Brazilian pitches are well prepared for the 2016 Olympic Games

DLF Rio Olympics 2016

Seed from DLF is returning to the sports surfaces of Brazil for the second time in two years. Following the success of the seed used at the 2014 World Cup, DLF has been chosen to help Brazilian groundsmen prepare their stadiums for the footballing element of the world’s largest celebration of sport and athletics. 

The pitch preparations include the venues hosting the women and men’s football and rugby-seven tournament. August is Brazil’s cool season, so turf preparations must overcome the grasses natural dormancy. The solution was to build on the success of the grass technology used in 2014; overseeding with a special turf mixture developed through DLF plant-breeding research. The mixture, which has proven to be optimal for the Brazilian climate and geography, provides a perfect and uniform playing surface for all matches of the tournament. It includes the top-performing perennial ryegrass varieties and exclusive 4turf® technology.

 Søren Halbye, CCO at DLF Group said: “We are proud to offer our grass seed technology for this major sports event. Based on the excellent pitch performance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, we are confident that the pitch quality will fulfill the high expectations.”

 DLF is working closely with the grass specialists and professional contractors responsible for the pitches in Brazil, who are experienced in optimising the local sports pitches. The use of tried and tested seed together with experiences gleamed from the World Cup tournament will provide a great benefit to the games.

Alexandre Vieira dos Santos, part owner of Greenleaf Gramados, the company installing most of the pitches hosting the Olympics, added: “Our main challenge is to get all pitches looking good and into perfect shape during our winter season. Brazil is a huge continent and the logistic challenges of getting products from the North to the South are immense. Back in 2013 at the Confederation Cup, prior to the Word Cup in Brazil 2014, we identified the high-performing ryegrass mixture from DLF to have the best overseeding performance.

“The key features we consider are the best adaptability to different climate zones and a good shadow tolerance, which is critical given the architecture of the stadiums. Our experience with the pitch preparation and outstanding results at the 2014 World Cup has given us a key advantage for preparing the pitches for the 2016 Olympic Games.

“The pitches will be under intensive pressure, some of them hosting 10 games during 10-14 days, so we cannot compromise on grass quality. We have been working with the sports perennial grass seed mixture from DLF for several years now, and we know we can rely on its performance and high wear-tolerance during the competition”

“Overseeding has become a regular practice between April and August, the autumn and winter period in Brazil, in the South and Southeast regions in Brazil.  Our professional groundsmen teams are very satisfied with the pitch preparations for the Olympic Games, and we can promise excellent grass pitches for the athletes for the 2016 Olympic Games.”

New technology revolutionises lawn seed

DLF’s UK-based consumer brand, Johnsons Lawn Seed, offers the same varieties of grass supplied to the majority of the Olympic pitches, through its new formula General Purpose, Tuffgrass, Quick Fix and Quick Lawn products. The new formulas feature a consumer seed first – a tetraploid lawn seed which has three times as much energy as ordinary seeds.  Quite simply this means that the seed performs better than any competitor seed, including such benefits as quicker germination and establishment, the ability to sow at temperatures as low as 3°C, improved colour, better drought tolerance and the need to water and fertilise less regularly compared to other lawn seed products.

These new formulas not only offer consumers the chance to convert their garden into their own olympic pitch, but they also provide the ideal opportunity for retailers to make the most of the sporting frenzy being whipped up by the Olympics.

Rio Olympics 2016 – key facts

  • 7 Stadiums hosting 58 women’s and men’s and matches at the Olympic Football tournament from 3 August – 20 August 2016
  • 16 national men’s football teams and 12 women’s football teams will compete for the gold medals
  • The Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro will host the athletic disciplines
  • The 2016 Olympics’ in Rio takes place from 5 August – 21 August 2016

DLF is the global market leader in the grass seed industry with 800 employees in 13 countries. The company has a worldwide breeding network as well as production and sales of clover and grass seed to more than 80 countries worldwide. Owned by 3,500 Danish farmers. The DLF group has a revenue of 450 Million Euro.

To find out more about the Johnsons Lawn Seed product portfolio, or the journey from concept to store simply log onto Alternatively email the team at or call on (01386) 791113.