Posts

More than a Premier Wicket

More than a Premier Wicket: A break in play caused by the first COVID lockdown provided Ageas Bowl Head Groundsman Simon Lee with a window of opportunity to conduct a full renovation of the club’s nursery ground.

While the events of last year certainly kept everyone on their toes, Simon’s knowledge and experience of using Johnsons Sports Seed mixtures for the last 10 years, meant the results of the renovation – completed with J Intense – came as no surprise!

More than a Premier Wicket

More than a Premier Wicket

Simon took over at the home of Hampshire CCC in January 2020, on the back of nine years as Head Groundsman at Somerset CCC where he’d used both J Intense and J Premier Wicket. “You know what you’re going to get with Johnsons in terms of germination and quality of sward. We had just under seven weeks to get the project complete, before a number of international teams used the ground as a base for three months of training. The speed with which the seed established allowed us to get the ground back in play rapidly and I strongly believe that without that, we would have really struggled for coverage with the high levels of sustained play.”

The 100% perennial ryegrass J Intense mixture was sown on the nursery ground outfields in May – providing exceptional disease resistance and high wear tolerance and recovery, even under close mown conditions. On the main ground it was the proven Johnsons J Premier Wicket mixture, sown at relatively high rates, to recover some bare areas from the previous season and set the stage for a condensed season of matches – albeit behind closed doors.

“I have always had fantastic results with J Premier Wicket mixture in the past but coming to a new ground with different conditions you’re never sure how a product will adapt. My team and I couldn’t be happier with the strength and robustness we have achieved on our squares and now with matches every two weeks, we’re relying on its rapid germination to not only improve presentation, but to provide enough resilience to host matches later in the year.”

Simon concludes, “Despite the cold and challenging conditions we’ve had to start this year, the Johnsons mixtures are hardy enough and we can see the fruits of our labour with some germination already, and only more to come when conditions allow.”

Johnsons J Premier Wicket is also available with DLF’s ProNitro® seed coat technology – making it a great overseeding option for upcoming autumn renovations. Now including hydroactive water management technology, ProNitro® contains both fast and slow-release nitrogen to improve nutrient utilisation through the early stages of plant growth leading to stronger germination, quick uniform growth and improved root & shoot density.

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.

Get more than before

Get more than before: Cylinder mower maintenance doesn’t have to be a chore and with Toro’s Reels+ there’s less time and labour needed on maintenance which means more time and labour for the mower. Plus, there are real savings to be made.

Michael Hampton, parts manager at Reesink Turfcare, and the exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland of Toro Parts, says: “Never more so than now, there’s a focus in the marketplace for streamlining operations. By using Toro Reels+ customers can save up to 20 minutes of installation time per cylinder with the pre-installed flock seals and spacers.

Get more than before

Get more than before

“Not only does this means customers can get back into action a lot more quickly and efficiently, but there’s the added benefit of the peace of mind that comes with using professionally pre-assembled parts. It means there’s far less time and effort spent on maintenance and that means the machines are out mowing for longer.”

Toro invested in technology to ensure Reels+ guarantee a fit which matches the exact engineering specifications of the mower, as Michael explains: “As you might expect, a perfect fit produces a perfect cut. Will-fit parts have cylinders that can make tall grass short, but don’t account for the after-cut appearance and quality of cut. Toro prides itself on the quality of the cylinder, the job it performs, the time it saves for the operators and increasing the product life of the cutting units.”

Time isn’t just saved in maintenance though. Toro recommends replacing cylinders at the same interval to maintain the highest quality of cut, which is made easier by its distributor – Reesink Turfcare’s 24-hour delivery promise. Reesink also offers 48-hour delivery support, so you know you’re in good hands throughout the entire process.

To get a superior quality of cut, turn to the experts and make sure your business benefits from the multiple plus points of easier machinery maintenance with Toro Reels+ by visiting reesinkturfcare.co.uk today.

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.

More than just sand

More than just sand: Colin James, Head Groundsman at Leyton Orient, claims that the products are just part of the overall package from Mansfield Sand.

