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Record breaking sports turf health across UK

Record breaking sports turf health across UK: The results of the May and June 2021 Grass Health Watch are now out. Mike Heisig from FairWay Awards comments on the latest changes in sports turf health up and down the country.

“Following an amazing sports turf health recovery on our indicator sports clubs during April, the results for May continued to be good reading for the industry and the results for June nothing short of amazing.

Record breaking sports turf health across UK

Record breaking sports turf health across UK

2021 grass health breaks the records:

  1. At a national level sports turf health in May increased by a further 3% equalling the record set in May 2019.
  2. Sports turf health levels did not drop in June as would be expected from historical data. The means that this June sports turf health was at record breaking levels.

Mike adds: “At a regional level, some sport turf sites in East Anglia, The Midlands and the South achieved health levels over 90%, with one golf course reaching 99%. Someone is doing a fantastic job out there and deserves a medal! From a grass health perspective the sector started at a particularly low point in January, but 2021 is turning out to be record breaking year.”

Looking Ahead

“Most sports grass health/vitality should have peaked in May/June. Historical data tells us is that in June/July health and vitality of sports turf will start to dip. However today we are looking at sports turf levels that breaking new ground. The potential is clearly there for greenkeepers to work with. Can there be more surprises, its only grass after all – or is it? ”

Think that you can do better?

Register for a free 3-month trial of satellite biomass data for your club at:  https://fairwayawards.com/your-free-precision-sport-turf-trial/ and send your best results of 2020 to Mike-Heisig@btconnect.com

Get the benefits of the Precision Sports Turf Revolution:

  • Spot grass health problems before they are visible
  • Save money on inputs where they are not required
  • Apply inputs according the needs of the grass
  • Make better environmental decisions

Regular updates on grass health through 2021 at www.fairwayawards.com or follow @FairWayAwards on twitter

Join the Sports Turf Revolution contact Mike Heisig: Mike-Heisig@btconnect.com

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

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Mansfield Sand supports golfing health project

Mansfield Sand supports golfing health project: Mansfield Sand, a provider of silica sand-based products for the sports turf industry, has donated £1,000 towards a pioneering golf project due to begin in June at Coxmoor Golf Club in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

The innovative partnership between Golf in Society, Mid Nots Dementia Partnership, and the Sutton golf club is focused on providing the opportunity for local people with chronic illnesses, such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease, to enjoy a healthier and more active lifestyle through golf.

Mansfield Sand supports golfing health project

Mansfield Sand supports golfing health project

Started in 2016 by entrepreneur Anthony Blackburn, Golf in Society is a fast-growing social enterprise committed to transforming the UK’s ageing population through the health and wellbeing benefits of golf.

People wanting to take part don’t need to have played golf, but must have a long-term health condition and would benefit from weekly golf sessions that provide outdoor physical exercise, mental stimulation and social interaction.

Anthony said: “We believe we have developed a recipe for success. Our golfers love our fun and competitive weekly golf sessions, which are tailored to an individual’s needs. At the same time, their carers get a much-needed respite break.

“We have already had a lot of interest from local people who have been frustrated by inactivity during the pandemic.”

As part of Dementia Action Week, Mansfield Sand sales directors Gary Cunningham and Sharon Morris were invited to Coxmoor to meet people behind the project and hand over a cheque for £1000 towards the set-up costs.

Gary said: “As a regular supplier of sand and other products to the golf industry, including Coxmoor Golf Club, we are big supporters of golf.

“This is a great project, which is about much more than golf — It has the potential to transform lives.

“When we were contacted about this new project we were delighted to help. As a company we take our involvement in the local community seriously and we believe this project will really benefit local people and encourage them to get fit and stay healthier for longer.”

David Thornton, an ambassador for Golf in Society, added: “It has been encouraging to see the local business community rallying round, even in these difficult times, to support our latest new venue.

“We are very grateful to Mansfield Sand for its substantial donation.

“Anyone with a long-term serious health condition, such as dementia, is welcome to come along to the weekly golf sessions, which we hope will formally start on 22nd June.

“We are putting on taster sessions before then on Tuesdays, from 11am-1pm.”

There are still spaces available to join the project sessions. Contact either Dianne Holmes, wellbeing team Ashfield District Council, 07917 158511 / d.c.holmes@ashfield.gov.uk

For more information visit www.mansfield-sand.co.uk

You can also follow the company on Twitter – @MansfieldSand and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MansfieldSandSportSurfaces/

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Knebworth’s plant health programme

Knebworth’s plant health programme: An enhanced plant health programme consisting of Headland Amenity’s 20-20-30 tank-mix, Mantle® and PPT114 has been key to reducing fungicide applications at Hertfordshire’s Knebworth Golf Club.

