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SAGE is on for summer 2021

SAGE is on for summer 2021: With the government’s announcement outlining the road map for this summer, SAGE is officially ON!

Join us from 27 – 29 July 2021, for the UK’s largest outdoor Sports and Grounds Expo .

SAGE is on for summer 2021

SAGE is on for summer 2021

Set in the stunning surroundings of the Three Counties Showground at the foot of the Malvern Hills, the show will feature hands-on demonstrations and experiences, offering visitors the chance to see and test out the latest products.

Visitors can also observe leading exhibitors showcasing their products, without any limitations on space, while also hearing the latest ideas from within the industry.

SAGE brings together grounds personnel from a broad range of sectors, providing an engaging and well-resourced environment. The expo will advise companies on how to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness, exploring and showcasing the products that can help.

The government’s announcement out of lockdown has really opened up the summer; SAGE now sits perfectly in the calendar, and provides a fantastic opportunity to get outdoors and to see what is on offer across the industry. Our motivation is to give visitors a hands-on experience, without compromising on safety, and at The Three Counties Show Ground this is easily achieved.” Says Event Manager Vicky Panniers

“Our aim is to provide an environment that will benefit everyone from grass roots to senior management; we are very excited about what is on offer and we look forward to seeing you all.” She continues.

The Sports & Grounds Expo will be the highlight of the industry calendar this summer, offering a safe and proactive environment for those operating across all sectors of the sports and grounds maintenance industry. SAGE is a free event open to all, who are interested in the sports and grounds industry.

For more information, contact the team today by email: team@sportsandgrounds.co.uk, by phone: +44 (0)1684 580101 or visit the website: www.sportsandgrounds.co.uk.

Visitor registration is now open – Go to www.sportsandgrounds.co.uk to register and to be kept up to date with what’s to come! Follow SAGE news on Twitter & Facebook for updates.

The safety of visitors and exhibitors is a priority, the latest health & safety advice will be implemented, security measures including social distancing have already been put into action, hand sanitiser will be readily available and free pre-registered bookings for all visitors to reduce queues are heavily encouraged.

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Get ready for summer with Otterbine

Get ready for summer with Otterbine: With the sun can come dangers for your lakes and ponds and as we know the warm weather arrived early last year with April the sunniest on record. As a result, water management specialist Otterbine is advising greenkeepers to be prepared and take action now to avoid problems and costly fixes later.

Left unattended for long periods of time water can quickly deteriorate, leaving lakes and ponds with problems such as algae, aquatic weeds and odours meaning the importance of water management can’t be underestimated.

Get ready for summer with Otterbine

Get ready for summer with Otterbine

Peter Newton, commercial and golf irrigation sales representative at Reesink explains: “It’s vital to take care of your water now so you’re not faced with a sudden onslaught of problems once the weather gets warmer. Higher levels of sunlight and heat, generated by summer sun, can lead to excess nutrients in water bodies. When combined with low oxygen levels and limited circulation, the natural ecosystem tips out of balance, which is what can cause algae, weeds, odours and sludge build up, which can even kill off aquatic life.

“Once a water body reaches this point the costs of trying to restore it increase dramatically. As well as often being more expensive to implement, reactive solutions tend to be less friendly to the environment too.”

With Otterbine aerating fountains, industrial aerators and diffused air systems and their proven high oxygen transfer rates, there’s a simple and natural solution to prevent water quality deteriorating.

“The most natural water quality management solution is to introduce aeration to eliminate stagnant water,” says Peter. “This will increase oxygen levels, and circulate oxygen rich water throughout the lake, pond or water reservoir to keep the water clean, clear and healthy.”

And with Otterbine’s comprehensive warranties ranging from three to five years on its range of products including the Giant Fountain, Fractional Series, Air Flo 3 and Fountain Glo Lights, you can rest assured that not only will your water body stay in good shape, but your fountain or aerator will be looked after too.

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Rockhampton hoping for pitch perfect summer

Rockhampton hoping for pitch perfect summer: Groundsmen across the country are busy preparing pitches for the start of the cricket season, but Jeremy White has more work to do than most.

Read the full article from Gazette Series here

Rockhampton hoping for pitch perfect summer

Rockhampton hoping for pitch perfect summer

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Tackling Summer Turf Stress

Tackling Summer Turf Stress: Last summer saw the highest level of drought stress the UK has seen for years, and many courses are still feeling the effects of this damage in 2019.

