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From the TurfNet NewsDesk

  • John Reitman
    Among the members of the GEO Foundation are PGA National Golf Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. PGA National photo Sustainable golf course management has been an industry hot button issue for at least two decades. 
    The challenge has never been the message as much as it has been the messenger, namely because there really has not been one.
    Until now — maybe.
    The GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf is calling Oct. 3-9 Sustainable Golf Week. The foundation based in Berwick, Scotland, is an international not-for-profit founded to "help inspire, support and reward credible sustainability action and to strengthen and promote golf's social and environmental value."
    The foundation claims it is the only entity worldwide dedicated to the mission of working collaboratively with others in and on the periphery of golf to provide strategies and programs to promote sustainable practices on and around the golf course.
    Sustainable Golf Week will promote achievements in sustainability, including the efforts of golf courses and superintendents, developers, architects, tournaments, players and companies, and will address what still needs to be done in the future.
    The initiative will seek to engage the public through a social media campaign under the #DrivingTheGreen theme and will offer stories of success as well as turnkey tips and advice for others to put into practice.
    "Sustainable Golf Week provides an opportunity for people across the sport to connect around a common purpose – to make sure that golf becomes established as a credible global leader in sustainability and climate action," GEO Foundation executive director Jonathan Smith said in a release. "It is about helping to bring some stronger collective focus to the issues, as well as building ever greater energy and momentum to golf’s contribution."
    Founded in 2006, the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf is hardly a household name in the U.S., but its footprint is growing. Supporters include The R&A, European Tour, Ryder Cup Europe, Ladies European Tour, LPGA, The Toro Co. and Dow just to name a few. Its list of member courses is a who's who of golf and includes St. Andrews, Royal Dornoch and PGA National Golf Resort and Spa.
  • Anticipated wind gusts for Saturday, Oct 1. Hurricane Fiona, at the time of this writing, might be bearing down on Bermuda, but that is not the natural disaster that golf course superintendents along the Gulf Coast and up the Eastern Seaboard should be concerned about.
    Another tropical depression brewing in the Atlantic that could reach the Gulf Coast by late next week is the real cause for concern, says meteorologist Garrett Bastardi of Turf Threat Tracker.
    Bastardi said most of the models he has been monitoring have the storm headed for South Florida and/or the Gulf Coast then likely taking a turn northward following the Appalachian range or the East Coast, or somewhere in between.
    "It's early," Bastardi said. "But rarely have we seen this much agreement between the major models."
    The unnamed disturbance in the eastern Atlantic could be a tropical storm by the weekend and should be in the western Caribbean by early next week. Most models, Bastardi said, predict eventual Category 4 status. The predicted path includes a likely landfall in South Florida or along the Gulf Coast between the Florida Panhandle and New Orleans, Bastardi said.
    "Looking at the conditions, there is no reason it cannot be a Category 3," he said. "By the time it gets into the western Caribbean, it could develop into a Category 4 or 5."
    With water temperatures in the 80s throughout the Gulf, conditions in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are perfect for a storm to blow up, Bastardi said. 
    Randy Smith, superintendent at Audubon Park Golf Club in New Orleans, still remembers Hurricane Ida that made landfall in Lafourche Parish in South Louisiana last Aug. 29, 16 years to the day from Hurricane Katrina's landfall 40 miles away in Buras. 
    Eventually Ida, which brought storm surge up to 14 feet, made its way north, dumping rain and toppling trees across New Orleans. The storm was the second-most-damaging hurricane in Louisiana history, second only to Katrina.
    "Bite your tongue," Smith said when asked about the storm in the eastern Atlantic.
    Smith monitors storm tracks, but doesn't begin to sweat until he hears landfall nearby is imminent in three to five days.
    "We think about hurricanes all year, because there is so much at stake," Smith said. 
    "It's troubling, because it adds more to the plate that I don't need to deal with yet. I have too many other things to do this far out."
    When a hurricane is imminent, Smith begins several days in advance to drain some, but not all, of four ponds on the property that also is a flood plain for the surrounding residential neighborhood.

    Total rainfall predicted for the 96 hours prior to October 3. Audubon is located across St. Charles Avenue from Tulane and Loyola universities in Audubon Park in New Orleans' historic Uptown district. The park also includes Audubon Zoo, and all three fall under the Audubon Nature Institute umbrella.
    Because the golf course is part of a not-for-profit entity, heavy tree work after hurricanes is handled by FEMA. Removing debris from the fairways and greens is the most immediate concern for Smith after hurricanes.
    "We had two weeks of clean-up just to get the golf course playable," he said. "Last year, I used a Buffalo blower to remove debris. It blew it all into piles off the golf course that we still had to remove, but it was off the golf course and we could start mowing again."
    The blower is now part of the hurricane plan at Audubon.
    "Over the winter, we rehashed our program and looked at what worked, what didn't work and what we need to change to make it better," he said. 
    Ida knocked out power last summer for eight days at City Park Golf Course in New Orleans. 
    "They were telling people not to come back to the city," said Ryan McCavitt, the former City Park superintendent who recently started a new job at Tchefuncte Country Club across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. "There was no electricity, no gas, no food."
    Because of those challenges, gas, generators and electrical cords are at the top of McCavitt's preparedness list.
    "Then you hope it's enough to power your satellite boxes," he said. 
    Among the many challenges when staff go home or evacuate is if and when they will return.
    So far, it has been a slow hurricane season. Until Hurricane Danielle formed on Sept. 1, there hadn't been a named storm in the Atlantic since July. Weather experts are still predicting an active stretch run of the hurricane season that officially ends Nov. 30.
    "As bad as they can be, I never let these storms get me down," Smith said. "They're just part of our life down here."
  • Kevin Sunderman, second from left, on the golf course in Ohio with, from left, Terry Boehm, Karl Danneberger and Ryan DeMay. Twitter photo When Bob Randquist, CGCS, made the transition four years ago from golf course superintendent to the chief operating officer of his profession's official trade association, it was seen as a home run hire. 
    When Kevin Sunderman, CGCS, was named this week as his successor, the choice was met with equal enthusiasm.
    "Just when you thought Robert Randquist couldn't be replaced . . . Nice job," golf course architect Jerry Lemons wrote on social media.
