A closer look at XL ProBio
9 June 2016
XL ProBio make a small targeted range of soil/turf biological inoculants and bio stimulants for amenity and horticulture and won the Best New Product Award at GLAS last year. The product that they won with is BioLift, a ready to use bio inoculant which does away with the need to think ahead, as you do with normal compost tea. It’s delivered in 10 litre drums and is pre brewed so that you just open the can, dilute and use. 10 litres is enough when diluted to treat 1 hectare, approximately all the greens on an 18 hole course.
XL ProBio also make a compost tea, as well as the brewers, because for very lage areas their ReviTEAlised compost tea is a more economical option. Ascot racecourse for instance has just switched from other makes of biostimulants to the bio inoculant “ ReviTEAlised Compost Tea” and brews enough to treat 10 hectares at a time. It saves them vast amounts of money, compared to their previous biostimulant treatments.
The distributor in Ireland for the XL ProBio range is Keating Amenity Solutions of Kinnegad Co. Westmeath and Andrew Keating comments “ I have been interested in soil biology for a number of years. With the move towards more environmental practises in the turf industry and the chemicals that are being withdrawn from use on a yearly basis I felt there had to be a way of managing sports turf naturally.” Andrew started off with an open mind, but was still sceptical. “There are many products out there that claim to be the magic bullet, but XL don’t claim that.” So Andrew talked to groundsmen he knew using similar products, and in particular Damien Doherty of North West golf club. “ I knew Damien had been using compost teas for a number of years and through conversations with him, and some research, I discovered Clive from XL ProBio.”
Clive Pearson is Product Director at XL, and is BASIS and FACTS registered. Andrew comments “ Clives product range is straight forward and his passion for them is unrivalled. I have been supplying XL ProBio products since 2014 and have had great success.”
XL have a slightly different mentality to other manufacturers in the bio inoculant and bio stimulant business because they regard it as a mainstream product in its infancy, and price it accordingly, rather than as a niche low volume product that commands a higher price. XL are also currently the only company that manufactures the raw ingredients that are used to make the brewing concentrate, so they have total control over the quality from day one.
Andrew comments “while fungicides have a place in sports turf the reliance on them will have to be reduced over the coming years as more regulations come into force. My customers normally try the product on their problem greens and because of the improvements they see, within a few months go over to a full programme. With budget constraints being the norm in the industry I have found that the cost of an XL ProBio programme can be met from the savings in fungicide use alone. “
Talking about the future of bio inoculant/ bio stimulant teas in the amenity sector Andrew believes that they will not replace the use of fungicides alone but that a move towards more natural turf management practises is an inevitability in the current environment.