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Greens transformed with Suståne programme

Greens transformed with Suståne programme: 16 bowling greens across Hampshire and South Dorset have undergone a huge transformation thanks to new maintenance contractor Paul Wright and his organic approach to turf nutrition.

Utilising a range of products from across the Suståne portfolio, some of the greens are now 100% organic, and the remainder are not far away – with all seeing improvements in density, strength and overall plant health.

Greens transformed with Suståne programme

Greens transformed with Suståne programme

Following recommendations and some first-hand experience in his years spent contracting on golf courses, Paul has now been using Suståne products for six years. “I got to know Suståne’s Russell Riley and speaking with him was the final confirmation I needed that converting fully over to organic feeding was the way to go. With assistance from fellow contractor Steve Hill, I took over the maintenance of the bowling greens which had previously been undertaken by the local councils and came straight in with the organic approach.”

The programme consists of Suståne 4-6-4 slow-release fertiliser through the winter, switching to
5-2-4+Fe fine grade for late summer application to provide a quick, even green-up followed by long-lasting sources of organic nitrogen. This is supplemented with applications of Suståne’s Turf Revival
6-2-4 in the spring and Bolster humic acid bio-stimulant, blended with seaweed & iron, which is applied periodically over 10 months of the year to boost the swards tolerance to stresses – drought, salt and disease.

“Within a timeframe of just two or three seasons, you can see the effects and benefits of the organic feeds as you overcome any inherited problems. After this, and in conjunction with the regular mechanical maintenance, you end up in a situation where the sward is denser, with better rooting structure and improved resistance to disease. Because of this, and especially on those greens that are now 100% organic, we are also enjoying being herbicide and fungicide free.”

“From an application perspective” Paul adds, “it feels cleaner and better for me than spraying various chemicals all day long and in turn it’s better for any people around and the players themselves as they now return to the greens post-lockdown.” He concludes, “Being able to say you’re organic is one thing but ultimately if the products don’t deliver results, then you quickly find yourself out on your ear! With 16 contracts and counting, it’s safe to say that the effectiveness of the Suståne products speak for themselves.”

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Council delivering with Ventrac

Council delivering with Ventrac: North Lincolnshire Council is committed to delivering best value to its residents and demonstrated this with the recent purchase of two Ventrac 4500 all-terrain compact tractors and multiple attachments. Delivered and installed by local dealer Russells, the package also included two MU rotary mowing decks, one Tough Cut deck and a Tiller attachment.

So impressed with the versatility of the Ventrac, the council’s Green and Open Spaces Manager Carl Beacock, is already looking at adding an Aeravator, Contour mowing deck, Edger and Finishing deck to this ever burgeoning mini-fleet.

Council delivering with Ventrac

Council delivering with Ventrac

Prior to taking up this latest position, experience groundscare professional Carl Beacock spent 7 years as Grounds Maintenance Manager at the Riverside Housing Group and 9 years as Estate Manager for Kingston-upon- Hull Council.

“We were looking to replace our aging Aebi mower,” he said, “but I wanted to ensure that we achieved best value with an alternative machine that was more than a ‘one-trick pony’, albeit the Aebi is a very competent one!

“When researching the market, I spoke to some colleagues in the south of England, who provided effusive feedback on the Ventrac, especially its versatility. This sounded exactly what I was looking for – a machine that not only performs well as a mower, but one that could be used 52 weeks a year with the right attachments.

“We contacted our local dealer Russells, who quickly organised a demonstration and within less than a minute I realised it was the machine for us. It performs on slopes, its stability is excellent and every attachment does what we expect, ticking the box for versatility. We are mandated to maintain all green spaces in the area including parks, sports pitches, cemeteries and roadside verges. Traditionally we have been using ride-on cylinder and rotary mowers, but they are designed for one specific purpose. whereas the Ventrac is much more versatile.

“We can mow our sports pitches down at 25 mm, then change out the deck in a matter of minutes and be cutting down bracken and brambles. We have a policy of introducing more wildflower meadows across the area and for this this purpose we purchased the tiller attachment. This helps us quickly prepare the soil bed in readiness for the specialist seed mixes and we can do it on steep slopes. We can also use it when we are restoring football and rugby pitches.

“I think this demonstrates that we have purchased a couple of multi-capacity machines, that produce a finished cut on fine turf as good as our current cylinder mowers, but can fulfil numerous other functions. We have been blown away by their performance; every member of my team is commenting on how good they are and that doesn’t happen very often! Without a doubt, it’s a great piece of kit and the best investment I’ve made during my career.”

