Industry News
The Western Canada Turfgrass Association is ready to launch its Travelling Annual Road Show, beginning May 6 at the Quesnel Golf Club. Beginning at 10 a.m., the road show is aimed at the British Columbia Golf Superintendents Association's northern chapter. Other stops in British Columbia include the Nanaimo Golf Club on May 12 (Vancouver Island Golf Superintendents Association), Kelowna Golf Club on June 9 (Interior Chapter), Revelstoke Golf Club on June 11 (Kootenay Chapter) and Chilliwack Golf Club on Aug. 11 (Lower Mainland Chapter). • May 6, 10 a.m., Quesnel Golf Club: Host superintendent Eric Eriksson. RSVP to Eric at (250) 249-6035 or (250) 255-6035. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it • May 12, 10 a.m., Nanaimo Golf Club: Host superintendent Garth Sjolie. RSVP to Garth at (250) 758-2632 • June 9, 10 a.m., Kelowna Golf Club: Host superintendent Craig Lewis. RSVP to Craig at (250) 763-2520 or (250) 470-4193. Emai This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it • June 11, 9 a.m., Revelstoke Golf Club: Host superintendent Jairad Burke. RSVP to Jairad at (250) 837-5000 or (250) 814-7172. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it • Aug. 11, noon, Chilliwack Golf Club: Host superintendent Duane Grosart. RSVP to Duane at (604) 823-6667 or (604) 798-9471. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Walker Manufacturing Ltd. has laid off 10 per cent of its work force as a means of dealing with the troubled economy. Based in Fort Collins, Colo., the company manufactures commercial mowers for the landscape contracting market. It marks the first company layoff since the 1980s. In addition, Walker is shutting down its plant for three weeks this month in addition to its traditional three-week shutdown in the summer. The layoff has shrunk Walker's work force to 148.
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CAPE culprits• Gideon Forman is executive director of CAPE. He can be reached at the following e–mail address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Forman has said, “We’re also concerned that any exemptions (i.e. the golf course industry) could permit the very cosmetic pesticides this law is supposed to prohibit.”• Warren Bell is a co–founder of CAPE. He is now president of medical staff at Shuswap Lake General Hospital, and resides in Salmon Arm, B.C. Recently, he persists in promoting prohibitions in his local community. Warren Bell can be reached at the following e–mail address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network (CGEN)In 2001–2002, Canadian Environmental Grantmakers' Network (CGEN) was provided $40,000 by The Ontario Trillium Foundation. The funding was supplied over a period of two years to support programs and activities aimed at increasing membership and enhancing the effectiveness of environmental organizations participating in the network’s organizational development initiative.Furthermore, in 2004–2005, CGEN was given $55,000 by Trillium to support the organization’s research on environmental grant–making in Canada and the development of a model for sustainable operations.In essence, Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network is a support service for groups supplying money for the environmental movement. CEGN also acts as a financial shield for Trillium itself, again using government money to annihilate the green space industry.The list of members of Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network includes many culprits whose names come up again and again as, themselves, financial supporters of the environmental movement: EcoAction Community Funding Program of Environment Canada, George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Laidlaw Foundation, Mountain Equipment Co–op, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the EJLB Foundation, the Ivey Foundation, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Salamander Foundation, and Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)This non–profit group was established in 1970. It is an environmental law clinic within Legal Aid Ontario. CELA has developed expertise in providing free legal services to low income people and disadvantaged communities, and advancing the cause of strong environmental protection through advocacy and education of politicized science, and law reform. CELA is composed of 13 employees and five legal counsels. The operating budget has been estimated at more than $1 million per year. It is a member of the Ontario Environment Network. Its sister group is Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP).CELA is an affiliated member with the ultra–militant but efficient Pesticide Action Network North America, along with Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and Équiterre.Campaign for Pesticide Reduction, now called Pesticide Free Ontario, started circa 2002 as a national shield coalition with a Steering Committee that originally included CELA.CELA activities leading to the Toronto prohibitionIn 2002, CELA forged a close alliance with Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) and the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) to create the public affairs shield Partnership for Pesticide Bylaws. This shield was created to ensure the passage of the Toronto prohibition of pest control products. This shield organization quickly encompassed child, health, and animal welfare groups, as well as environmental and labour groups, that all supported the prohibition.CELA activities leading to the Ontario prohibitionCELA has used a public affairs shield organization which is called Coalition for Pesticide Reform Ontario. This shield was created to ensure the passage of the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act, which CELA clearly supports. Here is an excerpt from a 2008 coalition advertisement: “We support the Ontario government’s