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The donations will help students complete research trials as well allow them an opportunity to learn on some of the most up to date equipment in the turfgrass industry. Eclipse walking greens mowers recently were delivered to turf programs at Clemson University, Texas A&M University, Auburn University, Penn State, University of Florida, Ohio State University, Mississippi State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Cornell University, Delaware Valley College, Gateway Community College and North Georgia Technical College.
"At The Ohio State University's turfgrass science program, our classes revolve around what professionals say you'll need to succeed as a turfgrass manager," said Karl Danneberger, Ph.D., professor of horticulture and crop science. "Giving our students access to professional Jacobsen equipment really shortens the learning curve by giving them a real-life taste of what they'll be doing in the field."
The Jacobsen Eclipse features variable frequency-of-clip, onboard backlapping and a choice of either hybrid or battery drive.
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"Looking at the past is the key to previewing the future," Brame said at the recent Ohio Turf Foundation Spring Tee Off held at Ohio State University. "Where you've bumped your head on an issue in the past, you want to avoid that in the future." Recent challenges to plague golf courses and superintendents, such as extreme heat, too much rain, too little rain and disease outbreaks associated with mowing too low during times of stress, Brame said, reaffirm the need for an established set of golf course maintenance standards. Such a guide, he said, can provide superintendents with a template for how to react to a host of issues, from establishing acceptable levels of disease outbreak to dealing with prolonged drought conditions, as well as work proactively day to day to avoid them as much as possible in the first place. In other words, it is easier to respond to golfers' rants about dormant fairways in 100-degree heat in September when a superintendent has published maintenance standards that spell out a drought-response plan - that does not include a new irrigation system. "Control what you can and create the best foundation possible and realize that things are going to get through even when you're doing everything right," Brame said. "But when you're doing things right and you have a good foundation, those incidents are going to be reduced."
"Control what you can and create the best foundation possible and realize that things are going to get through even when you're doing everything right..."
Recent playing seasons throughout the Midwest, Northeast and transition zone have been highlighted by extremely hot summers that are too wet one year and too dry the next. Throw in a virtually non-existent winter a year ago and that meant no offseason for a lot of golf courses that desperately needed one. Golf courses throughout many parts of the country ran critically short of water last summer thanks to an extended playing season coupled with droughtlike conditions. Many of those same courses in the Midwest and even into the Southeast haven't seen their irrigation ponds recharge to acceptable levels heading into this golf season. Brame said he has visited many clubs in the past year that had to spend a portion of their 2012 seasonal labor budget before the season ever was expected to begin thanks to abnormally warm conditions that kept golf courses across the Midwest open almost year-round. For some, that tapped budget meant compromising on agronomic practices late in the season. Maintenance standards can spell out where such concessions, if any, can be made or how to pay for surprise expenses like seasonal labor in the offseason. "Last winter forced guys to do maintenance in March that they weren't planning on doing and bringing in help they weren't planning on bringing in," Brame said. "That has quite and impact on the budget. If we start early and end early, then you can catch up, but the last few years we've been running pretty long into the fall. All of a sudden, you're faced with how you're going to balance that out. Do you just stop spending, or are less things going to get done?" Maintenance standards also can help guide a superintendent through more of the day-to-day tasks of managing a golf course. Among the most important aspects of the game to core golfers are firm, fast greens. What most of them don't know is that there are ways to coax speed out of greens during the summer that do not include dangerously low mowing heights that can make cool-season turf more susceptible to summer stress. Brame noted how a program of light, frequent topdressing coupled with a slight increase in height of cut can, over time, result in green speeds consistent with a lower height of cut. Several research studies also show that a program of lightweight rolling, reduced mowing frequency and higher height of cut can produce firm and fast greens and a healthier plant even in July and August. Brame acknowledges that it can be difficult to get buy-in for maintenance standards from club stakeholders. The key to starting the process and ultimately getting standards approved is education, he said. That's where Brame and his colleagues, or university extension specialists can help. The Green Section is adding a service, due to be implemented this year, that will include helping clubs established maintenance guidelines.
"It can be difficult to get buy-in for maintenance standards from club stakeholders. The key to starting the process and ultimately getting standards approved is education..."