Heat and drought stress can often be hard to manage but by looking at above and below ground factors it is possible to mitigate the effects and maintain playability. Dr Colin Mumford, left, Technical Support Manager at Bayer, explains the management practices that can be implemented to protect courses this summer.

Tackling Summer Turf Stress

Above Ground – Heat Stress

Above ground, heat stress is a big issue during the summer months. Heat can cause scorch, wilt and eventually die back of the grass plant which can severely interfere with ball roll and the aesthetic appearance of the course.

“There are a number of management practices that can help to reduce the effects of heat stress,” explained Colin.

“In the US and other hot countries, they use a technique called syringing. This involves spraying a fine jet of water droplets into the air above the green.

“These fine droplets land on the turf and evaporate almost instantly. This rapid evaporation cools the canopy of the grass plant, removing a lot of heat.

“If this is done properly you can do a whole green in 30 to 45 seconds and it will be dry before the next group of golfers arrive,” said Colin.

“There is an argument that this will need to be used more in the UK as we seem to be getting hotter summers. But it’s a very labour-intensive process and just doing it once isn’t enough,” he warned.

“Greens need to be syringed at least seven times a day to keep the canopy temperature down. Most golf courses that do this have one or two people who carry out this process throughout the whole day.”

Colin adds that raising the height of cut as much as possible can help to take the stress off grass plants.

“By raising the cutting height, the plant will be able to tolerate stresses because the added growth will make it more resilient. However, by raising the cut height, ball speed on putting greens will be reduced,” he says.

“Therefore, if you decide to go down this route you may want to roll the greens afterwards to counteract the effects of the extra height.”

Colin explained that there are products that can be applied to help alleviate the effects of heat stress.

“UVA and UVB rays from the sun radiate heat on the grass plant causing heat stress. Bayer’s Stressgard formulated range can provide a protective barrier against this.

“Stressgard contains a pigment that coats the surface of the leaf, and significantly reduces the amount of UVA and UVB reaching the grass plant.

“It will also reduce Photosynthetically Active Radiation but allows sufficient PAR through for the plant to photosynthesise effectively,” said Colin.

Eoghan Buckley, Course Superintendent at Birr Golf Club, County Offaly, had problems with summer turf stress last year and used preventative applications of a Stressgard formulated fungicide, as part of his management programme, to prevent disease taking hold of his greens.

“At the end of June our greens endured a prolonged period of heat and drought stress. After taking advice from Greg Collins at Bayer and Aine Daly from Cropcare, I decided to apply a preventative fungicide to help with recovery and minimise any further stress on the plants.

“The results were positive, with the turf looking much healthier. Having witnessed these impressive results, I have integrated this into my turf management programme this year.

“So far, this year hasn’t been as hot as 2018, so my greens are looking in good condition. However, from what I learnt last year, taking a preventative approach to both turf stress and disease control can be vital,” says Eoghan.

Below Ground – Drought Stress

“Below ground it is all about water management. To make informed decisions it’s important to know what you are working with and understanding evapotranspiration is the best way to achieve this.

“ET is the combined effect of water loss through transpiration from the plant, and evaporation from the soil. It is calculated from weather data, and some weather data providers, such as Bayer’s TurfXpert app, provide a calculation of ET.

“Measurements with moisture metres around your course, to assess localised areas of your turf, are also important. When these are combined with ET data, you can calculate how much supplemental irrigation is required,” added Colin.

While there are lots of schools of thought around irrigation techniques, Colin recommends deficit irrigation as the best solution.

“It works by replacing between 60% to 80% of water loss, which means the soil is able to take in additional water during a rainfall event and none of it is lost through drainage,” he explained.

“This way you can make the most of rainwater and save costs on irrigation.”

He warns drainage is not only costly in terms of water loss but also because of nutrient loss.

“If drainage occurs it can leech away nitrogen and other inputs, potentially causing environmental damage and cost to the greenkeeper.”

To combat this, Colin recommends carrying out an audit of irrigation systems to ensure they are running efficiently and used wisely.

“Irrigation is a beneficial tool but if it’s overused, problems with thatch build up and annual meadow grass can occur. This is why getting management techniques and calculations right is vital,” he said.

Below Ground – Pests

Another below ground factor is the damage caused by chafer grubs and leather jackets.

“These pests can have a huge impact on the health of grass plants at this time of year,” said Colin.

“Chafer grubs and leather jackets damage the roots of grass plants meaning the grass plant can’t take up water and nutrition, leading to drought stress effects.

