RESEARCHERS from the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) recently welcomed the Grounds Maintenance Team from the Etihad Stadium, home of current Premier League Champions, Manchester City.
AFBI are at the forefront in the successful diagnosis and management of the parasitic worms (nematodes) which attack the roots of grasses. These parasites have long been a problem for agricultural crops such as potatoes, but are now an increasing problem for the grasses used in sports pitches, golf courses and racecourses. Over the past few years, AFBI have been providing turfgrass diagnostic services to a number of Premiership Football Clubs. Recently Dr Colin Fleming and his research team entertained the Etihad team at AFBI headquarters in Belfast to update them on recent developments on the control of plant parasitic nematodes in ryegrass sports fields.
In addition William Campton, AFBI’s own Irish Football Association referee helped organise a visit to Windsor Park to meet the grounds team preparing for an upcoming international match.