plan to enact pesticide legislation (...).”CELA fundingCoincidentally, vast sums of money were provided to CELA during the period of time covering the public debates on the Toronto prohibition and the Ontario prohibition (2001–2008). It is clear that the funds helped pay for infrastructures that were used to influence public policy that led to the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. CELA has been funded by the following groups: Laidlaw Foundation $35,000 (2000–2002), the Ontario Trillium Foundation $202,200 (2007–2008), and the Salamander Foundation $10,000 (2008).In 2002, Laidlaw funded CELA for Education and Public Policy for Children’s Health. According to the Laidlaw Annual Report 2002, funding was supplied for the following reasons: “This grant provides CELA with support to enable the Partnership for Pesticide Bylaws to educate key Toronto city councillors to support this regulation. The partnership is a collaborative community network that will guide current pesticide efforts into a common focused campaign to ensure passage of a pesticides bylaw in the City of Toronto.”CELA culprit• Kathleen Cooper is a senior researcher for CELA. She is also web site editor and a member of the Secretariat at Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment (CPCHE).  Cooper can be reached at the following e–mail address: editor@healthyenvironmentforkids.caKathleen Cooper has said, “Lawn and garden pesticides are just not worth the risks, particularly to children. Pesticides are associated with cancer, impacts on brain development and hormone disruption that can further impair child development. There are too many risks associated with these chemicals to warrant their use for weed–free lawns. This proposed prohibition is precaution at its best; it will reduce the risks children face from exposure to pesticides.”Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP)This group was established in 1970. It  has developed expertise in the field of research and development of environmental law and policy that promotes the public interest and sustainability. It focuses on issues of politicized science that are emerging or neglected. It does not offer legal aid services. CIELAP headquarters are in Toronto, and its operating budget is $250,000 per year. It is composed of three staff employees, three or four interns, and about 20 volunteers. Forty to 60 per cent of its funding is obtained by governments for policy research. It is a member of the Ontario Environment Network.Its sister group is Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA). It has a close alliance with Environmental Defence Canada. All three support the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act.CIELAP has publicly stated that it does not see the need for any Ontario prohibition exceptions for the golf course industry. On Dec. 18, 2008, CIELAP issued its recomendations to the Government of Ontario. Here is an excerpt: “CIELAP did not believe that an exemption in the Act for the cosmetic use of pesticides on the golf course was necessary. Accordingly, CIELAP recommends that these sections of the regulation be strengthened to better protect the environment and human health by ensuring that golf courses comply quickly with the new requirements of the Act.”CIELAP fundingIt would not be unexpected that a portion of CIELAP funding would have helped build infrastructures that were used to change public policy and to impose lifestyle changes on society, such as the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. This may be seen as a conflict of interest when funding is obtained from government to the detriment of the green space industry.Here are some of the groups that have funded CIELAP: Agriculture and Agri–food Canada, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Council of Churches, Canadian Environmental Law Association, City of Toronto, Dow Chemical Canada Inc., Environment Canada, Greenpeace Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Industry Canada, Laidlaw Foundation, Mountain Equipment Co–op, Ontario Hydro, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Pollution Probe, TD Canada Trust Friends of the Environment Foundation, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the McLean Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Salamander Foundation, the United Way, Vision TV, Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation, World Wildlife Fund of Canada, and York University.CIELAP culprit• Karen Clark is a former staff member for CIELAP. In 2001, Clark moved on to work as supervisor, Environmental Health Assessment & Policy, Planning & Policy, Toronto Public Health at the City of Toronto. Documents show that Clark was highly instrumental in the promotion and implementation of the Toronto bylaw prohibiting pest control products.CIELAP response to this portion of the articleThis group was decent enough to respond to our request to comment on this portion of the article. It was suggested that we take another look at their last annual reports, and a letter, which we did. We think that the CIELAP response helped strengthen the contents of this segment.Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment (CPCHE)This group was provided $264,500 by the Ontario Trillium Foundation during the period 2006–2007. This group actively supported changes in public policy leading to the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. This group uses staff which overlaps with Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), such as Kathleen Cooper and Kapil Khatter.CPCHE culprit• Kapil Khatter is project manager for Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment. He is also president of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), another prohibition supporter. He has been pollution policy adviser and scientific adviser for Environmental Defence Canada, until September 2008.  