“I’ve been at Orient for 14 years and have been using products from Mansfield Sand the whole time,” said Colin. “It is a product and a company that I can always rely on.”

More than just sand

More than just sand

Colin uses Mansfield Sand’s Fibre Reinforced rootzone for his end of season renovations which is an 80/20 sand soil rootzone blend and polypropylene fibre reinforcement product that is particularly advantageous when grass cover has been reduced due to heavy usage and wear during the winter period. It is incorporated into the existing fibre rootzone to compensate for any material removed during renovation, whilst maintaining the required pitch fibre content to provide a firm, stable divot-free environment.

“I like the fact that it is mixed together for me at the Mansfield Sand depot and comes straight to the stadium ready to use,” said Colin. “It is a mix which continues to work for us season after season.”

All the products are produced at the company’s Two Oaks Quarry, which has been in operation since 2015 and has the most up-to-date and advanced equipment currently in the industry. From winter sports pitches, golf courses, bowling greens and all amenity turf areas – Mansfield Sand has a solution for all no matter what the product.

How much Fibresand Colin uses can vary year to year as he explains.

“We went a couple of years where we had no renovation work on the pitch due to a change of club ownership – so during that period no fibre was put into the pitch,” he said. “That meant that the following season we had to top it up a considerable amount, so It does vary, but we very much take the advice from Mansfield Sand.

“Gary Cunningham and Sharon Morris from Mansfield Sand will come to the stadium throughout the course of the season to take some samples to see how much fibre is in there. When it comes to the renovation, myself, Gary and Sharon, and the contractor will all put our heads together to come up with a solution and work out how much Fibresand we need to apply.

More than just sand

More than just sand

“It is a great product and has never let me down in all this time. It’s essential for the pitch.”

Colin, who has been in the grounds management industry for just over 25 years, was also quick to praise the back-up he receives from Mansfield Sand.

“It is not just a case of buying sand from the company,” he said. “I find that I can always pick their brains – so if I’ve got a problem with my pitch, or just want to talk about any ideas then I find that they are people I can ring up and talk to and ask advice.

“They are knowledgeable and have a great amount of experience in the industry – you can certainly rely on Mansfield Sand.”

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/

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.

Terra Spike GXi8 HD frees up more time

Terra Spike GXi8 HD frees up more time: Panmure Golf Club in Carnoustie, Angus, established in 1845, is one of the clubs that originally helped purchase the Amateur Championship trophy. 

A very close neighbour to Carnoustie Golf Links, Panmure, is widely acknowledged as a distinguished links course, and highly regarded for its immaculate fine turf and well kept fairways.

Terra Spike GXi8 HD frees up more time

Terra Spike GXi8 HD frees up more time

Head Greenkeeper, Gary Nicoll, took delivery of a Terra Spike GXi8 HD in early January, his first ever Wiedenmann.

“I’d been wanting to move to the next level with aeration for a while. We were due an upgrade. Our previous machine had done well but time was right for something faster, with a real clean finish.  Wiedenmann’s GXi series is used widely across the industry and its popular for good reason.

“We have around 11 hectares of turf, seven of which are fairways. All aeration is done inhouse, so, it’s our team of six and no contractors.  Recently, we have borrowed a machine to have two going at once to get through it more quickly. We do all greens, tees, shoulders and fairways, virtually the full course.  The old machine was 1.6 m wide and just doing Panmure’s fairways took around four weeks. I’m confident the team with the GXi8 can knock at least a week off this as it’s 20 cm wider and a good bit faster. Even just one week a month would make a healthy saving on greenkeeper time, on fuel and efforts to avoid play being interrupted.”

Installation and induction training was by Wiedenmann UK’s lead demonstrator, Andy Kerr and Mike Lindsay, Area Sales Manager, from local Scottish dealer. Fairways GM, at Kinross.

