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Ali’i Turf, Mililani, Hawaii, has become Environmental Turf’s only licensed sod producer of SeaDwarf seashore paspalum in the Hawaiian Islands. Touted as an environmentally friendly turfgrass, SeaDwarf is the only true dwarf variety of all commercially available seashore paspalum turfgrasses, the company says, and it may be used from tee to green. SeaDwarf is said to require up to 50 percent less water and up to 75 percent less fertilizer than bermudagrass and also can tolerate high levels of salt from salt spray or irrigation.
Ingersoll-Rand recently shed its Bobcat, utility equipment and attachments businesses when it sold them to Doosan Infracore for about $4.9 billion. IR initially acquired Bobcat, Club Car and Blaw-Knox 12 years ago when it bought the businesses’ parent company, Clark Equipment Co. According to the company, this sale represents its last major action to transform its business portfolio to reposition it as a diversified industrial company. The Bobcat businesses, which combined for $2.6 billion in revenues in 2006, manufacture and sell compact equipment, skid-steer loaders, general purpose light construction equipment and attachments. The sale includes Bobcat’s manufacturing facilities in Gwinner and Bismarck, N.D.; Carrollton, Ga.; Litchfield, Minn.; Petersburg, Va.; Wujiang, China; Dobris, Czech Republic; Lyon and Pontchateau, France; Slane, Ireland; and Tredegar, Wales. South Korea-based Doosan Infracore, the country’s largest maker of construction machinery, has a North American subsidiary, Doosan Infracore America Corp., with headquarters in Suwanee, Ga.
BASF Turf & Ornamentals is the newest cornerstone partner with FarmLinks, a golf course facility in Sylacauga, Ala., that serves as experimental grounds to evaluate, test and exhibit new products. In doing so, BASF joins Agrium Advanced Technologies and The Toro Co. as cornerstone partners. Toni Bucci, Ph.D., business manager for BASF, said that although financial terms of the agreement would not be disclosed, a cornerstone partnership signifies the highest rung of support from an industry supplier. Erle Fairly, president of FarmLinks, says the group is not pursuing additional cornerstone partners. FarmLinks uses BASF’s Curalan EG, Emerald, Insignia and Trinity fungicides; Basagran T/O, Drive, Pendulum and Pendulum Aqua Cap herbicides; and Amdro Pro fire ant bait. BASF will bring 400 of its customers to the facility each year. Additional FarmLinks partners, at a rung below a cornerstone partnership, include Club Car, Tycrop, Profile Products, Dryject and Aquatrols.
Phoenix Environmental Care LLC recently donated $3,000 to the Sunshine Through Golf Foundation on behalf of the Friends of Phoenix. The donation is a result of Legacy Products’ sales for the company in the Chicago area, says Rick Grant, director of business development for Phoenix Environmental Care. The Sunshine Through Golf Foundation, formerly the Chicago District Golf Foundation, includes Sunshine Golf Course, where Chris Painter is superintendent. The foundation uses golf as a tool to provide for the less fortunate and will use the grant to purchase a new spreader for research plot maintenance. Over the last 60 years, the foundation has benefited veterans, juniors, individuals with disabilities and the economically disadvantaged, it says.
Dow AgroSciences has developed a new Urban Pest Management business, which combines its pest management unit with its turf, ornamental and technical products division. Dave Morris, commercial business leader for Dow, says the new unit and restructuring allows the company to become more dedicated to insect, weed and disease problems in urban environments, including golf courses. The company also announces three personnel changes. Mark E. Neterer, who previously served as marketing manager and the national sales manager for the company’s pest unit, will take on an expanded role that includes managing turf and ornamental distributor accounts nationwide and directing the technical products account managers. Nikki Hall has been named product communications manager for the newly created urban pest management business plus the company’s vegetation management business, while Mike Lees has been appointed to serve as a product technology specialist in the group.
