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ICL celebrates win at BALI Awards

ICL celebrates win at BALI Awards: ICL has been announced as a BALI National Landscape Awards 2021 winner in the Supplier Exceptional Service category.

The prestigious British Association of Landscape Industries’ (BALI) Awards is the largest in Europe, and is designed to reward and showcase the finest examples of landscaping excellence in the UK and overseas.

ICL celebrates win at BALI Awards

ICL celebrates win at BALI Awards

ICL has long been serving the landscaping sector and boasts a wide range of market-leading products that help contractors, gardeners and landscapers to meet the demands of modern-day landscape management.

Therefore, the company was delighted to be recognised in the Supplier Exceptional Service category, in which winners must match criteria such as exceptional technical support, outstanding customer support and guidance, exceeding customer expectation, as well as an excellent product range and development.

The principal category award winners will be announced at the spectacular BALI National Awards end of year ceremony at Grosvenor House, London in December.

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

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

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New Technical Area Sales Managers for ICL

New Technical Area Sales Managers for ICL: ICL has announced the appointment of Rob Ainscough and Fergal Greenan who both join the company as Technical Area Sales Managers.

Rob Ainscough, Technical Area Sales Manager – North West England

Rob has always held an interest in the science behind sports surfaces which he says was ignited after playing a wide range of sports from an early age. His interest was piqued furthermore when he carried out his school work experience with the grounds staff at Bolton Wanderers FC.

New Technical Area Sales Managers for ICL

New Technical Area Sales Managers for ICL

This work experience convinced Robert that he wanted a career in sports turf and after school he embarked on a National Diploma at Myerscough College. During his studies he volunteered to be part of the greenkeeping team at the Scottish Open which took place at Loch Lomond Golf Course.

His career in greenkeeping quickly took off and after a spell at Loch Lomond he became the Deputy Head Greenkeeper at Leigh Golf Club.

To further continue his development Robert accepted a two-week trial at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. His trial was quickly extended and after gaining six months experience here he went onto spend a further year in Australia working at Manly Golf Club and Royal Sydney Golf Club.

Upon his return to the UK Rob was offered his previous position Leigh Golf Club and was quickly promoted to Head Greenkeeper at 25 years old.

Fergal Greenan Technical Area Sales Manager – Ireland

Based in Ireland, Fergal joins ICL with an excellent combination of industry qualifications and practical experience.

His extensive skillset has been displayed while working on various major golf courses in the US through the prestigious Ohio State Program.

New Technical Area Sales Managers for ICL

New Technical Area Sales Managers for ICL

Fergal also boasts a Bachelor of Agricultural Science Horticulture, Landscape and Sports Turf Management, together with a Certificate in Teaching, which was utilised in his previous role as a Lecturer (in Horticulture) at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Fergal will be working under Colman Warde, Ireland Country Manager, to build the business and to support ICL distributors.

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

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

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ICL central to performance at Hogs Head

ICL central to performance at Hogs Head: David Daly, Golf Course Superintendent at Hogs Head Golf Club in Ireland, has long relied on a wide range of ICL products, from the initial grow-in to now helping him maintain the award-winning 18-hole course to a consistently high level.

David started in the role when it was formerly known as Skellig Bay Golf Club. That was before the club was bought by current owners Bryan Marsal and Tony Alvarez II. What came next was an incredible transformation which has since seen the course voted “Ireland’s Best Course” and “Best New International Course” by Golf.com.

ICL central to performance at Hogs Head

ICL central to performance at Hogs Head

Designed by the highly regarded Robert Trent Jones Jr., David was heavily involved in the plans and the grow-in period which took place from 2016 to mid-2017. Utilising the experience he gained in his previous roles at Waterville Golf Links and Killeen Castle, and by working closely with Keith Boland from Goldcrop, David thoroughly researched the best products to use for the grow-in.

The products he selected were predominantly from ICL, and they have continued to be central to his yearly turf management plan ever since.

It is safe to say that Vitalnova Stressbuster, which he uses to pre-condition the turf against stress, is one of his most favoured products.

“I like the instant impact the product provides,” he said. “Especially the immediate natural green colour response. The simplicity of use, the ‘fully-loaded’ liquid formulation (the product contains a wetting agent, biostimulants, amino acids, macro nutrients, micro nutrients and iron) and that it is so tank-mixable.”