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Christmas all year round with Pellenc

Christmas all year round with Pellenc: The battery-powered Pellenc Prunion pruning shears have proved to be instrumental in helping one of the UK’s largest Christmas tree growers.

Tayside Forestry has been producing Christmas trees in the heart of the Angus countryside in Scotland for nearly 60 years. The company produces approximately 80,000 Christmas trees each year on 500 acres of prime land and its clients include large retail businesses, wholesalers and garden centres. It also sells directly to the public from the farm throughout December, turning its farm shed into a Christmas tree forest and light show.

Christmas all year round with Pellenc

Christmas all year round with Pellenc

Adam Robinson is the Farm Manager for Tayside Forestry and oversees the growing and the selling of the Christmas trees. He explained how the centrepiece of every home during the festive period takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

“Nordmann Fir and Fraser Fir are the main crops that we grow, and we have about 1.1 million trees in the ground,” he said. “We will normally take the trees out of the field in their seventh year, but we have to carefully nurture them along the way.

“During the process we let them grow and develop their root system and once they have got to a certain height (approximately thigh level) we will continue shaping the tree to make sure they have that beautiful Christmas tree shape.

“In particular, we carry out bottom handling on the trees,” continued Adam. “The purpose of this is to keep the bottom ten inches of the tree clear of branches so that people can get the Christmas trees into the stands. This is where the Pellenc Prunion comes in.”

The Prunion pruning shears are ideal for growers looking for the most powerful, lightest and most innovative tool on the market. Its grip fits any hand, and its large cutting diameter makes it incredibly comfortable to use. The numerous innovations of this pruning shear make it indispensable for professionals seeking either freedom of movement with the 150P pocket or the possibility to alternate tools with the 250 battery, which allows users to connect two Pellenc tools simultaneously.

Tayside Forestry purchased five Prunions with the 250 batteries from Pellenc distributor Agrovista Amenity and Adam revealed that they have made a huge difference to operations.

“Previously we used to have an air compressor and a lot of hose to do this job, but it was costly and took a very long time – we needed a solution,” he said. “Now, with the Pellenc Prunions we are so much more agile – you don’t have to have an air hose cable following you round or an air compressor.

“The team moves more freely and simply walk around the trees – the job is now completed in a much quicker time. One of the main reasons for purchasing the Prunion is because many of our fields are located on steep hills and it can get to where all the other equipment just cannot.

“There are quite a few settings and operating modes which is really handy. For example, if you are in a field with big branches at the bottom of the tree, you can adjust the settings to open the shears wider; and you can be sensitive on the trigger or aggressive depending on the task. It is a very precise tool.”

Adam estimates that last year the five Pellenc pruning shears were used for somewhere between 167 and 189 hours, and never once did the battery power fail the Tayside Forestry team.

Christmas all year round with Pellenc

Christmas all year round with Pellenc

“The team can be out in the field cutting with them constantly from 7am-5pm,” continued Adam. “Not one set has ever run out of battery on us – you could easily get two days’ work out of them.

“Originally, they were just purchased for bottom handling, but we have found a lot of other uses for them like clearing old fields, bottom handling very old trees, they can be used alongside marking trees, collecting branches and making Christmas wreaths.”

After working hard throughout the year, Adam sent the Prunions for an annual service at the expert Pelllenc technical centre in Edinburgh.

“I was very impressed with the service and it was all part of the warranty agreement,” he said. “I simply dropped them off locally to Agrovista Amenity and all five Prunions were back within a couple of weeks with new blades and in excellent condition ready to be put to work again.

“I’ve used electrics for quite a number of years for pruning and these are the best set I’ve ever come across,” Adam continued. “They are practical, easy to use, cost effective and function very well. They have proved to be an exceptionally good purchase.”

Pellenc products are exclusively distributed in the UK by Etesia UK.

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.pellencuk.com

You can also follow Pellenc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @PellencUK for much more news, reviews and insightful views.

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Changing the Business of Golf with Fame Tate

Changing the Business of Golf with Fame Tate: A unique new docuseries telling the remarkable story of one woman’s mission to turnaround a rundown golf club and make it a friendly, accessible and inclusive community venue is now streaming on syngentagolf.com

In a first for the golf industry, the fly-on-the-wall documentary, Changing the Business of Golf, follows former Ladies European Tour professional Fame Tate as she breaks with tradition and aims to transform the course and customer experience at Stanedge Golf Club, Derbyshire.

