads into the soil creating a plant survival zone.
  2. This zone ensures that each seed has enough water to germinate, then manages the moisture content around the seeding during its establishment.
  3. As a result seedlings are less affected by abiotic stress and more plants survive.

Open Championship venue calls it “something out of sci-fi”

Craig Boath from Carnoustie Championship course, home to the Open Championship in 2018, says, “Barenbrug Yellow Jacket Water Manager has taken the sting out of overwatering landing areas on the fairways and par 3 tees.  It is clear it does not require as much water for germination due to the coating, which seems to hold on to moisture and trigger a quicker germination”.

Dr David Greenshields, Research and Development Manager at Barenbrug says:

“Barenbrug Yellow Jacket Water Manager delivers improved germination and seedling survival in the toughest environments. STRI trials also show that half the number of seeds have delivered twice the establishment. Overall, this product offers a significant development in turf science and a potential game-changer for turf managers in tricky environments, or for those looking to reduce water costs.”

For more information, visit: www.barenbrug.co.uk

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Wanderers Pitch Deemed “Poor”

Wanderers Pitch Deemed “Poor”: The Wanderers cannot afford any errors with pitch preparation over the next five years after the ICC confirmed that the surface used in the third Test between South Africa and India was rated as ‘poor’ by match referee Andy Pycroft. As a result, the venue was hit with three demerit points under a new system that was introduced by the ICC this month. Another two demerit points within a five-year period will lead to a 12-month ban from international cricket.

While Cricket South Africa have a right of appeal, they would appear to face a difficult job overturning the verdict. Concerns over the state of the wicket reached fever pitch on day three, when the unpredictable bounce led to a number of India’s batsmen suffering blows to the body and the day’s play was curtailed when Dean Elgar incurred a blow to the head.

Wanderers Pitch Deemed "Poor"

The match continued on day four after the officials declared it was safe to continue, but while Elgar batted on bravely and carried his bat in a South African defeat, he later said that the game should have been called off.

Some of Elgar’s concerns were mirrored in Pycroft’s official report, which the ICC released on Tuesday (January 30).

“The pitch prepared for the final Test was a poor one,” said Pycroft. “It had excessively steep and unpredictable bounce, and excessive seam movement. It deteriorated quickly as the match progressed, which made batting extremely difficult and hazardous, resulting in the medical staff from both the sides having to come onto the field of play multiple times to treat their batsmen.

“As the on-field umpires are also responsible for the players’ safety, they expressed concerns about the behaviour of the pitch, and debated after day three if it was appropriate to continue the match. In the end, the umpires made the decision to continue and the Test reached its natural conclusion on day four. However, there was still excessive variable bounce and seam movement when the Test match ended.”

The ICC’s announcement capped a series that was dominated by talk of pitches – a hangover from South Africa’s 2015 tour of India when the excessive turn led to the pitch in Nagpur to be rated ‘poor’. Eager to exact an advantage by preparing sporting wickets, South Africa asked for pace and bounce from their groundsmen. But they were disappointed by a dry surface at Centurion that was rated ‘average’ by the ICC, and got more than they asked for at the Wanderers.

After losing the third Test by 63 runs, captain Faf du Plessis admitted that the extra pressure from the team’s requests might be getting to groundsmen, but suggested that they needed to up their game.

“I’m in an environment where I have to score runs and perform, so it’s the same (for groundsmen). If there is an option to get a pitch in the way that we want to, you would hope that the experience would be there to get the pitches right.”

It is the first time that a pitch in South Africa has been rated ‘poor’. Australia recently suffered the same fate when the pitch for the fourth Ashes Test against England at the MCG was rated ‘poor’, but the ground escaped any demerit points because the new disciplinary system was not yet in place.

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Doosan Dealer Changes

Doosan Dealer Changes: Doosan Construction Equipment has confirmed that the Central Belt region of Scotland will now be looked after jointly by the company’s dealers, James Gordon Ltd (Gordons) and Balgownie Ltd. 

Based at Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway, Gordons was appointed last year as the Authorised Dealer for the Doosan Heavy range in the South West and Borders regions of Scotland and for the county of Cumbria in Northern England.

Doosan Dealer Changes

The existing Gordons territory has now been extended with the addition of the following central-belt areas – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and all the Lothian Counties, Argyle and Bute, Isle of Mull, Stirling, Fife, Falkirk and the parts of Lanarkshire and Ayrshire that the company did not previously cover.