“There may be plenty of water and nutrition present in the soil, but because the roots are damaged, they can’t take it up. The grass plants will then show signs of drought stress, scorching and ultimately will die back.

“In this case, the only short-term answer is irrigation. However, in the long term you can tackle the pest with cultural, biological and chemical controls to prevent damage from happening.

“Introducing new grass species that have rhizomes, fescues for example, into these areas can help with this.

“The rhizomes act as a tube of stored energy below ground which helps the grass plant to cope with a degree of attack from pests.

“Aeration can also be used to create channels for the roots to grow though, allowing them to descend quickly and easily to scavenge more water and nutrients,” adds Colin.

“As greenkeepers you strive to maintain the health and playability of your course. So, doing everything that you can both culturally and chemically is paramount, especially during the hot summer months,” concluded Colin.

Track Turf Pests This Summer

Track Turf Pests This Summer: The new Turf Pest Tracker will follow the timing and movement of the adult life cycle stages of key turf pests this summer, to get a better picture of when and where the pests are flying.

The GreenCast website enables all turf managers and agronomists to report activity of the main chafer species and crane fly, using their phone, tablet or computer. Sightings are instantly recorded on maps, giving the chance to visually check out the level of pest presence reported in any local area.

Track Turf Pests This Summer

Turf Pest Tracker is supported by an on-line pest identification and lifecycle guide, along with information to tailor an effective Integrated Pest Management programme.

Chafer grubs and leatherjacket soil pests can result in severe damage to turf roots and surface quality, along with extensive damage from their predators uprooting turf.

Highlighting the value of Turf Pest Tracker for the industry, Syngenta Technical Manager, Glenn Kirby, said: “Accurate identification and knowing your target soil pest life-cycle is essential for an effective integrated control programme and optimum timing of controls.”

He believes live tracking of adult pest activity will give a valuable early warning of potential soil pest activity and where problems may strike.

“Changing climatic trends have blurred the historic east/west split, which typically saw chafers more prevalent the east and leatherjackets more common in the west.

Track Turf Pests This Summer

“Also, changes in weather patterns – along with the adapting life-cycle of the insects – have further complicated predicting pest activity.”

Glenn pointed out that last season, for example, the intense heat and dry conditions appeared to delay the emergence of crane fly – the adult stage of leatherjackets – for up to a month later than the July/August norm. Crane fly were even reported emerging and on the wing in October, making it difficult to target control of resulting larvae.

“The more people that get involved with Turf Pest Tracker, the clearer the picture the industry will have to tackle the issues,” he added.

Turf Pest Tracker is available to report and view insect activity on the Syngenta GreenCast website, www.greencast.co.uk Updates and information will be regularly shared on Twitter: @syngentaturfuk #PestTracker

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Anthracnose Risk After Summer Stress

Anthracnose Risk After Summer Stress: After a summer of prolonged dry weather, grass plants have experienced extreme droughts, and greenkeepers are reminded to act now before disease onset this autumn.

Dr Colin Mumford, Bayer technical manager, explains that stressed turf is more likely to be affected by diseases such as Anthracnose, foliar blight and Anthracnose basal rot.

Anthracnose Risk After Summer Stress

“Grass swards are struggling to recover following this summer’s extreme weather conditions, making them more susceptible to disease. If weather conditions are cool and damp going forward you’ll be more likely to see disease outbreaks,” he says.

“Anthracnose is known as a low nitrogen disease so it’s essential to monitor plant nutrition regularly to keep your grass plant in the best condition. You can do this by looking at grass clippings when mowing greens or taking soil or tissue samples and applying correct nutrients if required.

“However, if conducive weather conditions prevail, I’d advise greenkeepers to treat turf preventatively to stop disease from establishing, using a dual action fungicide such as Dedicate (tebuconazole and trifloxystrobin).

“As well as helping to reduce the impact of scarring, treating turf preventatively will minimise the effect of Anthracnose, in turn leaving you with a healthier grass plant that’s able to withstand other disease stresses like Microdochium Patch,” says Colin.

Following the loss of iprodione, Colin recommends that greenkeepers use an integrated approach to combat disease. This should include both cultural and biological controls as well as fungicides if required.

For further information about preventative fungicides please visit www.environmentalscience.bayer.co.uk or contact the Turf Solutions Team on 00800 1214 9451, at turfsolutions@bayer.com

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