Harrogate Week kicks off on 17 January with the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association's (BIGGA) Continue to Learn programme and AGM. The BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition starts on 19 January and throughout the event there are seminars on topics as wide ranging as electrical system maintenance and nutrition for early spring growth.
Whether you are a greenkeeper or a groundsman, continuing pressure on finances makes this year's event even more relevant. Attending, even for just one day, could help you find solutions to turf management and grounds maintenance problems.
You can expect around 200 exhibitors at this show, displaying everything from fertilisers and wetting agents to mowers, top dressers and brushcutters.
Major turf growers and grass seed companies will be there, giving expert advice as well as introducing the latest cultivars and mixtures. This year, British Seed Houses (BSH) is introducing three new varieties, including 007 (stand A15). Developed from no fewer than 24 parent plants, 007 is a uniformly growing creeping bent noted for its competitiveness against Poa annua and showing enhanced dollar spot resistance.
BSH amenity director Simon Taylor believes 007 is likely to challenge all other creeping bents on the Sports Turf Research Institute list. "It is ideal for golf courses looking for the excellent performance of creeping bent but without the high inputs."
A second introduction from BSH is perennial ryegrass Escapade. This should grab the attention of anyone who provides sports facilities or lawns at hospitality venues. Taylor says: "Escapade is an ideal choice for summer sports and quality lawns and is likely to be popular for turf production."
Don't forget to pick up a copy of Barenbrug's 2010 catalogue. There are five new mixtures in it, including BAR Rubra — a 100% fescue mix designed to help greenkeepers increase or reintroduce fescues to all areas of the course.
Greenkeepers plagued by annual meadow grass should be sure to look at Barenbrug's BAR GT Turf and Sport and BAR OC. These mixtures have been designed to compete against the ingression of Poa in the sward. Interestingly, BAR GT Turf and BAR GT Sport are non-GMO glyphosate-tolerant mixtures. They harness ER2703, a new cultivar of perennial ryegrass from the same breeding programme as Bargold.
Barenbrug research and development manager Jayne Leyland is also excited about BAR Duo. "This unique blend of browntop bent and creeping bend grasses promises a completely new approach to a 100% bentgrass solution for golf greens for improved year-round performance, but visitors will have to come to the stand to find out more," she says. Barenbrug is exhibiting on stand A23.
If you need to deal with moss on greens or lawns, then be sure to visit stand C25, where Headland Amenity is introducing Greentec Mosskiller. This is a greens-grade mini-granule with approval for moss control in managed amenity turf. It also acts as a low-temperature hardener, where prolonged colour but not growth is required, and a spring starter with 75% of the available nitrogen being derived from sulphate of ammonia.
Harnessing a combination of more than 20 hydroabsorbent and nutritive components to improve soil quality and water retention for healthier, more vigorous turf, TerraCottem Turf is launched by Inturf on stand A37b. TerraCottem is already proven — parent product TerraCottem Universal has been used in horticulture for 15 years. Central to the new formulation is the addition of Zeolite, a 100% natural volcanic mineral that helps increase soil fertility and water retention. In fact, TerraCottem Turf gives water savings of up to 50%.
"The launch of a TerraCottem soil conditioner tailored to the golf and sports turf market is fantastic news for UK greenkeepers and groundsmen, who can now make full use of this established and leading technology. We now have the best of both worlds — proven technology plus added elements to optimise healthy grass growth," declares Inturf joint managing director Alex Edwards.
As well as the green stuff and products to make it strong and healthier, there is plenty of machinery to be viewed at the Harrogate Week show. For starters, there are 26 exhibitors displaying aeration kit. Naturally, Charterhouse and Wiedenmann are attending — with Charterhouse displaying the 1.56m Verti-Drain 7215 and Wiedenmann highlighting its nippy Terra Spike GXi8.
Helping greenkeepers and groundsmen decide between Deep Drill or Airforce Terralift treatment, Terrain Aeration is launching its Total Turf Aeration System based on 1m soil core samples.
Mowing is a major operation for all involved in greenkeeping and grounds care. With contouring, plus the need for a quality finish, cutting large areas productively on golf courses can be a challenge. The Grass Group believes it has a solution with the Progressive Pro-Flex 120. This 3m-wide gang mower has five rotary decks with independent float fore and aft to closely hug contours without scalping, even at speeds up to 10km/h — and at that rate you'll be cutting 2.6ha every hour. Each deck is equipped with shock absorbers to reduce bouncing. A high blade tip speed, along with an open rear discharge for clipping dispersal, enhances the finish. Inspect this machine on stand A38.