David mixes Stressbuster with H2Pro TriSmart, PGRs and seaweeds before he applies it monthly from March through to September for best results.

At the start of each year David works with his team to create a yearly turf management plan, and although the weather on the south west coast of Ireland means the plan often has to adapt, ICL products are a common feature regardless.

In 2020 there was 2,000mm of rainfall, but David also has to contend with long periods of drought. It is for these reasons that David needs a proven water management product, and he chooses to use H2Pro TriSmart which he says, “ticks all the boxes.”

TriSmart’s unique triple-active formulation provides great control over moisture management. Containing three water management technologies, it provides effective water penetration, even water spread through the rootzone and improves the water holding capacity of sandy rootzones. David applies TriSmart monthly to his tees and greens at 10L/ha.

When it comes to feeding, he relies on Sierrablen 28-5-5 – a granular fertilizer which provides sufficient nutrition for the entire main growing season in just a single application.

“It is the Rolls Royce of granular controlled release fertilisers,” he said. “The controlled release formulation of this product is key, especially with so much rainfall throughout the year.”

David uses Sierrablen on his fairways and green surrounds, and because he has a short season, starting in May, Sierrablen’s longevity of 5-6 months gives him a certain peace of mind.

Aside from the spectacular golf course, Hogs Head Golf Club also boasts a stunning clubhouse and accommodations consisting of a luxurious lodge and multiple golf cottages. Around the clubhouse and accommodations, David uses Gronamic, an organo-mineral fertiliser which he says has “transformed the areas.”

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

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

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BIGGA and ICL launch Continue to Learn Scholarship

BIGGA and ICL launch Continue to Learn Scholarship: With the return of in-person learning at Continue to Learn in January 2022, the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) and plant nutrition specialists ICL have launched applications for their influential education scholarship.

The ICL Continue to Learn Scholarship invites five BIGGA members to Harrogate, North Yorkshire, each January to participate in BIGGA’s world-leading education programme, in addition to three nights’ accommodation, a visit to the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) and networking opportunities with fellow greenkeepers and the sponsor.

BIGGA and ICL launch Continue to Learn Scholarship

BIGGA and ICL launch Continue to Learn Scholarship

The scholarship is now in its sixth year, with 2021 scholars participating online as BIGGA’s education programme shifted to a virtual platform due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Applications for this year’s scholarship are being encouraged from CPD Active BIGGA members at any stage of their careers. Applications close at 5pm on Tuesday 31 August 2021. The selected scholars will then be announced in BIGGA’s monthly journal, Greenkeeper International.

2021 Scholar Laura Sayer-Hall of Ardfin Golf Club on the Isle of Jura said: “I think it’s important at the early stages of your career to attend as many educational events as possible so as to build knowledge quickly and have this tie in with the practical work you’re doing on course. I’d highly recommend applying to anyone who is wanting to develop their greenkeeping career.”

Sami Strutt is BIGGA’s Head of Learning and Development. She said: “For BIGGA members serious about their education and progressing in their career, this scholarship provides a fantastic opportunity to develop both personal and professional skills. To date, ICL has supported 25 BIGGA members through this scholarship and we are immensely grateful for their continued support and investment in the greenkeeping industry.“

Ed Carter, UK Sales and Development Manager at ICL said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the ICL scholarship scheme again in 2022, which will be the sixth year we have been involved. Taking a step back, that means 25 greenkeepers have benefitted from a total of 375 hours of education and 75 nights’ accommodation at BTME, which is amazing. As always, it’s brilliant to be able to support a scheme that allows greenkeepers to have the Harrogate experience, who otherwise may not have been able to make it.”

To apply, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ICLC2L2022

For more information about becoming CPD Active, visit: https://www.bigga.org.uk/education/continuing-professional-development.html

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New ICL research at Bangor University

New ICL research at Bangor University: ICL is collaborating with Bangor University to carry out research on the effects and benefits of organo-mineral fertilizers for turf.

MRes (Masters by Research) student, Deniz Arslan, is carrying out the yearlong research at Bangor University, and believes that the findings could be of great benefit to several sectors.

New ICL research at Bangor University

New ICL research at Bangor University

“We will be looking at how efficient organo-minerals are comparing to mineral and organic versions and how they all effect soil health,” she said. “The outcomes of this research can be important for all fields and will provide information to help fertilizer users make informed decisions.”

