Turfgrass growers in the UK have always prided themselves on the quality of turf that they produce for a very discerning market. The recent loss of plant protection products (PPP) has meant that they have less in their armoury to combat problems that affect their customers. The main one is Poa Annua or Annual Meadow Grass. The theme of the conference held on the 19th November looked at improving quality and addressing the issues caused by the loss of PPP’s.
Netting of turf during production helps to get turf established quickly and assists in some areas being ready for harvest more quickly than others. Stefan Tielan from Conwed Plastics spoke about developments in the technology around the products used and their ability to degrade based upon the compounds used in the production of the netting.
Jayne Leyland and Peter Corbett from the seed house Rigby Taylor looked at how grass seed is produced around the globe and the efforts that are made to produce a “clean” sample without contaminates and also at the PPP’s that are used elsewhere in the EU and what the situation is in the UK and what may happen in the future.
Finally, Ruth Mann from STRI spoke on the latest news from CRD and the European Commission on the legislation on PPP’s and also looked more deeply at the impact of specific pests and diseases on the grass whilst under production and when it has been laid and is being used.
TGA Chairman Robert Adcock said “The UK turf industry works hard to grow and deliver top quality turf. We are all disappointed if customers are unhappy with what they get from us. The message we have to get across is that, at present, we do not have the tools at our disposal to combat problems like Annual Meadow Grass. The TGA Council is putting together a strategy, working with British Growers Association, to lobby and work towards getting help to solve these issues.”
Turfgrass Growers Association www.turfgrass.co.uk