STRI tackles global warming with superb Scotts iTurf
Simon Watson, of STRI Scotland, said that the system was selected because of the sophisticated software package and the sheer range of factors monitored and collated by the units." By recording and collating not only weather conditions, but also what is going on at, literally, grass roots level -such as soil and leaf moisture and temperature - the system allows us to model and predict trends and, ultimately, environmentally sound solutions," he said. In the 12 months since the Scotts iTurf environmental monitoring unit was launched, it has also proved popular with practising Greenkeepers and Groundsmen as a tool to help make the ideal of 'Integrated Turf Management' actually work in practice.
The beauty of the Scotts system is that it measures everything that can potentially have an effect on turf growth and turf health, and then collates and presents the information so that the turf manager can make the right cultural decisions. It comprises a series of stations and sensors, linked to a computer, that constantly monitors air and soil temperature, solar radiation, humidity, wind speed, leaf wetness, soil moisture, rainfall etc., right across the site. This is exactly the kind of detail that the ITM practitioner requires at his fingertips, making the iTurf an essential piece of equipment for all turf managers who are interested in managing their turf in an environmentally friendly way.
One of the key features of the system is a 'disease prediction' program that, having processed all the data, will alert Greenkeepers and Groundsmen to the likelihood of disease infestation before it does any damage.
A side benefit of the exercise, incidentally, is that expenditure on fertilizers and chemicals is almost invariably reduced, leading to enhanced efficiency and cost-savings.