    "Didn't see that one coming. Congrats, Mr. Sunderman. You'll be great," wrote Kevin Hicks, regional agronomist with EarthWorks.
    Sunderman comes to the job imminently qualified.
    A superintendent with almost 20 years of experience, including 17 at Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he held the title of director of grounds, Sunderman has been active in GCSAA including serving six years on the association board of directors. During his time on the board, Sunderman has worked on a variety of projects, including the conference and show, foundation, education, environmental programs and diversity efforts.
    "The past six years serving on the GCSAA board provided me with valuable opportunities to develop relationships with GCSAA Chapter leaders, as well as to meet, listen and learn from many GCSAA members while expanding my knowledge of the great way GCSAA staff serve our members," Sunderman said in a news release. "As COO, I am looking forward to using these insights to guide the GCSAA team in providing benefits that will have a true impact on the lives of our members. I appreciate everyone at Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club; they are a wonderful group of people that I will truly miss."

    Kevin Sunderman celebrates earning at MBA last year from Florida Southern College with daughter Elise, son Trent and wife Melani. Twitter photo A graduate of the Ohio State University turfgrass management program, Sunderman also earned an MBA last year from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. He also is a Series 7 licensed financial advisor.
    "When the opportunity arose for Kevin to join the GCSAA team, we knew we had found our next COO," GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said in the release. "His knowledge of GCSAA and the industry, business acumen and leadership skills provide the association with a speed of transition that will prove advantageous as we expand and enhance the programs and services we deliver to our membership. All members will continue to benefit from his knowledge, passion and dedication."
    A past president of the Florida GCSA and the state's west coast chapter, Sunderman was appointed to the GCSAA board in 2017 and this year was elected vice president. In line to become association president next year, he is stepping away from his role on the board.
    "From the time I first served on a chapter board to the GCSAA Board of Directors, it was always about service and leadership," Sunderman said in the release. "That hasn't changed. This gives me the opportunity to continue to serve the industry that has meant so much to me in a new way."
    Randquist's retirement is effective Oct. 15, and Sunderman will begin his new role in Lawrence on Nov. 7.
  • Drones make it easier to spray hard-to-reach areas. Frost Inc. photo There was a day not that long ago when machines that required minimal human supervision and interaction were little more than an intriguing sideshow on tradeshow floors. Autonomous mowers attracted curious onlookers who admitted to being interested but dismissed the technology as "interesting, but it's not for me." And drone technology for anything other than shooting cool photos or videos was a pipe dream.
    No more.
    Since Covid launched the country, not just the golf business, into a nationwide labor crisis, superintendents, restaurant owners and grocery store managers alike are looking for new ways to conduct business day to day.
    "Covid has changed everything. It has enhanced everything," said Alan FitzGerald of LedgeRock Golf Club in Mohnton, Pennsylvania. "It has really enhanced generational changes."
    Ken Rost, principal of Frost Inc., recently has been tinkering with spray applications on golf courses and farm fields.
    He is starting to get clients in the golf industry who have areas that are hard to reach on foot, who do not have enough help or both.
    "The two areas we get requests for are aquatics, spraying for duckweed, and native areas for noxious broadleaf weeds competing with native grassy areas," Rost said. 
    The biggest challenge for operators is securing all the licenses and permits, which, Rost said, can run three to six months.
    Set up and flying on site is a much easier process, and operators can do in a matter of minutes tasks that one, two or more people a day or more to complete.
    FitzGerald has about 60 acres of managed native areas at LedgeRock, much of which is on hard-to-reach slopes. He recalls looking at a steeply sloped area and coming to the realization that there had to be an easier way to manage those areas than going in on foot.
    "I stared at it and wondered how I could mow or spray it without mowing or spraying it," FitzGerald said. 
    "What would take an entire day or day-and-a-half to do by hand is done in less than an hour by drone."
    Kevin Clunis has used drone spraying services on an occasion or two at Luck Golf Club in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, but does not use it on a regular basis.
    "I don't think it will ever replace spraying by hand," Clunis said. "But it can help."
    Among the barriers to widespread use can be cost and  at Luck are trees.
    When drones get too close to a tre, the vehicle's obstacle-awareness system stops the craft. Likewise, set up and use can cost the end user up to $200 an hour. 
    Superintendents with specific need areas, those with labor challenges or both view that rate as a bargain.
    "They say they don't care about the cost because they can't get to the area, or they don't have enough people," Rost said. "They just say 'get it done.' "
    FitzGerald does not view the cost as much as he does the benefit.
    "It's a safety issue getting in those areas, and it takes more guys to get it done, who we don't have," FitzGerald said. "There are massive savings to be had there."
  • A record amount of square feet has been reserved for this year's Equip Expo in Louisviille, Kentucky. Equip Expo photo A few months ago, there was a question whether the green industry still had an appetite for national tradeshows.
    With more than a month to go before Equip Exposition, the show formerly known as GIE+Expo already has sold all of its exhibit space.
    According to the Equip Expo web site, the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, where the show is held each fall, has 675,000 square feet of exhibit space and room for more than 1,000 vendors.
    "This is a first for Expo: Every inch of exhibit space inside the KEC and outside in the newly expanded 30-acre Outdoor Demo Yard has been reserved," said Kris Kiser, president & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, which owns Equip Exposition.
    “The sellout shows the vitality and excitement around Equip Exposition.”
    This year's show, scheduled for Oct. 18-21, appears as though it will be a hit with attendees and vendors alike.
    For the first time ever, the show has sold out the entire exposition center and nearly 1,000 vendors have bought space. Sandwiched around a Covid-canceled show in 2020, Equip Expo attracted about 24,000 attendees in 2019 and again last year. With record booth space sales, at least that many are expected this year.
    That is a sharp contrast to this years GCSAA Conference and Show in San Diego where attendance of 6,500 (and reportedly only about 1,000 golf course superintendents) was off by about half compared to historic averages of pre-Covid shows.
    There might be some things that can be learned from the Equip Expo. Travel restrictions, flight delays and cancellations and Covid protocols were cited by many who opted not to attend this year's GCSAA show. In the first half of 2022, 20 percent of all domestic flights experienced delays of 15 minutes or more. That's double the number of delays from 2020. 
