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DLF International Seeds to Provide Grass Seed for 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
LEXINGTON, KY—The World Games 2010 Foundation has announced that DLF International Seeds will become a supplier to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park September 25-October 10, 2010.
The World Equestrian Games are the world championships for eight equestrian sports recognized by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), and are held every four years. The first World Equestrian Games were held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1990, and the 2010 Games in Lexington, Kentucky are the first to be held outside of Europe.
DLF International Seeds will provide the grass seed for the cross country course of the Kentucky Horse Park. The course will be used during the Games for the Endurance competition, the cross country phase of Eventing competition, and the marathon phase of the Driving competition.
The course is located north of the main stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park and covers more than four miles of rolling landscape. DLF will lay more than 9000 Kg of seed for the course from 2009 through 2011, assuring that the integrity of the landscape is maintained before, during and after the competitions.
“As an international company and proud member of the Bluegrass state, we are honored to become a supplier for the 2010 Games,” said Steve Reid, DLF Chief Breeder for the United States. “We have every confidence that the mixture of tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass varieties will stand up to the rigors of the competition and be aesthetically pleasing to spectators.”
“DLF’s commitment will make a lasting impact on not only our event, but also to the Kentucky Horse Park,” said Terry Johnson, Vice President of Sales for the Foundation. “Their product and expertise will ensure that the Kentucky Horse Park is showcased as a beautiful backdrop to host and broadcast this prestigious event to the world.”
DLF International Seeds is a member of the DLF Trifolium Group, which is the world’s largest producer and marketer of grass and clover seed. The U.S. production, marketing and shipping services are located in the Pacific Northwest—the site of more than half the world’s cool season grass seed production. DLF market the Masterline, Foragemax & Johnsons sports seed ranges in the UK and supply many of the leading equestrian venues.
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world’s most prestigious equestrian competition. In 2010 the Games will be broadcast on NBC Sports, which will mark the largest commitment to network coverage of equestrian sport in U.S. television history. The 2010 Games are expected to have a statewide economic impact of $150 million, and current sponsors include Alltech, Rolex & John Deere.
For more information on this story or the DLF seed range contact:
Derek Smith Amenity Sales Manager
Tel:01386 791102 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.dlf.co.uk
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Jonathan Calderwood, Head Groundsman at Aston Villa FC (second right) collects his Award from category sponsor, Derek Smith of DLF Trifolium/Johnsons, with Martin Bayfield (right) and IOG Chief Executive, Geoff Webb, looking on.
Home counties and southern greenkeepers heard how turf care innovations to be unveiled next year could transform the method and cost-effectiveness of sowing and overseeding.
Members of BIGGA’s Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire section were the guests of DLF Johnsons Seeds at its turf-growing demonstration centre in Inkberrow, Worcestershire, for a training day in early October
Included in the schedule was a conducted tour of DLF’s turf development plots showing examples of the seed producer’s leading cultivars, including bents, fescues and ryegrass, as well as a tour of the production plant where seed is mixed and bagged ready for delivery.
Amenity sales manager Derek Smith, assisted by Martin Townsend, turf and amenity manager of distributor Countrywide Farmers, presided over the day, revealing some of DLF’s plans for 2010, which he said would be a watershed year for the seed producer, after several years of trialling turf grass seed treatments at sites across Britain.
“The day was a most valuable one for BIGGA members,” said regional co-ordinator Simon Marsh, who is head greenkeeper at the prestigious Harleyford Golf Club in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. “It offered an opportunity for greenkeepers of all ages to converse on issues that affect them throughout the year. I’m excited about the new generation that are coming through now and the impact that they will certainly have on the industry.”
Derek Smith added: “We were heartened to attract nearly 20 BIGGA members, some of whom travelled long distances to attend the day. Greenkeepers rarely have a chance to see our demonstration areas close up. They certainly proved an eye-opener for some, who went away with firm ideas about how to tackle their day-to-day turf issues.”
