Turf sector gains research body

Amenity Forum sets up foundation to help turf sector improve its integrated pest management.

A research body is being set up by the Amenity Forum to help the turf sector better carry out integrated pest management (IPM).

The decision to create the turf research foundation was made earlier this month at an Amenity Forum meeting held at Royal Holloway, University of London.

It follows increasing pressure on the industry to use alternative methods of pest and disease control - including mechanical, cultural, biological and genetic methods - alongside chemicals.

Pressure on the sector to use IPM has been raised since the EU's Sustainable Use and Water Framework Directives came into force.

The foundation will raise funds to finance or part-finance research projects for the industry. It will also co-ordinate and communicate existing research and develop opportunities for education and training.

Amenity Forum chairman Professor John Moverley said: "The Amenity Forum is the voluntary initiative for the sector promoting best practice in weed, pest and disease control.

"We very much welcome this initiative to further develop knowledge and its dissemination across all aspects of amenity turf management. It is a great opportunity and one which could have a major impact."

Work on the project is so far being led by Moverley along with Professor Alan Gange from Royal Holloway, Steve Isaacs from golf governing body The Royal & Ancient and Marylebone Cricket Club's Russell Seymour. The plan is to expand the group to further develop its plans and proposals.

Conference agenda

The turf research foundation is set to feature at the Amenity Forum's conference in Leicester on 16 October.

Grant Stark of the Chemicals Regulation Directorate will speak on the implementation of the national plan. The Sports Turf Research Institute's Ruth Mann will cover integrated control in sports turf.

Other topics include European regulations, the Invasive Non-Natives Specialists Association, a case study on weed control from Sheffield City Council and pesticides in water.

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