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amenity GRASS SEED Research

Current UK grass seed performance trials assess a limited number of the characteristics of individual cultivars of grasses within a species to evaluate their suitability for various amenity applications, such as football, horse racing and golf courses. In the UK, grass cultivars are rarely used as a monoculture as they are more commonly used either in blends of one species or in mixtures of different species to ensure quality performance and aesthetics.

Barenbrug has initiated a comprehensive and evolutionary mixture trials programme at Barenbrug Research stations, supported by the trails at Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) in the UK. The main objective of these grass trails is to assess and evaluate amenity grass seed mixture performance to ensure we offer the best possible solution by using highly rated cultivars and unique species to give greenkeepers and groundsman across the UK access to the very best grass seed available.

Cropvale Projects

Spring 2013 represented a huge step forward for amenity grass research and development in the UK with around 600 turf grass plots sown at Barenbrug UK’s trial site at Cropvale Farm in Worcestershire.

The new sowings showcase the full spectrum of Barenbrug’s expertise, from breeding to product development and mixture synergy, with some exciting and truly innovative new advancements.

Approximately half the plots are pure research areas, looking at the performance of the very best new genetic material from Barenbrug’s extensive global breeding programmes in the UK environment. This will provide valuable information at an early stage of a new grass cultivar’s development, and potentially enable us to speed up the lengthy (typically 16-17 years) time it takes for a new grass seed variety to become commercially available for professional greenkeepers and groundsman.

The remaining plots will focus primarily on product development, enhancing the already industry-leading BAR Range grass seed mixtures. For example, new formulations of the ground-breaking BAR 7 RPR blend will be rigorously tested under winter sports wear simulation (football and rugby). The way in which these trials are conducted and analysed will also be improved, with a new quantitative scoring system being implemented. The goal is to provide end-users with reliable, objective data with which to make decisions in their role as turf managers.

The trial site will also feature some demonstration areas, where our innovative RPR (Regenerating Perennial Ryegrass) technology will take centre stage alongside a Biodiversity section, showcasing wildflowers and unmown grass mixtures.

Cropvale will be very much open to visitors, with a log cabin complete with hospitality and presentation facilities in place. We look forward to welcoming you in the near future!

David Greenshields

Latest trials report

Golf Green Trials

Winter Sports Trials

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