    In contrast, the former GIE show is within a day's drive of 70 percent of the country's population.
    GIS and the former GIE are apples and oranges, but there is a big difference between routinely flirting with record attendance and rented booth space and not flirting with anything for more than a decade.
  • Whistling Straits in Wisconsin was developed by Herb Kohler and designed by Pete Dye. Destination Kohler photo The Kohler Co. looked within to quickly fill the role of board of directors chair after the recent passing of Herb Kohler.
    The company's board of directors recently elected Kohler's son, David Kohler (right), as chairman of the board, following the passing of Herb Kohler Jr. on Sept. 3 at age 83.
    The board had previously undertaken a comprehensive succession planning process to ensure a quick and orderly transition of leadership to guide the Wisconsin-based company.
    David Kohler will chair the board of directors and executive committee, in addition to his role as CEO over all three of the company's the three business groups - Power, Kitchen & Bath and Hospitality.
    David Kohler has been with the family run company for 31 years and was named president and CEO in 2015. He had been the organization's chief operating officer since 2009. He is the fourth generation of Kohler family leadership since the company was founded in 1873 by John Michael Kohler as a manufacturer of agricultural implements. He is only the ninth person to lead the company in nearly 150 years.
    "I learned so much from my father, including a tireless strong work ethic, leading with candor and humility, and always driving to innovate," David Kohler said. "He believed that you must have passion for whatever you do in life if you want to be successful. Working alongside him for decades showcased the impact of embracing an entrepreneurial spirit, not being afraid to fail, and always striving for accuracy and consistency. He left an indelible mark on me personally and professionally."
    David Kohler credits his father as well as golf course architect Pete Dye for affirming Wisconsin's role in championship golf, he continues to broaden the company’s influence on the game on an international scale. He served as General Chair of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which at the time was the highest revenue championship in history.  David also served as General Chair of the 43rd Ryder Cup in 2021 also at Whistling Straits, which many golf experts have proclaimed as the best-ever in the international event’s storied 94-year history.
    Under David Kohler’s tenure as president and CEO, the company surpassed $8 billion in annual revenues in 2021. The Power Group has experienced sustained growth globally, including the acquisition of U.K.-based Clarke Energy in 2015 and the 2021 acquisitions of Curtis Instruments (electric vehicle controls) and Heila Technologies (microgrid software controls).
  • Audubon International's third edition of "A Guide to Environmental Stewardship on the Golf Course" is now part of the official turf management curriculum in the University Of Guelph Diploma in Turfgrass Management program.
    The publication will help students enrolled in classes titled "Turf Environmental Management" and "Turf Case Studies" learn more about environmental sustainability, ethical land stewardship and stakeholder communications.
    As part of the partnership, Audubon International, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, will provide the University access to its newly released 3rd edition of "A Guide to Environmental Stewardship on the Golf Course" for students enrolled in classes titled "Turf Environmental Management" and "Turf Case Studies" during the fall and winter semesters.
    With this training, students will better understand the relationship between turf management and the environment, ensuring best management practices are utilized, which will result in environmental sustainability wherever they may work, says Frank LaVardera, Director of Environmental Programs for Golf for Audubon International.
    The Guelph Diploma in Turfgrass Management program is a 20-month program that provides students with hands-on learning opportunities and real-world experience for a variety of career opportunities, such as golf course management, lawn care, sports field management, parks management, sod production and related supply and service businesses.
    "Audubon International's Cooperative Sanctuary Program core philosophies and success stories have proven to be valuable teaching tools in our classroom," said Cameron Shaw, Manager of University of Guelph's DTM Program. "We are particularly excited about Audubon International making its newly updated guide accessible to our students as it will not only help them identify key principles in sustainability, but allow them to observe case studies and real-world stories being implemented successfully by current industry leaders."
    The Diploma in Turfgrass Management requires a minimum 15-week industry co-op/internship and students have historically landed internships at golf courses and other turfgrass-based enterprises across Canada as well as in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Germany and the Caribbean.
  • Phoenix Country Club was originally founded in 1899. Mention the phrase "classic-era golf course architecture" and the mind immediately wanders to courses in places Chicago, metropolitan New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit or even Augusta, Georgia.
    It is not often those words are uttered in the same sentence with Arizona, but there are several classic-era courses in Arizona - two to three dozen of them, according to architecture expert Bradley Klein, Ph.D.
    Founded in 1899 and moved 22 years later, Phoenix Country Club has been at its current location for more than a century, and golf course architect Andy Staples and superintendent Kenton Brunson are working to ensure it is around for 100 more years.
    The pair are preparing for a master plan that will address issues like water and fertilizer use, drainage, putting green standards, soils, bunkers and turf type to help Phoenix remain relevant in the face of several hot button issues.
    Renovated 20 years ago by John Fought and Tom Lehman, little has changed at Phoenix since Chicagoan Harry Collis's original design in 1921 on the northern edge of downtown. It was the on-again, off-again site of the Phoenix Open from 1932 to 1986 and today is the site of the Champions Tour's Charles Schwab Cup.
    Current and former members include notables such as Alice Cooper, former Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, real estate mogul Del Webb and one-time presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
    If Goldwater, who died in 1998, showed up today he probably would still recognize much of what is in place there. The vibe, Staples said, is like the classic Los Angeles golf course like Riviera or L.A. Country Club, only without the elevation changes.
    "Not a lot has changed in 100 years. They never really addressed the greens, bunkers or irrigation. This is more of an infrastructure project," Staples said. 
    "It's like a classic L.A. course that never got to L.A. Those courses have branches and rises and falls. This course is dead flat, with lots of trees on the edge of downtown. I hope to bring in some of that inspiration from those courses in L.A."
    That project, Staples and Brunson hope, will eventually include a little more terrain change, at least in the way of swales, to promote drainage much in the way they are in use at Oakmont.

    Phoenix Country Club moved to its current location near downtown in 1921. Brunson, who has been at Phoenix for about a year-and-a-half, said he looked through records and said the club had been doing what amounted to a major project every year. He thought now would be a good time to try to change that philosophy.
