Turf industry could lose millions due to drought

Big losses are predicted for those involved the turf industry because of the extended dry period.

The turf industry is set to lose £16m in the next two months because of drought, according to former Turfgrass Growers Association (TGA) chairman Chris Carr. Norfolk-based Q Lawns sales and marketing manager Carr said his own firm, which supplies B&Q, could lose £700,000 in sales if the drought continues. He added that some of the UK’s smaller companies would fold. He said: “This is going to have a tremendous impact on the 600 turf growers in this country. It will impact most on the 200 in the South. For smaller growers it will mean going out of business. For the bigger ones, like us, it will mean putting down the hatches. Costs will go up because if you cannot water you lose sales. We are worried. We are concerned about bureaucratic nonsense.” York-based Inturf joint managing director Alex Edwards said a 10-point TGA guide to laying turf in dry weather, including tips on what variety to choose and how to store turf in a drought, is now on its website at www.inturf.com. He added: “If it is hot and dry, especially with the restrictions on water, people are not going to lay turf. We are not laying any pitches at the moment.” L Sources suggest that the pitch for the new Wembley stadium, which Inturf is rumoured to be growing, may not be laid until 2008. Constructor Multiplex failed to meet a 31 January deadline to finish the stadium and the Football Association now says it will not be open until 2007. But insiders believe this is a staged PR campaign to deflect the criticism that a two-year delay would bring.

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