Organic sports field
Grow Greener with AgriRem
Organic, Natural Products, Chemical Free
Testimonial from Don Parry
President, Toads Rugby club, Nambour.
Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland Ecobiz Consultant
[email protected] Mob. 0498 093 921
Nambour Rugby Union Football Club Inc. is a small regional rugby club based on the central west of the Sunshine Coast. Our ovals are used extensively from February to September by a variety of rugby players. The club holds a lease on a property that was a landfill site adjacent to Petrie Creek. The landfill operated from the 1950s to around 1980. It was then ‘capped’ by a thin (30cm) skin of clay. Over the 30+ years history of the club we have added approx 30cm of sand to the oval. The club was mowing irregularly and fertilizing during the pre-season with a high nitrogen fertilizer that gave a good look in February, but by the onset of winter the main oval would be patchy, bare and become boggy and then compacted after winter wet weather events. Soon after the high nitrogen fertilizers were applied we had an invasion of lawn grubs.
Our challenge was to create a healthy balanced eco-system. We needed a good soil conditioner to eliminate toxins and harmful chemicals from both our input and from existing landfill contamination. We were concerned about player well-being as players came into contact with the ground on a frequent basis, whether they are training or playing. We were also concerned about what an old landfill might return to the surface (poisons and petro chemicals) when the water table rose.
What We Have Now Achieved
We found a new product, AgriRem which is a certified organic soil conditioner. By applying AgriRem four times a year we have now substantially improved our soil health. The soil below our grass is now full of fat healthy worms. We no longer need to apply expensive and potentially harmful pesticides or herbicides. Our players are no longer presenting with abrasion infections and the lawn grubs (that would attack us every year before AgriRem) are either eliminated or kept to a low level where the increased bird population can keep them under control. The grass root system now goes down up to 15cm. The subsoil moisture stays around a lot longer than on the grass that is not part of the oval. To spray a sporting field for lawn grubs can cost up to $1700, but the Toads have achieved the same result by naturally improving the condition of the soil.
"Some people put lots of nitrogen in their grass, which makes it pretty, but it's also a harsh chemical," Mr Parry said.
The club also started the anti-chemical regime to support the local wildlife because the main oval sits on the edge of Petrie Creek in Woombye. "If we have heavy rain the run-off ends up in the creek and then the ocean," Mr Parry said. "So there is a broader implication than just our field."
Finally after a five year journey our sports field was the first to be certified organic by NASSA. NASAA is an internationally recognized and national award-winning South Australian organic-certification company that focuses on farm produce.
So what does this mean! For a start, no more fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or pre-emergent will be ever used on this field again. When anyone plays on it they'll be on healthy, chemical free grass and the birds have a continuous supply of fat healthy worms to feast on, a by product of having healthy, chemical free soil.
Our challenge now is to take our proven management process and let the world know that we have an alternative, AgriRem.
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