Quest for the Oldest Avant Machine

Quest for the Oldest Avant Machine: Avant Tecno, a renowned manufacturer of compact loaders, is embarking on a quest to uncover the oldest Avant machine still in operation in the United Kingdom.

As part of its celebrations marking 25 years of successful operations in the UK, Avant Tecno is calling upon owners of these reliable workhorses to come forward and showcase their enduring machines.

Quest for the Oldest Avant Machine

Quest for the Oldest Avant Machine

Quest for the Oldest Avant MachineQuest for the Oldest Avant Machine

“Do you own the oldest working Avant loader in the country?” said Raimo Ala-Korpi, Managing Director of Avant UK. “We’re on a quest to find the longest-serving Avant loader still in operation, and we need your help!”

The search for the oldest Avant loader in the UK not only aims to identify a piece of machinery with remarkable longevity but also serves as a tribute to the brand’s journey over the past quarter-century in the UK market. Raimo expressed his pride and delight at the expansion of the UK market for Avant Tecno. “We are thrilled to see how much the UK market has expanded over the past 25 years. The Avant brand stands out from others due to its unparalleled versatility and reliability,” Raimo remarked.

Avant Tecno’s commitment to innovation and quality has been the cornerstone of its success in the UK. From its humble beginnings to becoming a prominent player in the market, Avant Tecno has witnessed remarkable growth, driven by its dedication to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.

The extensive range of multi-functional loaders and over 200 attachments offered by Avant Tecno has catered to various industries, including landscaping, forestry, construction, agriculture, and property maintenance. This versatility has made Avant loaders indispensable to countless businesses and individuals across the UK.

As Avant Tecno celebrates its 25th anniversary in the UK, the search for the oldest Avant loader serves as a testament to the brand’s enduring legacy and the trust it has garnered among its customers. If you believe you own the oldest working Avant loader in the UK, don’t hesitate to reach out and become a part of this historic celebration.

For more information, please visit www.avanttecno.com/uk

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Aspen return to The Arb Show

Aspen return to The Arb Show: Aspen Fuel return to The Arb Show 2024, showcasing the many benefits of the original and UK’s best-selling alkylate petrol for the professional arborist.

Free from ethanol, benzene and most other hazardous hydrocarbons traditionally found in pump petrol, Aspen delivers a significantly improved shelf life and a cleaner burn, enhancing engine performance and reliability while providing an improved working environment for the operator.

Aspen return to The Arb Show

Aspen return to The Arb Show

Available in 4-stroke and as a pre-mixed alkylate petrol for air-cooled 2-stroke engines, Aspen offers a viable solution for those seeking a more environmentally friendly fuel source, without resigning fully serviceable petrol-powered equipment to the shed or scrapyard. With a range of pack sizes and flexible delivery options available, Aspen is ideal for use in all types of equipment, in all landscapes and for operations of all sizes.

Businesses who may be on the fence about Aspen Fuel have the opportunity to trial it risk-free with Aspen’s ‘Experience the Difference’ promotion – extended for visitors to The Arb Show. Subject to a bulk purchase, operators can use either Aspen 2 or Aspen 4 in their own working environments with the confidence that, if they don’t notice the significant improvements to sustainable working practices, they can return the unused fuel.

In their new location this May, visitors to plot B14 can speak to the Aspen technical team to find out more about the trial, along with participate in a new take on the ‘Aspen Challenge’ for your chance to win a fantastic prize each day.

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Green-tech celebrates after winning Employer of the Year

Green-tech celebrates after winning Employer of the Year: Green-tech, the UK’s leading supplier of landscaping and forestry products, is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Employer of the Year’ at the ProLandscaper Business Awards 2024.

The category award, sponsored by Fresh Horticultural Careers, celebrates excellence in leadership, workforce development, and employee satisfaction within the landscaping industry.

Green-tech celebrates after winning Employer of the Year

Green-tech celebrates after winning Employer of the Year

The ProLandscaper Business Awards, held annually, recognise outstanding achievements and innovation across various sectors of the landscaping industry. Green-tech was among six distinguished finalists for the esteemed Employer of the Year award. However, the company emerged victorious after successfully showing where staff ideas and comments have resulted in change to create a positive work environment, and how Green-tech demonstrated a desire to support the physical and mental health of its employees.

The awards ceremony was held at Old Billingsgate, London on Friday 19th April, and brought together companies from across all sectors of the industry to celebrate the accomplishments within the landscaping community.

Green-tech’s Managing Director Kris Nellist attended the event with some of the Green-tech team, who were thrilled to accept the award on behalf of the entire company.

