UK-bred Bentgrass Mixture Offers Enhanced Disease Resistance
Story published at 12:37, Monday, November 17th, 2014
Germinal will announce at BTME in January that its new Browntop bentgrass blend, AberMajesty – which offers greenkeepers improved disease resistance and year round visually stunning greens – is now available in the UK.
AberMajesty is a blend of two home-bred Browntop bentgrasses, 60% AberRoyal and 40% AberRegal, and is the latest addition to Germinal’s Grade ‘A’ range of golf-specific seed mixtures.
AberRegal is Germinal’s newest bentgrass cultivar, and follows hot on the heels of AberRoyal, the UK’s first home-bred Browntop. The commercial release of AberRegal has been eagerly anticipated in the UK as it offers greenkeepers a greater choice of UK-bred cultivars, and promises improved shoot density, fineness of leaf and unrivalled winter and summer greenness.
Bred at IBERS (the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences in Aberystwyth) as part of the institution’s UK-based amenity seed breeding programme, AberRegal was bred from material originally collected from Kent. As such, it perfectly complements AberRoyal which was originally sourced from West Wales.
“AberRegal and AberRoyal work well together by offering a blend of bentgrasses which will thrive on soil and sand based greens anywhere in the UK,” explains Richard Brown, Amenity Sales Manager for Germinal. “It provides greenkeepers with improved genetic diversity and a sward with higher overall disease resistance against key threats such as Red Thread and Fusarium.
“AberMajesty is also the perfect solution for year-round golf courses where visually stunning greens are demanded by players, even during the depths of winter when the ability to fertilise for enhanced greenness is not possible. By combining AberRoyal’s winter and summer greenness scores of 6.8 and 6.6 with AberRegal at 6.9 and 6.9, greenkeepers can be confident their greens will remain as verdant as possible throughout the entire year.”
AberRegal was bred by Sheena Duller, Research Scientist and Plant Breeder at IBERS, who explains that the original plant material was collected from Marden Meadow in Kent in 1995. “Since then, a long series of selections have been made to enhance the cultivar’s turf performance,” she says. “It has been extensively tested at the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) and has subsequently achieved National List registration. AberRegal was selected for its characteristic density of turf, disease resistance and longevity to produce a high quality, 100% British variety.”
Long-time AberRoyal user, Simon White, course manager at The Chase Golf Club in Staffordshire, has already used AberMajesty and has been pleased with the new mixture’s initial performance. “We started using AberRoyal at The Chase five years ago to improve the quality of our greens,” he explains. “It’s been a consistent performer for us but we are always on the lookout for new cultivars to avoid creating a mono-culture of grasses. We were therefore eager to add AberRegal to our own list of cultivars.
“We over-seeded a number of greens with AberMajesty at the end of last summer and have been suitably impressed by how it has performed. It germinated extremely reliably and has established itself fantastically well, adding a greater depth of greenness and consistency to our greens.”
AberRoyal, AberRegal and AberMajesty are available exclusively via Germinal. The recommended sowing rate is 8 to 12g/m2 (80 to 120kgs/ha). The recommended overseeding rate is 5 to 8g/m2 (50 to 80kgs/ha).
To celebrate the launch of AberMajesty, Germinal is holding a spot-the-ball competition at this year’s BTME, with a first prize for one lucky winner and a guest to attend the Open Golf Championship at Royal St Andrews on 19th July 2015. The full prize includes two tickets to watch the final day of play at the 2015 Open, plus a complete hospitality package for the day including a complimentary bar and food. For a chance to win, visit Germinal on stand A45 of Hall A at BTME from Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd January.
Germinal is a wholly owned subsidiary of Germinal Holdings Ltd – the largest family owned British and Irish Forage & Amenity Seed Company www.germinal.com