Changing the Business of Golf with Fame Tate

Changing the Business of Golf with Fame Tate

In the first episode, Fame recalls the life-changing decision to acquire the golf course and how she is turning the club into an open, friendly venue at the heart of her local community.

Meanwhile, as the team prepares for a new season, they are faced with the prospect of preparing the golf course for reopening without their head greenkeeper.

“If you’d said to me one day you’ll own a golf club, I’d have probably sat there are laughed,” says Fame, whose playing career was cut short by injury. “My vision from day one was to break away from the traditional golf club model. It’s about making a place that’s welcoming, affordable, accessible, inclusive.”

Working closely with her greenkeeping team – and revealing how she rolled up her sleeves to get stuck in to groundwork – Fame is investing in a major course upgrade to improve playing conditions.

The series documents day-to-day happenings, including course management work led by head greenkeeper Christian ‘CJ’ Johnson.

“It was a tough task for Fame and everybody involved to get the course back to where it was,” says CJ. “But since then we have really tried to improve it as a team and get it moving forwards.”

Just one year after acquiring the club, Fame faced the potentially catastrophic challenge of the Covid pandemic and enforced lockdown, forcing her and the team to call on their inner reserves of strength and resilience to keep the business afloat.

Will she realise her vision and succeed? The series will follow Fame and her team as she reopens Stanedge Golf Club and takes on the business of golf.

Watch the first episode now on Syngenta Golf: https://www.syngentagolf.com/changing-business-golf

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Hayter partners with Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

Hayter partners with Commonwealth War Graves Foundation: To mark the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation’s first-ever War Graves Week (21-28 May 2021), premium lawncare brand Hayter has partnered with the Foundation to honour the Commonwealth’s war dead.

The partnership has launched the Best in Bloom competition, which invites people of all ages to create their very own wildflower memorial to remember those who died in the world wars. The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF) will be sending out free packets of wildflower seeds, which have been chosen to reflect the plants that would have grown on the battlefields of the First World War, to all that apply for some.

Hayter partners with Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

Hayter partners with Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

The competition encourages people to plant the seeds now and the patch of wildflowers will be ready by War Graves Week. People can then enter the competition between 21-28 May by sharing their wildflower memorials on Twitter or Instagram using #WarGravesWeek. The winner will be selected by a panel of horticultural experts and they will take home a prize of up to £200 to spend in a garden centre.

Hayter will be supporting CWGF by stocking the seeds across the UK in its network of independent lawn mower dealers.

On the partnership, Craig Hoare, Sales and Marketing Manager for Hayter, said: “Gardening has been a great outlet for many of us during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a country we have come together to thank those who have put others before themselves. This follows in a great British tradition and shows that it’s just as relevant today as it’s always been to remember those who have given their lives for the greater good.”

While the seeds are free, donations to the CWGF are encouraged, as the foundation aims to engage and educate people in telling the stories of the 1.7 million fallen Commonwealth servicemen and women.

For more information on War Graves Week: https://www.cwgc.org/our-war-graves-your-history/war-graves-week/

For information on your local Hayter dealership: https://www.hayter.co.uk/locate-dealer

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A short course with a long lifespan

A short course with a long lifespan: Edinburgh’s Swanston Golf Club has reinvested in its Templar Course, some thirteen years after it first opened. The 9-hole par 3 course partners the Club’s 18-hole course and its short format is proving more popular than ever, appealing to many who appreciate the ability to play a round in under an hour.

Situated at the foot of the Pentland Hills with wonderful views across Edinburgh, Fife and beyond, Swanston Golf Club was founded in 1927, originally as a ladies-only course. Such was the panoramic beauty and challenging hilly nature of the course, demand from members’ partners meant that it wasn’t long before the Club was opened to all. It now prides itself on inclusivity, with a thriving junior section and a spacious, family-friendly Clubhouse that is open to members and non-members alike.

A short course with a long lifespan

A short course with a long lifespan

Recognising the popularity and further potential of the Templar Course, the Club’s management team re-engaged Huxley Golf in early 2021 to recreate all of its nine tees. As there are no natural grass alternatives, the whole course benefits from reliable artificial tee surfaces which guarantee year-round play.

