STRI earns reputation abroad as stadia turf problem expert

The Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) has established itself in troubleshooting turf problems in continental stadia.

Head of the STRI's turf grass protection department Dr Ruth Mann told a recent Scotts seminar: "We are getting more of this and have a whole team to deal with it at the STRI. We are UEFA and FIFA's preferred consultant - sometimes they call us in, sometimes the clubs call us directly."

Describing the difficulties of such work, she said: "There can be huge temperature differences, such as 40 degsC or more in summer, which calls for warm-season turf. The pest and disease issues are often different too - Pythium and mole crickets as well as leaf spot and nematodes are common. The equipment may not be as good and the language barrier means you may have to use a translator."

STRI regional agronomist John Lockyer added: "I have come to realise that British groundsmen are well regarded throughout the world and I encourage them to spread their wings. The challenges are different abroad, especially with temperature and disease, and everything is so much more risky - you have to mitigate that risk."

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