Golf Course Management

JUL 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Scott Welge, Bayer's head of marketing, introduces the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow initiative at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego. To fund the program, which supports the Environmental Institute for Golf, Bayer will invest a percentage of sales of its StressGard fungicide products over the next three years. Photo by Montana Pritchard "It's extremely important to know how well your roots are growing." — Richard Rees, Ph.D. 50 GCM July 2013 trols, says its Revolution is "the only soil surfactant that goes beyond water repellency issues, providing comprehensive water management and plant health benefts as well." Bayer's StressGard product line, which includes multiple fungicides with StressGard formulation technology (such as Chipco Signature and Interface) just might be the granddaddy of them all (the technology for it was pinpointed nearly 20 years ago), making Bayer plant health pioneers, says the company's senior principal scientist, Richard Rees, Ph.D. Syngenta, meanwhile, manufactures Daconil Action. That product features the active ingredient acibenzolar, which acts as a plant defense activator, meaning it activates the plant's natural defenses against Richard Rees, Ph.D. certain diseases and drought, Tredway says. Whether a product pushes the plant health agenda or not, Jim Frank, CGCS, wants to know exactly what goes into his turf. "You've got to prove it to me frst," says Frank, who oversees the Country Club of Buffalo, N.Y., and is a 29-year member of the association. "I think the perception by those who just play, when they see a spray rig, they still kind of look at it as a witch's brew. So, when things are going good at the golf course, it is kind of perceived that the superintendent has the mojo. If the superintendent has a bad year, it's as if he's lost his mojo. "Is there still mojo in the industry? And do I buy into it? Sometimes I do. But there are a lot of snake oils out there. Who, though, is going to admit they sell snake oil?" The three major manufacturers — Bayer, BASF and Syngenta — support their claims in terms of plant health, plant protection, etc., with data, images and deep research that often takes years. Rees says that Bayer uses sophisticated equipment to measure things such as photosynthetic rates and photochemical effciency. "It's extremely important to know how well your roots are growing," Rees says. "We have sophisticated radiometry equipment linked to GPS that actually measures greens to check on density and moisture changes." BASF, according to Miller, conducts an array of trials, such as determining how fast

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