Tag Archive for: Numbers

Record numbers ahead of BTME

Record numbers ahead of BTME: The BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) doesn’t kick off until tomorrow (Tuesday 24 January), but the 2023 edition of the influential event has already broken multiple attendance records.

The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) organises and hosts the annual trade show and education conference at the Harrogate Convention Centre in North Yorkshire. BTME 2023 takes place this week (24 to 26 January) and is the first time the event has returned to its regular January timing since prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Record numbers ahead of BTME

Record numbers ahead of BTME

With 24 hours to go until the doors of the convention centre open, BIGGA has reported that 4,930 attendees have pre-registered for BTME, marking a significant increase on previous years. The previous record was set in 2019, when 3,344 visitors pre-registered to attend.

This number includes 900 registrations from exhibitors themselves, who play a vital role in the success of the event.

The number of pre-registrations also does not tell the full story, with visitors able to sign up for the show upon arrival at the Harrogate Convention Centre. In previous years pre-registration has accounted for around 50% of the total attendees and so BIGGA is confident that this year’s event will be among its most successful ever.

Alongside BTME, BIGGA also hosts Continue to Learn and this too has seen incredible numbers. With 1,055 tickets sold, this year’s programme will provide more education hours than ever before across the various education formats, which includes a two-day conference and full and half-day classes. Free-to-attend seminars are also taking place during Tuesday and Wednesday and no pre-registration is required for these.

Continue to Learn brings together speakers from a wide range of disciplines to provide practical learning, management advice and other topics that this year include mindfulness, leadership, personal health and wellbeing.

BIGGA Chief Executive Jim Croxton said: “The BTME pre-registration and Continue to Learn booking numbers are cause for celebration for everyone across the BIGGA community. BTME plays a significant role in setting the agenda for the coming year for the association and our members and we’re delighted that so many people continue to support us in this way.

“It’s clear that for our members and supporters, BTME is the event they enjoy, in the timing and the location that they want, and we’re delighted to be able to offer that to them once again. Where else can you meet the hosts of this year’s Ryder Cup and various other major championships alongside people discussing a sustainable future for the game or providing solutions and opportunities for every golf club in the country?

“BTME is a wonderful event and I’m incredibly excited to discover what this week holds. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the event as we couldn’t do it without you.”

For more information about BTME 2023, visit www.btme.org.uk

Throughout BTME, people are encouraged to discuss the show on social media using the hashtag #BTME2023.

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Groundsmen & greenkeepers numbers decline

Groundsmen & greenkeepers numbers decline: Groundsmen and greenkeepers, painters and decorators, plumbers, heating and ventilating engineers are just a few of the trades that the UK relies on, but a new report has revealed a decline in the number of workers in these trades. 

The trade trends report 2021 released by Skills Training Group has analysed 16 years worth of data from the Office for National Statistics to assess the state of the UK workforce.

Groundsmen & greenkeepers numbers decline

Groundsmen & greenkeepers numbers decline

In the report, it revealed multiple key trades on the decline, groundsmen and greenkeepers fell by 25.85 per cent between 2004 and 2020 from 32,500 to 24,100, while plumbers and heating and ventilating engineers fell by 4.19% (157,400 to 150,800) and painters and decorators by 17.80% (138,200 – 113,600).

Steel erectors took the largest hit of all trades analysed, between 2004 and 2020 workers in the trade fell by 47.93 per cent from 12,100 workers to 6,300.

Using the data, the team at Skills Training Group were able to forecast ahead to reveal what the future may look like for these trades if the average decline continues.

By 2049, the picture for groundsmen and greenkeepers looks completely different, projecting a decrease of more than 69%:

Skilled trades Oct 2004-Sep 2005 Oct 2049-Sep 2050 (est) Year-on-year average change Potential decrease over 46 years
Profession All persons in trade All persons in trade All persons in trade All persons in trade
Groundsmen and greenkeepers 32,500 9826.935089 -0.029 -69.76%

Commenting on the research and why young people may be the key to turning the tide for these industries, Mark McShane, managing director at Skills Training Group said:

“For many industries, young people entering the workforce early in their careers means they can learn the craft and make it a long term career – with many being business owners by the time they are 30. But, in order to encourage young people to make these choices, businesses in the industry need to engage with young people, sharing their success stories to encourage a new workforce.

“While many young people may enter into a skilled trade through college and apprenticeships, a missed opportunity may be those that have opted to continue studying for A-Levels. For these students, the general direction is to head off to university, so it’s no surprise that many may not have even considered a career in specific trades – this is where recruitment outside of the usual routes can prove fruitful.

“Communication and marketing needs to be a big part of each of the different industry’s goals – young people will better engage with clear and smart communication. To attract and recruit new talent to the industry, its image needs to adapt as well. Companies and industries that make noise, engage with social media and shout about what makes their trades great will see the tide change in the amount of people wanting a job.”

It’s not all bad for every trade, the data also shows that between 2004 and 2020 some trades thrived.

