After Poa annua was disrupting play on the greens at Bothwell Castle Golf Club, the Head Greenkeeper found a solution in BASF’s Attraxor®, which was recommended and supplied by Agrovista Amenity.
Alan Boyd is the Head Greenkeeper at Bothwell Castle Golf Club in Lanarkshire – a flat 18-hole parkland course located in the woodland area surrounding the 13th century Bothwell Castle.
Alan explained how he first started using Attraxor®.
“Our greens are predominantly a Poa – bent mix. When the Poa is coming into bloom it starts causing issues with the ball swaying and the greens don’t run true. Ramsay MacGregor (Amenity Specialist for Agrovista Amenity) told me that Attraxor® reduces seedhead production in Poa and I was keen to give it a try.”
Attraxor® is a plant growth regulator containing the active substance, prohexadione calcium and can be used to regulate growth of all managed amenity turf. This active substance inhibits the gibberellic acid pathway, which results in a reduction of turf height and turf biomass. Root growth is promoted whilst turf colour and quality are maintained.
Furthermore, using an innovative formulation for fast leaf absorption, the product provides almost instant results, as it is activated once diluted in water. Contrary to other plant growth regulators that need to be activated by the plant enzymes, Attraxor® can be used earlier or later in the season during cooler weather.
Alan initially applied Attraxor® at a rate of 375 g/ha before increasing it to 800 g/ha and hasn’t looked back.
“You can build it up to that application rate or bring it back down – whatever you think is needed,” he said. “The results speak for themselves. Finer grasses have started coming through because the Poa is not overtaking. It is easy to use, easy to measure out and the granules easily disperse in the water. As a greenkeeper, our priority is to keep golfers happy and since using Attraxor®, the feedback on the surfaces over the past three seasons has been exceptional. They now have a consistent ball speed, and the ball isn’t swerving all over the Poa.”
In addition to supressing the Poa annua seed heads, Alan has reported some other positive findings.
“We spoke to some people from BASF and they shared with us the results from a golf club in another part of Europe with similar weather to us. They sprayed Attraxor® consistently throughout the year and noticed a reduction of disease. I was really interested in this because we do get hit with disease, but it has been getting better since we have been applying Attraxor®. BASF explained that as the regular use of Attraxor causes the thickening of plant cell walls and epidermis, it can lead to a reduced susceptibility to diseases such as Microdochium patch by mechanical means rather than by directly affecting the pathogen itself.
“If I carry on seeing a reduction in disease it will be a game changer because we are then not having to put down fungicides,” continued Alan. “We know the bad press fungicides are getting and you are saving money by not using them, so the money you are saving on the fungicide can be put into something else.
“In my opinion the future is bright.”
For more information about Agrovista UK, visit www.agrovista.co.uk/amenity