Any set of maintenance standards also should include an aerification schedule and information about why it is a critical tool in maintaining long-term turf health. "That's one of those practices that golfers are never going to like, but it's never going to go away," said Brame. He's heard golfers ask during a site visit: "You did it three times last year, why do you need to do it this year?" he said. "As soon as you are done (aerifying), you start losing the value of it." Maintenance standards can help in other ways as well, he said. Throughout his many site visits, Brame often is vexed by how many courses have inferior or outdated irrigation system, lack a full-time (or maybe even part-time) irrigation tech but have members who become irritated when they see club employees hand-watering in August and September. Demonstrating the benefits of an irrigation tech, up-to-date irrigation system and the need for hand-watering can help get all included into a set of maintenance standards, he said. "The politics and economics are always going to be there," Brame said. "But in my mind that further illustrates the importance (of maintenance standards)."
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Two years ago, a pair of bald eagles first were spotted near The Bear Trace golf course within the park. They gained worldwide acclaim when park ranger Angelo Giasante, a former Army ranger, shimmied up the tree and installed a Web cam so people everywhere could get a birds-eye view of how a nesting pair of bald eagles really live thanks to the efforts of a group known as the Friends of Harrison Bay . Named Elliott and Eloise by Hannah Carter, daughter of Bear Trace superintendent Paul Carter, CGCS, the eagles have had mixed results in their attempts to successfully hatch eaglets. In 2011, a pair of eaglets hatched and eventually flew the coop, so to speak. Last year, however, the results were not as positive. Two eggs, laid February 11 and 14, hatched March 16, but neither eaglet survived the process. This year, the Web cam is back in place and the couple is again keeping vigil over the nest after Eloise laid another pair of eggs. The eggs, which were laid Feb. 10 and 13, are expected to hatch about March 17. Last year, the golf course received a Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam for Carter's work in the pursuit of sustainability. The award specifically mentioned the Eagle Cam project as a factor in the course winning the award. In its 26th year, the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect Tennessee's environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation. According to the Web site www.baldeagleinfo.com and the American Bald Eagle Foundation [http://baldeagles.org/home], both the male and female share time guarding and incubating the nest for an average of 35 days before the eggs hatch. Once an endangered species, bald eagles are on the rebound thanks to conservation efforts that have resulted in an estimated 7,000-plus pairs now nesting in every state except Hawaii. The Friends of Harrison Bay Eagle Project is a cooperative effort of The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, Harrison Bay State Park and the USGA.
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For even longer, they have been teaching these same principals in the annual Pace Turf Research Seminar. The 12th annual event is scheduled for April 1 at the Catamaran Resort and Hotel in San Diego. Keynote speaker will be psychologist Dr. Rich Hycner, who will speak on managing the emotional stress under which professional turf managers operate. Other speakers will include John Kaminski, Ph.D., of Pennsylvania State University, Craig Kessler of the Southern California Golf Association, Tyler Mock of the University of California, Riverside, Jeff Jensen of the GCSAA, and Bruce Williams, CGCS, of the California Turfgrass and Landscape Foundation. Topics will include objective advice relating to current research on disease, weed and insect control, and soil and water management. Registration is $165 in advance and $195 at the door. The event typically attracts about 125 professional turfgrass managers. Founded in 1993, Pace is a research service that provides education and science-based solutions and expert advice to professional turfgrass managers. For more information, or to register, email Wendy Gelernter or call her at 858-272-9897.
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Quali-Pro, a division of Control Solutions Inc., launched Negate 37WG herbicide.
With the active ingredients metsulfuron-methyl and rimsulfuron, Negate 37WG is a wettable granular formulation labeled for control of more than 35 grassy and broadleaf weeds in warm-season grasses.
Negate works by inhibiting the growth enzyme acetolactate synthase and moves systemically through the plant by absorption through the foliage and the roots.
For more information, visit www.quali-pro.com/negate.
Netafim adds dripline-building app
Netafim USA has released a free mobile application for use with iPhone and Android devices. The Techline Calculator app is an irrigation system design program that calculates and displays project specifications and recommends products for an efficient dripline plan.
The user enters the square footage of the area that needs to be irrigated (whether a garden or turf grass), along with the soil type, and the program does the rest. This includes calculating dripline length, placement, flow requirements, application rates and run times.
