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Glassboys raise toast to MM60

Glassboys raise toast to MM60: Volunteers are the lifeblood of grassroots football and you would be hard pressed to find anyone as dedicated to the cause than Ian Pilkington. In fact, he spends most of his free time tending to the pitch at Stourbridge FC’s War Memorial Ground, which he says has been hugely benefited by Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed.

Stourbridge through and through, Ian’s involvement with his beloved club, who are also known as the Glassboys, goes back a long way. When he attended his first game as a seven-year old boy, little did he know that one day he would become a director and a groundsman.

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

“My dad started taking me to watch the matches at Stourbridge when I seven years old and I’ve followed them ever since,” said Ian. “After the club got relegated in the year 2000 a number of us were invited to run the committee and then we evolved into a limited company and became directors.

“I started helping to run the club in a number of areas and was lending a hand to the groundsman. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury and there was no one to do the work, so I thought I’d better have a go myself.”

That was 16 years ago, and Ian has tended to the pitch ever since. Without fail, he is at the ground every Sunday morning and every spare moment he has during the week, preparing, repairing, and treating every inch of the pitch to keep it in superb condition.

“I’m a keen amateur,” he says. “I’ve found that you never stop gaining knowledge in the groundcare industry. There are always people that I can ask for help and advice and that is how I have managed to do this job for so long.

“To be honest, I could probably do with retiring, but I enjoy spending time at the club. I love being outside and working on the pitch. However, I have found that you can never do enough in this game, and I am always thinking about what else I can do to improve the pitch.”

Ian claims that he saw a remarkable development in the pitch ever since he started using Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed ten years ago after it was recommended to him by trusted supplier Agrovista Amenity.

Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for producing an excellent playing surface. It is a 100% Ryegrass formula which is perfect for renovation and divot repair, has a high disease resistance, fantastic aesthetic qualities and offers extremely fast germination – which is boosted by the inclusion of Headstart GOLD®.

“We use MM60 for our renovation at the start of May. We share the ground with a cricket club so as soon as we finish the football season there is change over to cricket. Therefore, we need something which is very quick in establishment and we’ve found that the MM60 is ideal for that – it gives us great coverage.”

“I also tend to overseed in autumn – so I will use the MM60 on areas which need a bit of a boost, or where the fox has been or where the birds have been pecking at the surface.

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

“The colour is also very strong throughout the year – it’s always a vibrant green and is healthy.”

MM60 also includes Limagrain’s Ryegrass cultivar Annecy which has outstanding disease resistance particularly against Leaf Spot. The mixture’s high disease resistance coupled with its hard-wearing sward makes MM60 a seed that Ian can rely on.

“We never suffer from any disease here and I’ve found that the MM60 provides great recovery – even in bad weather conditions. Ultimately, we have consistently good results year in year out.

“I’ve been working with Mark Allen from Agrovista Amenity for more than 10 years and have been using the MM60 throughout that whole time. It’s been a fruitful partnership, which combined with use of the Limagrain seed, only benefits the club and will continue to so in the future.”

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm – you can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed

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Lochemse raise standards with Jacobsen

Lochemse raise standards with Jacobsen: After greenkeepers and members became frustrated with the quality of cut and condition of the fairways at Lochemse Golf Club, head greenkeeper, Geert Olthuis, switched brands to Jacobsen and has used a Fairway 305 to turn things around.

No stone was left unturned by Geert in his search for a new fairway mower. He trialled five machines from different suppliers before the cut quality, and simplicity of the Jacobsen 305 was picked to elevate the fairways aesthetics and performance.

Lochemse raise standards with Jacobsen

Initially, Geert was sceptical about the mower specification compared to the machine he had been using, but he explains how his opinion was soon changed.

“When we saw the cutting finish, we couldn’t believe it because it was so good. I was unsure of the Fairway 305 when I first saw it because it only had seven blades and no groomers, but it cut better than our mower that had groomers and 11 blades.

“We were looking for a simple machine with a better quality of cut and higher capacity. We had demos of four other mowers but the 2.94m cutting width, cut quality and simplicity of the 305 really impressed us.

“Nicely cut fairways make a course better, but our members, and us as greenkeepers, weren’t happy with the results of our old machine, even when we were mowing three times a week. Now, we as greenkeepers and our members are very happy with our fairways again.”

The success of the 305 stems from its simplicity. It’s a machine that’s built to be reliable and gives operators unsurpassed productivity while providing an unrivalled quality of cut.

This cut quality comes from the five 66cm floating head cutting units that follow all contours and undulations to ensure an even cut on all areas. The floating head system works with the four-wheel-drive – provided as standard – which provides greater traction and causes reduced turf compaction.

Productivity is increased across the machine in several areas, including the cutting units that don’t require any tools to adjust the reel to bedknife. Quick changes from collection to rear discharge can be easily made using the adjustable grass discharge section, and for prolonged use, the radiator pack and hood have been optimised to increase airflow in hot, dusty conditions, preventing downtime due to overheating.

Because of the increased productivity of the 305, operators spend less time cutting the course, but operator comfort remains a priority. An arm-rest mounted joystick is used for all mower lift and lower functions, and a deluxe adjustable high-back suspension seat has been fitted for optimum operator comfort.

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