Commenting on the win, Kris said: “We are incredibly honoured to be named Employer of the Year at the ProLandscaper Business Awards 2024. Green-tech strives to create a supportive and inclusive work environment where our employees can thrive and reach their full potential. Winning this award not only validates our efforts but is a testament to the dedication and hard work of every member of the Green-tech team for working to get Green-tech where it is today.”

Green-tech is celebrating its 30th anniversary so this year is particularly poignant for the company who have set itself an ambitious target to raise £30,000 for five very deserving charities – BALI Chalk Fund, Candlelighters, Macmillan Cancer Support, Perennial, and Shelter. The company is striving to raise £1000 for every year of trading and has six challenges planned over six months, bringing staff together to take part in events ranging from a ‘big sleep-out’ to marathons, cycling, and endurance challenges. The company has raised just over £14,300 so far. To contribute please visit https://bit.ly/49MSksI

For more information about Green-tech please visit www.green-tech.co.uk

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Two ICL biostimulants prove better than one

Two ICL biostimulants prove better than one: An ICL trial at St Andrews Links demonstrated that tank-mixing Vitalnova SMX with an H2Pro TriSmart programme significantly enhanced golf green turf quality and rootzone health, surpassing the improvements achieved by using TriSmart alone.

A trial conducted at St Andrews Links in 2022 illustrated the advantages of combining two proven technologies. Tank-mixing the seaweed biostimulant Vitalnova SMX with the non-microbial biostimulant surfactant H2Pro TriSmart programme yielded significant additional benefits. This research emphasised the capacity of the combined treatments to improve turf health, particularly during dry summer months.

Two ICL biostimulants prove better than one

Two ICL biostimulants prove better than one

The trial, employing a randomised, replicated, block design, was conducted on a Fescue-dominant golf green turf nursery underlain by a sandy rootzone. The study aimed to assess the benefits of incorporating Vitalnova SMX, a liquid biostimulant containing 10% Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed solids, into a TriSmart wetting agent programme (a product that also boasts proven biostimulant properties).

In the trial, plots treated only with TriSmart and untreated plots served as bases for statistical comparison. The trial was assessed every 2-3 weeks for turf quality, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and soil moisture content at two depths (38mm and 76mm). At the trial’s conclusion, soil samples were analysed for rootzone microbial content.

Over the course of seven monthly applications from March until August, the assessment results revealed that the H2Pro TriSmart-only programme significantly increased volumetric moisture content (VMC) at both depths, as well as achieving improvements in Turf Quality and NDVI compared to the untreated plots. Most notably, the addition of Vitalnova SMX to the H2Pro TriSmart programme further enhanced Turf Quality Scores, both early and late in the season, surpassing results from the TriSmart-only treatments.

In terms of rootzone microbial analysis, the TriSmart-only treated plots contained significantly greater total bacteria, total fungi, and total microbial biomass than the untreated control plots. The combination of TriSmart and SMX significantly increased microbial biomass and total fungi beyond the already enhanced TriSmart-only results.

Key findings from the trial include:

  • The H2Pro TriSmart-only programme resulted in a significant increase in Turf Quality, % VMC (to 38mm and 76mm), and NDVI.
  • Tank-mixing Vitalnova SMX with H2Pro TriSmart significantly boosted Turf Quality Score beyond that achieved with H2Pro TriSmart alone (but did not affect the % VMC).
  • Applications of H2Pro TriSmart and Vitalnova SMX combined also resulted in a notable increase in total fungi and total microbial biomass in the rootzone.

“Our primary objective was to demonstrate the efficacy of H2Pro TriSmart in managing soil moisture levels and reducing turf stress, and to explore how Vitalnova SMX could further enhance these benefits,” stated Dr Richard Collins, ICL’s International Technical Manager for Amega Sciences. “The results clearly demonstrate the advantages of integrating these products into a turf management programme, offering significant improvements in turf quality and rootzone health.”

Richard concluded, “This trial not only underscores the potential of these treatments to improve turf performance during critical stress periods but also opens avenues for further research into sustainable turf management practices.”

Discover a wealth of information on this and other insightful ICL trials by visiting the dedicated page on the ICL website.

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-growingsolutions.uk and icl-growingsolutions.ie if you are in Ireland.

For more news and insightful views, you can follow ICL on Twitter @ICL_Turf

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ABA Groundcare Celebrates 10 Years with Yamaha

ABA Groundcare Celebrates 10 Years with Yamaha: First established in 2014, ABA Groundcare based in Tiverton, Devon celebrates 10 years of selling Yamaha’s ATV range this April. Jamie Hutchings initially set up the business following dealer changes in the area and was awarded the franchise in 2014. With a strong background selling the brand for a previous dealer, it was a no-brainer for Jamie to continue with a brand he knew and was respected in the area.