The Techline Calculator additionally provides a list of components required for the installation, indicating which filter or pressure regulator is needed, even the quantity of staples.
For more information, visit www.netafimusa.com.
Georgia DNR recognizes superintendent's efforts
Billy Rousey from Arrowhead Pointe State Park Golf Course near Elberton, Ga. was named Golf Course Superintendent of the Year by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
He received the award during a recent conference held by the Georgia State Park system and the Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites.
According to state park golf course operations manager Arnie Page, Rousey was chosen for his "hard work and dedication" in maintaining the golf courses at Highland Walk and then Arrowhead Pointe after being named acting superintendent.
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Superintendents often hear members grouse that areas on greens are too fast, or too slow. But the slope in those areas of question often is so great that there isn't enough flat space to get an accurate reading of speed using a traditional Stimpmeter. Although the superintendent manages that area like the rest of the green, the actual reading is merely a guess. To that end, the USGA recently released an updated version of the Stimpmeter designed to help superintendents take accurate readings in areas they previously couldn't before. A traditional Stimpmeter requires a minimum of 10 to 15 feet of flat surface in two directions to get an accurate reading, but the 2X allows superintendents to determine accurate green speeds in half the distance simply by multiplying the reading by 2, according to the USGA. Tested in closed settings and in the field, the 2X results in readings that are extremely accurate, the USGA says. The USGA made the 2X available in January. At first glance superintendents might not notice much of a difference between the new version of the Stimpmeter and their old one. Both are 36 inches long, and both have a notch 30 inches from the end that releases a golf ball when the bar is raised to an angle of 22 degrees. It's on the flip side where superintendents will notice what's new. The other side also has a notch, but this one is located halfway down the chute. It also releases the golf ball when raised to an angle of 22 degrees, but since the ball gets a shorter head start it does not roll as far. Instead of measuring green speed over 10 to 15 feet, the 2X can do so in as little as 7 or 8 feet. "If one green is not rolling the same as the others, you'll now have the information to determine if you need an extra mow or roll if it's too slow, or to put down water if it's too fast," Whitlark said. "Before, you wouldn't have the information to make those decisions." Steve Quintavalla, Ph.D., of the USGA Research and Test Center developed the 2X in cooperation with the Green Section. A prototype was tested in a controlled environment in New Jersey before being tested in the field in 2012. One such test site was The Olympic Club in San Francisco, where Whitlark used it daily during preparation for last year's U.S. Open. To test the accuracy of the 2X, Whitlark said he used it on Olympic's 10th green, among the flattest on the Lake Course. The 2X readings were virtually identical to those derived by using the 1X or traditional Stimpmeter on long, flat runs. The new tool, the USGA says, finally gives superintendents the ability to accurately determine green speed in areas they could not do so before. "With the 1X (traditional Stimpmeter) you have to have a good-size area to roll in both directions," said the Green Section's Bob Brame. "With the 2X the area you need is half. It's going to allow you to check speeds on some greens you couldn't check in the past, and that's a good thing." As with the traditional Stimpmeter, the 2X was designed not to maximize green speed but to achieve consistent conditions over the entire putting surface, and using it should enable superintendents to achieve consistent conditions to within 8 inches throughout all 18 greens, Whitlark said. "When a member comes to you and asks why No. 5 is faster, you'll have that number and you can answer that it is faster, or that it's just slope," Whitlark said. "Without that number, you're just guessing just like they are." Whitlark says that superintendents still should use the longer side when measuring green speed when there is sufficient flat surface available. "If you can get a speed using the 1X, then you should still use that," Whitlark said. "You always want the ball to roll on as much green as possible." The 2X Stimpmeter is available through the USGA for $110, or for $75 for those who trade in their traditional Stimpmeter (regardless of its manufacturer).