Mineral fertilizers are very commonly utilized and there is plenty of research detailing their benefits and the issues which can arise from poor product selection or over-application, for example leaching of unused nutrients from the growing zone of a crop.

On the other hand, organic fertilizers offer other potential benefits, such as supporting microbes in the soil, but are often described as not performing as efficiently or productively as mineral fertilizers.

“Organo-mineral fertilizers, combining the benefits of minerals and organic sources, could be a more sustainable step for turf managers to take,” said Deniz. “I hope to prove that organo-mineral fertilizers are indeed beneficial for the soil and environment, and with no negative performance issues for turfgrass. Agricultural trials do show higher yields and performances which is promising, but of course it is different when measuring turf. You don’t necessarily want to grow more or longer grass.”

Gronamic, ICL’s organo-mineral fertilizer brand, will be used in this research project. The experimental trials will include glasshouse trials of perennial ryegrass with Gronamic Sport High N and Gronamic Golf High N, contrasting with equivalent mineral and organic fertilizers.

“This unique research project will focus on plant growth, soil health and nutrient use efficiency factors, making use of the advanced equipment and facilities available at Bangor University,” said Deniz.

The scholarship named KESS (Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship) is led by Bangor University and links companies with academic expertise and universities to collaborate in research projects for PhD and Research Master qualifications. ICL supports several research collaborations and has close ties with the universities in order to help bridge the gap between industry and academia.

For Deniz it means that she has a direct link to the industry and access to expert knowledge in high quality turf management. With all the resources at her disposal she is hopeful that this research could have a global reach.

“Finding solutions for conventional mineral fertilizers will be beneficial for all fields and industries, from agriculture and turf management to landscaping, and hopefully I can be part of that development.

In the long term it can even impact the low-income nations and industrializing nations as well, for instance by applying it to urban green spaces and sustainable land management whilst keeping prices low as mineral resources are slowly depleting,” she said.

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

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

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

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ICL integral to fairways recovery

ICL integral to fairways recovery

ICL integral to fairways recovery : Ian Cambridge, Course Manager at Saffron Walden Golf Club in Cambridge, has revealed how the correct advice, seed, and nutritional products from ICL have been integral in helping the fairways recover from drought.

The infamous drought of 2018 proved to be problematic for greenkeepers and course managers throughout the UK and Ian Cambridge was no exception.

ICL integral to fairways recovery

“Back in the summer of 2018, like most golf courses, we lost a high proportion of our grass sward on the fairways due to the drought,” he said. “We had overseeded in the spring of 2019 without great success and the fairways were quite poor through the early part of the season.”

Looking for a solution, Ian contacted ICL and Andrew Pledger (Technical Area Sales Manager) visited the East Anglian club. He and Ian walked around the course looking at the conditions and probed into the soil to see what could be done. It was at this point that Andrew suggested a programmed approach which centred around ICL’s recently launched Vitalnova Links bio-stimulant.

Vitalnova Links consists of a unique combination of concentrated seaweed extract Vitalnova SeaMax and the proven biostimulant Vitalnova Blade. In turn, the formulation brings together and accentuates the benefits of both products.

Vitalnova Links was combined with a wetting agent and 8kg of a water soluble 35-0-5 fertilizer.

Andrew also advised, that due to not having any irrigation capacity, Ian should not overseed again until the autumn. This time, however, Andrew recommended that Ian use a multi-blend mixture consisting of rye, fescue and SSMG (Smooth Stalk Meadow Grass).

“The grass species that we lost the most of was the fescue and we were unsure of what we should do,” said Ian. “However, Andrew explained that by using a blend of three different species we would be spreading our bets a bit more with any future drought.

“The nutritional and wetting agent programme had actually helped with some natural ingress of our existing sward. This helped lower the amount of seed that we needed to use in our overseeding that autumn and it was a great help with lowering the costs. The seed mix we chose was the ICL ProSelect 2 Tees/Fairways mix and we had great germination success.”

ProSelect 2 Tees/Fairways is proving to be an extremely popular choice with golf courses throughout the UK and beyond. The mixture is a blend of fine fescues and perennial ryegrass which creates a turf surface that can recover strongly from divoting.

The blend contains Traction smooth-stalked meadow grass and Torsion TRT perennial ryegrass to provide rhizomatous and Turf Repairing Tiller (TRT) growth for extra durability and recovery from divots. It is renowned for providing great colour, all-round disease tolerance and close mowing tolerance.

