Headland Amenity discusses innovations in the light of chemical withdrawals

When the announcement came that a number of fungicides were to be banned in 2017 and 2018, it forced greenkeepers to use new measures when it comes to disease management.

Last year Tebuconazole and Prochloraz were banned, with Iprodione set to be prohibited this summer, effectively ending the option of reactive fungicide applications.

Headland Amenity have continued to develop their "20-20-30" non-pesticidal tankmix, which contains 30 litres of Seamac ProTurf Fe, 20 litres of Liquid Turf Hardener plant protectants and 20 litres of Turfite elicitor.

Andy Russell of Headland Amenity warns that prevention is becoming evermore important than the cure, explaining that they have continued to develop and refine their mix as a solution.

He said: "For 11 years we've been working on the 20-20-30 mix and established it does a good job, but what we're doing is looking for things we can add to that to improve the efficacy and get an even better result.

"After Iprodione is banned it's going to be very difficult to deal with established disease outbreaks. The focus has to be on prevention and on minimising disease in the first instance before you get it."

Andy sympathised with greenkeepers who've been affected by the change in legislation, and felt it's been a particularly tough couple of years for greenkeepers who have had to turn to alternative methods of turf management.

He said: "We knew this was coming. This message has been communicated over the last couple of years. So the next few months is the run down of the chemical, then it will stop and hopefully now people understand we'll have to go to more preventative measures.

"Especially in this last 18-24 months, people have wanted to try different preventative measures because they knew we would be in this position, and that coincided with a particularly high disease period."

Headland have been attending BTME for more than two decades, and Andy illustrated the role the exhibition plays in their business.

"It's important in the respect that it gives us an opportunity to see a lot of customers in a short period of time," he said.

"We also get to spend some time with them and it's a chance for them to see the new products on the market. It's important for our guys to understand what's happening the market. There are a number of real positives to coming."