Students from Hillsborough College, a campus of Sheffield College, recently paid a visit to the UK’s largest and fastest growing grass seed producer DLF Trifolium. The students are all enrolled on the Horticulture Apprenticeship Level 3 course which is designed to develop knowledge, as well as the practical and technical skills, for a career in the horticulture industry.
The 8 students made the journey to DLF’s headquarters in Inkberrow and were welcomed by Derek Smith, the Amenity Sales & Marketing Manager for DLF Trifolium. Their goal was not only to find out how turf grass species are selected and developed but how the company operates within the global, competitive grass seed market – all within the confines of the ever changing, and ever-more specialised, demands of both sports and amenity applications.
“The idea of the day was to give the students a greater awareness of the scale of the DLF breeding and production programmes, as well as an insight into the time scales involved with breeding a new cultivar” said Derek. “The training itself focused on the key characteristics of the main turf grass species looking at how they can then be incorporated into suitable mixtures before spending some time to look at the demonstration plots. For many of the students it was the first time they had seen individual species and cultivars and they seemed particularly impressed by the large differences in turf quality between the cheapest and mid value material. A great day was had by all involved.”