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Broomieknowe GC secures new kit

Broomieknowe GC secures new kit: Broomieknowe Golf Club at Bonnyrigg, Mid Lothian, has welcomed a new golf course manager, a host of new members and some top-rated maintenance equipment, all in the space of a few months.

Allan Duncan joined the parkland club in April from Thornton GC, Glenrothes.  BIGGA Scottish student of the year in 2018, he has literally hit the ground running, getting to know the new course intimately as quickly as he can, and launching initiatives on social media to better connect the efforts of the greenkeeping team with club members.

Broomieknowe GC secures new kit

Broomieknowe GC secures new kit

“I’m loving it but there’s so much to get my head round,” he said. “People have been very welcoming. We have a brand-new club house and the club has invested heavily purchasing new equipment, so there’s a lot of momentum.”

First to arrive was a Wiedenmann Terra Spike XP8 deep aerator combined with an ISEKI TG6675 compact tractor.

“The ISEKI tractor was introduced to us by Rob Hogarth from our local dealer, Fairways GM at Kinross.  I’ve never had an ISEKI but I am really impressed.  The aerator is a heavy bit of kit but the TG6675 lift capacity is up to 1,600 kg so has no trouble at all. Together they are quite a combination.”

Their selected Terra Spike, the XP, is Wiedenmann UK’s biggest in fleet, chosen because of its readiness to go 40 cm deep.

“It was all purely about depth,” continued Allan. “We’ve a build-up of organic matter deep down on some greens and a bit of compaction in some of our fairways.  There are actually very good soils below the surface but to tap into these, we need the aerator to get air and water through the profile a lot quicker.

“It had been reasonably dry until I arrived, but once the ground got softer, we went out on the greens with 12 mm tines along with the turf retainers. The greens have reacted well to them.  Water has gone down, not just through the top profile but permeated through the bottom profile, and already I can see a difference.  The plan is to keep that going every month right through the summer as disruption to surface is minimal.”

“The wider programme is to do tees and approaches at the end of the season, so September, and then spike the fairways before winter arrives. The speed of the XP8 is impressive.  I’ve used the GXi8 HD before and everyone says how quick it is, but the XP8 is no slouch. We had no expectation of speed as we were searching for depth … but a hectare of greens took around nine hours, so it’s great to be able to complete all 18 greens in a day.”

Four weeks later, a delivery of the Maredo MT200 Flex-Verticutter arrived for the Lothian club.    Even on the most challenging of fairway undulations they are falter-free thanks to a turn-able ‘A’ frame and pivot point.  Each head measures just over 63 cm giving a total reach of 1.9 m with working to depths of around 25 mm.

“The Maredos were another easy decision,” said Allan. “While relieving compaction with the Terra Spike on the fairways, the next stage is to follow through with scarifying.  The idea is to remove the organic matter, breaking surface tension to help get rid of less desirable broad leaf grasses and encourage the finer ones to flourish. This leaves a better habitat for the finer grasses to grow. I really appreciate the adaptability of the Maredos with their three cassettes lined up in a V-formation, as opposed to a straight unit. They are at one with the tractor and even in just an hour cover large areas. The course is fairly flat, except for a few undulating holes with numerous dips and bumps, yet wherever they are, they hug the course, don’t scalp or pull out too much. One spanner adjustment and away you go.  They will improve the texture and quality significantly.  All main playing surfaces (except greens) will be done twice a year with the Maredos with maybe the approaches getting three hits, depending on the weather.”

“When it comes to choosing machinery, I find you always have a strong idea of what to seek but it’s good when others bring additional knowledge. Both the Fairways GM and Wiedenmann teams support you intuitively and direct you to what will work in your situation and machines that are appropriate. I feel entirely supported throughout.  No stone has been left unturned trying to help us get what we need. Even the BAGMA accredited installation training at handover is a nice touch. My team and I all benefited and not every dealer ensures such good practice.”

Rob Hogarth, Fairways GM’s Regional Manager said:

“The BAGMA Installation Scheme, is developed in conjunction with the Health & Safety Executive.  Everyone in our sales and installer team has been trained to handover using a systematic process.  Our team in turn replicate this initiative to our customers, covering things like site specific risk assessments and working in a safe environment. If clients’ teams attend the session given by one of the Fairways GM team, they receive a record of attendance and so does their employer. Allan and his team have found it very worthwhile.”