Thirteen is unlucky for some but not for us it seems!” remarked Club Manager Secretary Mike Robson. “I understand that Huxley Golf worked on the initial installation thirteen years ago, so its testimony to their product and installation skills that Templar has stood the test of time. This is the first occasion that I have had the opportunity to work with Huxley Golf, but I had no hesitation in putting my trust in the company to revamp what is an increasingly popular feature of our Club.

From the longevity and performance of the initial installation, it was clear to me that the quality and playing experience of Huxley Golf surfaces remain unbeatable.”

Huxley Golf’s Hugh Fraser oversaw the project from removing old rotten wood bases to creating brand new playing surfaces using the company’s renowned Premier Tee Turf 2. “We were delighted to be entrusted with reinvigorating this fabulous short course, which will undoubtedly attract an even wider range of people and help the Club develop golf in the Lothian area,” he commented.

At the same time, the Huxley Golf team helped the Club lay a brand new practice tee strip near to the driving range. Measuring some 6ft (1.8m) by 75ft (22.8m), this large all-weather feature marries perfectly with adjoining natural grass to create a facility with season-long playability.

For over half a century, the name Huxley has been synonymous with premium all-weather golf surfaces and products. Endorsed by the UK’s leading golf organisations as well as many legendary golfers and celebrities and their coaching teams, the Hampshire-based company’s artificial golf surfaces are in use all around the world at top-flight courses, resorts, and training academies. For more information visit www.huxleygolf.com.

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Engcon signs agreement with John Deere

Engcon signs agreement with John Deere: Engcon, the world’s leading tiltrotator manufacturer, and John Deere have entered into a major agreement focusing on the US and Canada markets.

Through this preferred supplier agreement, Engcon’s products will be available to end users through the John Deere and Hitachi excavator dealer network throughout the US and Canada. This collaboration will ensure that customers are able to purchase their John Deere and Hitachi excavators equipped with Engcon’s productivity enhancing products.

Engcon signs agreement with John Deere

Engcon signs agreement with John Deere

Engcon’s mission is to change the world of digging. With Engcon the excavator is turned into a tool carrier changing the way operators dig and enabling new ways to use an excavator. Engcon’s tiltrotator together with an Engcon quick hitch gives operators the ability to change tools without leaving the cabin and use them in new ways that increase the flexibility and efficiency of their excavators. All this ultimately leads to increased productivity and profitability for customers. Engcon is now a preferred supplier of John Deere, which means end users can access Engcon’s smart products from the John Deere and Hitachi excavator dealer network throughout the United States and Canada.

“This journey started in the Nordic countries 30 years ago based on the idea that it was possible to dig and utilise excavators in a better way. At Engcon we are thrilled to increase the pace of this journey together with John Deere, we believe that we will both benefit by making Engcon’s proven solutions available in the US and Canada together with John Deere and Hitachi excavators. However, the real winners in this are the operators and end customers that will be able to work in new ways and be more productive and profitable”, says Krister Blomgren, CEO Engcon.

Thanks to the new collaboration, customers will be able to choose Engcon’s tiltrotators and automatic quick mounting system with EC-Oil, where the driver can connect hydraulic tools without leaving the cab, through authorised John Deere and Hitachi dealers in the USA and Canada.

“At John Deere, we have always been focused on providing products and technology that enable our customers to optimise efficiency and uptime on the job site. Through this agreement with Engcon, customers are further equipped to benefit from enhanced jobsite performance and ultimately profitability”, says David Thorne, senior vice president, sales & marketing, John Deere Construction & Forestry.

This agreement makes it possible for customers to benefit from easier and quicker access to Engcon’s products through their local John Deere and Hitachi excavator dealers. This marks a milestone in making the tiltrotator concept more accepted and known globally, particularly in the US and Canada where Engcon is expecting an increased rate of growth in the coming years.

Facts:

  • Through authorised John Deere and Hitachi excavator dealers in the US and Canada customers will be able to select Engcon’s tiltrotators for the John Deere excavator range from 26G to 345G and the Hitachi excavator range from ZX26 through ZX345.
  • Engcon’s EC-Oil automatic quick hitches will also be available through authorised John Deere and Hitachi excavator dealers for the John Deere 75G to the 380G excavators and Hitachi ZX75 to the ZX380 excavators where the operator can connect hydraulic tools without leaving the cab, Engcon’s standard locking control QSC and the proportional DC2 control system.

