Golf Course Management

DEC 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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THE INSIDER: environment Pamela Smith, CGCS Beyond the textbook: IPM tool for the real world NEWS & notes e-par USA Inc. and the e-par Group (Australia) have launched e-par TEE, an online environmental management training program for golf operations in the United States. The e-par TEE (Training for an Environmental Event) program provides environmental training for golf course maintenance staff through the use of animated simulations and an interactive e-learning environment. Each training module focuses on a particular area of potential environmental risk (delivery of fuel, managing chemical spills, materials handling, etc.), providing golf course staff with the procedures and practices needed to reduce the potential for environmental harm. For pricing information and to learn more about the e-par TEE program, visit www.epartraining.com. The Irrigation Association received the U.S. Environmental Association's first WaterSense Partner of the Year Award for a professional certifying organization. The IA was selected to receive the honor for encouraging professionals to become certified through its WaterSenselabeled programs, promoting WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers and helping the EPA with plans to label soil moisture-based control technologies. Among others receiving awards at the recent WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas was John Taylor, president of Taylor Irrigation Service Inc. in Houston, who received the WaterSense Irrigation Partner of the Year award for overhauling his company's business model in 2012 to focus on promoting water-efficient irrigation practices and helping to promote WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers. 36 GCM December 2013 I'd like to move beyond the notion that IPM is solely about managing for pests. Integrated Plant Management is what we do, so let us talk about an Integrated Plant Management (IPM) multi-tool that captures the bigger picture. In 2008 I became the director of agronomy for the city of Denver's seven golf courses. My frst order of business was to centralize the recordkeeping of chemicals and fertilizers applied on the golf courses. I also wanted to maintain electronic records of many other functions of the golf operations such as early orders, budgeting, inventory management, FRAC codes and age of products. My original attempt was just a digital version of a paper copy — clumsy and painful to retrieve data. I began working in Excel spreadsheets and quickly developed an IPM planning tool that captures much more than just a pest manage- as valuable as the superintendent makes it. Howment plan. ever, there are so many more useful possibilities The three components of Denver's IPM are the for the IPM tool: Inventory, IPM Plan and Application Record. Our • Legal. There is a lot of deference given to doccurrent IPM workbook can sort and flter to any uments kept in the ordinary course of busidegree necessary for data retrieval and records the ness. You just don't make this stuff up. following, all in one document: • Transparency. Injury claims. True story: We • Product, date, location, area, rates and enstruggled for several years with a golfer claimvironmental conditions. OK, those are the ing turf products caused a rash. We uploaded basics of any application record. our data to a shared drive within 24 hours of • Self-calculating feature for N, P, K per the application. The golfer's doctor reviewed 1,000 square feet. Sure, I stole this concept this information and ultimately determined from industry calculators, but now I can use turf products did not cause the rash. this with any product we apply. • Reputation. Keeping comprehensive elec• Percent active ingredient (a.i.). This helps tronic records demonstrates your administraour superintendents decide what they are gettive professionalism. Do you really still have ting for their money. So often, once you see that stack of handwritten application records? the percentage of a.i., you realize that knockoff • Training for interns and assistants. Make you bought wasn't such a bargain. them do the IPM planning and keep applica• FRAC code. We all know that switching tion records, but turn off the self-calculating to another product does not always change function! chemistry. However, working with FRAC • Golf shop and starters. They are your frst codes during your planning stages keeps you line of communication with the golfer. Give from making bad in-season impulse decisions them access to the IPM tool and the applicaand makes you realize that those combo prodtion records so they can provide precise inforucts could be messing with your resistance mation to inquisitive customers. management too. • Cause, effect and correlations. Use the tool • Budget calculator. Enter your beginning to monitor outcomes and refne for the next chemical budget, total product and price per season. unit into the IPM tool, and it will calculate • History. We won't be here forever, so leave your total projected spend and remaining budyour successors some solid records for how you get for the year. You can "play around" with managed to keep your job for 20 years. products that matter to you and those where GCM you can compromise. Pamela Smith, CGCS, is the director of agronomy for the city of Much of this planning and recording is only Denver and a 23-year member of GCSAA.

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