Student greenkeeper awards postponed

Student greenkeeper awards postponed: Following consultation between awards organisers BIGGA and sponsors Toro and Reesink UK, the 2020 edition of the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards has been postponed.

Applications for the prestigious awards had opened in March, but the escalation of the coronavirus pandemic means that it is no longer safe or practical for the contest to take place.

Student greenkeeper awards postponed

Student greenkeeper awards postponed

Barry Beckett, senior marketing manager at The Toro Company, said: “It is with the greatest regret that the 2020 competition is postponed. We know how disappointing this will be for those who have already entered or were planning on entering this year. However, our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of all those involved in the awards and with the uncertainty we currently face, we cannot proceed with the event.”

BIGGA, Toro and Reesink UK express their apologies to all those who have already entered, but with the competition deadline for entries fast approaching, a firm decision had to be made.

David Cole, managing director at Reesink UK, said: “These are unprecedented times and while we very much hope the situation in the UK will have improved drastically by the time the regional interviews were scheduled to take place, we have to react according to the Government’s advice that stands now, restricting all unnecessary travel and contact.

“For 31 years the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards have supported the brightest upcoming professionals in the UK’s greenkeeping industry. While this is a blow for everyone involved, as with so many events being postponed and cancelled, it is the right thing to do and means the 32nd Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards will be even more valued.”

All those who have entered the 2020 competition will automatically be put forward for the 2021 awards. Nominees who are 21 and have their birthday before the next application stage can choose whether they would like to stay in the Young Student Greenkeeper category or move up to the main award.

Jim Croxton, chief executive of BIGGA, added: “Obviously, this is disappointing news for the competitors. However, the decision is absolutely appropriate in these unprecedented times and the safety of our members is always at the forefront of our thoughts. The Toro Student and Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards are one of the highlights of the year for the association, allowing our upcoming members the opportunity to showcase their talents.

“BIGGA’s Learning and Development team is available to discuss any questions from those who have applied or were thinking of applying regarding the awards, which we are confident will return for 2021.”

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Planning for a brighter future

Planning for a brighter future: 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. We understand though that this is an evolving situation. Recent exhibitions at the NEC that were scheduled to take place this March and April have already promoted the fact that they have rescheduled for October and November this year. This provides us with added confidence to continue preparations for SALTEX 2020.

Planning for a brighter future

Planning for a brighter future

SALTEX has faced many challenges in its 74-year history and everyone associated with the exhibition – organisers, exhibitors, visitors – the groundscare industry, 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.

In the meantime, we have already taken the necessary measures to ensure that our team can continue the work required to deliver SALTEX this November, while at the same time planning for every eventuality.

Of course, it is necessary to adapt to the uncertainty we are all experiencing, as government advice can change at any time. We are committed to keeping you up to date every step of the way.

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.

If you have any questions, please email in the first instance:

Matthew Knight – matthewknight@rabdf.co.uk

Charles Neale – charlesneale@rabdf.co.uk

Luke Perry – lperry@iog.org

Geoff Webb
Chief Executive Officer
The Institute of Groundsmanship

For more information visit www.iogsaltex.com

Follow SALTEX on Twitter & Instagram @IOG_SALTEX and Facebook – www.facebook.com/IOGSALTEX

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SAGE: Postponed until 2021

SAGE: Postponed until 2021: The Sports & Grounds Expo will now launch in July 2021!

We have been closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the related Government guidelines. After careful consideration, and having spoken with many people involved in our event, we have decided to postpone The Sports & Grounds Expo (SAGE) until 2021.

SAGE: Postponed until 2021

SAGE: Postponed until 2021

Given the developing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it is with deep regret that we have taken this decision, this has been a difficult decision to make. But the health of our exhibitors, visitors and staff has to be our number one priority and has taken precedence.

There has been a huge positive momentum gained for this exhibition already and we will continue to build on this to make 2021 an even bigger success. We have a preliminary date booked already with the Three Counties Showground, which will be released shortly.

In the meantime, please accept our apologies but these are unprecedented circumstances. Most importantly, we wish to extend our thoughts and best wishes to all those personally affected by the Coronavirus.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2021!

For further information, please contact:

enquiries@sportsandgrounds.co.uk

01684580101

Or visit our website; www.sportsandgrounds.co.uk

We’ll continue to keep you updated with our plans for 2021.

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More indoor demos at SALTEX

More indoor demos at SALTEX: Due to popular visitor demand, show organisers have revealed that an increased number of indoor demonstrations will be taking place at SALTEX 2020 in a large dedicated arena on the show floor.

