Campey Turf Care Systems recently took part in the research event hosted by STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute) held at the STRI Research facilities in Bingley, West Yorkshire.
The Imants SandCat has been under-going extensive scientific trials by the STRI Research team for some months now. The Imants SandCat is designed to improve drainage and aeration on fine turf and greens. It works by slitting the surface and back-filling the slits with sand to improve drainage and enhance the properties of the rootzone.
It also provided an opportunity for groundsmen and greenkeepers to see the Imants Sandcat in action and to question its performance and capabilities against a background of formal scientific research.
Ian Anderson, STRI trial ground supervisor assigned to the SandCat was on-hand to explain what trials are being conducted and how. 'The SandCat was used on a plot measuring 200 sqm in June 2014. We will be conducting 4 runs over a two year period and measuring the changes in surface smoothness, hardness, penetration and infiltration levels and recovery times.
He demonstrated the different methods used to measure these factors using a variety of implements.
Measurements from a 'control' plot of equal size and the same structure were taken simultaneously to the treated plot. In all 30 individual readings for each of the tests on both plots are recorded after each Sandcat operation. These will be compared with the control and with previous treatments to analyse the initial effectiveness and the change in degree of improvements.
"Although the trials are far from complete the initial results on water infiltration so far are very impressive" said Ian "We have recorded levels of drainage of 39mm per hour as opposed to only 18mm per hour on the untreated plot after only one pass of the machine - a 116% increase. Additionally, turf treated with the SandCat was consistently drier that the untreated turf, when measured with a soil moisture probe."
Managing Director Richard Campey was on hand with fellow director Simon Gumbrill to answer any questions from the assembled groups. "We had a very positive couple of days. The level of interest from the grounds professionals was good. They were keen to ask direct questions and we were there to offer Ian technical support in regard to how the Sandcat operates."
"The SandCat may not look that special and it's not for everyone. But where a radical approach is needed to recover greens and fine turfed areas which don't respond to traditional methods, the Imants SandCat is a fantastic solution,' said Richard `The important thing to us that the STRI research provides the scientific data to back-up what we already believe. So far the results are looking very impressive."