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.

H-2B Workforce Coalition Pushes for Support of New Bill
The H-2B Workforce Coalition reports progress on getting relief on the recently filled H-2B cap, but is asking employers in industries relying on this temporary, non-agricultural visa program to step up their efforts for relief in the next several weeks. Nine U.S. Senators (seven Republicans, one Democrat and one Independent) introduced S. 792 the Save our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act. The Act is designed to help seasonal employers navigate the H-2B temporary, non-agricultural visa program and increase certainty for small businesses by allowing seasonal employers to better prepare for fluctuations in demand, reported the H-2B Workforce Coalition, an alliance of more than 40 industry associations, on March 31. The Coalition is planning another fly-in event on April 26.

Turfgrass Producers International Unveils New Logo
When over 700 Turfgrass Producers International members representing 175 farms from around the world gathered in Tampa, Florida for TPI’s 2017 International Education Conference & Field Day on February, 20-23 they not only celebrated the association’s 50th Anniversary, they saw the unveiling of TPI’s new logo. The new TPI logo was the preferred choice, not only by the board and committee members, but by the professional marketing group at Sod Solutions that designed numerous logos for TPI’s consideration.

Back in 1967 a handful of turfgrass producers founded the American Sod Producers Association. In 1976, Charles Lain of Pine Island Turf Nursery in Pine Island, New York, (who would later serve as ASPA’s president in 1978-1979) suggested the association develop a logo that would be used to not only promote the association but provide some continuity. When the American Sod Producers Association changed its name to Turfgrass Producers International in 1994 (based on a unanimous vote by members attending the 27th annual ASPA business meeting), a new logo was designed and introduced that combined the familiar turfgrass sod roll with the new name and initials.

Fox-Marrs Named President and CEO of JCB North America
JCB has announced the appointment of Richard Fox-Marrs as president and CEO of JCB Inc. effective immediately, responsible for JCB operations in North America, including sales and support for the construction, agricultural, rental, government and defense industries. Additionally, Fox-Marrs is responsible for production at JCB North America’s Savannah headquarters, where the company manufactures the 3CX backhoe loader, skid steer and compact track loaders, along with the military specific High Mobility Engineer Excavator and Light Capability Rough Terrain Forklift.

The Toro Company Awarded City of Mesa, AZ Contract
The Toro Company has been awarded a new cooperative purchasing contract from the City of Mesa, Arizona for use by all municipal agencies and other authorized users. This contract will be marketed nationally by the cooperative National Intergovernmental Purchasing Alliance. This national cooperative contract is a single award, which offers lower costs plus time and resource savings to participating agencies nationwide.

Top Ditch Witch Dealerships and Individuals Recognized
Ditch Witch has announced recipients of the Harold Chesnutt Award, Service and Support Leadership Award and Top 10 Dealerships for demonstrating the highest level of product support and service throughout 2016. David Ponder of Ditch Witch of Georgia was honored with the 2016 Harold Chesnutt Award – presented annually to the parts manager in the worldwide Ditch Witch dealer network who best exemplifies the enthusiasm, creativity, product expertise and customer dedication Harold Chesnutt brought to his profession for more than 30 years. As the parts manager overseeing a three-location dealership, Ponder has dedicated himself to building a successful team of parts pros, and has helped his department accomplish a 40 percent growth in sales over the last three years.

IA Supports NALP’s National Lawn Care Month Effort
The Irrigation Association is again partnering with the National Association of Landscape Professional for National Lawn Care Month. In 2015, Turfgrass Producers International became the first partner of National Lawn Care Month. In 2016, the IA and Outdoor Power Equipment Institute signed on as additional partners. For many years, the landscape industry has recognized April as National Lawn Care Month. In 2014, NALP created a grassroots campaign to promote the initiative.

NHLA Partners with NALP for National Lawn Care Month
The National Hispanic Landscape Alliance is also partnering with the National Association of Landscape Professionals in celebration of National Lawn Care Month this April. The NHLA and NALP will dedicate the month of April to informing the public how turf grass positively contributes to the environment, their health, and their wallets. The initiative will also help landscape professionals educate their clients so that they can make more informed decisions regarding lawn care.

ASLA Disappointed with Trump’s Proposed Budget
The American Society of Landscape Architects recently released a statement in response to President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal. “We are disappointed with President Trump’s budget blueprint, which calls for dramatic cuts to many of the federal programs and resources that strengthen our nation’s infrastructure and economic development.” The statement also includes: President Trump’s recommendation to completely eliminate two critical community development programs, the Community Development Block Grant program and the Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery grants program, is short sighted. ASLA is also extremely concerned that President Trump’s proposal would drastically reduce funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by a staggering 31 percent.

The ASLA recently released recommendations for updating and strengthening all forms of infrastructure, including enhancing the TIGER grants program, expanding State Revolving Funds, increasing funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and others.