Several courses are proving that regular overseeding is a key element in maintenance programmes which seek to banish annual meadowgrass.
Greenkeepers are battling against the advance of poa annua in their greens, tees and fairways. The annual meadowgrass seeds itself several times a year, so can quickly dominate the sward. Poa is ahungry beast and demands extensive feeding and watering to stay green, particularly when dry conditions persist. Regular overseeding gives greenkeepers the means to introduce other more drought and disease resistant cultivars into their turf. However, other factors also come into play to ensure a successful transition from predominantly poa to the more sustainable cultivars.
At Harleyford Golf Club, the course plays on a chalk, flint substrate, with only a thin layer of topsoil. The fescue mix used has helped head greenkeeper Simon Marsh complete a major renovation of his 18 fairways as part of a continual overseeding programme at the exclusive Marlow, Buckinghamshire, course. “I had planned to use a dwarf rye mix but a visit to DLF Trifolium’s demonstration area convinced me that Quatro sheep’s fescue was the way forward,” he said. “It offers a high quality, dense, good coloured sward and requires less nutrient and water input, so is suitable for drier sites.” The opportunity of seeing first-hand how different grasses perform throughout the year can be a valuable one for greenkeepers, believed Derek Smith, DLFTrifolium’s amenity sales manager. “Greenkeepers rarely get to see cultivars up close,” he said. “When Simon visited us, he quickly saw the opportunities that fescues presented for him.” Other methods can reinforce the plan to banish poa.
Allen Blizzard, head greenkeeper at The Royal Blackheath Golf Club, founded in 1608, took the bull by the horns during his two-week renovation window in August by employing R&K Kensett and its Graden Sand and Seed Injection machine to renovate his greens.
Keith Kensett, Graden’s agronomic advisor, who works closely with the company on the development of all their machines, used the injector with seeding attachment to reduce organic matter and inject a Johnson’s J Allbent mix in one pass. Eight days later, germination was underway in what was now a far more receptive rootzone. After six weeks, the new seed was still thriving. “With each run, we can remove and replace up to 12 per cent of the surface with 3ml blades, and introduce new cultivars,” said director Keith Kensett. “The Graden sand injection has been designed specifically to place the seed directly into the perfect growing medium.” In fact, he completed two passes on the putting green and the difference to the sward is clear to see. “There’s a marked improvement in the quality and appearance of the green, and over time this will help develop a faster, smoother surface,” said Blizzard. “The results have shown me that the more receptive the green is when seeding, the greater the take. Where bent is concerned, the trick is to cover it, rather than dropping it on to the surface.”
The method and results reinforce the stance adopted by the United States Golf Association, which states that between 15 and 30 per cent of the surface of a green needs to removed and replaced every year to maintain tournament standards. The speed of the technique varies, depending on course conditions(Kensett completed all 18 greens in two days) but can minimise greens’ downtime. And such remedial work is part and parcel of programmes that can help clubs rely on more traditional principles they will need to adopt to meet EU legislation. “Using techniques such as the Graden Sand and Seed Injection gives greenkeepers another valuable weapon in their fight against poa,” Smith said. “Together withregular overseeding with bents and fescues, for example, courses stand every chance of returning to more sustainable, environmentally sound, management that relies less on irrigation, feeding and spraying.” Another weapon in the battle to establish sustainable management is aid for the seed itself.
Johnson’s seed mixes are supplied coated with TurfGuard beneficial soil bacteria bacillus subtilis.
It presents a barrier to harmful pathogens and generates growth hormones that help the seed establish itself more successfully and increase root mass by up to 80 per cent, giving poa and weeds less chance to thrive. GrowMax seed treatment stimulates the soil’s micro-flora, helping to boost root growth and turf establishment, stress tolerance and water and nutrient uptake.
Allen Blizzard (left) Head Greenkeeper at at Royal Blackheath Golf Club with Keith Kensett