On the 8th of March Amenity Land Solutions (ALS), in association with BIGGA-Midlands and Pitchcare, invited professionals from the turf care industry to a Turf Technical Seminar at Wolves F.C. Approximately 55 turf managers were in attendance, from various Football Clubs, Golf Courses, Cricket and Bowls Clubs, Tennis Clubs and Schools.
Hosted at the impressive Molineux Stadium, the delegates were updated on the current changes affecting the turf industry and advice moving forward. This seminar consisted of the following:
John Handley, Senior Technical Manager - Maxwell Amenity; "Changing Times: Regulations - standards - communication - suppliers and innovation - networks and getting connected to solutions".
Daniel Lightfoot, Business Manager UK & Ireland, Turf, Landscape and Pest Management - Syngenta; "Syngenta - Changes in Product Technology and the Future".
James Grundy, Technical Manager - Maxwell Amenity; "Lifecycle of Invertebrate Pests and the Increasing Importance of Biological Controls".
John Handley, Senior Technical Manager - Maxwell Amenity; "Innovations within Turf Management".
With the intention of educating and preparing the industry for the unprecedented amount of changes that will affect them, this day was well received by those present. John Lawrence, Deputy Head Groundsman at the Edgbaston Priory Club said "As Assistant Grounds Manager at Edgbaston Priory Club, I was lucky enough to attend the Turf Technical Seminar at Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, hosted by Amenity Land Solutions and BIGGA-Midlands.
We were treated to fantastic presentations by John Handley and James Grundy from Maxwell Amenity regarding alternatives to now banned insecticides such as Merit Turf and Cyren. These sessions were extremely informative and delivered easy to digest points. We are already putting plans in place to implement our own Nematode applications later this year, such was the quality of the information we received.
We were also lucky enough to hear from Daniel Lightfoot from Syngenta UK Ltd, who gave us a fascinating insight into the production of many of the products we use within our sector, and how changes in the future to our industry will necessitate the need to adapt in order to continue to succeed.
Overall we had an extremely enjoyable day, which has had a direct influence on how we will manage our tennis courts moving forwards. I would encourage other turf managers to attend similar days in the future, should they get the opportunity!"
Whilst covering a wide range of topical issues, these talks provided an insight into recent developments within the turf sector, advising the attendees on best practice guidance using biological alternatives to banned products: imidacloprid and chlorpyrifos, the future of product development and advice on implementing proactive and preventative regimes, aimed at maintaining high standards efficiently. John Handley commented that "We have been effectively using biological controls within professional sports venues for six years and are keen to support the industry in exploring approved alternatives. Maxwell Amenity are acutely aware of the difficulties being experienced by Turf Managers - in some scenarios we envisage the loss of products may result in people using products that are not approved, products which may be damaging to the environment or harmful to the user. We emphasise the need to keep up-to-date with the latest changes in legislation, and encourage people to network to help develop effective solutions that can be shared".
The day was not all seminar though, the guests had the rare opportunity to take an all access tour of the Molineux facilities, provided by Wolves Head Groundsman Wayne Lumbard, walking out on to the pitch to see the high standards achieved, first hand.
Wayne commented on the day: "Events like this are so valuable to gaining information and networking with others. I believe the venue makes a difference to the overall feel and enjoyment of the day and it's wonderful to host such an event. It's also encouraging to see so many people taking time out of their busy schedules to attend, especially given the warmer weather."
Maxwell Amenity are keen to support and offer guest expert speakers to events for any networks of turfcare professionals - should you wish to host or create similar events, on these topics or any other aspects of professional turfcare do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.