At SALTEX 2019 the Eco Village demonstration area offered visitors the opportunity to experience the latest green technology in groundscare and played host to daily demonstrations of cutting-edge sustainable products, which included electric mowers, loaders, brushcutters, hedgecutters, chainsaws and woodchippers.

More indoor demos at SALTEX

More indoor demos at SALTEX

This feature proved to be a huge success and attracted large crowds of onlookers, which gave exhibitors the opportunity to promote their products in more detail. In fact, every exhibitor that participated in the Eco Village reported an increase in footfall to their stand and claimed that it helped them generate a significant amount of sales leads.

At last year’s SALTEX event, Avant UK demonstrated its new electric loader in the Eco Village and John Spencer, national sales manager, felt that it put them directly in the spotlight.

“SALTEX is the UK’s flagship event in the groundscare industry and when the opportunity arose to promote our products within the Eco Village, we jumped at the chance.

“A working area is a great show feature – visitors love live demonstrations. It’s good to see all the machines and equipment on static stands but getting the chance to see them in action is a great opportunity.

“Last year’s Eco Village proved popular with the visitors, as a good size crowd gathered each time we demonstrated. Not only did this gain interest in our electric models, but it also drew the visitors to our main stand to look at all our other diesel and petrol models too.”

More indoor demos at SALTEX

More indoor demos at SALTEX

Allett Mowers used the Eco Village to showcase its walk-behind electric cylinder mower and managing director Austin Jarrett, also felt that it maximised the company’s presence at the show.

“It certainly drove more visitors to our stand. We were busy on both days right up until the end of the show. It helped visitors put us on the tick list in terms of exhibitors they wanted to see on the show floor, and it gave us the opportunity to talk to more people about our products,” he said.

Many exhibitors are already signing up to the new demonstration feature which is set to be more than twice the size of the Eco Village.

Commenting on the enlarged demonstration arena, SALTEX and events director Luke Perry said: “The success of SALTEX is achieved by listening to every single piece of feedback following a show. According to the post-show visitor survey there is a real desire to see more indoor demonstrations on the show floor. Therefore, for SALTEX 2020 we have taken the decision to display more indoor demonstrations and make the experience even better.

“Not only will it be a fantastic attraction for visitors, but it will also be a great opportunity for exhibitors to proudly put their products directly in front of over 9,000 relevant visitors who have the appetite and budget for new equipment.”

SALTEX 2020 will take place at the NEC, Birmingham on 4 and 5 November.

For more information visit www.iogsaltex.com

Follow SALTEX on Twitter & Instagram @IOG_SALTEX and Facebook – www.facebook.com/IOGSALTEX

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New Sports and Grounds Exhibition

New Sports and Grounds Exhibition: The Sports and Grounds Exhibition (SAGE) is the all new summer grounds maintenance exhibition opening 21st – 23rd July 2020.

SAGE has been introduced for the sports and grounds maintenance industry to showcase their market leading products as well as release new innovations in an outdoor environment, which will provide more opportunities to both the visitor and exhibitor. The exhibition falls well in the sports and grounds maintenance calendar, placing it nicely between BTME and SALTEX.

New Sports and Grounds Exhibition

New Sports and Grounds Exhibition

The target of SAGE is to bring together grounds personnel from a broad range of sectors and provide an engaging and well-resourced environment in which they have the opportunity to test out and see in action the latest products and ideas on the market. SAGE has huge potential to grow and develop year on year.

SAGE is a three-day event and has been formed out of the heightening demand by visitors and exhibitors to get “hands-on”. The Three Counties Showground provides the ideal situation for both the exhibitor and visitor alike. It is beautifully set at the foot of the famous Malvern Hills and within easy reach of Malvern and Worcester which both have ample amounts of accommodation. The Three Counties Showground already plays host to the RHS Spring & Autumn shows as well as the famous Three Counties Show.

The sectors who will be exhibiting so far include turf maintenance, machinery, line marking, fertilizers, seed weed control and play grounds, we expect to gain many more over the coming weeks. Keep up to date with all the exhibitor releases by following us on Twitter. For your chance to win a 2 night stay at the renowned Abbey Hotel in Great Malvern for the exhibition dates like our facebook page @exposage2020 and follow us on twitter @EXPOSAGE*.

SAGE is currently working with Lantra to develop onsite training during the exhibition, there will also be the opportunity to attend seminars on a range of key topics; from the sustainability to machine maintenance.