“Yamaha UK were forthcoming in working with me, it felt like they saw the opportunity to keep growing the brand in the area. We have gone from being one of the youngest dealers to now one of the older ones.” When the partnership first began, ABA Groundcare sold up to 20 ATVs per year, now the company sells over 85 units into the surrounding area. ABA Groundcare took on a bigger area in recent years following the purchase of Hayes Garden Machinery at the end of 2023. The business now operates from two locations: Tiverton, Devon and Dorchester, Dorset. “Yamaha holds a strong reputation in the area, and we will support any potential customers but most of our ATVs go to the farming community. We are confident in the brand from the product point of view but also from the back-up and after sales support we receive from Yamaha UK themselves.”

ABA Groundcare Celebrates 10 Years with Yamaha

ABA Groundcare Celebrates 10 Years with Yamaha

“We at Yamaha ATV UK are delighted to have been in partnership with ABA Groundcare for the past 10 years. Jamie and his team have consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of the needs of their customers and a true passion for the Yamaha brand. Their dedication to providing exceptional service and expertise has been instrumental in the continued growth and success of Yamaha ATVs in the southwest region. We look forward to many more years of this successful partnership.” Gareth Sloane, Manager, Power Products, Yamaha UK.

Celebrations will continue at the company’s open day on Saturday 20th April. Congratulations ABA Groundcare, here’s to another 10 years.

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Caravan and Motorhome Club Selects Toro

Caravan and Motorhome Club Selects Toro: Caravan and Motorhome Club (CAMC), a leading organization in the leisure industry, has officially chosen Toro as its preferred supplier of 21” heavy-duty mowers, 60V Revolution® backpacks and handheld 60V blowers. The decision comes after Toro’s products successfully passed stringent testing protocols, demonstrating exceptional quality, reliability, and performance.

CAMC subjected Toro’s range of products to rigorous testing, including assessments of noise and vibration levels to determine suitability for their nationwide coverage of CAMC sites. Additionally, all manuals underwent meticulous scrutiny, ensuring clarity and comprehensiveness for end-users. Battery run times were meticulously recorded to assess product longevity and endurance.

Caravan and Motorhome Club Selects Toro

Caravan and Motorhome Club Selects Toro

Furthermore, Toro’s products underwent a secondary round of testing in the form of a season trial, conducted at two separate CAMC sites. This trial allowed CAMC operatives to provide valuable feedback on the products’ usability, durability, and overall performance, further validating their suitability for CAMC members.

One of the key factors influencing CAMC’s decision was Toro’s ability to maintain a constant supply of products, eliminating concerns about long lead times that were experienced with previous suppliers. This reliability ensures uninterrupted service and support for CAMC members.

Moreover, CAMC expressed enthusiasm for Toro’s extensive portfolio, recognizing the potential for future collaboration and the convenience of dealing with fewer suppliers for a wide range of products. This strategic partnership reflects CAMC’s commitment to providing its members with the best-in-class equipment and services.

“We are honoured to be chosen as the preferred supplier by Caravan and Motorhome Club,” said Matt Coleman, Sales Manager, Professional Landscape Contractor and Siteworks Equipment – UK Direct Market at Toro. “This partnership underscores Toro’s dedication to delivering exceptional products and service, tailored to meet the unique needs of their sites. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with CAMC and supporting their mission of enhancing the leisure experience for enthusiasts.”

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Windstorm scores highly at North Hants

Windstorm scores highly at North Hants: At Saltex 2023, on the STM Co Ltd stand, Sam Evans, the Course Manager at the prestigious North Hants Golf Club, and his Grounds team took particular interest in the SCAG Windstorm debris blower.

This is a stand-on zero-turn machine with a 37HP motor, 10mph ground speed and a colossal output of 600cfm.

Windstorm scores highly at North Hants

Windstorm scores highly at North Hants

They could see immediate advantages over their present system of a leaf blower unit towed behind a utility vehicle, a system that means that two engines are required, one for the UV and the other for the blower. The operator also struggles with restricted rearward view because of the blower size. There is also the general safety aspect with the operator needing to look behind regularly to check blower performance and suitable clearance.

The next step was to have an on-site demonstration; this was arranged with David Gray of the STM Co area dealer Lister Wilder.