He is also board member with the following groups that also support the prohibition in Ontario: Canadian Environmental Law Association, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, Environment Program Committee at Laidlaw Foundation (another major source of financing for environmental groups). He is well connected! Khatter can be reached at the following e–mail address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .ConclusionOn Sept. 20, 2001,  in an address to a joint session of Congress following the 9–11 attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush made the following statement: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”This is our concluding rant to all who work in the green space industry. We can assure everyone that the mistakes of the Hudson Supreme Court affair will not be repeated again. We will not lose in Ontario. In this article, we have shown you the money and the power that we are up against. Either you stand and fight against environmental terrorism, or you stand with the terrorists themselves. Stand up and be counted.About the principal authorWilliam H. Gathercole has been following the evolution of environmental terrorism for more than a quarter–century. He holds a degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph, and another pure and applied science degree from McGill University. He has worked in virtually all aspects of the green space industry, including public relations and environmental safety. Mr. Gathercole has been a consultant and instructor for decades. He is a contributing columnist for Turf & Recreation.Personal note and disclaimerIn sickness or in health, with the help of his entourage, we still hope to keep all of our readers entertained and informed. Bill continues to recover from his serious motor vehicle accident. In order to complete this particular article, it has been co–authored with Norah G. Well–wishers may send a personal note to Bill by way of this magazine, or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . By the way, the opinions expressed in this article, even though from an independent perspective, may not reflect those of Turf & Recreation.
SEVERAL Canadian dealers of Jacobsen turf equipment were honoured in February at the Golf Industry Show in New Orleans. Jason D’Andrea of G.C. Duke Equipment Ltd. in Burlington, Ont. captured one of seven “Pacesetter Awards” for 2008. Jacobsen’s “Customer Care Dealer of the Year Award” for 2008 was won by O.J. Company Ltd. of Sherrington, Que. “TFC Awards” among Canadian dealers in 2008 went to: • Eastern Turf Products Ltd., Dartmouth, N.S. (platinum) • Rollins Machinery, Langley, B.C. (gold) • O.J. Company, Sherrington, Que. (silver) • Clark Supply, Strathmore, Alta. (silver) • G.C. Duke Equipment, Burlington, Ont. (bronze)
Agrium Advanced Technologies has announced the hiring of Perry Brazeau as sales representative in the GTA East/Eastern Ontario territory.  He has been in the golf industry for 17 years and spent the last eight years as superintendent at Emerald Hills in Stouffville, Ont. He brings a strong management background in golf course construction, grow-in and turfgrass management skills to his service area.   Brazeau’s new territory stretches from the Scarborough area in the eastern GTA, heading east to Kingston and north to Haliburton. In accordance with Agrium’s new mandate province-wide, he will be responsible for the sales of key brands, including ProTurf, Nu-Gro Golf, Nu-Gro Landscape and Par-Ex, as well as Amenity and custom-blended products. Brazeau assumed his new role at Agrium Advanced Technologies last fall and can be contacted via cell at (289) 338-1834 or electronically at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The Kent Essex Golf Superintendents Association held its annual Spring Educational Seminar on Feb. 17, which was hosted by Dave Cours at the Ambassador Golf Club.  KEGS was pleased to have the sponsorship of Syngenta Crop Protection for the event.
BY introducing its “Green for Life” program, Landscape Ontario has re-established the connection of how green gardens really are. “Our members grow, plan and nurture true green,” said Tony DiGiovanni, executive director of Landscape Ontario. “We felt this was a good time to talk with consumers about the real benefits of spending more time outside. From the growers with nurseries that grow our landscape plants to the garden centres, the designers and the landscape service providers, we help green the province.” From cooling our cities to removing pollution and improving our quality of life, green spaces with trees and other landscape plants make a difference, Landscape Ontario says. Shade trees reduce the need for air conditioning and plants help cool their air temperatures through evaporative cooling. With more than 2,000 members, Landscape Ontario is Canada’s premier horticultural trades association. Its mission is to raise awareness for the environmental, economic and lifestyle benefits of gardens and green space. Outreach for Landscape Ontario’s Green for Life program will include a new consumer website set to launch this spring. It will showcase hundreds of award-winning member designs to help inspire consumers to better use their outdoor living spaces. The program also includes outreach to consumers with signs for landscape contractors’ trucks, store signs and banners for garden centres, and public relations activities. “Green for Life will inspire with hundreds of award-winning images of landscape and nursery professionals,” said Denis Flanagan, Landscape Ontario’s public relations manager. “Our province is blessed with some of the best designers in the world. When you see the magic designers create in an outdoor living space, you begin to understand our excitement regarding the consumer outreach program. Connecting the public to the outdoors is what we do best.”