Balgownie, based at Inverurie, is responsible for the Doosan range in Aberdeenshire, Morayshire, Angus and the Highlands as well as Perthshire and Kinross-shire.  To these areas have been added the Isle of Skye and remaining Highlands postcodes.  Perth and Kinross had already been added 12 months earlier.

According to Doosan, Gordons and Balgownie have been awarded the extended areas purely on merit, despite very strong interest from other parties.  The company is looking forward to working closely with both companies to continue its success in the Scottish market.

Gordons has six depots across its territory and will operate the new Central-Belt area through the Strathaven and Berryhill depots, with support from the headquarters branch in Castle Douglas.  Balgownie will handle the extended territory from the headquarters in Inverurie and the company‘s branch in Turriff.

Founded in 1865, Gordons is a well established and much respected agricultural machinery business in South West and Central Scotland, providing a fast, efficient local service for machinery supply and, most importantly, the best possible aftersales support with 35 service engineers, five of whom are mobile engineers dedicated to construction and Doosan trained.

Balgownie Ltd started trading as an engineering company in 1907 in sheet metal work and tank manufacturing, supplying to shipyards, farmers and the food industry before diversifying into the manufacture and supply of dairy equipment.  Today, Balgownie is one of the leading specialists in construction, tractor, trailer, agriculture and groundcare machinery sales in Scotland.

Both Gordons and Balgownie are responsible for sales and servicing of the Doosan crawler, wheeled and mini/midi excavator, wheel loader and articulated dump truck ranges in their areas.

Customers of both companies benefit from superb on-site service networks, covering everything from emergency repairs to routine maintenance.  The companies‘ factory-trained engineers have many years of hands-on experience of repairs and servicing of plant and machinery.

As well as covering existing contracts, Gordons and Balgownie provide flexible service agreements, depending on the requirements of the customer.  They offer service and warranty work on all existing Doosan machines in their areas, backed by a full selection of genuine accessories and parts.  Both companies hold a stock of new and used Doosan branded machines, to respond quickly to customers’ needs.

For more information about Doosan construction equipment, visit the website www.doosanequipment.eu

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Water Suppliers – Assessing Options

Water Suppliers – Assessing Options: It’s been almost a year since Greenkeepers in England have been able to choose who supplies their water. Almost 92,000 supply points have so far switched, with more in the pipeline, and many companies have renegotiated a better deal with their existing provider.

If you’ve never explored the options, you could be missing out on benefits including:

  • The convenience of dealing with a single supplier, reducing administration time and cost.
  • Lower prices.
  • Better customer service, specified to your needs.
  • Water efficiency services to cut the amount of water you use, saving money and waste.

Water Suppliers - Assessing Options

To help Greenkeepers understand the market and how to assess their options, independent water specialist The Water Report has produced a short guide. It explains the new arrangements and includes a supplier directory to help customers shortlist potential retailers from the 20+ companies licensed to compete.

The Customer Guide to the New Water Market is available FREE to download at http://www.thewaterreport.co.uk/guide

Karma Loveday, author of the Guide and editor of The Water Report said: “The market turns a year old in April. This is a good time for customers to look at whether they could benefit from switching, because first mover risk has passed but potential benefits remain. It can be hard to know where to start though. The Water Report has been following these developments since the beginning. We have produced The Customer Guide to the New Water Market to provide businesses with independent, high quality information to help them find their way in the new environment.”

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Wiedenmann For Machrie Links

Wiedenmann For Machrie Links: Islay’s Machrie Links, one of the UK’s most westerly and spectacular golfing venues boasts outstanding coastline vistas in a natural setting.

A change of ownership in 2011 and significant investment has hastened a remarkable transition.  European Ryder Cup Vice Captain, D J Russell was commissioned to modernise major areas while not detracting from the original 1891 design by Willie Campbell.

Wiedenmann For Machrie Links

Course Manager, Dean Muir, joined from Muirfield three years ago and he and his team of seven are seamlessly blending the old with the new. A six hole par three course has been added, along with a 300 m driving range and 4 500 m² practice putting surface. The Championship course re-opened in summer 2017 and in a few months’ time a new 50 bedroom hotel and club facilities complete on this Hebridean island.

As the project evolves three separate Wiedenmann UK purchases have contributed to re-establishment works across the course. First to arrive was a Super 600 to launch their rough management programme.

“I’d had one at Muirfield so it was my first purchase. For purpose, nothing comes close to it.  Reconstruction meant we were going into huge areas of fearsome rough never previously renovated, only by sheep and cattle. In 2016 we started to cut and collect those roughs and they grew rapidly again. Rain held us back at the end of last year but we will be principally flail mowing and collecting. In time we will scarify it but for now the priority is to keep cutting it down to a manageable height.