There is a lot more machinery being introduced at Harrogate to keep greens, tees and fine lawns in trim. After a year's absence, Ransomes Jacobsen returns to the show with the all-new Jacobsen Eclipse 322 hybrid ride-on greens mower taking centre stage on the company's stand (M22). Featuring the latest technology advances, this machine is powered by a small diesel engine with electric drive to the cutting cylinder and drive wheels.
On Dennis's stand (M9) there's a chance to inspect the new Razor Ultra 560 mower. Developed with input from industry professionals at the 2009 exhibition, this 22in, 11-bladed model is expected to draw attention for its special features such as completely independent cutter and roller drive and the smooth take-up clutch.
There are more mowers exhibited by John Deere (B41), several of which are equipped with the award-winning Quick Adjust 5 and Quick Adjust 7 cutting units. These have a Speed Link system for speedy height-of-cut adjustment. New machines include the 220e E-Cut hybrid walk-behind greens mower, the 8000e E-Cut three-wheeled fairway mower and the 7200 Precision Cut trim and surrounds mower with patented width-on-demand cutting system.
If tractors are on your shopping list, visit Massey Ferguson on stand A27 to see the new MF1525H 25hp hydrostatic compact. It's the first time this unit has been shown anywhere in Europe. It features important upgrades to engine, transmission, hydraulics and driver platform compared to the MF1523, which it replaces.
Toro's display on stand A28 benefits from the brand launch of the ProPass range of top-dressing and materials-handling machinery, while the Workman series is swelled with the addition of the HD heavy-duty utility — Workman's toughest yet.
A preview of Harrogate Week can only give of a glimpse of the variety of machinery and products, learning opportunities and other events taking place. To experience it all, pack your hot water bottle (a snow shovel is also a good idea) and head for Yorkshire.
Aquatrols director of technology Dr Stan Kostka and Penn State University associate professor Mike Fidanz will be on Farmura's stand (A17) to discuss water management.
Recycle, conserve resources and stay legal are the themes on CourseCare's stand (C13), displaying fuel tanks, wash pads, water recycling systems, protective equipment and waste management services.
Lindum is launching a triple turf eco package on stand B5, including Low Maintenance Fine Turf — the first to incorporate crested hairgrass.
A way of measuring greens can be discovered on the Sports Turf Research Institute stand (A16), as it launches a programme to run with its appraisal and advisory service.
On stand M6b you can see Turf Teq's tractor — one machine capable of surface preparation, sweeping, edging and brushcutting.
Vitax (stand A3) is relaunching OARS — Organic Acid Removal System — for soil water management.
Latest projects by Speedcut Contactors include drainage on 15 fairways at the Warwickshire Golf Club & Resort. Find out more on stand A22.
Elsewhere, the B Series golf sprinkler range makes its debut on Toro's stand (A4).
A new 23hp Turbine Blower is being shown by JSM Distribution (stand M34). With a 23hp Kohler engine, this unit features a wireless remote control to adjust RPM and the direction of the chute.
Agronomic Services is launching Oxy-Rush, a soil stimulant that provides an abundance of oxygen to accelerate the activity of beneficial microbes in the soil.
Displayed on Lely UK's stand (A5) is a range of Solo products, including two new brushcutter models that benefit from 28mm five-bearing drive shafts.
When The show runs from Tuesday 19 to Thursday 21 January. It opens at 9am on all three days, closing at 5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday and at 4pm on Thursday. The education programme runs from Sunday 17 to Thursday 21 January. See www.harrogateweek.org.uk for further details.
Where Harrogate International Centre
Admission Admission to the exhibition is free. Charges apply to workshops and some seminars. Many seminars held during the show are free of charge.
How to get there
From the north and south on the A1M: exit A59 to Harrogate.
From the M1: to Leeds and then the A61 to Harrogate.
There is parking (charges apply) at Harrogate International Centre. A free park-and-ride service runs from the Great Yorkshire Showground (eastern edge of Harrogate) for all three days of the show.
Mainline services run to Leeds and York. From there, regional railways go to Harrogate. Harrogate International Centre is about a 15-minute walk from Harrogate railway station.
Leeds/Bradford Airport is 19km from Harrogate and Manchester Airport is 90km away.
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