Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Kubota Offers Landscapers Time-Saving Precision-Guided Technology
Kubota Tractor Corporation announced an alliance with Smart Path Systems for its precision guidance technology products that will be available at select dealerships nationwide for Kubota M, L and B-Series tractors, Kubota F-Series mowers and Kubota utility vehicles. Beginning this month, Smart Path Systems will be available for sale and installation at select Kubota dealerships. Precision guidance technology provides the option of taking predetermined paths created in the web portal management system, or recording their own path and allowing an operator to replay the exact same route at any time in the future. This record and replay approach is ideal for plowing snow and sweeping walking trails, spraying along fencerows or cracks, repeated mowing by less-experienced operators and striping a fairway with precise consistency.

Simplot Expands Turf & Horticulture Business
The J. R. Simplot Company has purchased Hawaii Grower Products, Inc. and Pacific Agricultural Sales and Services, Inc., both in Hawaii. The asset purchase Simplot will adds three locations, along with strategic regional expertise, to Simplot’s portfolio.  The locations are Kapolei, Kahului and Kailua-Kona providing full service to the state.

Jain Acquires Observant Technology to Strengthen Global Presence
Jain Irrigation, Inc., recently acquired the technology and core team of Australian Observant Pty Ltd. Observant provides in-field hardware and cloud-based applications for precision farm water management. The acquisition will combine Observant’s broad field monitoring and control technology with Jain’s global irrigation manufacturing and precision agriculture technology platform to provide farmers with a broad suite of capabilities to increase crop yields while, at the same time, responsibly and profitably manage limited resources.

SiteOne Announce Distribution Partnership with Aquatrols and Baseline
SiteOne Landscape Supply and Aquatrols Corporation of America announced a new distribution partnership that expands the availability of Aquatrols’ products in 13 states. The agreement covers Aquatrols’ full line of water management products, including their market-leading Revolution, Dispatch, and Aqueduct soil surfactants. Baseline, which offers intelligent irrigation control systems, is expanding its distribution relationship with SiteOne Landscape Supply, the largest supplier of wholesale irrigation and the complete line of green industry products in the United States and Canada. Representatives from many SiteOne branches are attending training at Baseline Headquarters so they can share expert knowledge of Baseline products with their customers. Baseline is a HydroPoint Company that has helped a wide array of premiere sites from the National Archives Building in DC to thousands of Walmart’s across the United States to maximize water savings, reduce operating costs, and minimize risk.

Partnership Creates Northeast’s Largest Deere Dealer
Two John Deere dealers in western New York, Lakeland Equipment and Z&M Ag, have entered a partnership with private equity firm Argonne Capital Group to form LandPro Equipment LLC, the companies announced. LandPro Equipment is now the Northeast’s largest John Deere dealer, with 12 locations and employing more than 300 people.

ONLA Announces New Board of Directors
The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association announced its 2017 Board of Directors:

  • President: Josh Posey, Buckeye Resources
  • President-Elect: Andy Doesburg, Thornton Landscape
  • Board Member: James Beardslee, Beardslee Nursery
  • Board Members: Lenny Garrard, Bobcat Enterprises Columbus

Continuing their terms in 2017:

  • Steve Maddox as Immediate Past President, Michell’s
  • Tom Hilgeman, White Oak Garden Center
  • Ryan Kolb, Ryan Kolb Co, LLC
  • Mindy Moore, Cardinal Landscape, Tree Service & Lawn Care
  • Steve O’Neal, Columbus State Community College
  • Ellen Gallucci Purcell, Riepenhoff Landscape Ltd.

Massey Services Acquires Insight Pest Solutions
Massey Services, based here, has purchased Insight Pest Solutions, with locations in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, and in Charleston, South Carolina. Massey Services provides services to more than 500,000 customers in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina and Oklahoma. Founded in 1985 by Harvey L. Massey, Massey Services is the fifth largest privately owned family company in the pest management and landscape services industry.

Longwood Gardens Finalizes Two-Year $90-Million Revitalization
Longwood Gardens announced that its Main Fountain Garden will make its grand return on May 27, 2017, following a two-year, $90 million revitalization. “The revitalization of our iconic Main Fountain Garden is the largest project in Longwood’s history since the passing of our founder in 1954 and to share its return with our guests is incredibly exciting,” said Paul B. Redman, Longwood Gardens President and CEO. “Thanks to the efforts of our amazing and world-renowned design, engineering and historic preservation partners, as well as our most talented and dedicated Longwood team, our legendary Main Fountain Garden is back and more spectacular than ever.”

Toro Upgrads ExcelaRate Controller Software
Toro has updated ExcelaRate control software that regulates the spraying application for the Multi Pro 5800 and Multi Pro 5800 with GeoLink. The enhancements to the control software are focused on providing more options for the operator. Operators can take advantage of either a three-boom, two-boom or one-boom flow meter calibration process for increased precision. The software has the ability to perform a timed catch test for each nozzle size and color, which maximizes precision and accuracy.

Top Ten Ditch Witch Dealerships of 2016 Honored
Ditch Witch awarded top dealerships in 2016 with its highest honor – membership to the prestigious Crescent Club. The Crescent Club award is the highest honor given to dealerships who best support the company’s “We’re In This Together” philosophy by providing customers with superior service to be more productive and confident on the job site. The 2016 Crescent Club winners include:

  • Ditch Witch of Alabama (Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama)
  • Ditch Witch Bay Area, Central and Southern California (Fowler, Newark, Corona and El Cajon, California)
  • Ditch Witch of Central Texas (Austin and Selma, Texas)
  • Ditch Witch of Florida (Plant City, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville, Florida)
  • Ditch Witch of Minnesota & Iowa (Shakopee and Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Huxley and Davenport, Iowa)
  • Ditch Witch of North Carolina (East Garner, North Carolina)
  • Ditch Witch of North Dakota (Mandan and West Fargo, North Dakota)
  • Ditch Witch of Oklahoma & Arkansas (Edmond and Tulsa, Oklahoma, Benton and Springdale, Arkansas)
  • Witch Equipment Company (Fort Worth and Hewitt, Texas)

Toro Introduces The Internet of Turf
Toro has introduced The Internet of Turf, which consolidates five of Toro’s key technological products and services under one umbrella. Using the internet and technological advancements, Toro can provide actionable data to turf professionals. Toro leverages connectivity and data in solutions bridging irrigation control, fertilizer and pesticide application, turf and soil monitoring, and equipment performance and maintenance.

LawnStarter Hires VP of Growth
LawnStarter has announced the hire of Zak Cocos as vice president of growth. The hiring of Cocos adds to LawnStarter’s focus on growing the company’s base of customers and lawn care providers in 2017. In this role, Cocos will be responsible for expanding LawnStarter’s user base via technical and digital marketing tactics. Cocos comes to LawnStarter from Indeed, where he advanced from intern to senior director of growth marketing.

Read last week’s industry news: SiteOne Opens New Distribution Center