“It wasn’t a case of drop a machine at the gate and leave,” said Gary, “Andy cut the PTO shaft then he and Mike systematically showed us how to set every aspect to suit our course. It was as thorough a handover as I’ve known.  There are lots of moving parts but despite that, it’s easy to set up and easy to maintain.”

The next day, Gary took the immediate opportunity to do all 18 of his greens and the practice green before a combination of rising water tables, thick ice, and then lying snow, halted meaningful work across the course for over four long weeks.

“In that first run out we got a real good taste of what the Wiedenmann can do for us. Instantly it was quicker than what we had been used to, neater and smoother.

“The clean finish is such a benefit.  At the demonstration we found on our fairways, even with a moderate amount of heave, say 10°-15°, the GXi8 makes no disruption to the turf surface; Nor does a departing tine lift up the ground.  All disturbance is contained below the surface, just where you want it.  The surface is left stable with no requirement for extra rolling.

“However, after our initial run, the rest of January and February’s ground conditions were so poor we didn’t have the opportunity to do as much as we had hoped.

“Extra runs are planned for several choice areas. In a few places standing water has remained, so once these patches are fully dried out, we will revisit them with a decent set of tines. The beauty of the faster machine is that we nip out at times of our own choosing; targeting areas that need more work.

“Going forward we’ll be out probably every month from October through until March. I think we’ll always stay with 12 mm tines on our fairways.  For us, I don’t want golfers ever to ask for any preferred lies so I’ve politely declined any wider tines, happy with the 12 mm and with the 25 cm depth.

“I’ve also invested in the multi tine holders which take 5 mm pencil tines. After we come through the winter, I’ll play it by ear how often and where we’ll go with those. But it’s very pleasing to know we’re now equipped with the technology to keep ahead with our aeration needs and replicate best practices across the industry,” concluded Gary Nicoll.

Fairways GM’s, Mike Lindsay said: “The GXi8 HD ‘s fast speed is derived from its twin drive while its eight legs of tines are timed to hit the ground in pairs, which further enhances its smoothness and makes it kinder to turf. Advance Tine Control (ATC) allows precise tine entry into the ground, all tines exactly spaced, making a neat and clean job with surface disruption negligible. We were just so fortunate that Gary’s team got that one run in before the really bad weather took hold.”

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.

‘I’m much more worried about you’

‘I’m much more worried about you’: Jim Dawson speaks candidly about how stress got too much – and how support was quickly forthcoming.

Jim Dawson has been a Liverpool supporter since he was a boy growing up on the Isle of Bute. He’d taken his dad’s advice not to align himself to either of the Old Firm, and with Kenny Dalglish having recently moved to Liverpool it was the Reds who became his team from then on.

2’I’m much more worried about you’

So there was huge excitement when his beloved team, recently crowned European and World Champions, were scheduled to play a friendly match against Napoli at BT Murrayfield in July 2019.

BT Murrayfield got the call as a result of the pitch at Anfield being renovated, and delays to the completion of the second option, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“I was one of the most excited people at BT Murrayfield when it was announced,” recalls Jim, the IOG Groundsman of the Year in 2015

There was just one issue. A Spice Girls concert was due to be held at the Stadium, and then the pitch was going to be renovated by Premier Pitches, with the big match five and a half weeks later.

So, while The Spice Girls were doing their stuff on the stage what Jim wanted, what he really, really wanted, was a bit more time to ensure that the pitch was in perfect shape for his heroes.

“Premier Pitches did a first class job, but I was so keen that the pitch be perfect that I was checking the pitch every day and, to me, the seed wasn’t coming through fast enough.

“We had a couple of weeks when it was dark and overcast with hardly any sunshine and it wasn’t coming on strong enough. Well, to me it wasn’t coming on strongly enough… because I was looking at it every day.”

Even the reassuring words of his Deputy, Alex Latto, weren’t helping, and Jim was just getting himself more and more worked up.

“It all came to a head. I think it was week three. To me, it wasn’t coming through and thickening up and we were having the Champions of Europe – World Champions – my team, coming to play on my pitch. People like Virgil Van Dijk and Andy Robertson.

