The Groundsman

February 2016

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TECHNICAL UPDATE 31 the Groundsman February 2016 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions he revenue generated both directly and indirectly from sport in the UK is substantial and a very signifi cant contribution to the national economy. All of this is based upon the production of fi t for purpose, sustainable and safe sports surfaces. Weed, pest and disease control is an important element in achieving this and in ensuring safe and clean sports areas, surrounds plus top class pitches and golf greens. Yet this essential task, carried out by groundsmen and greenkeepers across the UK, is often unseen by the public. It is taken for granted that when people turn up to see a game, all will be well. In fact, the only time comment is made is when the sports surface is not seen as up to scratch. As someone now described as a senior citizen, I can well remember football and rugby being played in mud. In fact, football managers, certainly in lower leagues, often requested it when meeting higher quality teams. Now all of that is regarded as unacceptable – high quality is the norm and proper control of pests and weeds is essential. T Weed, pest and disease control - important and essential This update is part of a series of articles in 2016 on issues concerning weed, pest and disease control and is produced by the Amenity Forum By: Professor John Moverley Taking the right approach There is certainly no shortage of issues and challenges for all involved in weed, pest and disease control and the need to keep up to date has never been greater. Equally it is vital that we all take pride in what we do and emphasise both its importance and the fact that it is an essential task. The Amenity Forum, in line with the Sustainable Use Directive and associated legislation, promotes integrated control approaches. This involves a move away from blanket control with pesticides and adopting control techniques appropriate to different situations and conditions. It recognises that all approaches have a place - cultural, mechanical, biological and pesticides. The aim is to use the right set of approaches to produce required outcomes. The Forum has produced a set of guidance notes on integrated control available from its website (www.amenityforum.co.uk). Everyone's support is needed As part of such integrated approaches, pesticides remain very important but increasingly are coming under fi re. The number of actives is already limited and it is important that the sector demonstrates its commitment to best practice and supports the Forum. In our national discussions with stakeholders and policy makers, we always stress that any decisions on pesticide use must be based upon proper science and evidence. We can win arguments but that equally depends upon everyone in the sector acting correctly. Our plea is for everyone to operate to Amenity Assured standards. Even if you decide not to register formally on the scheme, do check these out and ensure you are at the standard. The Forum has published 10 Golden Rules, available on the website and urges everyone to note and follow these. Changes in legislation Remember that from November 2016, any sprayer equipment which requires the operator to be mounted on the equipment itself, or the machine pulling it, must be tested and carry a registration recognised by the National Sprayer Testing Scheme. This is law. Also other sprayers, such as knapsacks, should be inspected rigorously at least annually and written records kept available for any inspection visit. In addition, when buying pesticides, remember that from November 2015, the responsibility is on the buyer to ensure it is used by a properly qualifi ed operator. Do ensure that you use only approved products as any temptation not to only threatens the sector as a whole and could result in more restrictions. The responsibility is now on the buyer to ensure that pesticides are used by a properly qualifi ed operator ▼

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