This latest breeding breakthrough – Regenerating Perennial Ryegrass (RPR) – is featured in the specialist grass seed breeder’s new BAR 7 RPR sports perennial ryegrass formulation. RPR has been extensively field-tested at high-profile venues to great acclaim, including Manchester United and City football clubs, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, plus Dunfermline Athletic’s stadium pitch, to name but a few.
But this final field-testing stage follows Barenbrug’s lengthy in-house research and development process, from the very first pot trials in Oregon, USA, where the cultivar originated as part of the company’s global research programme, to home-grown trials at Barenbrug UK’s research site at Cropvale in Worcestershire.
But, at last, the journey from ‘pot to pitch’ is complete! And now the wider sports turf market is set to benefit from BAR 7 RPR’s revolutionary characteristics, following the mixture’s official launch.
BAR 7 RPR combines the proven benefits of BAR 7 sports perennial ryegrass mixture with the unique creeping growth habit of new cultivar Barclay II. This clever cultivar produces elongated tillers – the growth shoots that emerge from nodes at the base of each plant that grow horizontally just below ground. As they grow, roots develop at the internodes to form new – but connected – grass plants.
This creeping growth habit gives fast establishment, and superb pitch stability and tensile strength, as well as improved wear tolerance and recovery after environmental stresses. Such characteristics make BAR 7 RPR perfect for football, rugby and other sports surface applications.
But don’t just take Barenbrug’s word for it! Manchester City – current Premier League title contenders – acted as the flagship field-test venue for BAR 7 RPR. Trial pitches were sown at the Carrington and Platt Lane training grounds as Roy Rigby and his team helped Barenbrug work towards RPR’s commercial launch.
The most impressive result has been at Carrington where, since sowing BAR 7 RPR in August 2011, head groundsman Lee Metcalfe has seen the pitch subjected to over 200 hours of play – that equates to a staggering two years’ play in just five months. “The wear tolerance of BAR 7 RPR is just brilliant,” he comments. “It’s performed even better than we expected under the intensive wear pressure of the first team training. We’re very impressed with it.”
As a result, BAR 7 RPR is now being sown across five of the six Carrington pitches. The Platt Lane RPR pitch will also remain a permanent fixture. But, best of all, the main stadium is now poised to be sown with the mixture later this summer – a big thumbs up indeed for Barenbrug!
Commenting on the launch of BAR 7 RPR, Barenbrug’s research and development manager David Greenshields says: “We’re thrilled to see this groundbreaking new product reach its commercial launch, thanks to the help of Manchester City and all our field-testing venues. BAR 7 RPR is one of our most exciting product developments to date and we expect record demand from sports customers as a result.”
The full list of RPR trial venues includes: Arsenal FC training ground; Aston Villa FC training ground and academy; Dunfermline Athletic FC stadium pitch; Manchester City FC training ground and academy; Newcastle United training ground; Radley College sports ground; Stoke City FC training ground and stadium pitch; Tottenham Hotspur FC training ground.