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Indoor-grown turf opens new avenues for the sports industry

A consortium of companies in Southwest Netherlands has conducted research into the possibilities of indoor-grown turf. In outdoor cultivation, it is increasingly difficult to guarantee quality and availability due to restrictions on permitted pesticides and extreme weather conditions. Additionally, some turf types cannot be cut and relocated as such.

The consortium explored the options for different markets. For the recreational and private markets, indoor-grown turf cannot compete with the current market prices in the Netherlands. The competition there is fierce, and the market price is below the economic cost. Moreover, year-round indoor-grown turf places high demands on the substrate mat, increasing the cost. On top of that, when the differences between indoor and outdoor climates are too significant, an acclimatization period must be taken into account.

For the sports world, there are new opportunities. For football stadiums, the opportunities seem greatest in the short term. They regularly need a new turf of high quality. The year-round availability of outdoor-grown turf mats is becoming increasingly difficult due to extreme weather conditions, which complicate growth and/or harvest. Additionally, the quality also suffers from the decreasing approvals of pesticides.

Indoor-grown mats grow in a shorter period and in a protected environment, resulting in a homogeneous turf where pests, weeds, and other grass types do not get the chance to nest. Finally, the year-round availability of indoor turf is a significant advantage in an increasingly extreme climate. Currently, a follow-up project for football stadiums is being worked on, which will examine how an indoor-grown turf can meet the desired playing properties.

In this demonstration project, substrate material with an organic origin, such as jute, bamboo, cellulose, fiber hemp, wool, and hair, was used. The aim was to use rapidly degradable materials and leave no residues in the soil after laying the sod.

The consortium, consisting of DLF, Boot Graszoden, Organicz, Logiqs, and Goese Golf, received a subsidy from the province of Zeeland for this project.

For more information:
Dijkwelsestraat 70
4421 AJ, Kapelle
Tel.: 0113 347 911

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