Where, previously, it was commonplace to be putting down multiple fungicide applications each year, last year Team Leader Arran Johnson applied just one – resulting in benefits for both course condition and the budget!

Knebworth's plant health programme

Knebworth’s plant health programme

Arran has been using Headland products for the last 15 years and, since he joined Knebworth, they have been fundamental to his maintenance regime on the course’s clay push-up greens. The success of the programme has recently seen it extended to also include tees and approaches. “We have had a particularly great response from the 20-20-30 tank-mix, but the addition of Mantle® and complementary applications of PPT114 have taken results to a new level” he explains.

“20-20-30+Mantle is applied at the beginning of each month from October through to May, weather dependent, to keep disease at bay through those high-pressure periods. What we’ve found is that if there are any signs of disease, the addition of Mantle® checks it at a very early stage to suppress it and stop it turning into a bigger problem.” Mantle®’s water-soluble formulation of manganese, zinc and harpin protein elicitor stimulates the grass plant’s own natural defence mechanisms, making it more difficult for some disease pathogens to take hold.

“We also apply Headland’s PPT114, as required, a couple of weeks after the 20-20-30+Mantle® application. This has proven to increase the efficacy of the tank-mix, bringing additional plant strength and improved winter colour.” Through the summer months, Arran’s programme switches to one of moisture management – utilising both Tricure AD™ wetting agent and Terafirm™, advanced soil penetrant, when required to manage and optimise plant and profile moisture.

Keeping the team up to speed on new products and any adjustments needed to further improve the results of the feeding programme is Arran’s Regional Technical Manager Peter Blackaby. “I made a conscious decision in 2019 to actively reduce our fungicide applications. Pete’s guidance has helped us a lot with this drive and the Mantle® and PPT114 products have undoubtedly given us a huge step forward.”

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Grass health recovery sweeps across UK

Grass health recovery sweeps across UK: This month’s Grass Health Watch, using latest satellite results of just under 50 sports turf sites across the country, has seen a major step forward for sports turf health,

“It’s amazing! At the end of March it was looking as if the rest of the year would involve trying to catch up on lost ground when, in fact, the outcome for sports turf health in April has been well beyond anything we could have expected. In the space of one month we are right back on track for the year,” revealed Mike Heisig, from FairWay Awards.

Grass health recovery sweeps across UK

Grass health recovery sweeps across UK

Was that because of good weather? Maybe, but a large part of the recovery was surely because of the fantastic efforts of greenkeepers up and done the country getting our golf courses in shape in the few weeks after lockdown. What a turnaround!”

“At a regional level, with the exception of the South East, the latest results are no less amazing. Some sports turf in the South West and in the North East are racing ahead notching up vitality scores over 90%. Now beat that if you can!” said Mike.

“These results are very encouraging and there is every expectation that sports turf health will continue to develop into May and June and we may even set some records. From an exceptionally slow start it could be an extraordinary year for sports grass!”

Register for a free 3-month trial of satellite biomass data for your club at:  https://fairwayawards.com/your-free-precision-sport-turf-trial/ and send us your best score.

Grass health recovery sweeps across UK

Grass health recovery sweeps across UK

Get the benefits of the Precision Sports Turf Revolution:

  • Spot grass health problems before they are visible
  • Save money on inputs where they are not required
  • Apply inputs according the needs of the grass
  • Make better environmental decisions

Regular updates on grass health through 2021 at www.fairwayawards.com or follow @FairWayAwards on twitter

Join the Sports Turf Revolution contact Mike Heisig: Mike-Heisig@btconnect.com

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Grass Health Watch 2021

Grass Health Watch 2021: Recently, Mike Heisig from FairWay Awards reported that, so far this year, sports turf grass health in the UK was struggling to keep pace with levels seen this time last year. The data was collated from around 50 satellite readings up and down the country.

The results from the satellite tracking using the Kleffmann Digital Biomass Index (KBDI) shows the UK as whole was 5% behind in March 2021 in terms of grass health/vitality levels compared with the same point in 2020.

Grass Health Watch 2021

Grass Health Watch 2021

Mike Heisig from FairWay Awards digs deeper into the numbers. Mike explains:

“The national figure is an average that disguises some significant regional variations. In the table below each region is based on Met Office Climate Regions and as such each has its own potential attainable health level.”

“Up to the end of March 2021 grass health and vitality was running at a deficit in most regions except Scotland. Of most concern was the South East.”

“Because we know the April 2020 KDVI health levels on the same sports grass areas, we can take these as a estimate of the potential KDVI that we could expect 12 months later at the end of April 2021.