The new nutritional programme and seed were put to the test in 2020 when the drought inevitably returned.

“In the spring of 2020, the fairways were filling in very nicely, however, the conditions became very droughty once again,” said Ian. “The difference this time was that we were already on a wetting agent and nutritional programme, and yes the turf browned off but when the rain returned in August the sward came straight back.

“Our over-seeding requirements were reduced, we believe, due to the choice of the quality seed and the advice from Andrew on our nutritional programme.”

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

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

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

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ICL the ‘one stop-shop’ for Bradford City

ICL the ‘one stop-shop’ for Bradford City: ICL’s ProSelect grass seed supported by a monthly nutritional programme has resulted in Bradford City’s pitch being in the best condition ever – according to Head Groundsman Mick Doyle.

If anyone knows the pitch at Bradford City’s Utilita Energy Stadium – it is Mick. He has been working at the club for an incredible fourteen years and in that time, it is safe to say that he has single-handedly kept the pitch in excellent condition.

ICL the ‘one stop-shop’ for Bradford City

ICL the ‘one stop-shop’ for Bradford City

However, he claims that the bar has now been raised and that it all started with ICL’s ProSelect grass seed.

“The bottom line is that I needed a new seed,” he said. “The seed I used previously just didn’t work for me – it was patchy and did not germinate. Therefore, when it came round to pitch renovations last year, I used ICL’s ProSelect 1 Premium Pitch which I had first heard about at an ICL educational day and after speaking to other groundsmen.”

Combining four top-ranked perennial ryegrasses, ProSelect 1 Premium Pitch, provides a fast-recovering, dense, hard-wearing surface. Furthermore, Mick decided that he would like to explore a full ICL nutritional programme because in his words, it would be a “one-stop shop which could deliver on all fronts.”

Prior to sowing the ProSelect seed, Craig Lalley, Technical Sales Manager for ICL visited Mick at the stadium and took some soil samples. Craig then proceeded to devise a plan tailored to Mick’s environment – taking into consideration his stadium, his machinery, his staffing levels, his time restraints and he ultimately put a programme together based on what Mick was trying to achieve.

“My biggest concern was that I could never get any root down but Craig assured me that I would with his programme,” said Mick. “True to his word – he was absolutely right.”

The key was getting the pitch off to the best possible start. After sowing the ProSelect grass seed, Mick immediately followed with 10 litres of H2Pro TriSmart, in a bid to absorb more moisture around the seed and aid germination.

It turned out to be a winning combination: “The seed was coming up beautifully in just six days,” said Mick.

On that sixth day after seeding, and based on Craig’s advice, Mick went one step further by applying Sierrablen Plus Renovator 20-20-8 at a rate of 35g/m², the mini-granules ensuring even distribution for young seedlings while its high phosphate levels encourage strong root growth.

Since then, the nutritional programme has been based on providing the right nutrient at the right time, according to Craig.

“A lot of the programme has been designed to really focus on root establishment to assist with pitch playability. Therefore, Mick has been using Vitalnova SeaMax (seaweed extracts) and Vitalnova Blade along with Primo Maxx II growth regulator.

“Mick has produced a great surface this season and that has carried through the challenging winter months. To work alongside his good cultural methods over this testing period, Mick incorporated H2Pro FlowSmart into his monthly ITM programme. This is a superb penetrant to help with water percolation through the profile.”

Mick was also in agreement:

“I’ve had fourteen seasons here and I can honestly say that this is the best condition the pitch has ever been at this time of year. I put that down to the products.

“The pitch is holding up incredibly well and you can hardly tell that players have been on the pitch after a game. In years gone by where we have had shallow rooting a lot of remedial work was needed following fixtures. This is no longer required so we are saving time and benefitting from good plant health.

“It’s just been consistently good all year.

“The programme is very straight forward to follow – it’s all on my wall planner in my office and reminds me of what’s going on at all times. I can also call Craig and get advice which is a real benefit.

“Overall, I’m incredibly pleased that I decided to go down the ICL route because it really has made such a difference to the pitch – not just aesthetically and from a playability point of view, but also from what is going on below the surface.”

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

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

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

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ICL to sponsor Amenity Forum event

ICL to sponsor Amenity Forum event: ICL has announced that it is sponsoring the Amenity Forum ‘Meeting the Challenge’ online event, taking place on 25 February 2021.

