An Update From Scott MacCallum

An Update From Scott MacCallum: As I write we are coming to the end of March and we can well and truly smell spring. It is a significant time of year for me as it coincides with our wedding anniversary. This year will be our 29th, given that we were married in 1990. In some ways it seems like only yesterday but in others it’s a lifetime away.

It got me thinking about all the things we didn’t know or know about back then – a time when mobile phones were of similar proportions to a small child’s shoe box and were used to make phone calls and phone calls alone. Text messaging didn’t come in until 1992, never mind the concept of the smart phone.

An Update From Scott MacCallum

And the way of finding that information? Well Google (1998) and Wikipedia (2001) were later arrivals too. For heaven’s sake the DVD wasn’t invented until… (I’m having to pause at this juncture because the WIFI has crashed – not a phrase you would have heard back when I was saying “I do”). The Sony PlayStation didn’t start occupying the nation’s youth until 1994 and the Nintendo 64 two years later.

It’s back! DVD was 1996.

Brexit was a word only employed by over enthusiastic Scrabble players.

In sports turf there have been many innovations since the start of the 90s, in all aspects of the industry. Who would have thought about stadium lighting back then, Primo Maxx was a distant dream and the idea of a hand mower, never mind a triple, being powered by battery!

No doubt another 29 years down the line we’ll be saying “Remember when we had to sit in the back of our driverless car and wait for hours to get to our destination” as we step into our Star Trek-style teletransporter.

Dennis & SISIS Kick-Start Bowls Season

Dennis & SISIS Kick-Start Bowls Season: In preparation for the new season, an overwhelming number of greenkeepers made their way to the recent Dennis and SISIS Bowling Green Maintenance Seminar, in order to gain advice and tips on best practice.

The popular seminars, which are designed to educate greenkeepers on how to maintain and look after bowling greens, have been credited for improving the greens at numerous bowls clubs throughout the country. Combining insightful seminars and practical tips, a number of industry experts take to the stage to discuss a wide range of key topics.

Dennis & SISIS Kick-Start Bowls Season

Held at the Herts Bowling Club in Watford, this most recent seminar attracted a phenomenal 80 greenkeepers.

After an introduction from Dennis and SISIS’ Robert Jack, the seminar welcomed the extremely knowledgeable sports turf consultant Alan Lewis, who drew upon his wealth of experience to deliver a presentation entitled ‘Spring Maintenance on a Bowling Green.’

Grass seed was the next topic of the day when Luke Hunt from Barenbrug UK advised delegates on how to choose the correct seed for their greens.

A refreshment break allowed attendees to soak up and discuss the advice they had just received before John Noyce from Collier Turfcare took to the stage to offer an insightful look into ‘Chemical & Fertiliser options.’

The ever popular Turf Clinic followed and enabled all of the greenkeepers to ask their own questions to the panel of expert speakers.

After a complimentary lunch, an on-green demonstration took place in which delegates got the opportunity to see a number of turf maintenance techniques in action.

Kev Brazier, a contract greenkeeper working in partnership with Harpenden Bowls Club, felt that the seminar was a great opportunity to enhance his greenkeeping knowledge.

“It was a really informative seminar. The speakers had great knowledge and they presented it in a way in which everyone could understand. I was particularly interested in hearing that there is actually a place for Dwarf Ryes on bowling greens in certain situations.

Dennis & SISIS Kick-Start Bowls Season

“It was brilliant for networking and there was a broad range of subjects discussed. They were all incredibly relevant and I took a lot away from the spring maintenance tips.”

John Hay, Hertfordshire bowls greens co-ordinator, worked alongside Dennis & SISIS in arranging the seminar and felt that the day was a huge success.

“The seminar had a fantastic response and it was very timely because it has helped greenkeepers prepare for the season ahead. It was invaluable to all of the clubs that attended; the speakers were amazing, there were a few myths put to bed about what should and shouldn’t be done and there was a nice turf clinic which gave the greenkeepers the chance to speak their minds.

“Most of the people who attend these seminars are people who work voluntarily to support their clubs and therefore seminars like this can really make a big difference.”

Forthcoming seminars can be found below:

Tuesday 9 April – Hykeham Bowls Club, North Hykeham, Lincolnshire.