    "Let's circle up and do this all in one year," he said. "That way, you don't have interruptions to play every year."
    The club's leadership agreed and settled on Staples, a Phoenix-area resident, to help guide them through the process.
    The first phase of the project will be getting feedback from the club's various constituencies. Focus groups include single-digit players, women, juniors, seniors and committed golfers who don't fit into any of these other groups.
    "It's their golf course," Brunson said. "We want to hear what they like and don't like. We want every member to feel like their voice is being heard. And we might learn some things in the process."
    Staples hopes to have a plan ready for review by next spring, and Brunson said scheduling contractors and supply chain issues probably will push moving dirt off until some time in 2025.
    "Contractors are scheduling out 18 months now.
    New water restrictions recently announced in Arizona call for a 20-percent reduction by all users. Brunson said choosing the right turf type can help Phoenix CC meet that standard before even taking any turf out of play.
    Years ago, the course was grandfathered in and does not pay for water. Still, Staples and Brunson know the right thing is managing the course to use as little water and fertilizer as is necessary.
    To that end, Brunson currently has planted a nursery that includes several varieties of Bermudagrass including TifTuf, Tahoma, 419 and 328, as well as some paspalum and zoysia varieties. He plans to select a turf that will use less water and will be more cold tolerant so Phoenix CC can join a growing trend of valley golf courses that are no longer overseeing fairways.
    "What we want to do is nothing new," Staples said. "We're just now bringing it into an area where it has never been done before."
    Dynamic leader and Kohler Co. Executive Chairman Herbert Vollrath Kohler, Jr. passed away on September 3, 2022, in Kohler, Wisconsin. He was 83. His bold ideas and hands-on leadership transformed the plumbing products manufacturer founded by his grandfather into a global and diverse family of businesses synonymous with unmatched quality, creativity, and bold innovation. He literally put his beloved home state of Wisconsin on the map as a global golf destination culminating with the Ryder Cup in 2021.
    Herb Kohler's personal mission was to create delight. For him, there was no halfway. To warrant the "KOHLER" nameplate, a product had to be more than durable, functional, and attractive. It had to be joyful and memorable.
    "His zest for life, adventure and impact inspires all of us. We traveled together, celebrated together, and worked together. He was all in, all the time, leaving an indelible mark on how we live our lives today and carry on his legacy," said his family.
    He was admired by many as an accomplished, dynamic leader; independent-minded entrepreneur; courageous innovator; and passionate creative. Herb, more than anyone, lived and breathed Kohler Co.'s mission of providing customers with gracious living each day. He was a big personality who was steadfast in guiding Kohler associates in the relentless pursuit of the company mission, and he took immense joy in witnessing his customers' delight firsthand.
    "If I sell you a bathtub, there has to be something about it that gives you pleasure not only at the time of the transaction. Years later, we want you to think this is one of the best buys of your life," he once said in an interview. "The same applies with everything we provide – an engine, generator, toilet, table, hotel room, spa service, golf course, you name it. If you think about it five years later and, inwardly or outwardly, it makes you smile and we can do this consistently, then we're living up to our mission."
    Early life
    Herb Kohler – who preferred to use his first name but was so respected by Kohler Co. associates who addressed him as "HVK" or "Mr. Kohler" – was born in Chicago on February 20, 1939. His father Herbert V. Kohler, Sr., son of Kohler Co. founder John Michael Kohler, served as Board Chairman and CEO of Kohler Co. from 1940 until his death in 1968. His mother Ruth De Young Kohler was a historian and former women's editor of the Chicago Tribune.
    Herb was educated at the Kohler schools in Kohler, Wisconsin, and at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. As a young man, he spent many summers as a laborer on the Kohler farms and in most of the manufacturing divisions of Kohler Co. After serving with the U.S. Army Reserve, studying at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and launching a brief acting career at Knox College in Illinois, he completed his education at Yale University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial administration in 1965.
    He rejoined Kohler Co. full-time as an R&D technician shortly after graduation. He became a Director of the company in 1967, and when his father died a year later, he became Vice President of Operations. He was named Executive Vice President in 1971, was elected Chairman of the Board and CEO in 1972, and President of the Company in 1974 – at the age of 35. In 2015, he became the company's Executive Chairman, with son David taking the helm as President and CEO. He served Kohler Co. for 61 years.
    Creative passion and THE BOLD LOOK OF KOHLER
    In the early 1970s, Herb created a force with THE BOLD LOOK OF KOHLER that forever changed the American bathroom and kitchen, transforming what were once utilitarian spaces into statements of design, style, sophistication, and craftsmanship. During his 43-year span as CEO, he also transformed his family-owned company into a world leader, with more than 40,000 associates and dozens of manufacturing facilities on six continents.

    The National Kitchen and Bath Hall of Fame inducted him in its founding year of 1989, followed by the National Housing Hall of Fame in 1993. Ernst & Young named him National Entrepreneur of the Year in Manufacturing in 2002, and Junior Achievement inducted him into its U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2006.
    THE BOLD LOOK OF KOHLER began in 1967 as a unique program of beautifully designed toilets, bathtubs, sinks and other fixtures in unique colors supported by imaginative consumer advertising. But under Herb's watch, it went beyond a corporate promotion to become a bold new guiding spirit for the company and its associates. It was a spirit that positioned them on the leading edge of everything they set out to do, while maintaining a single, high level of quality in the company's products, processes, and services.
    "We have the people, the products, the focus, the resources, and the passion to pursue our mission and compete successfully," Herb once told associates.
    That is exactly where he led them, based on three primary guiding principles. One, live on the leading edge of design and technology of product and process. Two, have a single standard of quality above the norm with everything the company does. And three, invest 90 percent of Kohler Co.'s annual earnings back into the company.
    Herb invested in state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, revitalized the company's tradition of product innovation, and launched bold brand-awareness advertising campaigns geared toward consumers – taking the KOHLER plumbing brand to number one on a global scale and never looking back.
    Always a hands-on executive who was full of ideas for improving products and processes, he involved himself in design decisions to a degree that was uncommon among CEOs. He thoroughly enjoyed the creative process – from reviewing 30-second television commercial storyboards to testing new products personally by soaking in a whirlpool bath or sampling a decadent piece of KOHLER chocolate. He designed many of the company's products himself and held more than 200 design and utility patents.
