Turf & Rec

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Busy, rewarding year for Canadian sod industry


September 2, 2010
By Mike Jiggens

Congratulations to Claus Zander, president of Zander Sod Co. Limited in
Kettleby, Ont., who has become the first Canadian president of
Turfgrass Producers International since the late Richard Schiedel of
the Cambridge, Ont.-based Greenhorizons Group of Farms Ltd. held down
the position in the mid-1990s.

We plan to catch up with Claus in the next little while to capture his thoughts about what the future holds for the sod growing industry and what he plans to bring to the table as president.

It is rare to have a non-American at the top of this U.S.-based organization. Many of the same challenges confronting sod farms and farmers in the United States are being faced by those growing turfgrass sod here in Canada, and it will be interesting to hear what Claus has to say about these things.

It’s been an interesting year for sod growers in Canada. Zander Sod had provided the natural turf covering for Toronto’s BMO Field after the stadium had served its first number of years as an artificial turf field. The change to natural turf has been greeted with great applause by not only its users—primarily the Toronto FC soccer club—but also by the team’s throng of knowledgeable fans who continually sell out the stadium.

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The aforementioned Greenhorizons Group had been busy at the Rogers Centre in Toronto this summer, laying out a natural turf surface for a July soccer contest between Manchester United and Glasgow Celtic. The elite soccer teams praised the playability of the temporary surface.

Eighteen tractor trailer loads of sod were transported from nearby Burford to provide the surface. The teams would not play the exhibition contest on artificial turf. This seems to be the sentiment of these top level soccer clubs who will play on only the finest natural surfaces, and will settle for nothing less.

We hope to have more about Greenhorizons’ efforts at the Rogers Centre in our September/October issue, along with an interview with Claus Zander on his new position as TPI president.

This issue is our annual Buyers’ Guide & Directory which is meant to serve as the next 12 months’ “Yellow Pages” of the turfgrass industry.

Within these pages, we have carefully categorized the equipment, materials and supplies needed for the professional to do his job efficiently with the most up-to-date information at his fingertips. The professional can go to his or her provincial section, look up the heading which pertains to his or her particular need, and readily contact the supplier or manufacturer, or perhaps go to that company’s website to obtain more information.
It’s user-friendly and should be kept close at hand for the next 12 months.

As always, we appreciate whatever feedback you might have which can help us improve this edition in future years so that it is even more user-friendly.