Wednesday 10 April – Ashbourne Bowls Club, Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

Thursday 11 April – Hewell Bowls Club, Redditch, Worcestershire.

To register for the FREE and highly informative seminars, please contact Roger Moore on 01332 824777 or email roger.moore@dennisuk.com.

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

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Dennis on Twitter and Instagram @DennisMowers and SISIS @SISISMachinery. You can like the Facebook page – www.facebook.com/DennisMowersUK and www.facebook.com/SISISMachinery. You can also view the latest Dennis videos by visiting www.youtube.com/DennisMowers and www.youtube.com/SISISMachinery

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Makita Hold Back The Water

Makita Hold Back The Water: The 10th Welcome to Yorkshire garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, designed by multi award-winner Mark Gregory, features an authentically built canal with flowing water and genuine canal lock gates.  A massive volume of water will be circulated by several Makita submersible water pumps that will ensure the towpath, lock keepers lodge and, importantly, RHS Chelsea’s Main Avenue remains safe, dry and disaster-free for the anticipated 157,000 annual visitors and members of the Royal family.

This atmospheric garden is inspired by Yorkshire’s proud history of industry, manufacturing and innovation and the county’s unrivalled natural environment and green spaces.  The working canal has two gates and a bypass sluice system that runs alongside a perennial meadow and the planting will celebrate the rich diversity of native flora typically abundant in Yorkshire.

Makita Hold Back The Water

“I’m honoured to be involved yet again on the Welcome to Yorkshire’s garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea show,” comments Mark Gregory, the 22-time Gold medal winner and Managing Director of Landform Consultants.  “The scale of this project is huge and complex but, as last year, I hope it will be effortless and flow beautifully, just as the canals did centuries ago.”  Mark has taken inspiration for his design from a narrow canal in Huddersfield and has enjoyed the adventures and discoveries of recreating this historic vista.  This will be the 99th garden Mark has worked on at this prestigious, internationally renowned show.

No less than ten Makita PF1110 submersible pumps will push the flow of water in the Welcome to Yorkshire garden.  Each pump will deliver a minimum of 250 litres of water per minute from a submersion depth of 5m, to a max head height of 10m.  These pumps have a stainless steel body making them suitable for draining muddy water, wells and tanks and are also ideal for lifting water for irrigation.  Each pump weighs 7kg, has an input wattage of 1100w and is available in 240V only.

“Submersible pumps are among the most efficient options available when it is necessary to pump liquid from a large body of water,” says Mark Earles, Business Development Manager OPE, Makita UK.  “Whereas most water pumps are positioned outside a body of water and pull water to the surface, submersible pumps are submerged within the water and push water to the surface.  Our pumps will do a great job pushing almost 150,000 litres of water per hour throughout the duration of the five-day Show in what we hope will be another huge success for Landform Consultants.”

For more information on the Welcome to Yorkshire garden: https://www.yorkshire.com/inspiration/chelsea/the-welcome-to-yorkshire-garden-2019

For more information about Landform Consultants: www.landformconsultants.co.uk

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Liverpool Groundsman Retires

Liverpool Groundsman Retires: Groundsman Allan Webster has retired from his role at Liverpool after more than 40 years working at the club.

The 64-year-old has tended to the famous Anfield pitch as well as the training ground at Melwood, and since 2005 he has looked after the lawns at the academy in Kirkby.

Liverpool Groundsman Retires

Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com Allan explained how he landed the role: “A job was advertised in the Liverpool Echo as a trainee groundsman at Anfield.

“I didn’t get it at first but the lad who got it never turned up.

“I was at Anfield in the queue for tickets for a big cup game and the foreman Bert Johnson picked me out and said I could have it on a month’s trial. I started the next day.”

Allan spent the first 28 years at Anfield and was there for Shankly’s final year at the helm, he said: “He’d talk to anyone. ‘All right, son?’ he’d say.

“I remember everyone’s shock when he stepped down.

“Bob Paisley took over. Bob didn’t know my name, he didn’t know some of the players’ names!

“He’d just say, ‘Here’s Dougie Doins’, that was his saying.”