The Windstorm performance on that demo went beyond expectations; clearly an immediate saving was there being only one motor in use, but the visibility and zero-turn manoeuvrability were real sellers once experienced by the operators on their regular grounds. Not only that but there was an additional benefit; the Windstorm has so much power it can cope with clearing leaves within heather areas, which has been very time consuming in the past. Sam’s expression was “that stuff can be like Velcro”.

The general reaction and enthusiasm were such that Sam was easily able to persuade his General Manager, who was equally impressed with the demo, that this was money well spent.

So now the machine has completed its first winter debris season – but it doesn’t end there because routine mowing can leave grass cuttings on the surfaces. The North Hants greenkeeping team have always cleared this away to keep the fairways pristine, and now, with the Windstorm, they can do it in two-thirds the time it took them before.

That, with general requirements for clearing wind and storm debris, plus the fact it does its job so well has made the Windstorm a firm favourite with Sam and his team at North Hants.

The machines are available through the STM dealership network. To find your nearest dealer ring 01789 488450, email info@st-mach.com or look at our website www.st-mach.com

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Origin Amenity Solutions hosts successful webinar

Origin Amenity Solutions hosts successful webinar: Origin Amenity Solutions (OAS) is thrilled to announce the overwhelming success of its recent webinar, ‘Dollar Spot Demystified: Proven Strategies from the USA and UK for Effective Integrated Management,’ which took place on Tuesday, April 16th, 2024.

With a staggering turnout of 107 attendees hailing from various countries including the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, USA, France, Spain, Germany, and Austria, the webinar was well received and proved to be a vital resource for turfgrass professionals worldwide.

Origin Amenity Solutions hosts successful webinar

Origin Amenity Solutions hosts successful webinar

The webinar, presented by James Hempfling, Ph.D., Technical Services Manager for  Northern US Envu, captivated participants with a comprehensive approach to managing dollar spot, a persistent challenge in turfgrass maintenance. Dr. Hempfling, a renowned turfgrass expert with extensive experience and expertise, shared invaluable insights and proven strategies for effective cultural and chemical management of Dollar Spot.

“Whether you’re a experienced turfgrass professional or new to the challenges of dollar spot, this webinar equipped attendees with the knowledge and tools needed to achieve success in dollar spot management,” said Kelly-Marie Clack from OAS.

The webinar’s hosts also included Phil Logan, National Account Manager UK & Ireland at Envu, and Kelly-Marie Clack, Agronomy & Technical Manager from OAS, both of whom brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the discussion.

“We are delighted by the overwhelming response to our webinar and are grateful to our esteemed hosts and attendees for making it a resounding success,” continued Kelly-Marie Clack. ” This was a rare opportunity to learn from one of the foremost experts in this field and we were delighted to co-host it. At OAS, we are committed to providing cutting-edge solutions and valuable insights to turfgrass professionals worldwide.”

Attendees of the webinar had the opportunity to earn BASIS points in the UK, IASIS points in Ireland, and BIGGA CPD points, further enhancing the value of their participation. This recognition supports OAS’s dedication to providing insightful content, as well as tangible professional development opportunities for turfgrass professionals.

To speak to an OAS advisor about strategies for managing Dollar Spot please call the team on 01423 138 7222 or visit www.originamenity.com.

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Revolutionising turf protection with Maxtima®

Revolutionising turf protection with Maxtima®: Global pioneers in the world of turf care research and development, BASF is the expert brand in product innovation and turf management solutions, and its latest fungicide is a must-have in all greenkeepers tool kit.

Following the anticipated launch at BTME 2024, BASF’s new cutting-edge demethylation inhibitor (DMI) fungicide, Maxtima® is already making its mark in the world of turf care. The innovative product is a cost-effective solution against the toughest of diseases such as dollar spot and microdochium that can be applied throughout the year for long-term protection. Here, we look at the regulations that contributed to its development, how the product was created, and, specifically, its active substance, Mefentrifluconazole.

Revolutionising turf protection with Maxtima®

Revolutionising turf protection with Maxtima®

Matthew Martin, Strategic Key Account Manager at BASF said: “The need for fast-acting and long-term turf disease management has been key in the development of Maxtima®, and the revolutionary DMI fungicide has delivered just that! Its efficacy on tough and recurring pathogens means that long-term protection and prevention is achievable for all green keepers. What’s more is Maxtima® boasts a low application rate, minimising chemical usage on greens, and saving turf professionals time, labour, and money.”

The unique active substance of Maxtima®, Mefentrifluconazole, is absorbed rapidly into the leaf, where it is protected from degradation from rain and UV. It then settles as a pool, which provides slow release of the active for long term protection – up to 28 days.  Unlike older DMIs in the market, Maxtima® fungicide is an isopropanol-azoles, a unique chemistry that ensures excellent binding capacity and adaptability through its molecule flexibility. This offers control even on plant pathogen strains that are insensitive to DMIs – something many other DMIs cannot offer or compete with.