Dr Dan Jones – Managing Director of Advanced Invasives, and Barry Browne – ICL’s Landscape and Industrial National Sales Manager, will be featuring in the highly anticipated online event. Their presentation will be focussing on a new invasive weed management project that has been developed off the back of the successful Invasive Science Lite webinar series.

ICL to sponsor Amenity Forum event

ICL to sponsor Amenity Forum event

The project will cover native and non-native species and will look to address limited evidence and support within the industry for some key species beyond Japanese Knotweed. It will provide a working guide to each species on how to treat, control and will seek to answer or dispel some misunderstandings and myths surrounding vegetation management of these highly invasive weeds.

Meeting the Challenge timetable on 25th February

09.45Arrival and networking.

10.15Welcome and Introduction.

10.20Policy Update – including the review of The National Action Plan, enforcement and PPPs approval going forward. Adrian Dixon, CRD

10.40Change, Challenge and Opportunity in terms of Amenity Management – including a focus on current issues and update on how the sector needs to respond.

– Forum activity to be covered with production of guidance on integrated control and producing plans, carbon reduction and water quality challenges. Presented by John Moverley.

11.10Facilitated Participative Session – the group will be split into various work groups.

11.45 – BREAK

11.55 – Presentation by Dr Dan Jones and Barry Browne

12.15Update on The Amenity Standard.

12.30Conclude.

Meeting the Challenge is a completely free event but will require registration.

To register for the event, please visit www.amenityforum.co.uk/our-events/

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

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

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

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Full house for ICL

Full house for ICL: All ICL Technical Area Sales Managers are now fully BASIS and FACTS qualified after two members of staff recently passed their FACTS examination. 

Matt Nutter and Andrew Pledger, ICL Technical Area Sales Managers operating in South Central and South East England have both, recently, successfully completed the Fertilizer Advisers Certification and Training Scheme (FACTS). This means that ICL now boasts an entire team of BASIS and FACTS qualified staff.

Full house for ICL

Full house for ICL

FACTS is available to those who have already qualified for the BASIS Professional Register and want to gain Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. The course builds on an individual’s prior level of agronomic knowledge and candidates must have at least one year’s experience of fertilizer and nutrient management planning in the UK.

Successful FACTS participants demonstrate a full understanding of the role of fertilizers on the main crop groups in the UK and can make recommendations that are agronomically, economically and environmentally sound.

By becoming BASIS and FACTS qualified and by joining the Professional Register, staff commit to a Code of Professional Ethics and a programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which requires them to continue their training to keep up-to-date with the latest developments and to enhance and broaden their knowledge and skills.

This ensures that turf managers receive the very best advice from ICL’s dedicated turf and landscape team.

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

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

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

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New ICL distributor in Northern Ireland

New ICL distributor in Northern Ireland: ICL is pleased to announce Irwin’s Sportsturf as a new distributor for the ICL plant protection range in Northern Ireland.

When it comes to protecting turf and managing landscape areas, ICL’s range of plant protection and control products provide the tools needed in any armoury.

New ICL distributor in Northern Ireland

New ICL distributor in Northern Ireland

Featuring Syngenta’s leading range of fungicides such as Instrata Elite and Medallion TL; a powerful line-up of fast-acting herbicides including Praxys and Esteron T; the number one plant growth regulator Primo Maxx II; the innovative turf pigment Ryder; and Nemasys which controls turf pests such as Chafer Grubs and Leatherjackets – there is a solution to ensure that turf managers are always in control.

Irwin’s Sportsturf, based in Lurgan, Northern Ireland, was formed in 2018 by former greenkeeper Kyle Irwin.

Kyle believes that the ICL appointment is yet another step in the right direction for Irwin Sportsturf.

“Since we started the business, Irwin’s Sportsturf has strived to offer the best products and service to our customers. As our reputation grows, we are delighted to be appointed as an official ICL distributor for Northern Ireland and look forward to working closely with ICL and Syngenta in the future.”

The appointment sees Irwin’s Sportsturf join Lindsay Turfcare as an official ICL distributor in Northern Ireland. Lindsay Turfcare, based in Co.Armagh, also provide ICL’s plant protection products and the extensive range of ICL fertilizers.

The full range of ICL plant protection products are available from Irwin’s Sportsturf with immediate effect.

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk

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

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

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