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Campey partnership with Birmingham FA

Campey partnership with Birmingham FA: Campey Turf Care Systems are proud to announce a new partnership with Birmingham County Football Association (BCFA) that will see the company service grassroots football teams in the Black Country, Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire.

The push towards improving grassroots pitches in England has become a central goal for the Football Association. The overall target is to have five thousand pitches assessed as Good or Better by 2024.

Campey partnership with Birmingham FA

Campey partnership with Birmingham FA

The reform of the grading process along with new funding opportunities prompted BCFA’s Facility and Investment Lead, Oliver Hitchcox, to seek out a machinery partner to ensure clubs were well informed and getting the backup service they need.

“The vast majority of the reports that we get identify a need for new or additional maintenance kit and equipment,” Oliver explains. “We’ve signposted a lot of clubs for funding towards that equipment so often because clubs don’t have a huge amount of expertise in that area, and they tend to come to me or our Grounds Management Association (GMA) Regional Pitch Advisor, Kevin Duffill, asking for the best places to get quotes. We’d already had a fair few clubs who had engaged with Campey and were really enthusiastic about the support they had from them.

“I wanted to get a partner on board so that we had someone we could direct people towards who we knew were going to provide value for money in terms of the kit and offer a really good level of customer service and support for our clubs. So, I contacted John at Campey, and we had a conversation around what we could do.

“They had recently done something similar with Staffordshire FA, so they knew the landscape in terms of what we were looking to do and it’s a really good fit because of the customer service that they offer clubs. Campey has been going out to sites to demo products and taking clubs through that process of what the machinery and equipment can do, how to use it properly and then all the aftercare is really beneficial. So, from our perspective, we know that we can direct clubs to somewhere where they will be well looked after.

“I was speaking to a club last week who we have just supported with some funding, and they said exactly that. The local rep had been out on-site to demo all the kit and take them through that process. When they deliver the equipment, they give a good installation in terms of operation and management and then again, we have the aftercare. They are always on hand with any queries or issues that come up.

“Having someone who works locally who can actually go and visit people is definitely a benefit rather than just having people on the phone or email. That personal contact is really important.”

Every year the FA conducts the grassroots football survey, and a constant theme is the condition of pitches. Good quality surfaces are vital when it comes to attracting new players to the game and retaining them is equally important, and a challenge the Birmingham FA is actively addressing.

As well as funding from The Football Foundation, clubs can also access BCFA’s own grant that help bridge the gap of the remaining 25% cost of machinery from the 75% Football Foundation grant.

Clubs who would like further information on the funding available to them should contact the Birmingham FA or visit www.birminghamfa.com

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Scarify and aerate with Cobra

Scarify and aerate with Cobra: The Cobra SA40E electric scarifier is fully equipped for removing unwanted moss and thatch from lawns, and comes with a scarifying drum and a bladed aerator that can be easily swapped for ultimate flexibility.

The brand proudly boasts the title of having the UK’s largest range of powered lawnmowers and continues to develop its products to further its position as the expert in the lawncare market.  The SA40E lawn scarifier is the latest extension of this.

Scarify and aerate with Cobra

Scarify and aerate with Cobra

The machine is powered by a 1800 watt motor and has just under a 16 inch working width. Debris is collected in a sizable 40 litre collection bag, made from a fabric that allows free air flow, resulting in more compact collection and fewer stops to empty.

The 10 meter long cable ensures scarifying of domestic gardens without the need of an extention lead, and the height is adjustable between four settings from -12mm to 8mm.

The Cobra scarifying drum has a series of sharp spring tines that rotate at high speed and rake the turf, whilst the bladed aerator has 14 high quality steel blades to alleviate soil compaction by cutting into the turf vertically.

Peter Chaloner, managing director of Cobra, said: “Cobra scarifiers are packed with innovative, ground-breaking features to help you maintain your garden with minimum time and effort. The SA40E is ideal for fast removal of unwanted moss, thatch, weeds and other debris. Using it just once a month will result in more room for your grass to grow. This improves water, feed and oxygen penetration that results in better quality, stronger roots, meaning a more resilient lawn.”

For gardeners looking for a solution to end hours of raking, forking and scraping to create the perfect lawn, the SA40E is the ideal option.

Cobra products are available to buy online at www.cobragarden.co.uk or via a network of expert dealers across the UK.

RRP: £159.99

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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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