Turf care equipment

A range of materials and equipment will feature at the Sports Zone of IoG Saltex 2010.

Product ranges, advice and solutions to every conceivable sports equipment requirement is promised at the newly-created Sports Zone near the south entrance. Bowcom will display a range of line-marking materials and equipment, including the GMX applicator, the environmentally-friendly 10-litre recyclable Bag Box option and a new range of synthetic marking paints.

Also in the Sports Zone, Fleet Line Markers will be demonstrating its wares from transfer wheel markers to laser-guided systems. The BeamRider fitted to Fleet's e-Rok means laser-straight lines can be achieved at speeds of up to 12kmph.

All the major sports are represented on Stadia Sports' stand (A34), along with grounds maintenance products. The company also offers an early planning-to-project-completion sports hall installation service.

Making its debut at this year's show will be the Rink DS 2000 top-dresser. Exhibited by Charterhouse Turf Machinery on stand U22, this dresser has a massive 2cu m hopper capacity and boasts high output. Running on two large wheels for reduced ground compaction, the Rink DS 2000 requires a minimum oil flow of 25 litres per minute.

Charterhouse sales manager Nick Darking says: "This product has been designed by Rink in response to customer demand for a high-output top-dresser for contractors and to cover large areas. It comes from the same stable as our renowned Verti-Drain range, so is sure to be a winner for its durability and quality performance."

At the other end of the scale, Charterhouse will introduce the new Rink 940 pedestrian top-dressing machine. Designed for sites with limited access or managers not wishing to tie up a tractor, the Rink 940, along with the 2000, will be shown in new livery - the striking Redexim red.

It is 30 years since System Moore launched the Unidrill sports drill for direct drilling seed into all types of sports surfaces. This year it has a new three-point linkage mounted drill with a wider working width of 1.82m and closer spacing of 65mm. It uses latest technology to meter out seed and a GPS speed sensor for seed rates. The traditional coulter, seeding shoe and steel depth bands are all retained. You can see the drill in operation on Synergy Product's stand (DAA18/21).

Aimed at local authorities and professionals looking after large landscaped areas, the Bushranger Edger will be launched in the UK by DJ Turfcare amid claims of producing razor-sharp edges - especially up close to paving. The Bushranger Edger is manufactured by Powerup Lawncare Products of Australia and is fitted with a 98cc engine producing 3hp and a single blade designed for high-wear and easy maintenance. It has a wheel for accuracy and stability.

Promising water savings of up to 50 per cent, along with improved root growth, vigour and colour, InTurf will launch TerraCottem Turf - specifically designed for golf and sports turf applications. Its basis is the horticultural TerraCottem Universal, which, having gained cult status with turf managers, was put back into research and developed into the turf-specific formulation.

Central to the new formulation is the addition of zeolite, a 100 per cent natural volcanic mineral that helps increase soil fertility and water retention. Zeolite is renowned for its very high cation exchange capacity (CEC), the ion exchange between the soil and soil solution that represents the soil's ability to hold onto nutrients and prevent them from leaching beyond roots' reach. Forty-two per cent zeolite with a CEC range of 150-180meq/100g, together with 31 per cent high-CEC hydroabsorbent co-polymers, mean the CEC levels of soil treated with TerraCottem Turf are far higher than normal.

Other benefits have been boosted by the inclusion of humic acid, an addition that has a positive effect on soil structure, water retention capacity drought-stress tolerance, plant element-absorption and microbiological activity. Naturally-occurring humic acid is limited, especially in sandy golf and sports root zones, so supplementing the product with more than 18 per cent humic acid helps the sward make better use of nutritive elements and promotes better grass growth.

Inturf managing director Alex Edwards comments: "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."

Edwards adds that improved root growth, vigour, structure, performance and disease resistance are just a few of the benefits users can expect together with a reduction in water and nutrient inputs otherwise needed to maintain turf in optimum condition.

He points out: "TerraCottem users can expect water savings of up to 50 per cent thanks to the treated soil's improved water-holding capacities - something that has already earned the original TerraCottem product a prestigious Waterwise Marque in recognition of its remarkable water-saving attributes."

MARKING SUCCESS

"The best demonstration I have ever seen," declares Ajax FC facilities manager Rene Enthoven as he and his colleagues watch the Fleet Beamrider and e-Rok put through their paces at Arsenal FC's training ground.

Visitors to IoG Saltex can also see the machines in action plus, on Fleet's stand (E22), there will be a chance to win a six-month free trial. Do not miss the special offer - there will be a free Kombi spray marker with every pallet of Reddispray Plus ordered throughout September.

FINDING THE RIGHT TOP-DRESSING MIX

Last year, Hampton School head groundsman Clive Liddiard visited IoG Saltex to find a special mix of top-dressing - 50 per cent soil, 25 per cent sand, 25 per cent green compost - to help improve a sandy silt. He visited the Binder Loams stand.

Sales manager Roger Beard says the request initially stopped him in his tracks, but after talking to Laverstoke Park agronomist Joel Williamson, Binders came up with what they now call the Hampton Mix. Four hundred tonnes, screened to 4mm, were delivered to the school.

"With a heavy fixture list, bad drainage and poor soil, the traditional top-dressing of predominantly sand failed to give me what I wanted," says Liddiard.

"I wanted to get the soil bacteria working to give the turf its own source of nitrogen. The Hampton Mix is dearer than conventional top-dressings but it is worth every penny."

NOT TO BE MISSED

Turf Science Live provides an opportunity for turf managers to see some of the latest developments in turf agronomy, along with a series of hands-on practical demonstrations by turf researchers, agronomists and specialists.

The event, organised by Syngenta, Scotts Professional and the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI), is targeted at golf course managers and greenkeepers. Trials and demonstrations include sward conversion innovation, playing surface quality evaluation, improving fairways, environmental management and latest developments in turf fertilisers and nutrition.

STRI chief executive Gordon McKillop says: "At a time when there are constant demands from club management and players for ever greater quality within tough budget constraints, it's crucial that turf managers get the chance to see the many exciting developments in turf agronomy and how they can put the innovations into practice on their own courses. We are excited to host what promises to be a highly informative and practically useful format to showcase some of the industry's latest innovations."

Turf Science Live practical demonstrations will include playing surface conversions from Keith Kensett, enhancing fairway turf from Scotts' Simon Barnaby, nutrition for turf from Scotts' Ed Carter and Stuart Staples, the Operation Pollination scheme from Sygenta's Dr Simon Watson and programmes from the STRI.

IN BRIEF

For renovations, Dennis has developed the S500 PLUS - a dual-purpose machine with interchangeable spiker and slotter reels designed for bowls, cricket and golf. It will be exhibited on stand W58.

Having recently been appointed UK distributor for Advanced Turf Technology's TM system, The Grass Group will be showing the modular fine-turf management tool on stand DAB60.

Terrain Aeration (DAB40) is celebrating ten years of restoring waterlogged and compacted turf on sports fields, golf courses, parks and gardens.

The IoG Saltex Sports Zone will feature line markers, equipment and accessories for all major sports. There will also be rain and frost covers from Stuart Canvas as well as mobile cricket covers.


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