It was a labour of love for Allan, a lifelong Liverpudlian, he added: “When the old standing Kop was singing during a night game it was absolutely brilliant – ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ moved you.”

In a special interview with the club the West Derby grandad revealed it would be a six mile walk every time the Anfield grass was cut.

His last shift was on Friday after 45 years of dedicated service, Allan added: “I enjoyed it. We took pride in the pitch – we were made up the players did what they did and what we were doing.”

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Groundsman’s Burger Discovery

Groundsman’s Burger Discovery: When a burger descended from space to land on the training ground at Colchester United on Thursday, groundsmen at the club were stumped as to its origin.

Was it a cryptic message from another solar system, or possibly a bizarre ploy from an opposing team to upset United’s preparations?

Groundsman's Burger Discovery

All was revealed when Tom Stanniland, better known by his YouTube name Kill’em, called the League Two club to explain.

“I sent a burger into space using a weather balloon,” said Stanniland, who intended to eat it once it had safely returned to terra firma – wherever that may be.

“It had gone about 24 miles up and the weather balloon popped. It’s come back down, travelled over 100 miles and landed right here.”

A groundsman at Colchester found the burger, accompanied by a camera and parachute, at the club’s training ground, Florence Park.

Stanniland was able to determine its location thanks to a tracker he had installed in the box carrying the burger into the earth’s atmosphere.

After contacting the club to confirm its whereabouts, Stanniland travelled down from his home in Sheffield to retrieve the cosmic burger.

However, the effects of the journey into space had taken its toll on the meal.

Click here to read the original article

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Deere & Company Elect John May

Deere & Company Elect John May: Deere & Company has announced that its Board of Directors elected John C May, 49, as President, Chief Operating Officer, effective from 1st April 2019. May will be responsible for leading Deere’s efforts to maximise operational excellence throughout the company.

May has been with Deere for 22 years and joined the senior management team in 2012 as President, Agricultural Solutions and Chief Information Officer. Last year he was named President, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division, with responsibility for the Americas and Australia, the Global Harvesting, Turf & Utility and Crop Care Platforms, and the Intelligent Solutions Group. Earlier in his career, John headed the company’s China operations, served as factory manager at the Dubuque Works in Iowa, and was Vice President of the Turf & Utility Platform.

Deere & Company Elect John May

“John’s record of success and proven leadership skills make him highly qualified for this broader role,” said Samuel R Allen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, his leadership of the company’s precision agriculture initiative and experience as chief information officer will serve him well as Deere moves ahead on its digitalisation journey.”

Deere also announced the election of three other leaders to new positions, effective from 1st April. These include:

  • Cory J Reed, 48, to the position of President, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division, Americas and Australia, Global Harvesting and Turf Platforms, and Ag Solutions. Reed joined the company in 1998 and most recently has been President, John Deere Financial.
  • Rajesh Kalathur, 50, to the position of President, John Deere Financial and Chief Information Officer. Since joining Deere in 1996, Kalathur has held positions in finance, business development, logistics, operations and marketing. Since 2012, he has been a member of the senior leadership team as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He assumed the added responsibilities of Chief Information Officer in 2018.
  • Ryan D Campbell, 44, to the position of Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer. Campbell joined John Deere in 2007 and has held a number of management positions within the finance function. He became Vice President and Comptroller in 2016 and last year was named Deputy Financial Officer.

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

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ECHO Launch First Mower

ECHO Launch First Mower: ECHO has built an enviable reputation for producing quality outdoor power tools, both professional and domestic. Until now, only a lawnmower has been missing from the range but that has been rectified with the introduction of a new 58V battery powered mower. Part of ECHO’s new 58V range, the LM-58V4AH offers petrol performance from a battery product. ECHO is quick to point out the new mower is the product of extensive development and built to the same professional standards as all its tools.

The question is, why would you choose battery power over petrol? ECHO answers this with a mower that has all the power of its petrol counterparts, whilst bringing a range of battery benefits and green credentials. These include low noise, low vibration, no emissions at the point of use and minimal maintenance. This makes it ideal for working in noise and emission sensitive areas such as parks and public gardens, educational establishments and around hospitals as well as domestic gardens. Coupled with no fuel filling or fuel storage required, no pull start and a lower lifetime cost of ownership, it’s easy to see why ECHO’s new lawnmower is perfect for today’s keen gardener.