    He invested in new designs, products, manufacturing facilities, and distribution strategies. Realizing the opportunity to compete in the changing world marketplace, he gave the company and the KOHLER brand new global perspective and greater presence by adding production, distribution and marketing in Mexico, United Kingdom and Continental Europe, North Africa, India, Middle East, Latin America, Brazil, and the greater Asia Pacific region, including China, Thailand, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
    He took the company into new businesses with more than 48 acquisitions over his tenure. This began with Sterling Faucet Co. that joined the Kohler family of businesses in 1984, followed by French plumbing company Jacob Delafon in 1986, and U.K. shower manufacturer Mira in 2001. He formed the Kohler Interiors Group acquiring premium luxury brands Baker Furniture, McGuire Furniture Company, Ann Sacks Tile and Stone, Kallista plumbing, and Robern mirrored cabinets.
    Herb invested beyond plumbing products to strengthen the company's other core business – Power – and expanded the portfolio with a series of acquisitions including Italian diesel engine manufacturer Lombardini in 2007 and France-based generator company SDMO in 2005. Today, Kohler Co. is the third largest global power systems organization in the world.
    In the late 1970s, Herb convinced skeptical colleagues to develop The American Club – originally built as an immigrant workers' dormitory in 1918 – into a luxury spa and resort. The
    Board of Directors twice rejected the idea, but he persisted. Today, The American Club is the Midwest's only AAA Five Diamond Resort Hotel, a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America program, and among a handful globally to have both the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star designations. In 2018, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide recognized Herb as the recipient of its annual Steward of History and Historic Preservation award for The American Club.
    With The American Club serving as the anchor property, Destination Kohler was formed and today includes the 500-acre wilderness preserve River Wildlife; a second hotel, Inn on Woodlake; the Kohler Waters Spa; multiple casual and fine dining restaurants and pubs; Sports Core health and racquet club; Yoga on the Lake; Bold Cycle; Riverbend private membership club; Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates; the Kohler Design Center and a host of home furnishing and specialty shops. Destination Kohler paved the way for the Hospitality & Real Estate Group. Another hotel called LODGE KOHLER opened in 2017 and is an anchor property within the Green Bay Packers' Titletown entertainment destination.
    But it was another of Herb's bold moves that garnered infinitely more international acclaim for the company and opened the floodgates to a new and prosperous expansion of Kohler Co.'s impact – golf.

    A golfer's dream
    The Chicago Tribune once wrote about Sheboygan County, "The likelihood of turning this vast rural farmland into a golf mecca is about the same as making a toilet a work of art. Herbert Kohler can now say he has done both."
    During The American Club's early years, guests asked Herb why the resort offered transportation to local golf courses, but no golf course itself. The question ultimately inspired first a partnership and then deep friendship with hall-of-fame golf course designer Pete Dye, and a vision that brought forth what some have called the most spectacular 72 holes of championship golf in America.
    Blackwolf Run, the first piece of Destination Kohler's golf portfolio, opened in 1988. Whistling Straits came 10 years later, transforming a polluted, abandoned airfield site into a world-class golf experience evoking the seaside links courses of the British Isles – right down to the flock of Scottish Blackface sheep Herb acquired that still roam the grounds today.
    Herb's next golf adventure took him to the game's birthplace in St Andrews, Scotland, where he bought a hotel alongside the legendary Old Course and turned it into the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa and added The Duke's – a heathland golf course outside of town. His most recent projects are closer to home, including the Straits Chapel, serving as the co-designer of the enjoyable 10-hole, par-3 Baths of Blackwolf Run golf course that debuted in June 2021, as well as plans to build an 18-hole public golf course on company property along more than a mile of Lake Michigan shoreline in southern Sheboygan County.
    Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run have been recognized among the best golf courses in the country – in 2000, Golf Digest named Sheboygan County 7th among the top 50 golf destinations in the world – and continue to challenge professional and amateur athletes from across the globe. The Kohler courses have hosted six Major golf championships to date, including one of the most exciting PGA Championships on record at Whistling Straits in 2015. In 2021, in perhaps the culmination of his legacy and passion for golf was hosting the 43rd Ryder Cup – which many golf experts called the best-ever in the 94-year history of the storied competition.
    In 2016, Herb earned the Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America; the award recognized his "indelible mark on golf and focus on the importance of environmental stewardship." Then in 2019, the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame enshrined Herb as part of its 69th class for transforming Wisconsin into a worldwide golfing destination and bringing six golf Major Championships to Wisconsin and the 43rd Ryder Cup in 2021.
    The business of golf sparked a passion within Herb for the sport itself, and he became a serious student of the game in his 50s. He spoke fondly of the values associated with golf and the friendships he made – particularly with his beloved "Gnarly Balls" gang of friends, who played courses all over the world, usually in harsh weather, and always with a friendly wager. Herb recorded his only hole-in-one on the 11th hole of the Old Course at St Andrews in 2007. It was a "postcard moment" he laughingly remembered not only for the achievement, but also for the fact that his golfing companions celebrated by downing expensive shots of scotch – and presenting him with the bill.

    A greater purpose
    Herb Kohler found strong inspiration in the life of his uncle, Walter J. Kohler Sr., who led Kohler Co. from 1905 until his death in 1940. The elder Kohler often quoted a business principle coined by 19th century English critic John Ruskin: "Life without labor is guilt, labor without art is brutality." The quotation resonated with Herb, who saw business as a process that thrived on creativity, provided constant challenges, and offered a means by which to help others. He worked diligently to be a positive influence in his community and was an ardent supporter of the arts, the environment and historic preservation.
    Working closely with his sister Ruth and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Herb helped establish an innovative Arts/Industry residency program that invites artists into the Kohler factories to work alongside production associates turning out stunning works of handcrafted sculptures of art made from plumbing product materials, such as vitreous china, cast iron and brass. To date, more than 500 artists have participated in this unique residency that intersects art and manufacturing.
