Host of new technology launched at BIGGA turf management show

Turf management show popular as merger talks loom between BIGGA and IOG.

A flood of new technology was launched at the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) in Harrogate last week. BIGGA’s own revamped website went live, while the R&A launched its Climate Map, OnCourse released management software for sports clubs and Optimizing Golf introduced a course management system to maximise the value of golf courses. First-time exhibitor Syngenta made an impact at the show as it unveiled a computerised disease-forecasting service. GreenCast, developed by Syngenta Professional Products, is an internet-based decision support service specifically developed for the UK and Ireland. It gives turf managers early warnings of likely disease attacks and weather events. Diseases covered are Fusarium patch, dollar spot and foliar anthracnose. Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) pathologist Ruth Mann said: “Trials at STRI demonstrated that, by following GreenCast recommendations, excellent disease control could be achieved while reducing fungicide inputs by up to 25 per cent compared to alternative programmes. It is an important step in enabling turf managers to be more proactive in their management.” L Further talks are to be held by BIGGA and the Institute of Groundmanship (HW, 25 January) as the two organisations seek out the advantages of a possible merger. Speaking at BTME, BIGGA chief executive John Pemberton said: “There is a commonality and both organisations have education as their main goal. It makes sense to do it as one. By the end of April we will have explored initial concepts. Assuming talks continue then, we will look at details such as shows and membership. It will be the boards that then decide if we progress or not but there will be nothing that isn’t reversible.” Pemberton denied that the absence of big manufacturers at IoG Saltex 2006 and BTME 2007 had influenced the talks or show.

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