Hospitality will be provided by many of our exhibitors onsite. There are no entrance fees and onsite parking is free of charge. There are plans currently underway to run a shuttle bus between the train station, the centre of Malvern and The Three Counties Showground. The Three Counties is in a central location with good transport links easily providing a national and international reach. We look forward to seeing you in July.

*Terms & Conditions Apply.

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Inspirational Dennis & SISIS Seminar

Inspirational Dennis & SISIS Seminar: The aptly named Storm Dennis certainly didn’t prevent the annual Dennis and SISIS groundcare seminar from going ahead, and by all accounts it once again inspired, educated and offered real solutions. 

Hosted at the Durham County Cricket Club’s Emirates Riverside Stadium on 18th February, over 150 volunteers and professionals representing schools, sports clubs, local authorities and contractors from all over the UK experienced a truly memorable day.

Inspirational Dennis & SISIS Seminar

Inspirational Dennis & SISIS Seminar

Marcus North, Durham Director of Cricket and former Australian batsman, kick-started the event much to the delight of the attendees. The left-handed batsman, who played 21 Tests for his country and played for five counties in England, proceeded to offer a unique insight into all the various pitches he has played on throughout the world. Not only did his talk offer a glimpse into an international cricket player’s perspective but it also offered an interesting insight into a club’s relationship with the groundstaff.

Iain James from TGMS Ltd followed with a plethora of advice on the construction and maintenance of a cricket pitch. No stone was left unturned as Iain went through every stage of a construction process offering some valuable tips to those who carry out the work in-house but also presented the questions one should be asking of a contractor. Lots of notes were taken as Iain covered the six key stages of construction – planning, design, build, grow-in, preparation and play.

Seminar delegates were then pleased to hear from the Institute of Groundsmanship’s Ian Powell who provided a number of helpful tips in his presentation entitled ‘Principles of decision making for pre-season preparations’. Ian discussed the utmost important aspects of pre-season preparations including seeding, rolling, scarification and nutrition.

Rounding off the morning in style, delegates had a rare opportunity to listen to and question an incredible line-up of some of the industry’s finest groundsmen. Hosted by Vic Demain (Durham CCC), this new feature entitled Groundsmans Corner, saw a panel of experts including Keith Kent (Head Pitch Advisor for Rugby Groundsmen Connected), Jim Dawson (Head Groundsman at BT Murrayfield), Karl McDermott (Head Groundsman at MCC Lord’s), Sean Williams (Head Groundsman at Gloucestershire CCC) and Gordon Gill (Former Head Groundsman at Bath CC). An interesting range of topics were explored and, in particular, the use of social media in the industry sparked an informative debate.

A complimentary lunch signalled the halfway point, and attendees got the chance to network with one another and gain even more groundcare advice from event sponsors – Limagrain UK, Boughton Loam, Thomas Sherriff, Stuart Canvas, Fleet Line Markers, Cricket World, SIS Pitches, Poweroll, Facility and Sports Club Development and Headland Amenity.

Upon settling down after lunch, Barry Glynn hilariously reflected on his career in ‘Frustrations of a Groundsman: Part 2’ before the legendary Keith Kent proceeded with a presentation entitled ‘Winter Sports Pitches to Cricket Outfields – what do we need to do?’ Delegates were thrilled when Keith drew on his wealth of experience as a groundsman to explore the transformation of winter sports pitches into cricket outfields.

Inspirational Dennis & SISIS Seminar

Inspirational Dennis & SISIS Seminar

In his presentation, Keith described the groundcare industry as a brotherhood; a family in which everyone should be supporting their colleagues and the general consensus in the room at the end of the day was that this event was an exemplary demonstration of camaraderie – no matter what your title or position.

One delegate, Derek Traill of Cricket Scotland, said: “The key message coming out of today’s event is that it is all about communication and to strive to learn off one another – we learn from one another’s experiences, failures and successes and from these we can build on them and improve as one.”

For Ben Weatherall, a young Assistant Groundsman at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the event was inspirational which will serve him well in his career path: “It was great to get the opportunity to listen to guys like Vic, Keith and Jim. Listening to their stories, their experiences and where they came from was hugely inspiring. In my up and coming career, events like this will help me get to where I want to be.”

One such groundsman who has found exactly where he wants to be is Karl McDermott and he was encouraged to see so many young people in attendance. “Sometimes you go to these kinds of events and it is mostly retired groundsmen that are helping out their local clubs – which is fantastic because they benefit a lot from the advice they receive. However, there has been a real good mix today and we need to look to the future and keep on trying to get the younger generation into this industry.

