The Fluid Feeder by Vredo has won the Innovation Award at the GroenTechniek Holland event. The unit makes it possible to fight grubs and leatherjackets during the daytime.
Grubs and leatherjackets are best fought by injecting nematodes and liquid stimulants as close to the grub or leatherjacket as possible. This will allow the parasite to invade the grub or leatherjacket and eat it from the inside. However, nematodes cannot withstand UV light, forcing groundsmen to carry out the activity in the evening or at night.
The Vredo Fluid Feeder intends to change this.
The machine builds on the well-known double disc system of the Vredo overseeder. Instead of grass seed, the Fluid Feeder injects nematodes along the double disc into the soil. As long as a working speed of 12 to 13 km/h is maintained, the 300-litre tank will be enough to treat over half a field.
Working during the day
As the nematodes are injected into the soil, the new unit makes it possible to carry out the activity during daytime. The tank has a special finish that ensures that daylight does not affect the nematodes inside. According to Vredo, this method also saves 70% in nematodes compared to a conventional field sprayer. Although nematodes are biological pesticides, this extra saving helps in the context of the Green Deal Sports Fields, as the deal also aims to use resources as little as possible.
The unit is also suitable for introducing heat stress agents.
The grub problem will grow
Despite the positive contribution the Vredo Fluid Feeder will make, Ad van Bruggen of Biocontrol foresees that the number of grubs and leatherjackets will only increase in the coming years. “We are now expected to retain water on site for as long as possible. This creates the ideal conditions for the crane fly, of which grubs and leatherjackets are the larvae.”
Because the presence of grubs and leatherjacket is often discovered too late, van Bruggen warns groundsmen to remain on their guard.
“Be vigilant and avoid getting your pitch completely churned up by birds and animals looking for the protein-rich grubs.”