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BIGGA BTME 2014 – Time to Reflect

Posted on: January 31st, 2014 by Owen Mullen

Last week’s BTME was a really good introduction to the world of turf. Truth be told I had not really appreciated the time and effort that goes into maintaining turf to such a high level. As a non ‘turfie’ listening to seminars and the various turf professionals made me consider the industry a little more. This is what I took away from last week.

  • There is a definite move to collecting objective data to aid turf management decisions, whether it be the traditional ‘stop-and go’ sensors to measure moisture or firmness to the more recent optical sensors that measure turf quality. It was good to see the launch of the STRI’s Toro 6000 and TMP plan as it reaffirms our vision and movement to objective data collection.
  • The upsurge in smart technologies both in terms of machinery, hardware and software. The focus shifting to allow the user to gather their own information at the time and frequency of their own choosing rather than waiting for a consultants visit. The existing Spectrum’s TDR 300 and Delta-T has a new competitor from Steven’s POGO, combining moisture, salinity and temperature. Similarly for the ‘Trueness’ meter, we saw a new entrant with the ParryMeter.
  • Turf is a niche industry which has a massive audience. Only on reflection did I realise the scale of turf management needed from playing golf in a local park to top level media covered premiership matches.
  • Building bridges with a common goal – sustainable management practices. The scope for integrating objective research of new products and technologies whilst working alongside education institutes to better inform current and future greenkeepers.

Aside from what I learnt last week there were some personal highlights:

  • I actually bought a round of drinks. Who said Yorkshire people were stingy (nothing to do with them costing 50p a pint, honest!)
  • Feeling self-assured about our visualisation of maps and the science behind them.
  • Sore point of the week watching Alex beat Ash from Fleetwood Town FC in the ‘Stig Driving Challenge’ on the Complete Weed Control stand.
  • The tea and coffee at the Everris stand. Commend the efforts of the team, they created a very relaxed environment.

Thank you to BIGGA, all the organisers and exhibitors for a really pleasant experience at the BTME. We hope to be meeting up with some of you in the coming weeks and months.