The grass that the world's best soccer players are playing and practicing on in Brazil has its origins in southern Manitoba.
Most soccer pitches in Brazil consist of bermuda grass, however it goes dormant and turns brown at this time of year, explains Terry Scott, vice-president of western retail with forage and turf seed company DLF Pickseed.
"They needed something that you could overseed, which is the perennial ryegrass that we grow right here in Manitoba," he says. "Our company has worked on this for several years now, going over the requirements down in Brazil and training the different people that work the fields."
Scott explains they hosted a training seminar with more than 230 field and facility staff in mid-March to cover the details of final field preparations. Starting in April, all 68 game and practice fields were repeatedly overseeded with one of DLF Pickseed's top performing perennial ryegrass varieties.
Perennial ryegrass grows in a wide range of temperatures and germinates very quickly, which Scott says makes it suitable for the different climate and geographical conditions between the 12 host stadiums.
"They have a range of topography and temperatures, so the perennial rye can perform in all those regions," he says. "It's critical the players have the same type of surface at each of the stadiums involved."
Pickseed also supplied seed for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2012 Europe Cup in Ukraine and Poland.
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