“So many thoughts were going through my head. It was just building and building. Normally, I’d go in and make myself and Kenny Scott, the Facilities Manager, a coffee and we’d go through to the bothy,” recalled Jim.

“On this day, I just went through to my office and shut the door. Kenny asked if I was ok and I said that, no I was struggling. So, we had a chat and then a walk over the pitch.”

Kenny reassured him that his pitch was fantastic, while, at the same time, Jim was explaining where he could see all the faults.

“We then sat in the stand and I talked through everything with him. I was in tears,” Kenny, an ex-Army man, explained to Jim that it was as though he was on a march, carrying a rucksack, and picking up everyone else’s troubles.

“He said that I just wasn’t flinging them back off again. It was a good thought.” What happened next is a gold-plated example of best practice for any mental health sufferer and any organisation with an employee who comes to them with a mental health issue.

Jim decided to speak with the HR (Human Resources) Department, where, again, he broke down in tears. He was taken into the Board room where he explained everything and how it was affecting him.

He then asked if he could speak with Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer.

“Within five minutes Dom was with me, and I told him all my worries about the pitch and my concerns about whether it was going to be ready.

“The one thing that really changed my thinking was what Dom said to me.

“He said that they could play on sand for all he cared and that he was much more worried about me and your mental health. He then asked what he could do to help,” revealed Jim.

“That one sentence took the rucksack off my back and I was able to calm myself down. Dom has a great manner, and an ability to make you believe that your problem is his problem. He has a way of talking to you which makes you feel good.”

After talking to Dom, Jim returned to HR where he was asked if he felt that he needed to see a specialist.

“I said that I thought that I still needed some help so within an hour I was sitting in a consultation with a psychiatrist. That’s how fast it was from me breaking the news to them and me seeing someone. That was the level of support that I had,” said Jim, who had his only other episode in 2014, equally well dealt with by Scottish Rugby, when the catalyst was the nematode infestation on the BT Murrayfield pitch.

Once he’d had his talk with HR and Dom, Jim then went to his own team and explained everything and what was going to be happening.

“They were right behind me. The whole team here at BT Murrayfield have each other’s backs which is a big thing. We are always there for each other. Even young Callum, who has come through our ranks wonderfully, often asks if I’m alright and if there is anything he can do for me.”

Scottish Rugby booked Jim a series of consultations, where he was able to talk through how he could better manage his feelings.

“Some people need to take medication for mental health, but I was one of those who didn’t. Talking to people helps me get through my mental health issues,” explained Jim.

To assist with the process, he went to Turkey on holiday for two weeks, leaving Alex to tend the pitch towards its inevitable high standard in time for the match.

“I didn’t take my phone and didn’t have any contact with work while I was away. I flew back into Scotland on the Wednesday before the Saturday match and Alex had done a fantastic job while I was away. The pitch had come together at the last minute.”

The day of the match is something that Jim will remember for the rest of his career.

“It was an absolute pleasure to go out and cut that pitch for those guys, knowing the quality of player who was going to be playing on it.”

The cherry on top came after the game while Jim and the team were doing their divoting.

“I was radioed and asked to go to the tunnel. When I arrived there was Dom, along with one of the Liverpool executives, and I was presented with a football, signed by Jurgen Klopp, to thank me for my efforts.”

Jim continued his consultations after the game, but the specialist said that they could see a change in him.

“They saw a happier human being. But I already knew that I was feeling a whole lot better with the pressure of the match over.”

For a man who is used to his pitch being played on by rugby superstars and seen by 67,000 supporters and millions on television it does seem strange that the change in ball shape resulted in such stress.

“Doing international rugby matches is just second nature to me and those people who come and lend a hand on match day are just blown away by the experience but having my own football team – Champions of Europe and Champions of the World – come to BT Murrayfield, meant everything came together and I just couldn’t handle.”

So, having been through the experience and come through the other side what advice does Jim have for other groundsmen or greenkeepers who might be struggling to cope?

