Chemigation and Fertigation Systems Improve Golf Courses while Staying on Budget

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Diaphragm-design, chemical metering pumps provide greater accuracy to save fertilizer and water, while reducing maintenance.

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your greens are your resume

If the saying that "your greens are your resume" rings true, then competition among course superintendents is just as fierce as that of a Ryder Cup Match. Hardly a game though, the health and appearance of the entire landscape of a golf course can make or break the financial existence of the course itself. Faced with mounting utility, labor and fertilizer costs, an increasing number of managers and superintendents are introducing necessary turf-maintenance fluids via modern chemigation and fertigation systems that help slash operating expenses through increased accuracy and decreased maintenance.

"Irrigation fertigation can definitely save some hard dollars for golf courses," says Gary Hammerlund of L.L. Johnson Distributing Co., a Denver, Colorado-based wholesale distributor of Toro outdoor power equipment and turf and irrigation supplies for turf care and maintenance applications throughout the Plains. "Liquid metering pumps are less expensive than the piece of mobile equipment it takes to put down granular fertilizer, plus you save on man-hours because no one has to manually apply the fertilizer."

The concept of using existing irrigation systems to simultaneously apply fertilizer and other fluids while watering was developed by Gary Newton, who subsequently founded Agri-Inject, Inc. in 1983. From its base in Yuma, Colorado, the company has continued to be an innovator of chemigation fluid application technology.

To realize the maximum benefits that chemigation and irrigation fertigation has to offer, golf course superintendents increasingly select their equipment with the same care as pros select their clubs for the next shot. As James Francis Moore -- director of the USGA Green Section's Construction Education Program at the time -- wrote in the Green Section Record March/April 1998: Component quality...should be nothing less than first-rate.

"I've researched a lot of pumps and could have gone in many directions, but I've stayed with the Agri-Inject fertigation systems," says Hammerlund. “Their pumps are the leader in the industry, and their controller is cutting edge in terms of technology. In my opinion, it's the 'number one' injector for today's golf courses."

Agri-Inject's chemigation systems utilize Milton Roy chemical metering pumps that employ Teflon diaphragms that flex gently to provide accuracy within +/- 1% to eliminate both over and under-fertilization, as opposed to inaccurate piston-type pumps employed in earlier-generation systems that can waste as much as 5% of chemical volumes.

Since the diaphragm-design separates the internal workings of chemical metering pumps from the fluid being sprayed, it prevents leaks common to piston-type pumps. Keeping the fluid away from moving metal parts also helps prevent corrosion and makes it possible to spray thick substances like gypsum and soil polymers without clogging the chemigation pump. Combined with oil-bath lubrication of moving parts, maintenance is reduced and pump longevity increased to the point that Agri-Inject can offer a five-year warranty on its Milton Roy Series metering pumps.

"When an average golf course budget is $35,000 per year for chemicals and fertilizer, every edge helps," notes Hammerlund. "The golf and sports turf industry is starting to realize the advantages of liquid irrigation fertigation versus granular applications. It definitely cuts down on cost of products and manpower, plus it saves water."

For more into contact:

Arnold Page

Agri-Inject, Inc.

Phone (800) 446-5328

E-mail: inject@plains.net

5500 East Highway 34

Yuma, Colorado 80759

http://www.agri-inject.com

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