Fertigation Systems Newest Trend In Playing Field, Sports Turf, And Golf Course Care

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Irrigation fertigation using precision chemical metering pumps nurtures turf faster, creating a better playing experience while lowering cost for sporting fields and gold courses

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It is like spoon feeding nutrients

When it comes to sports turf and gold courses these days, modern fertigation techniques -- the process of applying liquid nutrients through irrigation -- give grass a lush look, are easier to manage, faster to grow out and excellent to play on.

First pioneered as a way to spread agricultural chemicals and fertilizers on farmland during the 1970s by agricultural inventor Gary Newton (who would later create a company called Agri-Inject, Inc. to meet the demand for his new product) -- today’s irrigation fertigation systems are catching on as a way to control costs while improving field health.

While the outcome of winner or loser may not be in the superintendent’s strategy, the condition and appearance of the playing field certainly is. One method of establishing and maintaining a field is through fertigation, the process of applying liquid nutrients through irrigation. First pioneered as a way to spread agricultural chemicals on farmland during the 1970s -- a practice known as chemigation -- today’s irrigation fertigation systems are catching on as a great way to control costs while ensuring the field is healthy, good to play on and pleasing to the eye.

That gives us two possible intros above.

“Keeping the turf green is of prime importance to sports facilities,” says Jim Wilkins, a manager of 45 holes of golf, including the 27-hole West Woods Golf Club in Arvada, Colo. “Groundskeepers should use fertigation to keep their fields in great shape.”

Over the last decade, more and more sports fields and golf courses have opted to harness this technology, employing the same type of chemical metering pumps found in agricultural systems.

“The ease of delivery and precise application make for a better looking turf,” Wilkins says. “The application is easy -- it’s not rocket science.”

The West Woods Golf Club initially consisted of 18 holes. Due to high demand, management decided to add another nine. Unfortunately, bad weather caused three holes to require reseeding a few months before the scheduled opening date. Wilkins turned to fertigation systems to make up the lost time. The final nine holes were ready one month ahead of schedule.

“A high percentage of the sports field and golf course projects I’ve been involved with were playable prior to their assigned completion dates,” says Gary Hammerlund, product manager at LL Johnson Distributing Co. “They were established with better turf (seed or sod) and were within budget.”

He provides Wilkins with fertigation systems by Agri-Inject Inc. (http://www.agri-inject.com) of Yuma, Co. According to Wilkins, Agri-Inject is the best in the business -- in part because they use high-grade Milton-Roy diaphragm pumps as part of their fertigation systems. The chemical metering pumps are long lasting, with the system designed to prevent the pumps from contacting any chemicals during application.

“It is like spoon feeding nutrients,” Wilkins says of sports turf fertigation. “Do a little at a time. It gets to the plants instead of throwing in a bunch of fertilizer and getting a surge of growth that then slows down. There is no burst and then a fade, so growth is even and healthier for the plants.”

For more information:

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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