Friday, September 30, 2011

PCNB's Return

Last month American Vanguard Corp. announced that the stop-sale placed on PCNB fungicide had been lifted by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. But superintendents already were forced to work without the product last winter, and availibility of the product this year is unclear.

“This has been a long and trying process which appears to be coming to a conclusion. We are now focused on working with the U.S. EPA to get our amended end-use labels for PCNB products issued as quickly as possible, so that we can return to the market,” Eric Wintemute, chairman and CEO of American Vanguard, said in a statement released by the company. “We are also grateful to our customers for their continued support and patience throughout this ordeal and hope to be in a position to meet their needs in the very near future.”

Rob Golembiewski, Oregon State University turfgrass specialist, said he was at an assistant superintendent’s workshop recently, and news of the lifting of the PCNB stop-sale had not spread yet.

“I think (PCNB) is pretty darn popular. I think there are a lot of good products to control pink and gray snow mold, but for the cost – and in this economy – it’s one of the most effective,” Golembiewski said. “Last year when we lost PCNB, a lot of superintendents had to look for alternatives, and they also had to worry about balancing their budgets. Is it the only product? No. But I guarantee people will integrate it right back into their programs once it becomes available.”

Bruce Cline, superintendent at Gladstone (Mich.) Golf Club said he did pretty well for himself last year without the use of PCNB, and will probably continue the same program this year.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dow AgroSciences announce new personnel

Dow AgroSciences recently named Andy Kaler to the position of product manager for the U.S. Turf & Ornamental (T&O) business division.

In his new role, Kaler will execute the portfolio marketing strategy and implement product launches, marketing research and communication plans. In 2008, Kaler was hired as a T&O sales representative covering Ohio, Michigan and western Pennsylvania.

He is replacing Patrick Bell, who was recently named product manager for the U.S. Fungicides and Specialty Crop herbicides business. Bell has been with Dow AgroSciences since 2005.

Brett Garrard, product manager for chlorpyrifos insecticides, has accepted the position of T&O sales representative in the eastern district, replacing Kaler. Garrard began his career in 2005 as a sales representative in the T&O business, covering New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. He also has served as communications manager for the Coastal Crops business and U.S. Launch Specialist for rice, tree nut and vine herbicides.

Gil del Rosario has been named T&O sales representative for southern California. Previously, del Rosario served as a sales representative covering central Kansas and northern Illinois with experience in the corn, soybean, alfalfa and Range & Pasture markets. He also served as a market developer in Central Illinois and a sales specialist in the western district.

In the Northwest, Greg Webster has been named sales representative serving the T&O market in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Webster replaces Bill Miller, who is retiring after 43 years with Dow AgroSciences.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 38 -- the future of weed control?

Check this out! The WeedSeeker Sprayer manufactured by Rittenhouse. The WeedSeeker uses optics to sense if a weed is present and only sprays the weed! No more driving all over the course hunting down those pesky broadleaf weeds. That is some crazy stuff! The Weedseeker will detect weeds over gravel, grass, pavement, and cart paths.

I am sure you are asking yourself “Yeah right, how does it work.” Here is the skinny, when a weed enters the WeedSeeker’s sensor field of view and detects a different color pattern it signals a spray nozzle to deliver a precise amount of herbicide to the weed.

That is awesome! Where was this futuristic, Sci-Fi beast back in the day when I was working my way up the ladder as a spray jockey?

The only negative aspect I can see is the cost. The 80-inch model runs $9,900 and the 120-inch model costs $13,755. Don’t worry; I'm sure the cost will come down in the future just like flat screen televisions did.

Check it out for yourself…

What do you think of this idea?

-- Matt Hendren

Monday, September 26, 2011

New logo for National Alliance for Accessible Golf

The National Alliance for Accessible Golf (Alliance) today introduced the next generation of its branding with the unveiling of a new logo. The new logo more accurately reflects the current focus of the Alliance, specifically on education, training and funding to benefit the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the game of golf.

The origins of the Alliance itself dates back to the early 1990s and emerged from a series of six annual meetings, the Forums on Accessible Golf. Officially formed in the summer of 2001, the Alliance is represented by major golf organizations in the United States, organizations that provide services for people with disabilities and others who advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities into society. The mission of the Alliance is to increase participation of people with disabilities in the game of golf. Individuals with disabilities will enhance their quality of life as they become actively engaged in the social fabric of their community through participation in the game of golf.

Friday, September 23, 2011

2011 Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition in photos

The 2011 Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition is over, and everything I've heard about the event was that it was a wild success. Looking at these photos, I'd have to agree! Looks like a blast. I'm putting this event on my calendar for next year in Sharpie marker. (The only reason I didn't go this year is because we're expecting the arrival of our second child any day now!)