    Walter's influence was also evident in Herb's community services. In the early 1900s, Walter hired the pre-eminent landscape architecture firm of the Olmsted Brothers – whose portfolio included New York's Central Park and the U.S. Capitol – to create a 50-year plan for the Village's green spaces. In 1977, Herb worked with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to put together a second 50-year plan for the Village, paving the way for additional development of residential and company properties including the Sports Core, Shops at Woodlake, and the Woodlake Market.
    Herb established and chaired the Kohler Trust for the Arts and Education, the Kohler Trust for Preservation, passing the chair role to his daughter Laura in 2015. Herb also established the Kohler Trust for Clean Water in 2019, of which Laura is also chair. Among the beneficiaries of the Trusts are the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and recently a major conservation project in the Sheboygan River Watershed.
    He served as President of the Kohler Foundation that provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships annually, sponsors a Distinguished Guest Series that brings internationally recognized performers to Sheboygan County and manages the Waelderhaus – a replica of the Austrian home of John Michael Kohler that is open to the public.
    The Foundation and Trusts have funded the preservation of significant art environments and collections, as well as the re-creation of a working sawmill and millpond at Wade House State Park in Greenbush, Wisconsin, a state historical site initially preserved by the Kohler Foundation under the leadership of Herb's mother. Herb also served as co-chairman of the successful fund raising effort in support of the creation of Old World Wisconsin, a living ethnic museum built by the Wisconsin State Historical Society in Eagle, Wisconsin.
    Herb's interest in the outdoors and environmental preservation led to the creation of River Wildlife, a 500-acre nature preserve along the banks of the Sheboygan River; and the preservation of Eagle Valley, a 1,440-acre eagle preserve along the bluffs of the Mississippi River, which earned a Wisconsin Wildlife Habitat Development Award. Additionally, Herb developed Kohler Co.'s 12 Environmental Principles, allowing the company to meld environmental stewardship with industrial manufacturing. And in September 2022, the KOHLER Center for Marsh Education was opened at the Sheboygan Marsh Wildlife Area to promote the environment, conservation, and stewardship through education, hands-on activities, and advocacy.
    In 2012, Herb helped finance and led the design and construction of the Kohler Environmental Center at Choate Rosemary Hall, his alma mater. This LEED-Platinum environmental research and education center is outfitted with three working laboratories, two classrooms, and a greenhouse. It is home to the Environmental Immersion Program, a year-long residential and interdisciplinary program.
    Herb was an advocate of youth development and education. He volunteered his time as a board member of Outward Bound USA, a leading provider of experiential and outdoor education programs. He was personally impacted by Outward Bound in 1986 through an Invitational Expedition on North Carolina's Chattooga River. Immediately captured by the adventure and experience, Herb joined the Board of Directors in 1997 on which he served until 2010 and introduced each of his children – and subsequently grandchildren – to the organization, who attended expeditions as youth. A life of service, impact, and commitment to this non-profit earned Herb and daughter Laura the highly coveted Kurt Hahn Award in 2020.
    He also served as a trustee at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin; Choate Rosemary Hall; the National Housing Endowment; and Friendship House, a home-based facility for at-risk youth in Sheboygan. He was an active supporter of The First Tee, an initiative to create new golf facilities around the country and make the game more affordable and accessible, especially to youth.
    As part of his commitment to education, Herb established the Kohler Scholarship Endowment in Drama at Duke University. He also endowed the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration at Marquette University, creating a program putting Marquette students in regular contact with established business leaders to study entrepreneurial success. In 2018, the UW-Madison College of Engineering was a benefactor when the Kohler Innovation Visualization Studio was opened, and in 2014 Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wisconsin, was a benefactor when the KOHLER Center for Manufacturing Excellence was unveiled.
    In 1997, Herb earned the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for "exemplifying American ideals and preserving an Austrian heritage."  In 2018, the University of St Andrews presented Herb with an Honorary degree, Doctor of Laws for demonstrating a lasting commitment to the town and people of St Andrews.

    Foundation in family
    Herb Kohler never pushed his three children into the family business, instead encouraging them to follow their own paths. The fact that all three paths eventually led Laura, Rachel, and David to Kohler Co. is testament to their father's steady influence and example. David oversees Kohler Co. in the role of President and CEO, Laura is Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Stewardship and Sustainability, and Rachel formerly served as Group President of Kohler Interiors and now an entrepreneur in her own right, is a member of the company Board of Directors.
    Herb married the former Natalie Black in 1988 and together they built a life focused on growing the business on a global scale. Natalie Black Kohler is now retired, having recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Kohler Co. She is also a member of the company's Board of Directors and President of the Kohler Foundation.
    Herb was devoted to his family, often sharing adventurous vacations with them. Close friends say his forceful personality could be tamed within seconds by the smiles of his 10 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
    His marriage to Linda Kohler Anderson ended in divorce in the early 1980s. Linda, the mother of Laura, Rachel, and David, died in 2005. Herb was also preceded in death by his parents, Herbert V., Sr., and Ruth DeYoung; his younger brother, Frederic Kohler; and younger sister, Ruth DeYoung Kohler II.
    Herb is survived by his wife, Natalie; two daughters, Laura Kohler (Steve Proudman), and Rachel Kohler (Mark Hoplamazian); and one son, David Kohler (Nina). He is further survived by 10 grandchildren, Lily, Hannah, and Rachel Proudman; Mara, Lena, and Leo Hoplamazian; Ashley, Samuel, Jack, and Tait Kohler; and three great grandchildren, Ophelia, Herbert, and Uma Cartwright.
    He will be greatly missed by his family, a large circle of friends, tens of thousands of Kohler Co. associates and retirees worldwide, as well as many others who came to know him.
    Celebrating herb's legacy
    The family plans to host a private service. At a date to be determined, Kohler Co. will host a tribute to Herb Kohler for associates, past and present.
    Coming soon is a tribute website to learn more about Herb Kohler's countless contributions, his dynamic life, business impact and well-deserved accolades. Information regarding ways to honor his memory will be detailed on the website.
    Courtesy of Kohler Co.
  • The well-chronicled story of Bayer, Roundup and hundreds of thousands of litigants claiming the weedkiller caused their cancer is entering new territory that should be a wake-up call not only to other companies in the agri-chemical sector, but in other industries as well.