GRASSHOPPER PTO-driven snowthrowers deliver "no-clog" performance, even in deep or heavy, wet snows. A discharge spout controlled from the operator's seat rotates a full 180 degrees to propel snow up to 30 feet away. Available for Grasshopper zero-turn FrontMountTM power units in 48- and 60-inch models, snowthrowers feature heavy-gauge welded steel construction, a high-speed 12-inch-diameter auger and a heavy-duty replaceable scraper blade for reliability season after season. The exclusive Grasshopper QuikConverterTM implement system lets you remove the mowing deck and add a snowthrower in minutes without tools. An optional winter enclosure and 16,000 BTU/hr heater protect operators from the elements for enhanced comfort and efficiency. Available in Ontario from DFK Equipment Sales Inc. in St. Marys. Reader Action Number 900
The 15th annual Golf Course Hockey challenge took to the ice Jan. 13 and 14 in Fort Erie, Ont. with 12 teams representing both Canada and the United States in competition for the coveted "Reel Cup."
ORGANIZERS of the 2009 Landscape Congress conference and trade show are citing another successful year for Canada's largest lawn and garden trade show. "Each year, attendees and exhibitors come together to preview the latest trends, newest tools and innovations in the industry," said show manager Paul Day. "This year was no exception. The show floor was a hub of activity with deals taking place throughout the aisles." The three-day event, attended by professionals from the horticulture, lawn and garden, and landscape industries, featured more than 600 exhibitors and hundreds of new products on display, as well as a variety of workshops and networking opportunities. Feedback from those in attendance was positive, with high marks going to Congress' many new and green products as well as its speaker lineup. Its Green Forum, held for the first time at the show, proved to be an ideal place for the exchange of information, including best practices on sustainable green initiatives. "The Congress show is phenomenal for its consistent attendance numbers year over year," said Mike Riehm, president of Envirobond Products Corporation, winner of this year's "best in show" booth award. "This is the show to be at in Canada." Congress is sponsored by Landscape Ontario. "Congress 2009 was a great place to discover hundreds of new products, get the latest ideas for design and construction, attend numerous workshops and network with experts and professionals from all different sectors of the business," Day said.
FIVE days of education seminars have been earmarked for the 2009 Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show, March 7-11 in Halifax, N.S. The event, sponsored by the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association, includes two days of pre-conference seminars and a trade show scheduled for the final two days of the conference. Keynote speaker for the conference is golf historian David Joy of St. Andrews, Scotland, who will speak on Monday, March 9. He has become well known in recent years for his portrayal of Old Tom Morris in a one-man show aimed at preserving St. Andrews and its traditions. Joy is also a playwright and author. Speaker highlights Monday, March 9 • "Organic program at Vineyard Golf Course," presented by Jeff Carlson, superintendent at the Vineyard Golf Club on the Island of Martha's Vineyard. The golf course is one of the first organically-conceived, constructed and maintained golf courses in the United States. • "Foliar nutrition: a splash on the grass," presented by Roch Gaussoin, professor of agronomy and horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Session will aid in better understanding foliar nutrition. • "Winter kill: causes, prevention and recovery," presented by Kevin Frank, extension turfgrass specialist at Michigan State University. A discussion of the causes of winter kill and preventative strategies. • "Determining golfer exposure and hazard to pesticides," presented by John Marshall Clark, professor of environmental toxicology and chemistry at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. An examination of the exposure risks associated with turfgrass pesticides. • "The value of the superintendent and how best to promote yourself," presented by Matt Shaffer, member of the USGA green section committee. How to educate employers about the difficulty and diversity of the golf superintendent profession. • "Cultivation