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To help courses meet the economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century, the game's ruling body (outside the U.S. and Mexico) has developed an online tool that helps superintendents, owners, operators and other managers track facility revenue and expenses related to course management. CourseTracker is a free tool that the R&A says securely helps managers track relevant course data and generate charts and reports suitable for use in meetings. The system was developed, according to the R&A, in response to growing environmental and economic challenges facing golf facilities around the world. After establishing a free account, users are asked to enter data such as revenue and revenue type; rounds played; expenses related to items such as salary of green staff, fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, seed and sod, equipment, fuel and electricity; and depreciation. Once a course profile is complete, CourseTracker can produce executive summary, income and expenditure reports. Information is stored for easy updating in the future. All information is submitted subjectively, so the accuracy of reports and charts depends on the accuracy of the information entered into the system. CourseTracker also can compare a property's performance against other facilities with a similar profile. All information, according to the R&A, is kept confidential and anonymous. The system can be utilized by managers of multi-course operations and can be customized for access by more than one user.
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Echo Inc. recently released its most powerful, low-noise backpack blower, the PB-760LN.
Outfitted with a larger muffler packed with more sound-deadening insulation and a mid-pipe baffle, the PB-760LN has a sound output of 65 dB(A). The design also virtually eliminates the whining sound generated by the main impeller fan.
The PB-760LN also features air volume of 535 cubic feet per minute at 214 mph.
For more information, visit www.echo-usa.com.
Miltona vexes bare spots with hex plugger
Miltona has developed its Hex-Plugger turf-repair tool to help professional turf managers restore areas of damaged turf without creating bare spots.
The Hex-Plugger cuts standard, 7-inch hexagonal plugs that weave together like pieces of a puzzle, eliminating bare spots caused from using round plug cutters.
The design helps turf establish more rapidly in areas under and reduces the threat of weed pressure in bare spots.
For more information, visit www.miltona.com.
GCSAA taking applications for chapter outreach
Applications are being accepted for the GCSAAs Chapter Outreach Grant program.
The program was established to help chapters engage in activities that complement its efforts to communicate the value of membership to golfers and employers.
Applications, which are reviewed by members of the GCSAA Strategic Communications Committee and GCSAA staff, are due by April 15.
Criteria on which applications are judged include: the chapter must start its outreach activities within 12 months of receiving the grant funds; outreach activities should address the key messages and be directed to employers and avid golfers; funds must be directed to future programs only; chapters must provide matching or support funding and a follow-up report of the program to be included in a GCSAA database; o that GCSAA can create a database of case studies and best management practices (failure to complete follow-up report will render a chapter ineligible for future grants).
Applications must be signed by the chapter president or one other officer or staff member. GCSAA reserves the right to request return of funds if not used according to means as detailed on application.
For more information, visit www.gcsaa.org.
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"For a lot of guys, their wells are not back up yet, and their holding ponds are not back to full capacity," said Andy Morris, superintendent at the Country Club of Peoria in central Illinois. "If we're struggling before we even hit the stress period, well, if you just sneeze out there on the golf course you're going to open it up to all kinds of disease pressure." The bad news for turf managers came on Valentine's Day from a panel of experts speaking to the U.S. Senate committee on agriculture, nutrition and forestry. "The continuing conditions really look like they're setting up for a very similar level of drought in the Midwest and West," Roger Pulwarty of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told the committee. Drought of historic levels the past two years has decimated agricultural output throughout the Midwest and was equally damaging to golf courses throughout the nation's heartland. The NOAA called it the worst drought since the 1930s Dust Bowl. Water-use restrictions for golf courses were common throughout the Midwest last summer, and some courses in parts of Illinois had their water turned off completely with predictable results. Morris is fortunate that he is able to buy potable water from the city of Peoria Heights, but even he is waiting for the day that his supply is turned off. He had to cut usage last year by 25 percent because the city couldn't pump water from wells to holding tanks quickly enough to meet demand during the driest part of the summer. He had blown his water budget for the year by June. Typically, he has enough money in the coffer to buy water through September, and sometimes into October. Last year, the club had to spend more to get the course through the summer with live turf. "If you have to do that one year, the club looks at it as just one of those things," Morris said. "But if you have to do it a second year, or maybe a third, it puts a lot of pressure on the club and the superintendent. "I tell people I love my job, but the past two years I haven't liked it very much. The stress of getting through the summer has been exhausting." Farther north in the Chicago area, some superintendents already are preparing for another hot, dry summer. Billy Casper Golf, which manages dozens of courses throughout the country, including more than 20 in the Chicago area, regularly conducts educational seminars for its superintendents. One scheduled next month for the country's Midwestern superintendents will focus on helping attendees get the most from existing irrigation systems so they can manage water more efficiently. Rationing water to keep turf alive in September was common throughout the Chicago area, said Bryan Stromme, Midwest regional director of agronomy with Billy Casper Golf. "You'd water to keep it alive, not lush green," Stromme said. "It was dormant turf, but it was alive." Many of the courses in the Chicago Park District have older irrigation systems, including single-row designs. That meant dragging hoses throughout the summer, Stromme said. Like their cousins downstate, many courses in Chicago are beginning the season at a disadvantage. Water levels in ponds and wells still are down, and weakened turf throughout much of 2012 means many facilities will have little margin for error this year. Getting off to a strong start will mean tweaking agronomic practices before the season begins, which last year in Chicago came six weeks earlier than the historic average. "We're going to make sure everyone (in the Chicago Park District) has the right fertility, and we'll be using a lot of wetting agents," Stromme said. "I'm fortunate to have a solid team of superintendents who all have worked hard to build solid agronomic programs."
