As company secretary of Marlow Football Club, Paul Burdell not only has to contend with management issues but also pitch maintenance. His enthusiasm for "getting out there on the ground and helping" extends to attending groundsmanship training courses and IoG Saltex.
"The show is essential for keeping me fully up-to-date with all the latest grounds-care trends and strategies as well as the appropriate machines, tools and techniques that will make the job easier and the results better at the club's Alfred Davis Ground," he says. "We invariably come away with a product or two that will be useful, or subsequently place an order for something we've seen."
This year at IoG Saltex there is plenty for the turf manager to see, including new aeration equipment. The challenge of speeding up aeration practices is being met head on by Wiedenmann this year as the company launches the Terra Spike GXi8. When tested at Wiedenmann HQ in Germany, this latest aerator was found to cover greens faster than hoped. The new model is 40cm wider than the GXi6 and is suited to tractors of 35hp and above. It is expected the GXi8 will be just as popular.
"The beauty of the GXi6 is that it can reduce time spent on maintenance by up to 60 per cent. It's very efficient and because of its depth and quality of finish it does away with the need for two machines, operating as a depth aerator but with the speed normally associated with machines operating at shallow depths. The extra width of the new GXi8 will be attractive to all types of customers," suggests Wiedenmann UK sales manager Chas Ayres.
The recent acquisition of US manufacturer Southern Green by Toro Commercial Products means the Soil Reliever range can now be seen on Toro's stand and dressed in Toro's familiar ProCore black and red livery. Currently available in the UK are the 1.38m-wide SR54 and SR54-S, designed for aerating greens to a depth of 250mm, and the best-selling 1.82m SR72 with a working depth down to 400mm for use on sports fields and fairways.
The Deep Drill may not have been seen at IoG Saltex since 1999 but now, having acquired the machine from C&P Soilcare, Terrain Aeration (TAS) is launching the Deep Drill Service. TAS has overhauled the unit and renamed it Phoenix, but it still does the same job of drilling 250mm below the surface using 60 tungsten-tipped drills at 127mm spacings. With a ground pressure of just 9psi, Terrain Aeration's Deep Drill is reported to be an ideal way of promoting healthy root growth, improving surface drainage and increasing the uptake of nutrients on winter sports pitches, parks, racecourses, bowling and golf greens, tees and fairways.
The importance of maintaining a clean and open surface is highlighted by Sisis as the Macclesfield-based company introduces two new Rotorakes to its already extensive line-up of scarifiers.
For regular and routine use at a shallow setting or for deeper work when required, the Sisis Rotorake 602 is a heavy-duty powered scarifier, de-thatcher and linear aerator. Aeration and compaction relief is reportedly improved by this machine's clean cutting, continuous slitting to assist water and air absorption. Better integration of topdressing is also reported. Power comes from a 14hp Vanguard V-Twin engine with Cooler Cleaner Technology from Briggs & Stratton.
Also from the Sisis stable comes the Rotorake 450 – a powered scarifier equipped with a 4hp Vanguard petrol engine from Briggs & Stratton.
Dennis plans to reveal a combined overseeder and spiker at the show. Capable of spreading and brushing in seed as well as aerating, the new implement features a quick changeover reel.
Overseeding is a major theme on the Charterhouse Turf Machinery stand as the company shows its Speedseed, Verti-Seed and OverSeeder ranges of equipment. Of course, there will be Verti-Drains too.
Traditionally slow and tedious, but nevertheless essential, linemarking is one area of groundsmanship where efficiencies are constantly sought. With that in mind Fleet is introducing e-ROK.
With a powerful electric motor at its heart, this latest Fleet innovation has a large paint-carrying capacity and can mark up to 150 soccer pitches between charges. It reportedly has an operating distance of about 50 miles (80km) and can easily be recharged using a standard household socket.
If you are looking for a marking system that promises not to fade or wash out, yet causes no harm to the turf, take a look at the Go-Line Marking System making its debut on DMMP's stand. Go-Line has been developed to produce quality durable markings for all surfaces in sports and open spaces and is based on a pressure spray system and linemarking liquid that leaves lines to grow out.
Extending the range of sprayers from DMMP, the Go-Spray sprayer can also be seen for the first time at IoG Saltex.
It is getting increasingly difficult to find products to control diseases or zap the daisies from the sward, but IoG Saltex has some solutions. Worth investigating on the Sherriff Amenity stand is a product for the control of key turf diseases such as Fusarium, anthracnose, dollar spot and take-all. It is called Headway and is the first double-action fungicide with disease-control activity from root to leaf. A combination of azoxystrobin and propiconazole, Headway is for use on all managed amenity turf.
A second new product launched by Sherriff is SwiftSure. This is a selective herbicide that can be used for the control of a wide range of broad-leaved weeds. SwiftSure contains three actives – fluroxypyr, 2,4-D and dicamba – and can be applied to newly sown turf just two months from sowing.
DJ Turfcare has three new products, one of which is said to help turf overcome stressful conditions associated with drought, flood or over-play. Called Viano Recovery, this 8-6-13 + Mg fertiliser also contains the natural ingredient Humifast to create biological activity and act as a growth stimulant. Recovery can be used in the autumn or spring to give grass a boost to recover from hard wear, scarification, hot and dry conditions or cold, wet, winter weather.
Intended for autumn/winter application, Bio-Lime is another Viano fertiliser from DJ Turfcare. Developed to combat low pH, sweeten soil to make it less acidic and encourage strong grass growth while discouraging moss, Bio-Lime contains a bacteria that eats thatch and dead moss.
ONE TO WATCH
Headed by consultant Andrew Turnbull, AllTurf Management is a new company for professional turf managers who need an alternative to chemical-based preparation of turf playing surfaces. Products and services are intended to meet the challenges faced by the dependence on petro-chemical-based fertilisers and pesticides, and by the use of high sand rootzone facilities.
GETTING THE MESSAGE ACROSS
IoG Saltex is not just about launching new products and services; it is also about reinforcing the message to local authorities and facility providers that by adopting best practices they can achieve a direct benefit on cost and improved returns on investments. So Campey Turf Care is presenting a total renovation package. The Macclesfield-based equipment supplier plans to show how quality pitches can be achieved and the benefits of additional playing hours, lower maintenance costs and improved sporting skill as well as player enjoyment can be fully appreciated.
Information and advice sheets will be available to accompany demonstrations and local-authority representatives can request a consultation to address their own concerns and look at the wider spectrum of options open to them.
WHAT ELSE TO SEE
Tracmaster has a new spring lawn-rake to fit the Camon LS17 and LS42 lawn scarifiers.
The latest Turfco topdresser from Ransomes Jacobsen, the WideSpin 1540EC, is similar to the trailed version of the WideSpin 1530 but has the ability to distribute light topdressings to 12.2m.
Linemarking paint is at the centre of the display by Bowcom, as the company introduces a recyclable 10-litre bag/box system.
Walkover Sprayers, manufactured in the UK by Aztec, can be inspected on Rochford Garden Machinery's stand.
Making its debut on Toro Irrigation's stand, the TS90 sprinkler is intended for large-area sports applications, including football pitches. The company is also revealing the benefits of the TMR-1 Maintenance Remote, which allows a single user to fully operate a system from up to 2km away.
MossGo, from DJ Turfcare, is introduced to remove moss, algae and lichen from hard surfaces, including all-weather synthetic sports facilities.