They say necessity is the mother of innovation and you could argue it’s never been more necessary to bring new fungicide chemistry to growers. But perhaps the true innovation behind Mefentrifluconazole, the first new azole to reach the UK market for 15 years, has been the approach BASF has taken in the face of the tough EU regulatory regime.

On the development of, and need for, a unique DMI, Rob Gladwin, head of technical management for UK said: “The quest for new chemistry in turf disease control started many years ago. The efficacy of current chemistry was shifting and there was great uncertainty over its future with more stringent EU regulations being enforced. For azoles, like Mefentrifluconazole, there is the backdrop of concerns over endocrine disruption, as the target enzymes in fungal pathogens are closely related to those found in mammals. We addressed this head on. Our research teams looked not just to target enzymes in the fungal pathogens, but also specifically for chemistry that does not harm wildlife”.

The discovery came with the development by the biochemistry team of new enzyme assays.

“The assays test the efficacy with which the DMI chemistry, which includes azoles, inhibit the fungal target site, CYP51 –– blocking this enzyme prevents a fungal cell from producing ergosterol causing it to die.

“We also found that Mefentrifluconazole is flexible –– it not only fits perfectly into the CYP51 binding site, but it also has the flexibility to adapt if this site changes, unlike other azoles. We think that helps with the control of septoria isolates that have evolved mutations. DMIs have a mode of action which is inherently interesting. But the approach we took has taken our work in a new direction and has become the standard way we start the process of new active ingredient development.

“The team screened hundreds of compounds and received very quick feedback, not just on how effective they were, but also how safe. Together, the team discovered a unique property of an entirely new family of triazoles –– this molecule has a ‘hook’. It’s an isopropanol linker. This moiety is a small part of the larger molecule and it’s unique for a DMI. We synthesised it and noticed very strong fungicidal effects.

“We do everything we can to put forward the right molecules into our development pipeline, so we don’t have problems later, but we see so many that fail. It makes it even more rewarding when you find one that succeeds, like we have seen with the active in Maxtima®.

Maxtima® was launched in collaboration with Agrovista Amenity, the industry’s leading supplier of professional products and specialist advice. Turf professionals will be able to speak to their local Agrovista representative to order the product and for more detail on its usage and compatibility.

For more information, please visit https://www.agricentre.basf.co.uk/en/Products/Product-Search/Fungicides/Maxtima.html#section-details

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J All Bent to the rescue

J All Bent to the rescue: When previous attempts to get a practice putting green back into play at Vicars Cross Golf Club in Cheshire had failed, in stepped new Golf Course Manager Richie Stephens, armed with the J All Bent mixture from Johnsons Sports Seed.

A few short months from seeding, and with some favourable assistance from mother nature, the USGA spec green was in business – with the programme then implemented on the construction of a new chipping green that enjoyed similar success!

J All Bent to the rescue

J All Bent to the rescue

Upon joining Vicars Cross just over 12 months ago, Richie was tasked with the completion of the putting surface which had been out of action for close to two years. Keen to unlock the solution, he spoke to DLF’s Stuart Yarwood. “I’ve known Stuart for years and his greenkeeping background means he gives not only technical advice, but the right advice for our situation as he understands the challenge having been in our shoes” Richie says. “We opted to overseed with a 100% bent mix in the form of Johnsons J All Bent.”

The blend of three top-rated browntop bent cultivars in J All Bent delivers a hard-wearing, visually-striking sward, equipped to cope with close cutting and a range of environmental stresses. Its reduced reliance on chemical inputs makes it a popular choice for clubs pursuing a fast but sustainable greens strategy.

“We got it in the ground in May, we were fortunate with the weather and it came through really well. In August we then built a chipping green which overran the original schedule and meant we didn’t get seed until mid-November. Despite this, we still saw fantastic strike before Christmas, even coverage and strong visual impact. The speeds we’re achieving on the putting green is now comparable to what we’re achieving on our regular greens.”

The other 18 greens are overseeded annually during summer renovations with J All Bent, a programme introduced by Richie to try and promote an increase in the bent populations across the site. Elsewhere, it’s PM45 Tee and Fairway Plus from DLF’s Masterline range. “We use this on areas off the greens which has proven very successful.”

“The club, the players and my team have all noticed how far the surfaces have come on since we introduced the DLF mixtures and we’re definitely coming out of winter in a stronger, better position than we have before.”

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