“Events like this Dennis and SISIS seminar will only help,” he continued. “This is a great chance to network and to chat to people and actually discover that no matter what level you are at, club or recreational to test match level – we all have the same problems.”

Robbie Thackray, Groundsman at the University of Leeds, certainly felt relieved to find out that he is not alone when it comes to certain issues: “I have found it extremely reassuring that everyone is in the same boat,” he said. “We all have the same struggles no matter where we work or what our job title is. Today has been brilliant and offered so many solutions.”

Further information about the range of 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 and SISIS videos by visiting www.youtube.com/DennisMowers and www.youtube.com/SISISMachinery.

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New Bayer launch at BTME

New Bayer launch at BTME: Bayer has launched a new unique patent protected biological nematode control to help greenkeepers and groundsmen to maintain quality playing surfaces.

Harmonix Tri-Nema brings together the latest nematode technology to effectively tackle leatherjackets and chafer grubs.

New Bayer launch at BTME

Neil Pettican, Bayer head of sales, says the unique solution targets the damaging pests during two critical periods of the greenkeeping season. The treatment contains three specifically selected nematode species, which each use a different method to control turf pests.

“Additionally, they become more aggressive as they try to out compete each other to become the dominant species, increasing the effectiveness of the application and its capability to control the pests.

“Over recent years, chafer grub and leatherjacket populations have been on the rise, resulting in significant damage to turf playing surfaces. But Harmonix Tri-Nema provides one solution with three different modes of activity.

“Collectively the three species provide more effective distribution through the soil profile, leading to more consistent results,” he says.

“With regulatory changes putting pressure on chemical solutions, alternative options will be fundamental in maintaining high quality turf. However, this nematode control solution will slot into an integrated approach, while helping reduce pesticide applications and therefore resistance.”

Pest activity

Neil explains that both chafer grubs and leatherjackets have different peak seasons, due to their lifecycles, so it’s important to monitor for activity carefully to ensure infestations are identified and treated at the right timing, before significant damage is done.

“Chafer grubs emerge from their eggs in the summer months, so treatment for this pest is recommended between May and August.

However, to achieve successful control over leatherjackets, the best application window is between late August and November, whilst the leatherjackets are still at a juvenile stage, ,” he says.

Application method

He adds that it is important to consider application conditions as well as recommended timings.

“Our research for both chafer grub and leatherjacket control shows that for heavy infestations the best results are seen when 250,000 nematodes/m2 are applied to the affected area, with a follow up treatment two weeks later. This maximises the ability for the nematodes to penetrate, attach and infect newly hatched eggs.

“For areas that are not severely infested, one application at the normal rate of 500,000 nematodes per m2 would be sufficient.”

Neil adds that it’s also important to apply nematodes in moist conditions, and in low light so ideally this should be early in the morning or the evening when soil temperatures are above 12⁰C.

“With limited chemical options available for controlling these pests, this new biological solution provides an alternative tool for greenkeepers that fits within an integrated approach.

“It helps avoid turf damage from pests during peak seasons, improving turf consistency and playability,” he concludes.

For more information, head to stand 338 in the green hall at BTME and speak to the Turf Solutions Team or email turfsolutions@bayer.com.

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World’s widest Sarel Roller at BTME

World’s widest Sarel Roller at BTME: GreenTek will be displaying their 5.4m wide Multi-Sarel at the BTME show in Harrogate.

In recent years, golf courses have been working hard to raise the turf quality of their fairways.  This follows a similar pattern to the great advances in greens care equipment, and consequently turf quality, that have been made on golf greens since the 1980’s and 90’s.

World’s widest Sarel Roller at BTME

Many greenkeepers will remember the launch of the Vertidrain, followed by various greens rollers, the Greens Groomer zig-zag brush and the Sweep N Fill rotary brushes which superseded drag mats, plus the universally popular Thatch-Away greenscare cassette system.

Now, in the face of extreme weather in recent years, golfers are looking for improved turf quality on fairways.  Having suffered from both drought and prolonged rain, many courses have struggled to maintain acceptable playing conditions, and are consequently looking at implementing some of the techniques previously reserved for greens, on their fairways.

Cultural practices such as brushing to disperse dew and worm casts, grooming to reduce thatch, rolling to improve trueness, and sarel rolling to improve percolation and reduce run-off, are all now viable treatments for fairways.

GreenTek are once again leading the way, with ultra-wide versions of the type of equipment that was formally only found on greens.