“The hardest thing is to acknowledge that you have an issue, because you can think that you are admitting defeat. Sometimes you just have to say to yourself that you need help.

“People deal with things differently and some are able to manage their own aspirations, but I think it is always good to talk to somebody. It might be that you are the one helping them the next time,” explained Jim.

Eighteen months on Jim is feeling back to his best and getting ready for another Guinness 6 Nations where he will be preparing the BT Murrayfield pitch for the visit of Wales, Ireland and Italy.

And that Jurgen Klopp signed football? Well, that has pride of place in the Dawson home – sitting proudly above the fish tank.

More for the outdoors with Makita

More for the outdoors with Makita: Leading power tool manufacturer, Makita has announced the release of a new Twin 18V (36V) LXT Brushless Linetrimmer and 36V LXT Brushless Blower, as part of its expanding outdoor equipment range.

The 18Vx2 (36V) DUR368L LXT Brushless Linetrimmer is powered by the company’s innovative lithium-ion LXT battery technology; a system that allows operators to interchange battery power between over 270 LXT cordless Makita products. The new 36V UB001CZ Brushless Blower is powered by Makita’s back-pack battery system giving users the option to use the machine with either the PDC01 backpack battery that utilises interchangeable 18V LXT batteries, or the new PDC1200 solid state 33Ah backpack battery to offer even longer run-times for contractors.

More for the outdoors with Makita

More for the outdoors with Makita

Brushless Linetrimmer

The powerful 36V DUR368L brushless motor can reach fast cutting speeds of up to 6,500rpm and offers a cutting diameter of 350mm. Thanks to Makita’s Automatic Torque Drive Technology (ADT), speed and torque levels are automatically adjusted according to the density of weeds and the machine also features Makita’s highly responsive Active Feedback Sensing Technology (AFT), that shuts down the tool to protect the user if the rotation speed suddenly slows down.

With greater usability in mind, the machine is also fitted with an ergonomic soft grip and comes with a small protector to allow for a better view of the cutting area, as well as a reverse switch for easy removal of any tangled grass.

Brushless Blower

Powered by Makita’s PDC01 or PDC1200 backpack battery systems (sold separately), the brushless UB001CZ LXT Blower performs at 36V high power for extended run times and outstanding performance similar to a 50cc class engine machine, offering speeds of up to 24,000rpm in boost mode.

For the most efficient clearing operation, the blower has been engineered with an optimised grip to frame angle, providing the best nozzle to ground position. The lightweight and compact design is perfect for single handed operation but can also be attached to a shoulder belt for added comfort. Furthermore, as the machine is designed for use with backpack battery power, operators need only carry the weight of the bare machine, enabling work for longer periods with reduced fatigue.

As well as a variable speed control by trigger and a cruise control lever, the powerful, portable tool has a three-stage telescopic long nozzle attached as standard.

Speaking on the new devices, Mark Earles, Business Development Manager for Outdoor Power Equipment at Makita UK, commented: “We are pleased to launch these new outdoor products which form part of an exciting roadmap for our cordless garden machinery range this year. Our complete line up of cordless outdoor solutions continues to transform the way professionals work with new levels of productivity and efficiency. Both new solutions feature Makita’s brushless motor technology for longer machine life and with the support of the world’s largest cordless system, professionals can rely on a wide range of Makita tools that will get the job done without the limitations of petrol or cords.”

For more information about the range, please visit: www.makitauk.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.

Engcon adds more excavator features

Engcon adds more excavator features: The world’s leading tiltrotator manufacturer Engcon announces that there will be additional smart features on the tiltrotators’ quick hitch. The quick hitch had previously been adapted for installation of the detachable GRD grab cassette and SWD rotating sweeper.

Engcon now replaces nearly all the hoses in the quick hitch under the tiltrotator with a simple modular system. The hose-free design reduces wear and maintenance needs, increases service life and has the flexibility of adding more hydraulic functions which makes it easier for both customer, reseller and service partner.