    As the case against Bayer wears on - with more than 100,000 already decided and half that amount still awaiting litigation - the U.S. legal system is shifting its focus on the company's CEO.
    On Aug. 22, a state judge in Arkansas ordered the deposition of Bayer AG CEO Werner Baumann, who resides in Leverkusen, Germany, and he is willing to send court officials across the world to do it.
    According to documents, circuit judge Robert Gibson said "that as the head of Bayer, no one knows better about what the company is doing than Baumann and it would be shocking if he didn't have any unique or specialized knowledge." 
    It doesn't matter that the company's CEO is an economist by trade, not a chemist. It doesn't matter that he was CEO for only four months when Bayer acquired Monsanto (and all the headaches that were to follow) for $66 billion. It didn't matter that Hugh Grant, the former CEO of Monsanto, who for 15 years led the company that invented Roundup, already testified three years ago. It doesn't matter that there are many people who know much more about Roundup - and its active ingredient glyphosate - than the company CEO. 
    After all, this is the same case in which the defense has not been permitted in court to present some evidence on Bayer's behalf.
    "Numerous company officials with relevant knowledge of scientific and regulatory issues already have testified in the nationwide Roundup litigation," the Bayer spokesperson told Law360. "Mr. Baumann is not an expert in science, government regulation or the U.S. legal system and does not possess unique knowledge relevant to this case."
    Former Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, who for 15 years led the company that invented Roundup, already has testified in court as have many other researchers and scientists, all of whom know more than Baumann, but since when have facts or truth mattered in anything lately?
    To date, Bayer has spent more than $11 billion settling more than 100,000 claims that glyphosate caused their non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Another 30,000-plus cases are pending, including an instant suit by an Arkansas man whose conditions warrants an expeditious approach.
    In the Arkansas case, the plaintiff says he had worked in agricultural and maintenance landscaping for more than two decades in various positions and used Roundup regularly around his own yard.
    The rub in the Roundup saga has always been conflicting information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization.
    The latter has said glyphosate is likely a carcinogen. The EPA has consisted disputed those findings.
  • With golf course maintenance equipment more reliant than ever on technology, hacking into onboard computer systems is a source of concern.
    John Deere recently invited 20 college students from around the country to try to do just that. 
    The week-long event called the Cyber Tractor Challenge was part of the company’s efforts to proactively find and address vulnerabilities within its operating systems while also attracting some of the best talent in the world.
    "We have a room full of bright engineers who are aspiring embedded software engineers as well as security hackers," said John Kubalsky, business information security officer for tech stack and cloud.
    The students, whose experience ranged from undergraduates to PhD candidates specializing in the fields of computer engineering, electrical engineering, industrial technology and cyber security, were excited by the opportunity to work with us.
    "I have some experience in the ag-tech industry, so it's relevant to what I already know," said University of Illinois student Josh Park. "And it would just be fun hacking tractors. That's fun."
    Kubalsky said the first-year event is a great way for Deere to find people with the skills the company needs.
    "There is a real need for people that have the talents that they have to come and help us find where there might be some holes or opportunities in our products," Kubalsky said, "so we can button those up, continue to be that premiere ag equipment and technology producer, and keep our customers safe in the field."
  • John Spodnik, who mentored dozens of would-be superintendents and was an industry leader at the national, state and regional association level, died Aug. 26. He was 93.
    His entire 35-year career as a superintendent that began in 1959 was spent at Westfield Country Club in suburban Cleveland. 
    Among those influenced by Spodnik is Mark Jordan, his protege at Westfield and now the club's natural resource manager.
    "He was a very influential leader in the industry, community & to Westfield Insurance," Jordan wrote on social media. "Those of us fortunate enough to know John are better people today."
    Nicknamed the Sodfather because of his leadership in the industry he loved, Spodnik was a major association influencer at all levels. He was the secretary treasurer of the Northern Ohio GCSA chapter throughout the entirety of his career and was named honorary president in 1994. He was among a group of superintendents who together helped found the Ohio Turfgrass Association and spent seven years as its inaugural director. He also was active at the national level, and was GCSAA president in 1969. He was active in the Musser Foundation and was the recipient of the GCSAA Col. John Morley Award that is presented annually to "an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the golf course superintendent's profession."

    John Spodnik, left, with protege Mark Jordan, was a leader at all levels of the green industry. Mark Jordan Twitter photo "I'm proud of what OTF has done not only for golf course superintendents, but for everybody in the green industry," Spodnik said in an OTF video in 2016. 
    A Coast Guard veteran in the period between World War II and the Korean War, Spodnik eventually earned a degree in industrial engineering from what is now Cleveland State University. During his college days, he worked at some of the historic and legendary Cleveland-area clubs, including Canterbury and Shaker Heights before being named superintendent in 1959 at Westfield, where he remained until his retirement in 1994.
    Although he probably never spent much time updating a resume, Spodnik was focused on his own career as well as those of other superintendents. He was a pioneer in the Northern Ohio chapter that grew into one of the country's most active and well-organized regional superintendent organizations. He and others helped start the OTF as q way for superintendents to get access to education and networking opportunities without the cost of attending a national show.
    "One of the pillars of the turfgrass industry in Ohio," Ryan DeMay, principal of Field Source Ohio, a sports field consulting firm and the current president of OTF, wrote on Twitter. "Without John Spodnik's reverence for our industry, and those in it, we would not have the integrity, respect, or education we all take for granted today."
    Survivors include his wife, Mary, and their children Jennifer, Jeff (Lee) and Jason (Lisa) as well many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
    Services are scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at Waite & Son Funeral Home in Medina, Ohio, with interment to follow at Westfield Cemetery in Westfield Center.
  • There are many reasons golf course operations might want to implement a recycling program.
    It eliminates the amount of waste deposited into landfills, conserves resources and reduces pollution. It also can be monetized and the PR value can be important for an industry that struggles to communicate its work in environmental stewardship.
    For all the reasons people believe they should recycle, using the pieces to build a utility vehicle likely is not among them. But that is exactly what Deere and Ford are doing.
