7th ETS Field days Barcelona-Girona, Spain: report

7th Field days of the European Turfgrass Society (ETS)

Barcelona-Girona, Spain: JOIN US AGAIN ON THE TURF PATH!

After the long-term restrictions all over the world, this year we had the possibility to meet in person again, and on May 17th and 18th 2022, the ETS board organized the 7th ETS Field Days in Barcelona-Girona, Spain. Every two years, ETS runs its Field Days in one of the member countries, to promote the exchange of information among turfgrass specialists and this was the seventh event of a successful sequence started in Valencia, Spain (2009), Ghent, Belgium (2011), Monte Carlo, Monaco (2013), Copenhagen, Denmark (2015), Brno, Czech Republic (2017), and Padova – Italy (2019).

Spain has been chosen to host the event, in the heart of the Mediterranean region, home to beautiful natural scenery and internationally renowned modern town. The meeting venue was the Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya Resort in Caldes de Malavella.

63 delegates attended the ETS Field Days from around Europe and from South America. In total 10 different countries were represented at the two days of technical tour, with a welcome mix of academics, practitioners and turfgrass industry delegates.

The ETS president Dr. Stefano Macolino welcomed all the participants at the Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya on the morning of May 17th with a pleasant welcome speech. The ETS General Assembly was chaired by ETS Secretary Claudia de Bertoldi (Turf Europe) and saw the presentation of 2021 activities, balance and budget.

Compo Expert (www.compo-expert.com), BION (www.bionint.com), STIGA (www.stiga.com), ICL Everris Ibérica Fertilizers, (www.icl-sf.com/global-en/) Royalverd (www.royalverd.com/en/), and Semillas Fito (www.semillasfito.com/en/) were the Top sponsor of the ETS field days and gave their presentations that have addressed interesting issues and innovations relevant to the turfgrass industry and research, among which irrigation progress, optimal turf nutrition, alternative plants for enhancing of biodiversity in extensive turfgrass, no-pesticide management of sport fields, and sustainable approach for green areas.

The tour started with the visit at PGA Catalunya Golf, in Caldes de Malavella, perfectly guided by David Batalle, the greenkeeper of the Course. The first morning was closed with a pleasant lunch at the the Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya Resort where all participants could talk and relax all together.

Royalverd facilities at La Vall D’en Bas (Girona) was the second stop of the field tour and, after a warm welcome introducing the history of the Company, the participants could enjoy a pleasant outdoor visit with the wonderful views of the surrounding, the well maintained turfgrasses for training center and the hybrid sod farm. The visit ended with a delicious paella dinner served in the beautiful garden and was much appreciated.

On the second day, the participants went to visit Semillas Fitó in Cabrera de Mar, Barcelona. The visit included very well kept turfgrass trials of Cool Season grasses and mix, Warm season grasses and the visit to the Biotech laboratory, an excellence in the turfgrass word.

After exquisitely organized outdoor lunch at Semillas Fitó facilities, the Field Days attendees were welcomed at the Estádio Cornellà-El Prat (Espanyol) with an interesting technical visit guided by the groundsman Nil Tarres.

The technical tour was closed by a special visit to Gran Clariana Garden, a landscape project in the centre of Barcelona, where turfgrasses are subject to limited irrigation and heavy traffic, and thus a challenge for the maintenance.

The President Dr. Stefano Macolino gave his warmest thanks to all attendants for their participation.

We would like to warmly thank all the participants and sponsors who supported this international Field Days, that provided after 2 years of restrictions, a forum to spread innovative applications for the benefit of the turfgrass industry promoting the exchange of information among turfgrass specialists, with the aim of providing knowledge and connections, for the benefit of the turfgrass world.

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