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A few years ago, 2009 to be exact, declining GIS attendance was blamed in part on an environment of apathy created by the pros and cons of spending a week in New Orleans vs. a week on the job at the golf course. For many superintendents, staying at work won out. At first glance, that was bad news for a show one year removed from record attendance. In reality, it was no more than a sign of the times that now pervades just about every industry, not just golf. Detractors of GIS New Orleans fell into two camps: the city was too dirty and too dangerous for such a trade show, causing many to take a pass on the Big Easy; and too many of those who did attend couldn't seem to find their way from the French Quarter to the Morial Convention Center. Either way, many show vendors and GCSAA members decided it was time for a change, and New Orleans' slot on the GIS rotation was officially up for grabs. The early prognosis was simply to move the show from New Orleans and hope that New Norm might disappear before anyone had a chance to meet him. No one told New Norm. What so many failed to recognize then was that a dragging economy created largely by the real estate boom and bust - which was closely tied to golf course construction - was creating before our very eyes a long-term demand for a smaller version of the Golf Industry Show. Golf courses began closing, taking jobs with them. Clubs quit paying for travel and more vendors than you might realize began finding it difficult to justify the expense of exhibiting at a national trade show, all conspiring to give New Norm an invitation for an extended stay. Although New Norm might have been born in New Orleans, he has become a seasoned traveler since 2009. According to the GCSAA, attendance at this year's Golf Industry Show in San Diego was 13,192 with 6,018 qualified buyers, and 517 vendors occupying 172,900 square feet in the San Diego Convention Center. That's 1,514 fewer attendees than attended last year's show in Las Vegas. It's also 1,050 fewer qualified buyers and 24 fewer vendors occupying 4,400 less square feet of exhibit space. Did we mention New Norm loves Vegas? Three years ago, the last time the show was in San Diego, attendance was 16,156 with 7,029 qualified buyers - defined as those who possess a checkbook and the authority to use it for on-the-spot purchases on the trade show floor. A total of 665 vendors rented 204,300 square feet of exhibit space at that edition of GIS. That means 3,264 fewer people, and 1011 fewer qualified buyers, attended the 2013 show in San Diego compared with the 2010 version. A total of 148 fewer vendors showed up this year as well. And they rented booth space that was 31,400 square feet smaller than in 2010. New Norm is so SoCal. Although he should have been long gone by now, New Norm likely will be looking forward to a mid-winter trip to Orlando next year and San Antonio in 2015. He's hard to miss, so you'll recognize him when you see him. The reality of the Golf Industry Show is that while the trade show pays the bills, the education is the draw for superintendents. But you can't have one without the other. This complex dilemma is why floor traffic typically is brisk in the morning and lags in the afternoon. It was that way in the days of New Norm's predecessor, Old Norm. You remember him. He was bloated and inefficient and was easy to spot with what seemed at the time to be an endless supply of cash spilling out of the pockets of his ill-fitting trousers. But at least the compressed two-day schedule ensures some decent morning floor traffic before attendees check out to play golf. Anyone who laments afternoon traffic, or lack of it, hasn't been paying attention or is suffering from memory loss. Remember Saturdays during Old Norm's three-day format? No one wants that again, especially New Norm. New Norm was a phrase GCSAA chief executive officer Rhett Evans used during a GIS news conference to describe the status of the show, noting that the trimmed down version allows the association to consider venues it never could have with the older, fatter, bloated version of Norm. In fact, there was a time when taking Old Norm anywhere outside Orlando, where record attendance in 2008 topped 25,000, was like trying to stuff a watermelon into a banana peel. No matter how much you tried, he just didn't fit in anywhere else. Although attendance has dropped by nearly 50 percent since the days of Old Norm, the presence of New Norm is a reminder that success in business requires changing with the times, and the times most definitely are changing.That means casting off the mindset of doing things a certain way "because that's the way we've always done it." New Norm means everyone in the business must find new revenue streams and seek out new ways to be competitive. That includes private clubs, daily fee facilities, industry vendors and those of us who report on all of the above. When you meet New Norm, you might want to introduce yourself. After all, he's going to be here for a while.