of golf turf," presented by James Murphy, turfgrass extension specialist at Rutgers University. A look at the factors involved in the proper management of golf turf. • "Course renovations from a superintendent's perspective," presented by Mike Rossi, superintendent at Humber Valley Resort's River Course. The process, techniques and challenges associated with renovation projects from a superintendent's point of view. • "Biological control of European crane fly and black cutworm," presented by Louis Simard, supervisor of research projects in turfgrass entomology and nematology at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. Practical information on alternative control of these pests. • "An environmental approach to golf course design," presented by Ian Andrew, golf course architect responsible for the restoration of many of Canada's top golf courses. How architecture can assume a leading role in reducing golf's impact. • "The process of identifying and treating turf diseases," presented by Dr. Tom Hsiang, associate professor of plant pathology at the University of Guelph. Tips and techniques to better identify common turf diseases. Tuesday, March 10 • "Soil consistency and turf health," presented by David Doherty, president and founder of the International Sports Turf Research Center Inc. How soil makeup affects the health of turf on the golf course. • "Wear and soil compaction management," presented by Dr. Robert Carrow, professor of crop and soil sciences at the University of Georgia. Factors contributing to wear and soil compaction stresses. • "Assessing soil firmness and the effects of soil moisture," presented by Matthew Pringle, senior research engineer with the USGA's technical department. The effect of soil moisture on soil firmness and soil firmness' effect on course playability and turf health. Wednesday, March 11 • "Environmental management systems and their value," presented by Terry Muir, certified environmental auditor and member of the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association. The movement among Australian superintendents from environmental laggards to environmental leaders through environmental management systems. • "Principles and strategies of poa management," presented by Mike Agnew, developer of turfgrass fungicides and special projects with Syngenta. Cultural practices and plant protection products to help maintain the health of annual bluegrass. • "The impacts of spray tip technology on application effectiveness," presented by Ralph Walker, founder of Appli-Tech Canada. A look at the advances in spray nozzle design to help concerns related to buffer zones, wetlands and wildlife habitats. • "Improving water conservation: new concepts, technologies and products," presented by Dr. Robert Carrow of the University of Georgia. How to achieve water-use efficiency and conservation. • "Preparing for the U.S. Open," presented by Mark Woodward, chief executive of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. A reflection of the challenges associated with hosting the 2008 U.S. Open. • "Vision to reality: the building of Black Bear Ridge Golf Course," presented by Bill Fach, superintendent at Black Bear Ridge Golf Course. The planning, construction, grow-in, problems and successes of growing in the course. • "Minimizing turf inputs," presented by Cale Bigelow, associate professor of agronomy at Perdue University in Indiana. How to maximize efficiency, from proper species and cultivar selection to mowing, irrigation and fertilization practices. • "Bunker renovations," presented by Robert Randquist, director of golf course and grounds at Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, Fla. A look at bunker architecture, drainage design and installation, and liner installation. Pre-conference seminars Topics that will be covered during the two-day pre-conference sessions March 7-8 include: • integrating accounting, budgeting and finance for turfgrass professionals • water use symposium • turfgrass traffic stress: physiology and management • turfgrass soil fertility and nutrition: assessment and management • physical properties of soils • how to prepare, manage and recover from winter kill injury, and cool season turfgrass nutrition, fertilizers and programming • practical IPM concepts and resources • employee motivation, evaluation and incentives More information For more information about the conference and trade show, visit www.golfsupers.com .
