A recent customer trip for Sherriff Amenity provided an ideal opportunity to find out more about DLF Trifolium Ltd, who have their parent company based north of Copenhagen, Denmark. Mogens Toft Jensen, Marketing and Product Development Manager took the group to the DLF plant breeding centre on arrival. Toft Jensen began with a short presentation showing how the DLF Group has become the world's market leader in grass, achieved by concentrating on creating a vertically integrated business from research to production to sale.
Denmark is ideally suited to grass seed production due to its mild coastal climate. DLF have a dedicated, experienced team of farmer growers who can produce quality seed and this, coupled with modern processing plants, enables DLF to compete extremely well in the market place.
A trip around the laboratories demonstrated DLF's expertise in gene marking when breeding new cultivars. This technique speeds up the development process by making sure the required traits are incorporated into the new varieties DNA. Niels Roulund, Turf Breeder, showed the group the trial grounds - one area demonstrated the benefits of overseeding at higher sowing rates, another the benefits of using quality varieties in lawn seed mixtures.
In the afternoon there was a tour of the Benlose warehouse which specialises in the cleaning of smooth stalked meadow grass with an annual production of over 10,000 tonnes. Their laboratory is testing a revolutionary new software programme which carries out official seed sample analysis by photographic recognition techniques.
The following day began at Smorum Pay & Play Golf Club. The Head Greenkeeper, Per Rasmussen is at the forefront of promoting the Danish model of fescue dominant courses. Danish law enforces strong restrictions on pesticide use and a high tax on Nitrogen fertiliser. Per has significantly reduced N input on his greens, introduced a regular top dressing programme and has reduced water application. He uses Musica and Cezanne for overseeding greens and is impressed how well these cultivars perform. Fescue is now dominant on all 54 holes with 90% plus on greens.
In contrast, the afternoon was spent walking the brand new Skoldenaesholm Golf Club. This is a Robert Trent Jones Junior designed course and has only been open to the public for two weeks. It has the look and feel of an American course with lots of water features and undulating fairways. The Head Greenkeeper, Mette Glarboug (one of very few female Danish Greenkeepers) has had a very challenging three years whilst the course was under construction including a number of changes in design and one of the construction companies going bust! However, the course opened on time and looked superb.
An evening spent in Copenhagen was a fitting finale to our trip. All the team from Sherriff Amenity found the visit interesting, rewarding and enjoyable.
Mogens Toft Jensen DLF Trifolium A/S
Neil Pullen Sales Manager
Mike Williamson Amenity Specialist
Neil Sawyer Purchasing Manager
Darren Hatcher Amenity Specialist
Rebecca Mason Amenity Specialist
Roger Peacock DLF Trifolium Ltd