Engcon adds more excavator features

Engcon adds more excavator features

The new quick hitch is modular with only two hoses remaining for the locking cylinder. It will now be easier to install Engcon’s EC-Oil quick hitch system in the lower bracket, as the hydraulic blocks are now bolted directly into a distribution block without any hoses.

The new hose-free design makes it simpler to install and retrofit hydraulic extra outlets to Engcon’s detachable tools. Tools such as the grab cassette (GRD) and the rotating sweeper (SWD), with the opportunity to add future tools from Engcon.

”With the new modular system, it becomes easier to maintain, supplement and replace components in the hitch. You get rid of almost all the hoses, that otherwise can be quite demanding to replace in a tight tool bracket,” says Fredrik Jonsson, Development Manager at Engcon.

New: use existing hydraulic tools with EC-Oil

The new modular and hose-free design also means an upgrade to the high-flow swivel which gets larger channels for increased hydraulic flow. A much valued function for those who need oil capacity for example to operate a flail mower, or similar tools by choosing to “directly feed” one of the extra outlets, without going through valves as before.

”Thanks to the possibility to get both the quick hitch system and manual extra outlets in the same hitch, our customers can now choose to use their existing hydraulic tools with EC-Oil or manual couplings,” explains Fredrik Jonsson, and continues:

“What is unique about our system is that the customer can start with a “simple” solution and then build on it themselves as and when there is a need for new tools for new assignments. It will also be very easy for the retailer to stock a “basic product” that can be easily adapted to the customer’s wishes,” Fredrik Jonsson concludes.

Engcon’s hose-free quick hitch is available for all markets and has been developed for EC209, EC214, EC219, EC226 and EC233. Sizes EC206 and EC204 are coming soon.

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.

LockStar label update gives users more flexibility

LockStar label update gives users more flexibility: ICL has announced an update to the UK label of its residual herbicide, LockStar, which will provide users with more effective and flexible weed control.

The label update includes extended use of the product meaning that LockStar can now be applied all-year round instead of the previous limited window between February and June.

LockStar label update gives users more flexibility

LockStar label update gives users more flexibility

This will provide contractors and grounds managers with the opportunity to adapt their approach and give them greater control over weed growth.

Previously, LockStar could only be used on natural surfaces not intended to bear vegetation.

However, the new label update grants the use of the product on amenity vegetation (around). This will allow for the herbicide to be applied in a wider range of situations and be used in areas such as around the base of unsusceptible shrubs, trees, plants and other amenity areas. Full details on plant species can be found at www.icl-sf.co.uk

LockStar controls a broad spectrum of weeds for up to four months and allows for professional and safe weed control. The innovative formula contains diflufenican and iodosulfuron-methyl-sodium – which is the first new weed control active ingredient to be released in the UK for many years.

When applied pre germination LockStar creates a dual barrier on the soil surface preventing weed growth and establishment. To control weeds that are already present, LockStar can be tank-mixed with glyphosate or a fatty acid.

LockStar, available in a 500g pack, uses the latest generation of water dispersible granules, the product quickly dissolves in water and remains in solution in the spray tank for a minimum of 24 hours.

Compared to conventional weed management programmes, LockStar keeps surfaces clean and weed-free for longer, as well as reducing the number of applications and amounts of herbicide required.

LockStar should be applied at a rate of 500g/ha.

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

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.

GDD Calculator aids more accurate decisions

GDD Calculator aids more accurate decisions: A new Syngenta GreenCast Growing Degree Day calculator is set to provide turf managers with a more accurate tool to help make better decisions on timing for Primo Maxx II applications and other actions.  

The GreenCast GDD Calculator will automatically generate a predictive email notification when a user defined Growing Degree Day (GDD) target is approaching – in time for greenkeepers to assess local conditions and to decide what actions to take.   

GDD Calculator aids more accurate decisions

GDD Calculator aids more accurate decisions

Commenting on the live launch of the GDD Calculator on GreenCast this week (11 May 2020), Syngenta Technical Manager, Glenn Kirby, said: “We know that GDD can be a useful guide to many turf management actions.  