Thanks to everyone who voted in the Green Industry Award competition... the film "Water Ways" took the gold and the $6,000 prize in that category. Great film, it was well deserving of the honor. Below that's a photo of (left to right) Dave Johnson, Rain Bird's director of corporation marketing, "Water Ways" creator Jall Cowasji, Kevin Stoltman, vice president, Questex Media (AKA my boss) and Jack Hanna, renown environmentalist and animal expert.

Click after the jump to see the complete release and a BUNCH of photos (thank you Dan Jacobs) from the evening as well as the full rundown of who won what.
Rain Bird's fourth 2011 Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition honored three short films as the winners of the competition at a screening event on September 20. Held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California, the event was presented by Rain Bird and event partners The Chronicles Group, Film L.A., Denver Botanic Gardens, Southern Nevada Water Authority and Questex Media Group.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chris Erickson talks Kansas State turf school

Here's a new Golfdom TV video that went out with yesterday's Golfdom Insider e-newsletter. It's me and Chris Erickson, superintendent at the Crosby at Rancho Santa Fe, talking about turf school (in this case, Kansas State). This month's Golfdom has a turf school theme, so we were playing off that theme.

This video might not solve all your turf problems, but it's a good chance to catch up with Chris and see what's going on out in San Diego! And the course sure is gorgeous.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Breaking news: Withers named president of Jacobsen, Wilkinson to retire

David Withers has been promoted to the position of president of Jacobsen, effective October 1, 2011. Withers has been serving as managing director of the Ransomes division of Jacobsen, located in the United Kingdom, since January 2005, overseeing international operations for all Jacobsen brands as well as the E-Z-GO brand in Europe.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity. Having worked in the golf and turf maintenance industry for over 25 years, 19 of those with the Jacobsen team, this appointment is what I have always aspired to do. I look forward to working with the team to grow our market share around the world and continuing to establish Jacobsen as a leader in turf maintenance products,” Withers says.

Withers joined Textron in 1992 as a regional sales manager for Jacobsen in the UK. In 1996, he was promoted to the position of national accounts manager, where he focused on developing business with key customers across Europe. In 2002, he was promoted to the position of sales and marketing director before his appointment in 2005 as managing director of Ransomes Jacobsen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Deere to sell Honda lawn mowers, blowers

Deere & Company announced today a new sales and marketing agreement with Honda Power Equipment to sell Honda premium power products at participating John Deere dealerships in the United States. Shipments of Honda inventory to John Deere dealerships will be phased in, beginning in 2012.

Under the terms of the agreement, participating John Deere dealers will offer Honda’s walk-behind lawn mowers, generators, tillers, water pumps and snow blowers. In addition, Deere said, it will no longer market John Deere-branded walk-behind mowers or walk-behind snow blowers in the U.S., in any sales channel, after 2012.

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 37 -- Free Walker Cup preview

Hendren here with some exciting news! I have some free stuff for the taking!

Well, technically it’s not my stuff and I’m not the one giving it away but it is FREE! As usual I’m a day late and a dollar short but this offer still stands because I just checked to make sure.

Golfweek published a series of free digital editions covering the Walker Cup. The free digital editions include:

• Thursday Preview – A complete overview of the players, the atmosphere and how the teams stack up
• Friday Preview – An inside look at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, the backdrop for this year’s tournament
• Gameday Editions (Saturday and Sunday) – A full rundown of the day’s matches, including exclusive commentary, striking photos and Golfweek’s popular Forecaddie section

Monday, September 19, 2011

Syngenta obtains Econem in Pasteuria Bioscience agreement

Syngenta Lawn & Garden announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Pasteuria Bioscience Inc., a U.S.-based biotechnology company. Under the terms of the agreement, Syngenta’s Turf & Landscape division will have exclusive licensing and distribution rights in global turf markets to Pasteuria Biosciences existing and future nematicide product lines based on the naturally occurring biological agent Pasteuria.

As a result of the agreement, Syngenta will obtain Econem for the Lawn & Garden Turf portfolio, Pasteuria Bioscience’s first commercialized product containing Pasteuria microbes. Launched in 2010, Econem has been proven to control sting nematodes, one of the most widespread and destructive types. A liquid version has recently gained EPA registration, and a combination offer, to control in addition lance nematodes, is in late stage development. Sting and lance nematodes are two examples of prevalent nematode pests in the U.S. market affecting golf courses and sports fields.