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Biocontrol ‘kit’ now available

Biocontrol ‘kit’ now available: Bionema Ltd, a leading biopesticide technology company, has been granted a UK patent for a unique pest control solution that provides safe and sustainable protection from larval insect pests. 

This is a particularly timely innovation, when leatherjackets and chafer grubs – both of which can be controlled by beneficial nematodes in spring and autumn– are currently devastating golf courses, racecourses, football pitches and cricket grounds, causing millions of turf damage. The leatherjacket pest population, in particular, has increased significantly in the last few years.

Biocontrol ‘kit’ now available

Biocontrol ‘kit’ now available

Chemical pesticides have traditionally been widely used to provide the crop yields necessary to feed a rapidly expanding global population, and control pests in sports turf and open green spaces. However, these toxic pesticides have poisoned our soils – impacting our own health and that of our planet.

An environmentally-friendly solution lies in bioprotectants, which are created from highly virulent strains of naturally-occurring biological control agents (Entomopathogenic nematodes). When used correctly, bioprotection products can offer effective pest control in cropping systems and sports turf management, by creating conditions for these micro-organisms to thrive. They live in soil and can be targeted at specific pests to avoid harming beneficial insects.

Bionema has now been granted a new patent (UK Patent No. 2581540) that provides a unique tri-component offering ‘in a box’. The Tri-Component Solution consists of:

  1. Specially developed, highly virulent strains of beneficial nematodes, NemaTrident®
  2. A biocompatible wetting agent that helps the nematodes to spread and thrive, Nemaspreader®
  3. Specialist training and adviceon how to optimise the effectiveness of the nematodes.

The pest control kit comprises entomopathogenic nematodes from the Heterorhabditis or Steinernema genera, a wetting agent composition (comprising a solvent and a surfactant) and comprehensive instructions for use. The kit provides biological control of immature larval insects which can act as pests to plants, including agricultural, horticultural, turf and amenities and forestry – providing safe and sustainable insect protection for turf and plants all year round.

“The technology associated with this product is both unique and cost-effective,” says Dr Minshad Ansari, CEO of Bionema. “It is simple and user-friendly when used as part of this kit. We will always be there to support our customers and provide any advice they need, but this pest control kit is now available for people confident enough to go it alone, and it equips them to get the results they need from these beneficial nematodes.”

Here are a few successful reports of the efficacy of this tri-component solution and how this can help save to millions of pounds in turf damage:

  • Neath Golf Club Head Greenkeeper Mark Tuckerused Bionema’s NemaTrident® Tri-Component solution because it was “more sustainable for the environment” and says he was thrilled with the results. “We’ve witnessed more than 85-90% control of leatherjackets in the first year. I was very sceptical about nematodes, but the results spoken for themselves. Last year we were hitting 30 leatherjackets per 20cm2 but after one year we are hitting zero.”
  • Darren Griffiths, Groundsman at Constantine Cricket Club near Falmouth, says he realised he had a leatherjacket infestation when he noticed that rooks were pecking for grubs on his cricket pitches and outfield and destroying the turf. He contacted Bionema and followed the training guidelines to properly handle and apply the NemaTrident®Tri-Component solution. Three months later, he said the turf had improved dramatically and the club members were able to enjoy a leatherjacket-free season.
  • Phillip Chiverton, Golf Course and Estate Manager, The Grove, says that the effective control of pests has been a steep learning curve for the greenkeeping team at The Grove over the past three years and included a lot of commitment by everyone. “By keeping to Bionema’s plan, the results are clear to see. I was very sceptical at the start, but we now have zero damage by chafer grubs, and how we keep this success ongoing is the next step of our journey with Bionema.”

The new kit adds to Bionema’s portfolio of products for the agriculture, horticulture, turf amenity and forestry sectors. For more information visit www.bionema.com

For advice, please contact Dr Minshad A Ansari, CEO of Bionema. +44 (0)1792 606916; m.a.ansari@bionema.com

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New INFINICUT® adaptation kit

New INFINICUT® adaptation kit: INFINICUT® are introducing a brand-new adaptation kit to transform a JD 2500 Triplex into a highly productive, lightweight, 85” wide dedicated sports turf mower. The simple-to-fit kit was designed to specifically meet the criteria required to maintain sports turf and address the failings of existing options – traditionally re-purposed golf turf units.  

