It is just over twelve months since leading producers and manufacturers of rootzone materials and top dressings decided it was time that they got together to form the British Rootzone and Top Dressing Manufacturers Association, abbreviated as BRTMA (pronounce it ‘bratma’ as they do).
For rather too long, it seemed, they had seen decisions concerning the quality of these essential construction and turf care materials taken out of their hands. They had had enough of subjective opinions.
BRTMA objectives are simple and uncomplicated but effective. Simply stated, from now on BRTMA manufacturers will separate their products so that, at any given time, they will be able to guide clients to materials adjudged as eminently fit for their purpose and backed-up by test to meet that purpose.
Members of BRTMA will now and in the future restrict themselves to supplying top quality materials only after they have been the subject of rigorously enforced, standardised, quality control tests, these carried out only in the laboratories of the STRI.
By definition, top quality will mean their best for a given application, applied where price is not the first consideration. Materials submitted for STRI testing will conform to the highest possible standards, which also will be their standards. The same procedure for testing will apply to all of their members, thus one firm’s products will be directly comparable with another’s.
Currently, the standard by which top quality rootzone materials are measured is by applying Recommendations for Green Specifications, more commonly known as the ‘USGA Spec’, published by the United States Golf Association Green Section. That the USGA Spec itself is compiled as a recommendation is indicative of its complexity.
BRTMA is seeking not only to emulate these standards but also, together with the STRI, to establish UK standards or guidelines. End-users of rootzone and topdressings should understand that Britain is not America and that Britain’s resources for aggregates are not infinite. Sands are becoming finer, thus top quality medium course particle sand will be at a premium.
BRTMA also see a need for agronomists and contractors to establish standards or guidelines for the proper handling and installation of these materials to achieve best performance. They will seek to have guidelines implemented, offering help and guidance wherever necessary.
Founder members of BRTMA are:
Bailey’s of Norfolk
Banks Amenity Products Ltd.
Bathgate Silica Sand Ltd.
Boughton Loam Ltd.
John Bourne Ltd.
Prestige Sports Surfaces
Rufford Soil Technology
Stewart & Co Seedsmen Ltd.
White Moss Amenities Ltd