Mayweather vs. Ortiz (My Frustrating Sports Weekend)

Talk about a rough sports weekend... my Jayhawks got routed by Georgia Tech, the Chiefs were thumped by the Lions (and it sounds like there's another season-ending injury on the team) and my fantasy football team was destroyed by Golfdom publisher Pat Roberts.

And the cherry on top? The lame Floyd Mayweather/Victor Ortiz fight.

I spent $70 on the pay-per-view to see Ortiz not protect himself and take two shots to the face that floored him in the fourth round. Match over.

I was rooting for Ortiz, as was most of the free world. Ortiz is a Kansas guy, so I have to support my fellow Jayhawk. But right now I am more mad at Ortiz than Mayweather.

What the heck was up with that head-butt? And why did Ortiz then go so crazy trying to apologize?

The worst offense was not putting up his gloves after the break. And the second worst offense was his "aw, shucks," attitude after the fight. No anger, just a smile. "It is what it is," Ortiz said. He kept smiling and laughing about the whole thing. Maybe he was still loopy from the combination. But why was I more mad, sitting on my couch in Kansas, than Ortiz was after taking two "cheap shots" to the face?

Maybe because I had just wasted $70 on the fight, while Ortiz just banked $2.5 million. That'd probably make me smile, too.

Friday, September 16, 2011

New employee at Ohio State University Golf Club

These photos just hit my inbox this morning. Brutus Buckeye is the newest proud employee out at the Ohio State University Golf Club in Columbus. Word around the maintenance shop is that Brutus is a hard worker and carries his weight... the only complaints so far is that he is always unavailable to work on game days, and also, they won't let him operate a string-trimmer because they can't find protective eyewear to fit his giant mascot head...

The timing of these photos really made me laugh, because this month's issue of Golfdom has a "turf school" theme. Had I got them two weeks ago, I would have probably tried to publish them! Heck, Brutus could have been my cover model! (OK, probably not... don't want to make it seem like we have an allegiance to one turf school!)

Anyway, look for more from Golfdom soon about your favorite turf school, as well as the obstacles those schools are having to overcome with tighter state budgets... in this month's issue!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 36 -- Losing Products You Depend On

Welcome back to Hendren’s Hyperbole! I had an opportunity this week to have dinner, drinks and watch some Monday Night Football with Golfdom Editor-in-Chief Seth Jones and Golfdom's Southern Sales Manager Jason DeSarle. It is great to have the opportunity to meet some of the people behind-the-scenes that make Golfdom the great magazine it is and I look forward to meeting the entire team at the Golfdom Summit in November.

I was looking for something to write about this week when I stopped by the new-and-improved to see what was happening in the world of turf diseases. That's when I saw this piece from Dr. Lane Tredway about the announcement the Gowan Company made this week that they are going to stop selling Rubigan on December 31st, 2012. The decision to remove Rubigan from the market is basically because there are cheaper alternatives for spring dead spot and sulfonylurea herbicides have made Rubigan obsolete for pre-emergence control of Poa annua on warm-season grasses.

En-Joi underwater


Course superintendent Rocco Greco said about 30 percent of the course remained under up to 5 feet of water Wednesday. That is down from peak flood conditions, when all but the ninth and 18th greens, practice green and elevated tee boxes were under water.

Click here for the full story and an aerial photo of the course.

Five feet of water? Yikes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who you calling "pesticide-covered?"

The magazine Fast Company has done a story on golf courses and how they're trying to "clean up their act."

It's probably a bad sign when the descriptions "water-sucking" and "pesticide-covered" are both used in a headline, isn't it?

Well, they tried to do a story that was positive. And three of their sources -- Audubon International, the GCSAA and the Golf Environmental Organization -- did a fine job of representing the industry. It's the in-between that hurts.

Why compare a golf course's water use with the water use of a family of four? Wouldn't it be more accurate to compare a business versus a business? Maybe even use a business like golf that depends on water?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Andersons expand in Canada

The Turf & Specialty Group at The Andersons, Inc. has reached an agreement with Sylvite Turf General Partnership Inc. to expand distribution in the Eastern Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes.

Sylvite Turf General Partnership Inc. is a partnership forged between Sylvite Agri-Services and Turf Care Products Canada. The newly formed company supplies fertilizer and plant protection products to the golf, lawn care and sport turf industries throughout Eastern Canada. Sylvite Turf operates out of Turf Care’s offices in Newmarket, Ontario.

“We are pleased with the addition of Sylvite Turf to our distribution network. With multiple locations, Sylvite Turf will create better access to The Andersons products for customers in Eastern Canada,” says Rich Christ, International Sales Manager.