 Syngenta's Gregg Allan, left, accepts an  award for vendor of the year from Allturf's  Rocco DiPasquale. The Sheppard family built their business on relationships and friendships, so it was appropriate that they would recently gather with friends to recognize the 30th anniversary of their business, Allturf Ltd. Thirty years ago, Paul Sheppard set out in a small van loaded with bedknives and Killex, looking for business. Building relationships through honesty, hard work, and sound technical advice, Allturf flourished into an industry leader. Thirty years later, the next generation of Sheppards run a much larger company, and do so with the same values taught by their father. Birthdays and anniversaries are milestones to be celebrated with friends and family. A chandelier laden ballroom in Niagara Falls was the site of the anniversary celebration. More than 200 customers, vendors, staff, and spouses joined in the food, drink, and conversation. Finalists from a fall booking program competed in a putting contest on a 200-square-foot putting green. After settling a four-way tie, Andrew Hardy from Pheasant Run Golf Club was presented with a trip for two to London, England. General manager Rocco DiPasquale presented Engage Agro with an award, recognizing them as marketing team of the year. Ray Chyc and Kevin Falls accepted the award with some kind words at the podium. Syngenta was then presented with an award for the vendor of the year. President Gregg Allan accepted the award, thanking Allturf for its commitment to excellence in the industry, and praised the professional relationship between the two companies. The evening continued with drinks and laughter leading up to the final draw. All customer names were placed in a barrel and a steady hand pulled out the ticket belonging to Ed Doda from Barrie Country Club. Ed won a trip for two to the Caribbean. While technical seminars and sales presentations are important activities, strengthening relationships between vendors, customers and staff is considered priceless. The Allturf 30th anniversary celebration allowed all participants to interact, introduce their spouses and enjoy the activities Niagara Falls has to offer. The evening, draws and fun would not have been possible without the generous support of such vendors as Aquatrols, Bayer, Engage Agro, Enviro-Sol, Graham Seed, Par Aide and Standard Golf, Syngenta and UAP. Special thanks went to Brett and Heather from Southwest Greens for building the putting green. The company expressed gratitude to its customers today, and over the last 30 years for helping Allturf become an industry leader in professional turf maintenance products. In January, Allturf presented a business-oriented seminar with Don Barkley from the Ivy School of Business. It brought superintendents and general managers together to find more profitable ways to operate their golf courses.
Are we sceptical? You bet. The purpose of this short article is to focus on the maintenance and safety issues that are influenced by the policies encouraged by the environmental movement. As always, we provide this information from an independent perspective. We ask the following question. With existing and looming bans, what are the so-called green alternatives to cosmetic weed control products? First of all, let's ask a basic question. What is a weed control product? A weed control product, more precisely referred to as a herbicide, is a chemical used to control, suppress, or inhibit plants that have been deemed as undesirable weeds in turf. What is a cosmetic weed control product? Politicians and environmentalists would say that it is any herbicide used to merely improve the appearance of turf. Are weeds controlled purely for aesthetic purposes? Not really. What are the true effects of weeds in turf? Weeds actually interfere with the ability of turf to grow properly by competing for carbon dioxide, nutrients, sunlight, and water. Weeds can choke out turf. Herbicides are not to be classified as merely cosmetic, or not. Herbicides are classified as either selective or non-selective. Selective herbicides, such as 2,4-D, will destroy broad-leaved weeds, such as dandelions, with little or no injury to desirable turfgrasses. Conversely, non-selective herbicides will destroy weeds, as well as all surrounding vegetation to which they are applied. Two examples of non-selective herbicides are acetic acid and herbicidal soap. These so-called green alternatives are recommended by the environmental movement. They are highly destructive because they are non-selective. In other words, conventional and safe weed control products like 2,4-D may be replaced by green products that are harmful to turf. The green alternatives may not provide much of an improvement. In fact, their use may be a technical step backward. Herbicides are also classified as either pre-emergent or post-emergent. Post-emergent herbicides, such as 2,4-D, are highly effective in controlling weeds after they have emerged and developed. Conversely, pre-emergent herbicides, such as corn gluten meal, must be applied to create a chemical soil barrier before certain weeds emerge. They are soil-active products that prevent the germination of seeds or the early growth of seedlings. The environmental movement has falsely given the public the impression that pre-emergent green alternative products like corn gluten meal are just as effective as 2,4-D. In fact, there are absolutely no valid replacements for herbicides like 2,4-D. Finally, herbicides are classified as either foliar contact or systemic. Contact herbicides may be non-selective, as well as fast-acting. They may provide a quick burn of the foliage. However, contact herbicides may only suppress perennial weeds, which are able to re-grow from unaffected underground roots and stems. Consequently, weed control applications will need to be repeated often during the growing season. Several of the green alternatives are contact and non-selective, such as acetic acid and herbicidal soap. By contrast, systemic herbicides, such as 2,4-D, are highly effective since they destroy weeds by being translocated throughout the plant. They are more capable of controlling perennial plants. They may be slower-acting, but, ultimately, they are much more effective than contact herbicides. There are no valid replacements for systemic herbicides like 2,4-D.
The Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) will hold its 12th annual Snow & Ice Symposium in Louisville, Ky., June 24-27. The four-day event will feature a trade show, speakers, educational sessions, and networking events for professionals in the snow and ice industry.
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