With its 4500 litre tank the Super 600 collects and packs arisings tightly, increasing productivity,  the high dump facility able to tip into tall sided trailers.

“Our dunes and situation make it a bit of an issue getting from A to B. There aren’t that many travel routes round the course so its capacity really helps.”

Next on Dean’s list was a new Wiedenmann Terra Spike GXi8 HD arriving in October 2016.

The GXi8 runs through all fairways annually once during the winter months. Greens are spiked every other year as being built essentially on sand dunes gives rise to few compaction issues. With its low centre of gravity and close coupling to the tractor, the aerator is fully equipped for the challenge. The Advance Tine Control feature makes sure the tines’ incision into the ground is always precise leaving a neat finish. Dean’s team takes advantage of the best weather windows.

“Our undulations look spectacular but are straightforward for the GXi8. We don’t do anything special just follow the contours.  The shape of the undulations help … they are formed in big long rolls so we just follow the line.

“We do vary depth.  In 2016 we went for 250 mm, this season we’ve opted for 200 mm running 15° of heave.  The course is relatively new in parts and because of some changes there are more stones about.  Heave helps us glance stones rather than hitting them full on.

“For me the biggest benefit of the Wiedenmann is its smoothness.  Just no vibration.  With other machines sitting in the cab up to eight hours in the day, you’d really know about it. But the Wiedenmann is smooth. It’s got several absorption systems that dampen any vibration. You get no shock transfer to the driver or the tractor.”

Finally Machrie Links purchased a 1.7m Terra Rake in October to work in tandem with the Super 600 and other kit for the course.

“We’ve yet to get the full benefit of the Terra Rake, the wet summer held us back.  It will work hard in the season ahead especially as we work to get areas of rough to manageable height and more golfer friendly.  The 1.7m width is the right size to deal with our dunes and undulations.  The Super 600 will cut the rough down gradually with the Terra Rake going through it. Down the line we’ll use it to scarify.”

Wiedenmann UK’s Scottish dealer, Fairways GM have supplied Machrie Links with their Wiedenmann equipment.

For more information, visit: www.wiedenmann.co.uk

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ICL Product Guide Available

ICL Product Guide Available: The new ICL Turf & Landscape Product Guide for 2018/19 is now available.

The updated 2018/19 Product Guide features the complete range of ICL and Syngenta products plus much more, with advice on how to get the best results, including recommended period of use, directions for use and application rates.

ICL Product Guide Available

As a leading innovator in the industry, ICL has a vast range of products and solutions trusted by turf managers across the globe and in-depth information on both the liquid, soluble and granular range is readily available throughout the product guide.

It features leading micro-granular fertilizers such as Sierraform GT and Greenmaster Pro-Lite; mini-granular fertilizers for sports and amenity turf such as Sierrablen, Sierrablen Plus, ProTurf and Sportsmaster; liquid fertilizers in the form of Greenmaster and soluble fertilizers including the Sportsmaster WSF range.

Also featured is the Vitalnova range of biostimulant and turf conditioners which includes the widely praised Stressbuster. This specially formulated liquid treatment contains a unique combination of macro and micro nutrients, wetting agents, biostimulants and amino acids to help condition turf against stress and aid recovery. Greenkeepers and groundsmen alike have relied on Stressbuster to combat heavy usage and in particular have commended its ability to provide excellent sward colour, keep disease at bay and boost the overall health of the turf.

Over the years countless turf managers have reaped the rewards from Syngenta’s leading range of fungicides and the brochure features the complete portfolio including the newly launched Instrata Elite and Banner Maxx II. Instrata Elite, approved for Microdochium control in the UK, gives a powerful combination of curative and contact plus systemic properties, for reliable turf protection outside and in the plant. Banner Maxx II is a new formulation, created to deliver even faster uptake into the plant and tackle disease infection inside the leaf – before it can damage turf plant health.

The product guide is far more than just a product brochure. Created by using feedback gathered from a wide range of end users it also provides a wealth of technical information. Spreader setting guidelines will help readers with the accurate application of fertilizer; a tank-mix table provides guidance notes for compatibility of liquid formulations and a ready reckoner will assist with nutrient application for granular fertilizers.