Grass Health Watch 2021

Grass Health Watch 2021

“The next diagram gives some indication of the uplift in health and vitality that were required by the end of April 2021 to put each region of the UK back on track. “

“In the next 2021 Grass Health Watch update we will have the April results and will look forward at where we might get to in May and June which is when we normally expect to experience the highest levels of grass health in the year.”

What about the grass at your club?

You can register for free 3-month no commitment trial of satellite biomass data for your club.

Get the benefits of the Precision Sports Turf Revolution:

  • Spot grass health problems before they are visible
  • Save money on inputs where they are not required
  • Apply inputs according the needs of the grass
  • Make better environmental decisions

Regular updates on grass health through 2021 at www.fairwayawards.com or follow @FairWayAwards on twitter

Join the Sports Turf Revolution contact Mike Heisig: Mike-Heisig@btconnect.com

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Sports turf grass health struggling to keep pace

Sports turf grass health struggling to keep pace: FairWay Awards has been monitoring the health of sport turf up and down the country using a satellite-based system that reads the amount and wavelength of light being emitted from vegetation.

The ratio of different light wavelengths from vegetation gives an indication of the vigour or distress of the grass canopy: more red light is emitted when grass is under stress. Below is an example comparing a fairway in spring (left) and winter (right).

Sports turf grass health struggling to keep pace

Sports turf grass health struggling to keep pace

Having analysed satellite data from 50 golf courses across Great Britain from 2018, Mike Heisig from FairWay Awards comments on recent findings: “We have been looking at the health of grass by tracking exactly the same areas of sports turf from 2018 to today. This gives good insight into actual changes on the ground. What we have seen at the end of March 2021 is that grass health is gradually lagging further and further behind the levels that we saw at the end of March in 2020. Historic data shows that normally in March we should expect to see a major up lift in grass health as it comes out of the winter period.”

“This year however, much of that did not happen and UK grass health slipped back around 5% lower in March 2021 compared with March 2020. Much of this downturn can be attributed to the South East, which seems to be struggling more with grass health levels than any other part the country.”

“Looking ahead at this time of year we expect to see increasing grass health through March and April, leading to a peak in May. It remains to be seen how far grass will recover through the year and what the knock on effect will be for autumn grass management”

The good news is that there is plenty of time for greenkeepers to fine-tune the agronomy to help close the gap. Satellite grass health data is easily accessible and simple to use with huge benefits for turf management.

2021 may be the ideal year to join the Precision Sports Turf Revolution.

Regular updates on grass health through 2021 at www.fairwayawards.com or follow @FairwayAwards on twitter

Join the Sports Turf Revolution contact Mike Heisig: Mike-Heisig@btconnect.com

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Syngenta survey reveals mental health issues

Syngenta survey reveals mental health issues: More than 60% of greenkeepers, PGA Professionals and club managers have experienced increased work-related mental health problems in the past year, a new survey by Syngenta has found.

Of these, nearly two-thirds (64%) said they had felt anxious or worried, 57% said they experienced sleep problems and 43% said they had felt depressed with a continuous low mood.

Syngenta survey reveals mental health issues

Syngenta survey reveals mental health issues

Three of the 256 respondents admitted thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

The online survey, which was anonymous, also found that only 9% of respondents had sought professional counselling in the previous six months.

And while two-thirds (68%) of respondents said their organization or employer should offer mental health training and support, only 21% confirmed their employer did have a mental health policy or wellbeing program (57% said their organization did not offer support; 22% were unsure) and 12% had received stress or anxiety training at work.

VIDEO Superintendents’ mental health: signs of stress

ONLINE EDUCATION The Mindful Sessions, Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents

FEATURE Golf saved my life

Mark Birchmore, Syngenta Global Head of Marketing, Turf and Landscape, who commissioned the survey, said: “While this is a snapshot survey, it provides evidence of what we have been hearing anecdotally throughout the pandemic, that mental health problems are prevalent.

“I’m especially worried for the three industry colleagues who reported the most severe symptoms and I would encourage anyone in this situation to urgently seek professional advice.

“For the industry, the survey highlights a potential gap between the prevalence of mental health problems and the level of support available. As an organization, this is something Syngenta is addressing with accredited Mental Health First Aiders within our team, as well supporting important industry initiatives, including the online Mindful Leadership Sessions by the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association.

“But there is more to be done globally, which is why we are sharing the results of the survey with the golf industry, including bodies and associations, with a view to encouraging solutions.”

More than half the survey respondents (52%), from countries including the United States, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands, said they were aware of colleagues who had experienced mental health problems since March 2020.

Of those who completed the survey, 66% were superintendents or greenkeepers, 13% were PGA Professionals or directors of golf and 11% were club managers.