    Plastic bottles pulled from the Mississippi and coconut filler are just two of the materials used to construct the new Sustainable Concept Gator utility vehicle (right) in a collaborative effort between John Deere and the Sustainable Materials division of Ford Motor Co. The vehicle came about largely due to the latter's desire to find ways of turning waste into viable machine components.
    “When the idea of the Sustainable Concept Gator project came about, the goal was to explore a variety of materials to be used for possible adoption across product lines to support our goals around increasing use of sustainable materials,” said Andy Greenlee, senior staff engineer for sustainable solutions at John Deere.
    Ford was an ideal partner, Greenlee said.
    “Ford is a long-time leader in sustainable materials and has been integrating sustainable parts into their vehicles for decades – even back to Henry Ford experimenting with soybean oil in the 1930s,” he said.
    "Getting the opportunity to look at things that are out in the future and focus on what we need to develop to add value to our customers while reducing our environmental footprint was a great experience."
    The project was a complex collaboration with both Deere and Ford’s supplier networks, many going above and beyond to support the project, to build a prototype created with renewable, recycled and recyclable materials such as soybeans, flax fiber, sugar cane, hemp fiber, bottles, and even fishing nets.
    “It was difficult because we had to work within our current framework of production tooling, we weren’t going to invest in new tooling for a product that won’t go to market, but we did everything we could to find sustainable materials that were suitable replacements,” said Keith Shanter, senior materials engineer for Deere.
    Despite the uniqueness of the sustainable Gator, which has been in the works since 2018 , the vehicle is not for sale, nor will it go into mass production anytime soon. Instead, the vehicle is a symbol of the future of sustainability.
    “The Sustainable Concept Gator has provided us key learnings,” SAID Jill Sanchez, Deere's director of sustainability. “It shows how innovative thinking and innovative partnerships provide invaluable insight into how we can apply sustainable material use in the future.”
    Though many components used in the Sustainable Concept Gator are not a short-term production solution, the materials pave the way for sustainable solutions, including one that is in production now.
    “One component from this project that’s in Gators produced today," Shanter said, "is a defrost louver made out of recycled tires.”
  • Golfers have not been lining up to play in record numbers in 2022, but data shows they might be if not for the weather. The number of rounds of golf played are down through the first half of the year, but that is not necessarily a sign of bad news.
    Thanks largely to Covid, a lot of people discovered the benefits of golf during the past three seasons. Golf courses everywhere bragged of record play, claims that were backed up by rounds played data provided each month by entities like Golf Datatech and the National Golf Foundation. 
    Rounds increased by nearly 20 percent during Covid, reaching 518 million rounds played last year, a figure that matched an all-time high set in 2000. So, when rounds played are off, like they are in the first half of 2022, does it mean people are once again leaving the game, or are they impeded by factors - such as weather - that limit access to the game?
    Rounds played in June were up slightly - 2.7 percent - compared with the same month a year ago, but overall were down by 5.7 percent through the first half of the year.
    For once, it appears that we really can blame the weather. According to Jim Koppenhaver's Golf Datatech, the number of golf playable hours (a function of outside factors that directly influence the number of possible golf-playing hours) were down by 19 percent in the first quarter of 2022 and 9 percent in the second. So, it appears golfers are actually outperforming the weather, which is a sign that despite the hot, rainy patterns that have dominated weather east of the Mississippi River, inflation and high gas prices, golfers were still hitting the golf course whenever possible in the first half of the year.
    "We’ve just passed the half-mile post for the ’22 calendar year," Koppenhaver wrote in his monthly email report. "And things aren’t looking that bad considering the obstacles we’ve had to navigate between the economy, non-cooperating weather and the still fluid work-from-home situation that has been beneficial to golf."
    Despite the weather and other influences, rounds played were up in June in 32 states. The biggest winners were Alabama and North and South Dakota, where play was up 18 percent. Other double-digit increases were in Indiana and Michigan, both up 14 percent, and Kentucky and Tennessee (up 11 percent). The biggest losses were in Hawaii (down 10 percent).
  • For golf course superintendents who want to monitor, manage and track all aspects of their operation in one place, Toro recently introduced the IntelliDash Irrigation and Fleet Management Platform. IntelliDash lets superintendents view real-time data, such as agronomic conditions, labor, asset location and equipment health to help them improve operational efficiency.
    "By bringing together key course elements, the IntelliDash platform provides course managers and superintendents greater visibility to course health and unique access to equipment fleet and irrigation data," said Norma Frotton, product marketing manager for the Toro golf irrigation business.
    IntelliDash can easily integrate Toro equipment and irrigation systems to generate information that users can access from a mobile device or computer to monitor systems in real time. Users also can customize the dashboard to display the information that is most important to them. Data sets can easily be turned on and off to ensure only what's most important to the user appears on the dashboard.
    The dashboard offers information on course and fleet data so superintendents can make informed decisions with information from multiple sources, including weather and radar streams and evapotranspiration forecasts so users can make real-time decisions about course maintenance without leaving the office or home.
    For agronomic conditions, IntelliDash connects Toro Irrigation systems to help users manage water use while maximizing course playability and visual quality while also helping manage labor, track expenses and operational inputs.
    Integration of Toro's myTurf Pro Fleet Management tool helps superintendents track usage, including hours and fuel consumption, schedule maintenance and manage and order parts.
    "With vital course information easily accessible in one location," said Janel Hinde, product marketing manager for Toro commercial equipment, "superintendents and course managers can make confident, data-driven decisions."
  • There are several weed-identification guides available for consumers and turf management professionals alike. There is one that superintendents can carry around in their pockets that can help identify thousands of plants and weeds quickly and accurately.
    The PictureThis mobile app can precisely identify more than 10,000 weeds and plants in a matter of seconds. Developed by the Chinese artificial intelligence firm Glority, PictureThis was named the most accurate plant-identification mobile app by a Michigan State University study.
    The app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play, is free for a seven-day trial, then is $30 per year.
    Users can save plants into their own personal library. The app then provides plant-specific information such as optimal growing conditions, water needs, geographic areas where the plant thrives, when and how to plant and when to harvest, when to water and when to fertilize.
    Another section provides benefits (if any), how does a plant spread and tips on how to eradicate it.
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