The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales, host of the 2010 Ryder Cup, says it intends to make the event one of golf’s most environmentally sustainable. Event officials are formulating an environmental action plan, which also will evaluate the potential to become the first international golf event to participate in the European Commission’s Eco Management and Audit Scheme. Terry Matthews, owner of The Celtic Manor Resort, said that the facility already has achieved one of the highest levels of environmental awards in Wales, and that the facility has always been committed to preserving the archeological sites within the resort.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has formally issued SePro a patent for its plant growth regulator combination synergy. The U.S. Patent No. 7,135,435 covers the combining of any Type II A and Type II B plant growth regulators in either pre-mixes or tank-mixes, the company says. Both PRGs inhibit the synthesis of gibberellic acid within the plant and act as a different point in the acid biosynthesis pathway. Roger Storey, vice president of SePro’s turf and ornamental business, says the patent is the result of several years of research focused on the synergy derived from combining various rates of Cutless 50W and Primo MAXX. The results include enhanced turf color, density and quality, less initial bronzing, longer length of PGR activity, less turf rebound effect and a discouraged encroachment of Poa annua, he adds. A new prepackaged PGR product based on the synergy patent is expected in 2008.
Profile Products LLC announces an expansion of its service coverage with a new DryJect aeration franchise in Jackson, Mich. Profile acquired DryJect in 2006, combining two developers of aeration and soil modification technologies. DryJect of Michigan is the first DryJect franchise in the state.
Turfgrass environmental research in New York should receive more funding this year after the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 New York state budget included a $175,000 appropriation for the Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Fund. The research will investigate topics such as water quality protection methods, integrated pest management that reduces reliance on pesticides, and biological control practices. Recipients of the 2006-2007 stewardship fund include Cornell University’s Daniel C. Peck, Ph.D.; Ping Wang, Ph.D.; and A. Martin Petrovic, Ph.D. For more information, visit www.hort.cornell.edu/instruction/turf/fieldday.htm.
Target Specialty Products recently opened a new facility in Las Vegas with the intent to better service customers in southern Nevada, the company says. The new 3,800-square-foot facility will handle an expanded product line. The company also named Kurt Smith its business manager and Tony Brooks its branch operations manager.
GreenFix Golf, makers of the GreenFix Ball Mark Elimination System, has paired with the Tennessee Golf Association to pioneer a “Save Golf Greens” campaign in the state. As a result, the Tennessee Golf Association recommends to its more than 200 member clubs and courses that they ban traditional tools and adopt the GreenFix system, says Danny Edwards, chief executive officer of the company and Champions Tour golfer.
To garner donations and raise awareness this year at this month’s Green Industry & Equipment Expo in Louisville, Ky., Project EverGreen is hosting a wheelbarrow decorating event. Participants, who were asked to donate $1,000 toward Project EverGreen, were given a wheelbarrow from John Deere and asked to decorate it in a manner that depicts the company’s efforts to enhance green spaces. The event is parallel to last year’s event, which featured shovels decorated by 27 green industry manufacturers, distributors and other service providers. The wheelbarrows will be on display at the show.
Signature Golf Insurance, a golf club insurance program in Canada, has been named an official partner of Audubon International. Through the partnership, Signature Golf Insurance will offer a 10 percent premium credit to facilities that achieve and maintain Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program certification, the company says. In addition to the premium credit, qualifying golf courses in Canada will receive the highest level of insurance coverage available to the golf industry, the company says.
Tee-2-Green Corp. has acquired the rights to distribute Alister colonial bentgrass from Pure-Seed Testing Inc. Tee-2-Green says Alister colonial bentgrass is guaranteed to be free of crop seed and weed seed, features a brightened color, exhibits solid winter growth and stays green longer, even in poor light. The variety is recognized for improved leaf spot and take-all patch resistance and is not as aggressive as creeping bentgrass, which enables it to co-exist with fine fescue or thrive under low maintenance habits on golf courses, the company says.
DuPont Professional Products’ Provaunt insecticide has received registration for use in California. Featuring a new chemistry and mode of action for controlling caterpillars and other turf and ornamental pests, Provaunt also features a low application rate and excellent environmental and toxicological profile, the company says. Provaunt may aid superintendents in California whose courses are plagued with fall armyworm, sod webworm, black cutworm and the European crane fly. The insecticide includes the active ingredient Indoxacarb, which leverages an insect’s enzymes to convert to the MetaActive compound. No cross-resistance issues emerge because most turf insects have not been exposed to this active ingredient, the company adds. Provaunt is not a restricted-use pesticide and carries no required buffer zone around water.