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Becker Underwood has produced two informational videos posted to YouTube that can help superintendents impart the benefits of turf colorants to golfing members, committees and supervisors.
explains how colorants can help keep cool-season turf green later into the fall as well as provide consistent color during spring green-up. In that video, Becker Underwoods Mark Howieson, Ph.D., also explains how colorants can help superintendents produce green turf all year in the South without overseeding.
In the second video, entitled
, Howieson explains to viewers the importance of proper timing when applying colorants.
Applying colorants after turf growth has slowed but is still actively growing, the natural hue of the grass promotes a base color that off-color, dormant turf cannot provide.
Each of the videos is less than 2 minutes in length, and both can be linked from a superintendent blog or club Web site, and can be viewed during committee meetings.
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Hunter Industries BOD names new president
Hunter Industries' board of directors has named Greg Hunter as the company's new president. He replaces Richard Hunter, who is retiring after 19 years in that role. With his father, Edwin, and siblings Paul and Ann, Richard Hunter in the 1980s helped start the company that manufactures irrigation equipment and landscape lighting accessories. Greg Hunter has served in the company's marketing, information systems, product management and engineering departments. For more information, visit www.hunterindustries.com. Grigg Bros. offer improved Ultraplex formulation
Grigg Brothers recently introduced an improved formulation of its foliar fertilizer Ultraplex 4-0-3 + 2% Fe and Micros. This reformulated version of Ultraplex includes additional biostimulants, amino acids, organic acids and the sea plant extract ascophyllum nodosum. It also includes a water buffering agent, macro nutrients and a micronutrient package consisting of iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper and boron, as well as a non-ionic, organic surfactant for improved leaf coverage and absorption. Ultraplex utilizes Grigg Brothers' elicitor technology and can be used in all seasons. For more information, visit www.griggbros.com. Valent's Clipper aquatic herbicide now available
One of the highlights at the Valent Professional Products booth at this year's Golf Industry Show was the announcement that its Clipper aquatic herbicide soon would be introduced to the golf market for use in ponds. Just two weeks after GIS, Clipper now is available to superintendents who need another tool to control aquatic plants in water bodies on golf courses. With the active ingredient flumioxazin, Clipper is a fast-working herbicide that is labeled for control of troublesome aquatic plants such as duckweed and watermeal. Clipper is available in a water-dispersible formulation, does not require perfect application coverage for maximum results. Results normally are observed within three to five days of application. For more information, visit www.valentpro.com.
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The Thinwall system is designed for use as a subsurface drip irrigation source for those who prefer a flat, molded emitter inside an extruded, thin-walled tube.
Initially designed for use in the agricultural market, dripline irrigation has morphed into a popular application for use in bunker faces and other tight areas in golf course turf.
Features include: flat, molded emitter that is resistant to plugging even when used with poor-quality irrigation water; requires 120-mesh filtration to minimize clogging; is available in 10-, 13- and 15-mil wall thicknesses, and 5/8- and 7/8-inch internal diameters; is available in five emitter flow rates, including 0.16, 0.25, 0.30, 0.47 and 0.75 GPH, to accommodate various soil conditions and system flow requirements; an extruded tube constructed from ultra-high-strength materials; is compatible with all Toro Pro-Loc tape fittings.
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