The management of sports turf is independent from the management of golf turf and, as such, merits the provision of a dedicated triplex mower suited to the requirements of sports specific venues. The new adaptation kit includes all that’s required to affix 30” INFINICUT® cutting reels and large capacity grass boxes to an existing JD power unit with zero fabrication/hole drilling or other modification required to the original traction unit.

New INFINICUT® adaptation kit

New INFINICUT® adaptation kit

In addition, a selection of maintenance cassettes from the TMSystem™ range are also compatible with the new set-up.

The JD 2500 was chosen as the donor traction unit, not because it was easy or convenient to re-engineer, but because it would fulfil the strict design brief set out by the INFINICUT® design team. Thought was given to ensure the end product was lightweight, gentle to turf through torquing & turning and minimised soil surface compaction. It also features a functional, forward-facing middle grass basket, with a generous capacity that is easy to install and remove.

Coupled to the well proven JD 2500 are three INFINICUT® reels, utilising SMARTCut technology to offer a highly productive 85” cutting width. The INFINICUT® cylinders come with renowned quality of cut and the confidence that these units are trusted by some of the most revered venues in the world including Real Madrid, Wimbledon and many more top-flight facilities. This combination, with its offset design, reliability, adjustable clip rate and general solid engineering makes for a compelling unit that will easily be considered “best in class”.

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New kit for new pitches at Towcestrians

New kit for new pitches at Towcestrians: With two rugby pitches and a new, dedicated cricket pitch all constructed to add to the existing two rugby pitches, Towcestrians Head Groundsman, Tom Waldock, knew he would need some new machinery to keep everything in shape!

While waiting for a new compact tractor and roller mower, Tom was putting in about 40 hours a week on his new Ransomes TR320 to cut all the sports pitches as well as the outfields, edges and training areas!

New kit for new pitches at Towcestrians

New kit for new pitches at Towcestrians

 

Now his new Iseki tractor (with bucket) and topper have arrived he’s looking forward to sharing the load in 2021 and getting more remedial work done to improve both the old and the new playing surfaces.

“I was looking for a tractor that would be able to operate a slitter and vertidrain as well as perform other tasks, but not damage the surfaces. I was originally considering a smaller model but went for the bigger 46hp Iseki TLE4490 with the extra carrying capacity in order to get the performance. It will also pull the cutting deck on the backfields.”

“I also went for the loader and have already used it more than I thought I would! It’s been a godsend for filling holes in the car park and carrying stuff around. Now I’m just purchasing one more bit of kit for the Iseki to pull to help out with the many events we host in between all the sports training and fixtures.”

Before coming to Towcestrians, Tom spent several years each at Peterborough United, MK Dons and latterly at the Ricoh Stadium. He’s used a lot of different mowers and would have said they were all pretty similar, but says he feels differently about the Ransomes.

“I wanted a decent cylinder mower for the playing surfaces on the main pitches and surprisingly I’ve found the Ransomes TR320 to be the best machine I’ve used. It’s really smooth and makes the cut very easy. It’s the lightest machine on the market which was important because we have a full clay-based surface and I wanted minimum compaction. The Ransomes is certainly delivering both for me and for the pitches.”

“I’m really pleased with the advice and help I’ve had from RT Machinery in choosing the right equipment. Richard and Andy’s knowledge across a large range of brands and machinery, right off the top of their heads, is just unbelievable and has been incredibly helpful as part of the five-year plan I drew up for the development and improvement of the grounds.”

“Aside from the Ransomes and the Iseki, I also now have a new Wessex CRX180 fine turf roller mower from them for the edges and rougher areas where the juniors train. In addition they’ve supplied a used Sisis Multi Slit and a Husqvarna TC138 Lawn tractor and they’ve been able to offer great value on servicing, which will be critical in keeping everything working well across the seasons.”

“Back to work and preparing the grounds for a welcome return to grass roots sports!”