World’s widest Sarel Roller at BTME

Their Multi-Brush, Multi-Roller, and Multi-Sarel all have massive 5.4m working widths, and the new Fairway Groomer, also on display at BTME, is 3.6m wide.  Working on lightweight compact tractors or utility vehicles this equipment is suitable for high frequency use to maintain pristine fairways on a weekly basis.

Visit the GreenTek team in Red Hall South, Stand 200 to see this equipment in the flesh!

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New Jacobsen launches at BTME

New Jacobsen launches at BTME: Jacobsen is set to launch the brand-new Eclipse 360 ELiTE, Eclipse 2 Lithium and AR730 at BTME 2020.

Exhibition attendees will be able to experience the new machines for the first time in Purple Hall, Stand 422 across the three day exhibition in Harrogate with the Jacobsen team ready to talk greenkeepers through the mowers and their new features.

New Jacobsen launches at BTME

Jacobsen was an early innovator of electric golf mowers, and the ride-on Eclipse 360 ELiTE showcases that unique decade’s worth of experience while delivering the signature Jacobsen quality of cut. That knowledge has also been built into the Eclipse 2 Lithium. A patented true floating head and Classic XPÔ reel combine to produce a lithium powered mower that has already proven itself at the renowned Pebble Beach.

Focusing on the end-user has been an integral part of the 2020 product updates, and the comfort, size and power of the new AR730 make it perfect for mowing hilly terrain with sharp undulations while reducing the chance of scalping.

Ransomes Jacobsen director of international product development, Richard Comely, has been central to the growth of these new products and is excited to unveil them to the industry.

He said: “BTME is always a significant exhibition in the golf industry calendar, and it is the perfect place for us to launch these innovative new models. During product development, we were focused on the end-user and their everyday needs, while also concentrating on the environment they work in. Electrically powered technology is becoming increasingly important for many reasons, and we want to continue providing the industry with electric golf mowers that provide the performance and cut quality needed to produce a world class course.

New Jacobsen launches at BTME

“Harrogate is the ideal setting to welcome greenkeepers onto the stand and show them what we’ve been working on as well as listening to their thoughts on what they would like as an end-user.”

Another example of industry leading battery technology will be on the stand in the shape of the E-Z-GO Freedom RXV Elite with Textron Fleet Management (TFM) installed. This golf car is unmatched when it comes to performance, efficiency, and standard features. Models are available with the option of a 48-volt AC electric drivetrain with patented IntelliBrakeÔ technology or the first of its kind EX1 closed-loop EFI petrol engine which provides unmatched energy efficiencies. Headlights, taillights, brake lights and a modern dash come as standard with the option of rear facing seats and a choice of 13 colours.

The Cushman Hauler 800X Elite, Cushman Truckster with mounted Turfco 1550 Top Dresser and Smithco Ultra Lite Roller will also be on the stand to showcase the full range of Jacobsen turf maintenance equipment.

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Syngenta to launch Application Academy

Syngenta to launch Application Academy: The pioneering world-first Syngenta Application Academy will give turf managers and sprayer operators the chance to delve into the world of precision application.

Launching the Application Academy at BTME (Harrogate 21-23 January), Syngenta Technical Manager and application specialist, Glenn Kirby, highlighted it will give a select group the chance to become an industry leader in accurate application – and get the very best from every turf treatment.

Syngenta to launch Application Academy

Prospective candidates can visit Syngenta stand 428 at BTME to apply, or register on GreenCast after the show in January. 

“The Syngenta Turf Application Academy gives an opportunity to really learn about the science behind the skills involved. Attending the Academy will take spray application to a new level,” said Mr Kirby.

Focusing on scientific research and practical advice, the three day Application Academy will be held in June, at the dedicated Application Laboratory of Syngenta Jealott’s Hill International Research Station in Berkshire.

Syngenta to launch Application Academy

The Application Academy syllabus modules include:

  • Understanding spray dynamics
  • Nozzle design and development
  • Microscopy of droplet movement
  • Digital Innovations Laboratory
  • Setting-up testing and operating your sprayer

The course will be led by Syngenta specialists and independent experts in spray research and accurate application. Successful candidates will achieve Academy test certification.

“The Application Academy is open to all golf course or sports facility managers or dedicated sprayer operators,” added Mr Kirby. “All applicants will get to join the Syngenta Application Club, providing advice and sharing best practice throughout the season.”

Syngenta to launch Application Academy

A selected short list of candidate applications will be invited to undertake a Skype interview. Costs of the course, accommodation, subsistence and tuition is provided by Syngenta.

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