Golf Course Management

JAN 2014

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

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As the job of the golf course superintendent continues to evolve, there remains one constant for long-term job stability — growing good grass. That's why attendees at the 2014 Golf Industry Show will have the opportunity to attend not one, but two Agronomic Solutions sessions focused on the foundation of a superintendent's job. Agronomic Solutions I (www2.gcsaa.org/conference/ education/Sessions/agronomicsolutions1-2014.aspx), set for 1-3:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 3, will focus attention on greens rebuilding and renovation projects, while Agronomic Solutions II (www2.gcsaa. org/conference/education/Sessions/ agronomic-solutions2-2014.aspx), set for 1-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, will spotlight tips for selecting the right fertilizers for your turf. GIS trends So what does Ajinomoto, one of the world's largest producers of amino acids, maker of aspartame (known as AminoSweet, best recognized as a component of chewing gum and diet beverages) and a major manufacturer of processed food, seasonings, pharmaceuticals and animal nutrition have to do with the golf course management industry? Its fagship product, that's what. Green Ncrease is a biostimulant derived from the corn fermentation process that is designed to give turfgrass the ultimate protection from mechanical stress, heat and drought. Ajinomoto says it "increases shoot density of bentgrass greens by 30 to 40 percent." Wayzata, Minn., Country Club golf course superintendent Jesse Trcka was a little skeptical before trying Green NCrease, but that didn't last very long. "I'm not a big believer in anything outside of what the basics are, but this proved me wrong," says Trcka, an 11-year GCSAA member. "I tried it on the greens and it perked up things, and it helped improve density on the driving range. I wanted to see proof. I got it." Ajinomoto was founded in 1909 in Japan and opened its frst offce in the U.S. in 1917 in New York. The company's Iowa plant has been in existence more than two decades. Ajinomoto's launching point occurred several years ago when Japanese scientist Dr. Kikunae Ikeda discovered the amino acid glutamate, a key to Ajinomoto becoming a leader in the MSG market. Glutamate can be found in products such as soy sauce, walnuts and parmesan cheese. Ikeda's revelation led to the formation of Ajinomoto. Green Ncrease is relatively new. Ajinomoto introduced it in 2012, primarily in the Midwest. Griffth indicates there are plans to expand the market into other regions, including Florida. Ajinomoto's entrance to the turf industry was a logical choice, Griffth says. "I had sold amino acids in the past, and being involved in turf was something we could do to take advantage of our technology," Griffth says. Besides its ventures in turf, Ajinomoto has plans to aid infants in need. Ajinomoto partnered last year with Business Call to Action to expand a nutritional supplement program in Ghana, where malnutrition for newborns is an issue. Ajinomoto's Koko Plus, a proprietary protein micronutrient supplement, will be used to fortify porridge. In case you are wondering, Ajinomoto in Japanese means essence of taste. Howard Richman (hrichman@gcsaa.org) is GCM's associate editor. 98 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.14

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