“However, from my own and other greenkeepers’ experience, the challenge in a busy working schedule is finding the time to regularly record the temperature information and the reliability of that weather data source. 

“The GDD Calculator does that all autonomously, and provides easy to interpret information in time to use for every day decision making.” 

Advancing GDD to a new level, the GreenCast calculator utilises immense data processing capability to compute figures from hourly temperatures throughout the 24-hour period, compared to a simplistic daily high and low temperature conventionally used in GDD calculation.  

“That better reflects the duration of growing conditions through the day, for a more accurate assessment of how turf will actually perform,” advised Glenn. 

Evaluation compared to conventional GDD calculation has highlighted it is more responsive to assess onset of true growing conditions, particularly through early spring, and as growth declines in the autumn.       

Users can set their own target GDD figure, or multiple targets if GDD is being used to aid decisions on different aspects of turf management, such as Primo Maxx II intervals, fertiliser programmes or pest risks, for example. 

Glenn highlights Growing Degree Days have been shown to be an extremely useful guide for timing of turf management decisions. But he cautions that much of the research and many of the models have been based on US trials, under different conditions and with different grass species seen in the UK. 

“The Syngenta GDD Calculator gives far greater flexibility to be able to utilise and interpret a wide range of information resources. But they do all need to be validated against an individual course’s specific conditions to see how they can be applied.  

Uniquely, the Syngenta calculator allows users to adjust the base temperature used in calculations. Whilst a normal base for the UK is 6°C, which reflects the onset of consistent turf growth, Glenn suggests, many US models work from a base of 10°C – which generates hugely different cumulative GDD figures.  

“It is crucial to understand how recommendations have been calculated and the information on which they are based, and then use the GDD Calculator to interpret how that will work on your course,” he advocated. 

Whilst a GDD of 150 may be appropriate for Primo Maxx II intervals on one specific course, for example, he points out another course with a different management style, turf species or soil types, may find they get better results by repeating applications at a GDD of 140.     

The GDD calculator is now being used at STRI in Yorkshire, as part of a new initiative assessing Primo Maxx II applications and intervals to aid turf management under lower intensity lockdown management. 

“For the first time, there will be scientifically assessed GDD data for cool season grasses under UK growing conditions, to enable turf managers to better interpret existing turf growth models for their own individual situations,” added Glenn.  

”It is free and easy to use, so would urge anyone to start gathering the data and assess how it correlates to their own decision making process now, to be able to further integrate GDD in the future,”  

The Syngenta GDD Calculator is available for all UK turf managers, agronomists and researchers registered on the GreenCast website.

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.

Mowing forward with more choice

Mowing forward with more choice: Adding to its award-winning range of cordless power tools, EGO is now launching a new 42cm self-propelled lawnmower (LM1701E-SP). Combined with other features, it’s designed to make mowing easy with incredible collection even on slopes and difficult terrain.

In addition to the variable speed self-propelled drive system, the lawnmower has wheels with a larger than usual tread to give better traction. It also features adjustable handle heights and an easy to access battery and grass-box.

Mowing forward with more choice

Mowing forward with more choice

Weighing just 25kg, the 42cm mower benefits from an extra-large 55-litre textile bag for grass collection and supplied with a 2.5Ah battery and standard charger, users can cut up to 300sqm on one single charge. It’s also manufactured from a robust and easy to clean polymer material which is a proven winner when it comes to collecting, mulching and rear discharge cutting.

Powered by industry-leading 56-volt Arc lithium-ion technology, there are no power cables to get tangled in, and no petrol to deal with.

But that doesn’t mean users don’t get equivalent performance.

From leaf blowers and chain saws through to the new mower, all of EGO’s market-leading range of cordless equipment matches or surpasses the performance of petrol-powered tools – without the noise, vibration or pollution, but with plenty of added value.

Retailing at £529.00 with a 5-year domestic warranty, the new 42cm mower proves the point.

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.