Rain Bird Corp. has promoted Barbara Booth to group director and Michael Roberts to director of its golf strategic business unit. Booth, who previously served in Roberts’ new role, will take on responsibilities of golf services, golf and commercial pump station operation, and new business development. Roberts started with Rain Bird in July 2006 as quality manager of its golf strategic business unit. He’ll manage the company’s global golf irrigation business.
Bayer Environmental Science, a business group of Bayer CropScience, has named David Spak, Ph.D., its new manager of biological development for turf and ornamentals. Spak will manage the turf and ornamental biology team at the company’s development and training center in Clayton, N.C. He will oversee the company’s plant health initiative, new active ingredients screening and research efforts with North Carolina State University. Spak previously worked as fungicide product development manager for Bayer. The company also announces Richard Rees as its new product development manager for fungicides and plant health. Rees will direct the development of new products, provide technical support for the company’s fungicide portfolio and coordinate its plant health initiative.
David Whelchel, senior designer for Hurdzan/Fry Golf Course Design and a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, has recently taken on the new position of international project coordinator for the firm. An 18-year veteran with Hurdzan/Fry, Whelchel previously led projects in Italy, Korea and South Africa. Prior to entering the golf course design field, he coached golf at the University of Arkansas. Whelchel will work out of Bella Vista, Ark.
Company growth has prompted Agrisel USA Inc. to hire
Turfline Inc. has added Michael Richardson to its sales staff. Richardson will serve as national accounts manager and will be responsible for about 50 percent of the company’s U.S. sales region, the company says. Previously, Richardson sold irrigation systems to golf courses and he also has worked as a superintendent.
David Feist, a 20-year agriculture industry veteran and biologist, has joined Nufarm Americas Inc. as its U.S. product manager. Prior to this post, Feist spent 10 years working for Bayer CropScience.
BioSafe Systems LLC announces Rick Burkhard as its new vice president of sales. Burkhard will lead sales efforts for the company’s North American market segments and products and focus on penetrating new markets and targeted distribution channels. He previously served in sales for the environmental, animal health and farm retail markets in the U.S. and Canada.
Joining the sales staff of Cleary Chemical Corp. is Brian McGuffin, who will cover territory in northern Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. McGuffin, who got a start in the golf business as an assistant superintendent at Calumet CC in Illinois, previously held positions for Chemlawn, Lebanon and Agriliance.
Otterbine Barebo Inc. announces Robert Heimbach as its new inside sales and service manager. With more than 22 years of experience in field service management and sales, Heimbach will manage inside sales and service support for the company’s network of more than 300 distributors worldwide.
The Bay Club at Mattapoisett (Mass.) has become an Audubon International Silver Signature Sanctuary, joining the 66 golf courses worldwide and the sole course in its state to earn the Silver distinction. The effort included creating a comprehensive natural resources management plan, which addresses integrated pest management, water resource management and protection of vernal pools and wetlands. The Bay Club also held a one-day bird watch in conjunction with the North American Bird Watch Open. Jon O’Connor, a Class A GCSAA member, is director of golf course maintenance at The Bay Club.
As part of its expansion in Europe, Troon Golf announces it now manages Las Colinas de Campoamor Golf Resort in Murcia, Spain. Located along the Mediterranean coast, Las Colinas is scheduled to open in 2009 and will include an 18-hole championship course designed by Cabell B. Robinson. The resort also will include a practice facility with a driving range and specially designed pitch and putt course. Troon Golf also has become the management firm of Vilamoura and Amendoeira, both in the Algarve region of south Portugal. Vilamoura is a multicourse facility that includes The Old Course; Victoria GC, an Arnold Palmer Signature course; Pinhal GC; Laguna GC; and Millennium GC. Amendoeira features Nick Faldo and Christy O’Connor Jr. designs.