For more information, please call 01844 299037, or visit rtmachinery.co.uk

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New battery kit contributes to eco aspirations

New battery kit contributes to eco aspirations: Step by step, Inverallan Landscapes in Stirling is changing the way it does business. By integrating battery-operated equipment and reducing its carbon footprint, it hopes to offer customers a completely ‘clean’ service.

Having recently purchased a series of new zero emission grass mowers and leaf blowers, Managing Director John Maxwell is striving to make the business fossil fuel free.

New battery kit contributes to eco aspirations

New battery kit contributes to eco aspirations

“We want to be the first landscape contractors that operate battery-only, so during the past three years have been upgrading our tools and equipment to the equivalent battery models, as well as installing solar panels at our business unit.

“This year will also be investing in an electric vehicle, which will reduce our carbon footprint even further,” he said.

“Our industry is conscious of its consumption of fossil fuels, so is moving towards greener energy. But not only is the battery kit more environmentally friendly, it’s also better for operator safety, as noise is reduced and there’s no emissions.”

Among Inverallan Landscapes’ customers is a local housing association with 1000 properties, which from April, will all be serviced using the new battery tools.

Other customers include private housing estates, business parks and green spaces, all benefitting from reduced noise and air pollution, and improved service efficiency due to the reduced downtime of the equipment.

John added: “Most recently, we purchased two Pellenc Raison Easy Mowers, which we were able to trial to ensure the team was happy with performance before we committed.

“Everyone gave really positive feedback, they cut long grass with no problem and are lightweight and easy to use, which is important when you are visiting multiple sites in a day. All our new Pellenc battery tools were purchased through Agrovista Amenity in Stirling.”

The Pellenc product range includes chainsaws, pole saws, hedge cutters, grass strimmers and mowers, all powered without the need for petrol.

Amenity Specialist for Agrovista, Allan Wright, said: “It’s great to see that Inverallan Landscapes is revolutionising its approach to service provision through the introduction of battery-operated equipment.

“With Pellenc tools, there’s no compromise on performance, and users benefit from long-term cost savings, reduced noise and operator vibration.

“All Pellenc tools come with a three-year commercial warranty and batteries benefit from the new improved four-year commercial warranty. I believe the future is in the use of battery equipment and the new technological developments from Pellenc are certainly leading the way.”

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Husqvarna Launch Automower Fairway Kit

Husqvarna Launch Automower Fairway Kit: Global market leader in outdoor solutions, Husqvarna, has introduced a new robotic mower fairway kit designed to be used on golf fairways and other sports turf applications.

The new kit lowers the cutting height of Husqvarna Automower® to a minimum of approximately 10mm whilst also providing new cutting height steps of 12.5mm, 15mm and 17.5mm. The standard cutting height on all Husqvarna Automower® models excluding the AWD models is 20mm.

Husqvarna Launch Automower Fairway Kit

The kit ensures that the lower cutting heights required on areas such as fairways can be achieved using a Husqvarna robotic mower. The combination of Husqvarna Automower® and the new kit allows areas such as fairways to be maintained at a constant length throughout the year, creating consistency in the playing conditions experienced by golfers. The ultra-silent mowers are also extremely unobtrusive, ensuring that players are not disturbed and also allow night time operation.

The use of robotic mowers on large and labour intensive areas of grass which require regular maintenance also allows the redeployment of grounds staff on to more skilled tasks. The robotic mowers are designed to cut little and often, recycling the micro-clippings back into the soil improving grass quality whilst maintaining a consistent grass length throughout the growing season.

Worcestershire Golf Club are amongst a growing number of golf courses utilising Husqvarna Automower® as part of course maintenance. Steve Lloyd, Course Manager commented “It’s great because it means we can keep a consistent cut throughout the week. It also saves us time on a large area, allowing the team to focus on hard to reach and trickier areas. One of the best things is how the micro-clippings fertilise the grass. The quality of the grass has improved massively in a very short space of time”.

The kits are designed to be used on the following Automower® models : 420, 430X, 450X, 520 and 550.

Husqvarna Automower® fairway kit includes:

  • Spacers – 10mm and 12.5mm (only one to be used)
  • New cutting disc
  • Fasteners
  • Lid
  • NOTE: Due to the lower cutting height the skid plate should not be used.

To learn more about Husqvarna Automower® technology and range visit: http://www.husqvarna.com/uk/products/robotic-lawn-mowers/

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