ECHO Launch First Mower

The LM-58V4AH is powered by a 58V lithium-ion battery and a brushless motor, which is long lasting and maintenance free due to non-wearing parts; helping to reduce downtime and servicing costs. It has a run time of up to forty minutes on one battery and comes with a quick charger to fully charge the 4Ah battery in sixty minutes. So you just charge and go. There are dual battery compartments and a simple key system activates a second optional battery for maximum convenience and minimal disruption.

The mower features a 53cm (21”) cutting deck that is robust, won’t rust and comes with a grass collection bag and mulch plug, offering the versatility of collection or mulching. Wheel height adjusters with seven positions let you easily select multiple cutting heights and there is a three position handle adjustment for maximum user comfort. The quick release handle enables compact vertical or horizontal storage.

ECHO’S 58V interchangeable battery system allows one battery to fit multiple tools. So the 4Ah battery that comes with the mower can be used with any of the 58V products in the range which, together with the mower, comprises a chainsaw, power blower, hedgetrimmer and trimmer. ECHO offers a one-year professional use or two-year domestic warranty on the LM-58V4AH, which shows their confidence in the machine, and there is a two-year warranty on all 58V lithium-ion batteries. You can find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer, by visiting www.echo-tools.co.uk or calling 0800 597 7777 for more information.

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Chemical Cause For Concern

Chemical Cause For Concern: With a dwindling chemical arsenal, more and more greenkeepers are embracing natural alternatives, chief among them being enriched biochar from UK company Carbon Gold. But who are Carbon Gold, what is enriched biochar and, critically, does it work?  

With iprodione banned and propiconazole and chlorothalonil on their way out, the three “silver bullets” of professional sports turf, which the entire industry has relied on for decades to keep our various courses and pitches green and playable, are all at once unavailable.  Compounding the issue, it’s almost certain that nutrient application will be stymied on environmental grounds to prevent run off into the water table in the near future.

Chemical Cause For Concern

However, although it’s no doubt a source of anxiety, few greenkeepers are truly despairing just yet, and some are completely at ease having already replaced their chemical and nutrient arsenal with an organic alternative before the chemicals have stopped being sold. That organic alternative? Carbon Gold’s enriched biochar product, Turf Improver.

Biochar is a high-carbon form of charcoal that improves the water-holding capacity, nutrient retention, aeration and structure of soils and substrates.  It also provides a permanent protective refuge for beneficial microbiology.

Carbon Gold’s Turf Improver is biochar enriched with beneficial fungi, nutrients and bacteria and delivers improved turf health and vitality, improves rooting and nutrient retention.

Does it work?  Commercial trials indicate yes.

At Mullion Golf Club, the most southernly course in the country, enriched biochar Turf Improver was incorporated into the 14th green which was considered the course’s problem green in Jan 2018. Just eight months on, despite an outbreak of Fusarium on some of the courses untreated greens in the autumn, the 14th green is completely disease free, the grass is showing better rooting, feels firmer and is looking much healthier.

At Okehampton Golf Club in Devon, the incorporation of enriched biochar Turf Improver into the 5th and 12th greens in March 2017 resulted in a 20% fertiliser reduction and a 100% fungicide reduction on both greens.

So who are Carbon Gold?

The company was founded by Craig Sams, founder of Green & Blacks Chocolate, back in 2007 as an organic, peat-free planting aid for the retail sector.  But with a few years of incredible results from third-party scientific trials looking into enriched biochar’s effect on plant health in the commercial crop growing and tree care sectors, trade eventually superseded the company’s retail offering.

Chemical Cause For Concern

Enriched biochar is used extremely effectively in the incredibly controlled growing conditions of both organic and conventional greenhouses in the UK and Europe, and is quickly establishing itself as the standard for tree planting and care.  It was introduced to the professional sports turf market by Carbon Gold only a year ago but has already picked up the distribution support of Sherriff Amenity, the UK’s leading sports turf consultants and suppliers.