Syngenta has been highlighting mental health issues within its Growing Golf campaign and supported Emotional Health education at the virtual Golf Industry Show, February 2-4.

Join the conversation: tell us your experiences, thoughts and suggestions.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

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Syngenta survey assesses mental health

Syngenta survey assesses mental health: A new online survey commissioned by Syngenta is aiming to assess the mental health of club managers, greenkeepers and PGA Professionals.

After an unprecedented year in which many golf courses experienced extreme disruption due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there is anecdotal evidence of increased mental health issues among those leading club and course businesses.

Syngenta survey assesses mental health

Syngenta survey assesses mental health

Mark Birchmore, Syngenta Global Head of Marketing, Turf and Landscape, who commissioned the survey, said: “Around the world, golf courses have experienced the extremes of sudden temporary closure to record demand.

“From a management perspective, it has proved exceptionally challenging and for some colleagues in the golf industry, the pressure has taken its toll both professionally and personally.

“This snapshot survey – which is anonymous – aims to indicate the prevalence of mental health issues in the golf industry, the impact on individuals and the availability of support.”

Syngenta has been highlighting mental health issues within its Growing Golf campaign and will be supporting Emotional Health education at the Golf Industry Show, February 2-4, 2021.

The online survey is anonymous and takes a short time to complete.

Results will be published in January 2021.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

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Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health

YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health: Harrowden Turf is pleased to announce a new partnership with YANA – providers of rural mental health support. Early in 2021 a new Harrowden Turf delivery vehicle will feature YANA branding and will be seen across the country.

YANA provides practical guidance and confidential counselling to those in farming and rural businesses. Farming or working in the countryside is usually a good way of life but it can be a demanding and stressful occupation. Many people involved with agriculture can feel isolated, depressed or unable to cope.

YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health

YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health

One in five people in the UK will experience poor mental health so Harrowden Turf is working with YANA to emphasise that no-one who works in the rural economy is alone.

Harrowden Turf has adopted the YANA corporate identity one of its trucks which will cover more than 100,000 miles every year. The objective of the partnership is to make more people aware of the support that exists and which is focussed on the rural economy.

Stuart Ridd-Jones – Harrowden Turf Managing Director:

“If 2020 has taught us anything it is that we are stronger together and whilst all businesses have had to adapt to the pandemic those within rural businesses often work alone, can feel alone and struggle to access support services.”

Melinda Raker –YANA Patron:

“YANA is delighted to take to the road in this way. This Harrowden Turf vehicle with our logo and contact details will help to ‘drive’ home the message that there is practical help and advice available to improve rural mental health.”

For more information:

  1. Harrowden Turf and Turfonline Media Office please email marketing@harrowdenturf.co.uk or call 07980 568842

YANA – please email pr@yanahelp.org.uk or visit our website www.yanahelp.org.uk

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

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New analysis unlocks soil health

New analysis unlocks soil health: New soil testing from Eurofins Agro will help farmers and agronomists understand soil in a more detailed way than ever before. The tests have been launched in the UK and Ireland to provide chemical, physical, and biological insight, offering farmers a better way to monitor, manage and improve the health and fertility of their soil.

“Three new products are now available to UK and Irish agriculture. Fertilisation Manager®, Soil Crop Monitor® and Soil Life Monitor® offer the most comprehensive way to analyse and improve soil health,” explains Dan Robinson, Managing Director, Eurofins Agro UK.

New analysis unlocks soil health

New analysis unlocks soil health

Fertilisation Manager measures soil fertility. “This includes the chemical values of macro and micronutrients,” says Mr Robinson. “Soil pH and the overall structure of the soil is also analysed in conjunction with biological components such as fungi and bacteria,” he adds.

The microbial biomass from the sample will help farmers to understand the sensitivity of the soil to conventional farming methods such as ploughing. The number and nature of the bacteria present in a soil sample will also facilitate the accurate calculation of what nutrients need to be added to the soil to optimise plant health and growth.

Soil Crop Monitor will provide the most accurate means of testing soil during a growing season. “Unlike some tests, Soil Crop Monitor analyses both the soil and the plant. This measures the plant available nutrients and the nutrients absorbed by the crop,” says Mr Robinson.

Soil Life Monitor determines the total microbial biomass, fungi, bacteria and protozoa. It also identifies some physical characteristics such as pH and the quality of organic matter. “PLFA (phospholipid fatty acids) found in soil can be measured to provide a fingerprint of the soil content. PLFAs are degraded quickly in the soil, so the analysis gives an indication of the amount of living biomass,” says Mr Robinson. “This is the most detailed routine analysis of soil life available and has countless applications for agriculture. We are therefore excited to make all of these tests available to farmers and growers across the UK and Ireland” he adds.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

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