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Amenity Forum publishes its Annual Report

Amenity Forum publishes its Annual Report: The Amenity Forum is the UK Voluntary Initiative promoting best practice in all aspects of the management of amenity spaces and sports surfaces.

It seeks to bring together all who work in this diverse and essential sector providing support and guidance and acting as an independent link between the sector and policy makers. The Annual Report for 2021 covers the year up to the end of July this year. Whilst a report on activities, it also provides information on how the sector has progressed in meeting UK targets and identifies key issues facing all involved in, what without any doubt, are extremely challenging times.

Amenity Forum publishes its Annual Report

Amenity Forum publishes its Annual Report

Writing in the Report, the Forum’s independent chairman, Professor John Moverley OBE says ‘’Even without the implications of the Pandemic, this has certainly been another year full of change, challenge and opportunity for the Forum. There is much going on at policy level with the UK Government finalising its review of the National Action Plan and a further review of pesticide policy ongoing. The Forum is fully contributing to the process where requested and appropriate with UK and national governments and indeed all involved in policy making and implementation.

The report shows that the Forum continues to respond to a wide range of consultations and has been fully engaged with partners and all stakeholders dealing with the implications of the pandemic. The role of amenity managers during this time has been essential maintaining our transport networks, parks and more. It has not been easy working conditions and they deserve all our thanks.

It is important to ensure the debate is not an either or but based on an integrated approach making use of all the tools available in the most effective way. The year has also seen the debate widened to take account of the environmental costs of different approaches particularly in determining carbon sums from the various methods employed. Out of change inevitably comes challenge – but the professional amenity sector is robust and ready. There is much to be proud of in the professionalism of our sector’’.

The report identifies that some  key priorities in the year have been in assisting everyone engaged to further develop integrated management  approaches, promoting the sector wide Amenity Standard and to significantly increasing communications both to the public and within the sector. The full report is available on the Amenity Forum website in the resources section https://amenityforum.co.uk/resources/amenity-forum-2021-annual-report/

The report identifies that there is much change ahead and in this regard the timing of the 2021 Amenity Forum conference, to be held on October 21st, could not be better and its title ‘Facing the Future’ very apt indeed including some eminent speakers and good opportunity to network and catch up on developments in the exhibition area. A day not to be missed and, given the support from organisations, very competitively priced at £95 per delegate. For further information, contact Kate at admin@amenityforum.net

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Headland and Bayer At Annual STRI Trials Event

Headland and Bayer At Annual STRI Trials Event: Ongoing and future management of the pathogen Microdochium nivale was one of the hot topics that greenkeepers discussed at the recent STRI annual Trial Event, held in Bingley, West Yorkshire. Having actively researched and trialled products to suppress the disease for over 10 years, Headland Amenity, along with Bayer, were some of the leading contributors on the topic.  David Howells, Northern Area Manager, reports on their findings.

Historically, Iprodione-based products have been the main approach to deal with Microdochium nivale, applied curatively, when the first stages of the disease are seen. Whilst at the time of writing, fungicide products containing Iprodione are still available to use, it has been announced that its withdrawal is now imminent and we will soon be without this valuable tool to control turf disease. So what alternatives are there?

Headland and Bayer At Annual STRI Trials Event

With climate and legislation changes, preventative disease management will have to be the way forward. Headland Amenity predicted these issues many years ago and has over 10 years of independent trialwork to support effective, alternative preventative strategies, incorporating both fungicides and non-fungicidal products.

STRI Trials and feedback from Turf Managers have long shown the beneficial effects of using Headland’s 20-20-30 tank mix to minimise disease levels when applied as part of a preventative programme. This consists of a tank mix of plant hardeners and elicitors, Liquid Turf Hardener, Seamac ProTurf and Turfite. For example, during the autumn of 2016, control trial plots were hit with 75% Microdochium nivale disease pressure. Plots treated with 20-20-30 tank mix alone, prior to disease establishment, showed a 50% reduction in this activity.

As we lose one ‘old chemistry’ active ingredient, a new one, Fluopyram, comes to the UK. From a new chemical group of fungicides known as SDHI’s, Fluopyram is an acropetal penetrant, which means it can enter the plant through roots, shoots or leaves, and moves up through the plant to provide protective activity. It can be found in Bayer’s new Exteris Stressgard product, alongside Trifloxystrobin and the unique ‘Stressgard’ technology which provides plant protection against stress situations resulting in a visibly healthier looking sward. Headland Amenity is a primary supplier of Exteris Stressgard alongside another Bayer product, Dedicate – a systemic fungicide which can be used preventatively at the earliest sign of disease.  Alternating applications of these two products assists in reducing any potential resistance risk.

Moving forwards, whilst Iprodione is still on the shelf as a back-up, now is the perfect time to be putting together an integrated strategy combining good cultural practice, managing sward compositions and implementing a preventative fungicidal programme to ensure your facility is prepared for what lies ahead.

For more information, visit: www.headlandamenity.com

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