The times are certainly changing, but so are the tools we have at our disposal to keep our turf healthy.  With this new generation of environmentally friendly products, like Carbon Gold’s enriched biochar, retiring chemical fungicides and pesticides might not be the handicap it’s expected to be.

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Shelton Transform Golf Club Greens

Shelton Transform Golf Club Greens: Lincolnshire drainage experts Shelton Sportsturf Drainage returned to Ross-on-Wye Golf Club earlier this year in the first week of September to install drainage on the remaining 13 greens after the first five had been completed one year previously. Prior to any of the work starting, flooded greens had been causing course closures and the use of forward pins.

The Shelton Lightning Drain System installed in the first 5 greens, had performed so well over the 1st year, turning the most waterlogged greens into their driest greens which remained in play all year, that it was decided to complete the programme, and drain the remaining 13 greens this September using  the same technique. Lightning Drain is a drainage technique pioneered by Shelton using their System 25 trencher; where 35mm wide trenches are excavated into the green using a high-speed digging wheel, 25mm perforated land drainage pipe and Lytag® are installed in a one-pass operation. The club recruited a team of volunteer members who worked alongside Sheltons and the work was completed in just 9 days.

Shelton Transform Golf Club Greens

Seeking advice from the club’s agronomist (STRI) on a post recovery programme the greens were then re-seeded using a mixture of dwarf rye (as a nursery crop) and Fescue grass mixed in with the top dressing, giving excellent results; the faster growing rye grass seed emerged quickly allowing the greens to recover and they were back in play in 4-6 weeks, whilst the slower growing Fescue came through before the rye started to respond to mowing. Ross-on-Wye’s Greens Chairman Hugh Elliott said: “The results have been excellent, the grass was growing through the trench lines within 10 days, and it has made a huge difference to the playability of the course. The whole project has been a great success and thanks must go to our brilliant volunteer members, STRI and the team from Shelton – I would recommend Shelton Lightning Drain System to any Club needing to drain their greens”

Shelton Drainage Ltd is a global business, based in Lincolnshire, England. Shelton design and manufacture specialist drainage machinery for the sportsturf and agricultural market which is engineered to maximise the efficiency of drainage systems and minimise the disruption of installation. As a result, and unlike some more traditional drainage methods, Shelton’s machinery and drainage techniques leave minimal impact on the surface.

Shelton machines are sold all over the world and the overseas business is growing quickly in over 20 different countries. Shelton work to an extensive research and development program, they are regular users of their own machinery allowing for continuous improvement. They appreciate customer feedback and use it to ensure that with a Shelton machine you will always get outstanding performance.

Shelton Transform Golf Club Greens

Ross-on-Wye Golf Club is a Members Club situated in Herefordshire, www.therossonwyegolfclub.co.uk

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Boy Racers Churn Up Football Pitches

Boy Racers Churn Up Football Pitches: Boy racers performing ‘donuts’ have churned up a team’s football pitch in Market Harborough.

Two cars have damaged a large section of the turf at the Symington’s Recreation Ground by performing stunts and driving about at speed on Sunday night.

Boy Racers Churn Up Football Pitches

Officials at Borough Alliance Football Club, who run 17 teams for up to 400 players, officials, volunteers and parents at the site, have branded the actions as ‘mindless vandalism’.

Mick Draper, club chairman and manager of the under-10 team, said he was angry at the drivers.

He said: “These boy racers have come onto the pitch on Sunday night at about 8pm after our teams played at home.

“These idiots have spent five or 10 minutes trashing our pitches doing donuts.

“They have caused damage to three pitches.

“You can’t print what I think about these idiots. It is mindless vandalism.”

Local people have rallied round to get a group of volunteers together to work on the pitches so they are playable on at the weekend.

The club have also received support from Harborough Hire Centre and Jewsons, who are providing equipment and materials to assist them.

The affected areas will be re-seeded.

Mr Draper said: “We will get all hands on deck and sort this. There is no way we will not be ready for the games on Sunday.

“Our under-15s are going for the league, our under-11s are in a quarter-final and the under-nines are in a semi-final.

“They are all playing at home and all games will go ahead as planned. We will not let these vandals win. “

Harborough District Council have said they intend to install extra bollards to prevent vehicles being able to access the playing surfaces.

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