To request the product guide or for further information, please contact ICL on 01473 237100, email prof.sales@icl-group.com  or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk

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New Makita Launch

New Makita Launch: Makita has launched a 36v cordless multi-tool system for landscape maintenance operations together with a selection of quick-fit attachments which includes the recently introduced Brush Cutter and Linetrimmer in addition to the Cultivator, Pole Saw, Hedge Trimmer and lawn Edging Tool.  The pole extension allows additional reach for the Pole Saw and Hedge Trimmer.

With the move to battery powered grounds maintenance machines becoming ever more popular, particularly at the demand of municipal authorities and public bodies, Makita offers a range of 18v tools and, more recently, an expanding inventory of twin 18v machines to give 36v power.  The power and run-time performance of the 36v Brushless motor makes the latest tools fully comparable on power and performance to petrol engine machines, while being highly sustainable with low noise and emissions.  The new DUX60Z is powered by two Makita 18v Lithium-Ion batteries in series to supply energy to the 36v DC motor drive system.

New Makita Launch

The Makita DUX60Z LXT split-shaft motor unit has an effective output of 600 watts and a three speed drive system that will run up to 9,700 rpm in Hi; 8,200 rpm in Medium mode and 5,700 rpm in Lo speed.  A reverse gear is also featured.  The DUX60Z features the soft start system to protect the operator from initial power loading, variable speed control, an electric brake and overload protection, coupled with AFT, Makita’s Active Feedback Sensing Technology that shuts down the tool if the rotation speed suddenly reduces or if the blade or line head snags.  The On-Off button with Auto-Off turns the power off if the trigger is not activated for 60 seconds.

The versatile attachments are easily fitted with a tool-less slide joint coupling with a simple clip-lock fixing the attachment securely in place.  With any of the tool heads attached and the two 18v batteries clipped into the motor housing, the overall balance of the complete machine is excellent with the loop handle perfectly positioned for complete machine control and manoeuvrability.  Maximum weight with the largest batteries and tool head is just 8.7kg.

The DUX60Z is a body only machine and available with your choice of the new DUX60 seven-piece attachments package.

For more news and product information about Makita UK please visit www.makitauk.com.  Follow us on Twitter @MakitaUK, Facebook.com/makitauk and google.com/+makitauk

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Groundsman Award Nominations

Groundsman Award Nominations: Cambridgeshire FA are looking for nominations for this season’s Groundsman of the Year award.

Member clubs at Step 7 and below are invited to nominate their grounds people who give up hours of their time to provide the best pitches possible, often using very few resources. This competition is a great way for these volunteers to get recognition for their time and efforts on a local and national level whilst also having the opportunity to meet and talk with the professional groundsmen who conduct the judging.

Groundsman Award Nominations

The first ranked Cambridgeshire club groundsman will go forward to the national judging stage and undergo independent adjudication.

To nominate your groundsman please compete and return the form (click here to download) to Joanne Bull, Facilities and Participation Manager, by email: joanne.bull@cambridgeshirefa.com

Postal nominations:

Cambridgeshire FA
Bridge Road
Impington
Cambridgeshire
CB24 9PH

The closing date for nominations is Thursday 22nd February 2018.

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ClearWater A Hit At BTME

ClearWater A Hit At BTME: ClearWater proved to be popular at a very successful BTME for Acumen Waste Services Ltd. with a good number of enquiries taken. 

ClearWater’s sales and development manager, Matthew Mears, was most impressed with the first show he was responsible for and commented: “A great show that served two purposes; a chance for former Highspeed directors Andy Vincent and Dave Mears to say their goodbyes after a 25 year stint at BTME and also, for Acumen to establish themselves as part of BTME and demonstrate commitment to the future of ClearWater with customers old and new!”

ClearWater A Hit At BTME

The stand was certainly busy and footfall up on last year with more overseas interest too. The latest ClearWater display unit was on hand and proved useful to explain the virtues of the system (as our photo shows). There were many visits from Greenkeepers and others with specific interest in washpad compliance and had seen pre-show publicity for ClearWater.

Towards the end of the last day the big event was the Prize Draw. Steve Lloyd (seen here), course manager of The Worcestershire GC and last year’s winner was happy to make the draw. The system was won by Crosland Heath GC, a heathland course with stunning views located on the outskirts of Huddersfield, designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie and formed in 1914. The winning entry was placed by head greenkeeper Richard Holmes. Richard was delighted to learn of the win and said: “Very happy to be compliant now. ClearWater is what we have wanted for a long time; something we have strived towards”. A new ClearWater system will be on its way to Crosland Heath very soon!

A great show for Acumen and ClearWater and with impressive organisation and support from the BIGGA team!

For more information go to www.clearwatertv.co.uk

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