Roofers, roof tilers and slaters increased by 14.06 per cent, gardeners and landscape gardeners (23.9%) and farmers (28.64%).

Read the full report and insights from it here – https://www.skillstg.co.uk/blog/the-trade-trends-report-2021/

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Not Just Three Numbers

Not Just Three Numbers: Understanding fertilisers: What to use where, when and why

By Chris Humphrey MBPR FQA – Technical Manager, Collier Turf Care

Not Just Three Numbers

We are all familiar with turf fertilisers being referred to as three numbers (for example 6:6:12) but what does it really mean and what are we putting on our turf? To start, the three numbers are just what is required by legislation to be on the fertiliser. They relate to the percentage of major nutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) in the product. But you need to know a lot more.

Read the label and discuss with your FQA (FACTS qualified advisor) your requirements. FACTS is the Fertiliser Advisor Certification and Training Scheme. Is your advisor qualified?
Ask to see their FQA card.

Why do we apply fertiliser?

Turf needs many nutrients to remain healthy and it is important to ensure that they are present in the soil in sufficient quantities and are available to be taken up by the plant.

Typical level of nutrient in grass.

Major nutrients
Nitrogen          – 2.50 – 6.0%
Phosphorus      -0.25 – 0.50%
Potassium        -1.25 – 3.50%

Secondary nutrients
Calcium           -0.40 – 0.70%
Magnesium     -0.05 -0.25%
Sulphur            -0.25 – 0.50%

Iron                  -60 – 400ppm
Manganese     -50 – 400ppm
Copper             -50 – 400ppm
Zinc                 –  2 –  30ppm
Boron              –  2 –  5ppm
Molybdenum   –  2 –  5ppm

Nutrients are lost through leaching through the soil and clipping removal. But how much should we put on and in what form? Nutrients come in different forms and vary in speed of delivery, potential to scorch the turf, the effect on soil pH, availability at different temperatures, granulation size, longevity of response and physical breakdown. Nutrients also come from different sources. The major nutrient – Nitrogen – can come as Ammonium Nitrate, Sulphate of ammonia, urea, an organic source or as a synthetic nitrogen.

Ammonium Nitrate and Sulphate of Ammonia will release quickly and give a fast response at low temperatures, they will therefore not last as long as other nitrogen forms and do have a higher scorch risk. Sulphate of ammonia is also quite acidic which could be a useful or not depending on your soil pH and requirements. Urea needs bacteria to convert it to nitrate for the plant to take it up, therefore it needs some moisture and the temperature to be above 6 degrees centigrade to get it working. Organic nitrogen comes in any format where organic matter can breakdown with bacterial activity to release nitrogen. The common ones used in turf fertilisers are Bone Meal, Dried Blood, Poultry manure or Leather-meal. By the fact that organic nitrogen scores need to be broken down, they are a fairly slow release of nutria and do require some moisture and temperature to help them. The exception is Dried Blood that does break down quicker than the other organic forms. Because Organic fertilisers are slow they have a very low scorch potential. Most fertilisers that call themselves organic are actually only organic based and have a degree of inorganic nitrogen in them. Check the label or ask your FQA. The final source of nitrogen is the synthetic nitrogens such as Methylene urea, IBDU, Resin coated urea or Sulphur & Resin coated urea. These are designed to give you a slow release over a set period, often up to 9 months. They generally therefore have a lower scorch potential. It is important when using any coated product that the granulation is a suitable size for the turf area where you plan to use it and maintenance operations do not break the coatings.

How much nitrogen should you put on? This will vary on many things such as soil type, leaching potential, grass type and growth rate. You should prepare an annual fertiliser programme based on your individual requirements and the results of a soil test.

To work out how much nitrogen you are applying use the following formulas to give you the Kg/Ha you will be applying.

For Granular products

(Application rate x % Nutrient) divided by 10

Example – Apply a 4:0:8 fertiliser at 35g/m2
(35 x 4) divided by 10 = 14kg/Ha of nitrogen.

For Liquid fertilisers

(Application rate x specific gravity x % Nutrient) divided by 100
(specific gravity is the weight of a known volume of liquid fertiliser vs the same volume of water)

Example – apply a 15:0:12 liquid fertiliser at 60ltr/Ha. The liquid fertiliser has a specific gravity of 1.2 (i.e. it is 1.2 times heavier than water).
(60 x 1.2 x 15) divided by 100 +10.8kg/Ha of nitrogen.

Every site will vary and many things need to be taken into consideration when planning your fertiliser programme but as a rough outline of common nitrogen inputs are:

Golf Green/Bowls/Ornamental Lawns 80 – 120kg/Ha
Soil based Golf Tees 80 – 160kg/Ha
Sand based Golf Tees 200 – 240kg/Ha
Cricket Square 80 – 120kg/Ha
Soil based Football 80 – 120kg/Ha
Sand based Football 200 – 800kg/Ha or even more.

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