Friday, September 09, 2011

GolfdomTV -- A chat with Turfco

While I was in Blaine, Minn., hanging with the Turfco guys, I shot a quick video. And I do mean quick... the camera battery was about to go out, so I kept it short and sweet so we wouldn't get cut-off mid-sentence.

Here's the video. Check the August issue of Golfdom for a full feature on the company, who celebrate the 50th anniversary of the unveiling of the first mechanical topdresser this month.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 35 -- Tiger wants some Frys with that

Welcome back to Hendren’s Hyperbole! I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. The Hendren household had a great extended weekend but the cherry on top was the weather breaking. I love a cool morning in the 50s and a high of 75.

In case you haven’t heard, Tiger is playing in the Open in San Martin, Calif., Oct. 6-9. Oh how the mighty fall. I can’t believe Tiger is playing again this year in a tournament that isn’t a charity event.

What is going to happen if he misses the cut at the Open or finishes in a tie for 25th place? I can’t imagine that will be very good for his brand. Maybe Tiger has given up on building his brand, at least until he can make a cut.

If I were Tiger I would just concentrate on golf right now. I would play in every tournament I could and leave my pride at home. I would respect him more if he just sucked it up and got his stuff together on the course. If he wants to catch Jack he better hurry up because he is not getting any younger.

What do you think about Tiger playing in the Open? Does anyone even care at this point?

-- Matt Hendren

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Irrigation tech making work easier for superintendents

In case you missed yesterday's "Inside Irrigation" e-newsletter, here is the story, penned by Golfdom senior editor Beth Geraci:

"When you're wasting water--watering when it's raining and those sort of things, it's very visible," says Keith Shepersky, Senior Product and Marketing Manager for Irritrol, which in February released its Climate Logic accessory, a wireless smart controller that adjusts water run times based on weather conditions.

Fortunately for today's irrigators and water conservationists, we don't water as much when it's raining anymore. That's because for superintendents and others, irrigation is becoming easier to control remotely. Superintendents now can turn their sprinklers on and off from the office or install sensors that trigger water only when it's needed. And word of their usefulness is spreading.

"Advances in communications technology now allow access to irrigation systems remotely, from anywhere in the world," explains Jeff Kremicki, CID, CIC, Hunter Industries' Product Marketing Manager. Today, he says, "a controller can be connected to a customer's computer via a network, Internet or cellular connection providing customers complete access to the irrigation scheduling while receiving feedback from the control system as to the status and alerting them to any problems on site."

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Owen Towne talks Phoenix Enviro Care acquisition

In an email sent out on Aug. 16th, Phoenix Environmental Care announced to its employees that the company had been acquired by United Phosphorous Inc. “We are excited to have a more comprehensive product line to help provide additional utility and choice to the market place,” the statement read.

Phoenix Environmental Care, a post-patent company serving the turf and ornamental market since 2004, will continue with business as usual, company president Owen Towne told Golfdom.

“Phoenix Environmental Care will operate autonomously, we’re not going to change our strategy,” Towne says. “All of our employees are going to be retained. This was always looked at as a good arrangement for all the people involved with Phoenix. This is a good deal for everyone.”

Towne says the acquisition – which originated as talks of a collaboration before UPI decided an acquisition would be better – will afford Phoenix Environmental some new opportunities. Among those opportunities, Towne listed access to a wider portfolio of products; access to more capital for research; and better manufacturing facilities to bring new products to market quicker.

“We’re going to maintain Phoenix Environmental Care,” Towne says. “This will just increase benefits for superintendents and our distributors.”

One Phoenix Environmental Care employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, echoed Towne’s feelings, saying that the mood within the company was that of opportunity, not adversity.

Phoenix Environmental Care ( manufactures fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, PGRs and aquatic chemicals.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Rolling into Labor Day weekend

Ahh, Thursday afternoon of a three-day weekend.... it's so close!

Anyway, just a quick one today. Wanted to share a photo of what it looks like when your pal Seth is on a T3000 applicator from Turfco. These bad boys are meant for the landscaper side of the business, not golf. But you know I had to take one for a spin anyway, right?

By now you've received the August issue of Golfdom, and you've seen my short story on Turfco's 50th anniversary. If you want to try to win an iPad or a Widespin 1540 EC, click on over to

I've been on seven different trips in the last eight weeks. It's been a whirlwind, but I'm happy to say I had a lot of great meetings in the last two months. I'm also happy to report that I'm not going anywhere in the next couple weeks, in anticipation of the arrival of Baby Boy Jones, who will be here in a few weeks!

So all the folks at the Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment meeting next week -- I'd join you if I could, but it's more important for me to be at home right now! I'll catch you next year, or at your breakfast (breakfast?!?) in Vegas in 2012.