Imidacloprid’s Future Use in Canada Looks Shaky
Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency last fall announced its plan to phase out the popular systemic insecticide imidacloprid within three to five years. The House of Commons agriculture committee began examining the issue during meetings in mid-March, although the PMRA is a Health Canada agency. PMRA made its decision based on harmful effects of the neonicotinoid insecticide on aquatic environments, using data from governments and academics, executive director Richard Aucoin told the House of Commons Agriculture Committee March 7. During the hearing, growers told the committee they don’t have good alternatives to the neonic, which is used to control pests on fruit and vegetable crops, in greenhouses and on field crops. And chemical companies say the PMRA didn’t use correct science to reach its decision, reports the Western Producer. The consultation period for commenting on its proposed ban ended March 23. It is unclear when the PMRA will make its final decision on imidacloprid.

DIY Network Shares GIE+EXPO with America April 15
A special episode of DIY Network’s I Want That featuring GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America is schedule to air April 15 at 10 a.m. EDT. This one-hour special was taped directly from the GIE+EXPO and HNA 2016 show floor. The DIY Network crew walked the aisles with their cameras in October talking with exhibitors and taping the newest trends, products and tools in the industry.

Howard Fertilizer Reorganizes Management Team
Howard Fertilizer and Chemical Company Inc., based in Orlando, Florida, announced a reorganization with Dwight Kummer now serving as President, Jared Revell serving as Director of the AG Division/Key Accounts, Donovan Sykes serving as AG Division Business Manager and Jay Fountain serving as Director of Turf & Ornamental Sales outside of Florida, announced the company April 4.

Howard Fertilizer and Chemical Company Reorganizes Leadership
Howard Fertilizer and Chemical Company Inc. has announced a reorganization to better serve the agricultural and turf industries. Dwight Kummer will serve as President, Jared Revell will serve as the Director of the AG Division/Key Accounts, Donovan Sykes will serve as the AG Division Business Manager and Jay Fountain will serve as the Director of Turf & Ornamental Sales outside of Florida. The promotions are effective immediately.

The Difference Between Roundup and Roundup for Lawns
If you’ve been watching any television this spring you’ve probably seen advertisements for Scott MiracleGro’s Roundup for Lawns product. Kevin Frank and Aaron Hathaway, of Michigan State University Extension, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, in a recent blog says that relying solely on a product’s brand name can cause confusion, in this case Roundup vs. Roundup for Lawns. Says the MSU experts: It turns out there is a lot in a name!

  • Roundup: The herbicide active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, which if sprayed on the lawn will kill not only the weeds but the lawn. This is a nonselective herbicide that controls any green plant on which it is applied.
  • Roundup For Lawns: The new Roundup For Lawns does not contain glyphosate. The herbicide active ingredients in Roundup For Lawns are MCPA, quinclorac, dicamba and sulfentrazone. These herbicides are effective on a broad range of weeds that might infest the lawn such as dandelion, crabgrass and nutsedge. When used properly it will not kill the desirable turfgrasses in the lawn. This is a selective herbicide that controls specific weeds, but not lawn grasses.

IrriGreen, Inc., Expands Distribution in Texas, Idaho and Montana
IrriGreen, Inc. recently announced the addition of three new distributors for the IrriGeen Genius Irrigation System: Pro Chem Sales, Amarillo, Texas; Silver Creek Supply, LLC, Boise, Idaho and Mountain Supply Company Missoula, Montana. The IrriGreen system uses advanced digital technology to keep grass green while reducing water use as much as 40 – 50 percent. Requiring fewer sprinkler heads and less pipe than traditional, mechanical sprinkler systems, IrriGreen can be installed in half to one-third the time, claims the company in the release.

Bill Abetz Joins Atticus, LLC as Professional Products Director
Atticus, LLC Bill Abetz has joined Atticus, LLC, as Director, Professional Products. Bill will lead the expansion of Atticus products supporting turf, ornamental, vegetation management and aquatic customers nationwide. He joins Atticus following seven years at Florikan where he was most recently Director, Business Development. Atticus, LLC manufactures and markets a range of plant protection products for crop and non-crop professionals.

Ditch Witch Honors Robbie Royster with Lowell Highfill Award
Ditch Witch recently honored Robbie Royster of Ditch Witch of Virginia with the prestigious 2016 Lowell Highfill Award – the annual award given to the organization’s salesperson of the year for their outstanding performance in promoting and marketing Ditch Witch products. Royster began working for the Ditch Witch organization in 1986 as a parts manager at a local dealership branch. Ditch Witch of Virginia has locations in Glen Allen, Chesapeake and Manassas, Virginia, and is celebrating 40 years of service to the underground construction industry this year.

Slime Announces Lawn and Garden Sealant
Slime, a tire sealant technology, has announced a sealant that is specifically designed for mowers, wheels barrows, tractors and trucks with Slime’s Lawn and Garden Sealant. Slime sealants, which can be inserted anytime, seek out and instantly seal tread area punctures up to a quarter inch. When a puncture occurs, Slime’s patented sealant is carried directly to the puncture.

Bane-Welker Adds Ashland Industries to Dealer Network
Bane-Welker Equipment has announced that they are now an official Ashland Industries dealer at all 13 Indiana and Ohio locations. Ashland Industries, located in northern Wisconsin, is a manufacturer of earth moving equipment. Bane-Welker adds Ashland along with their Case IH partnership. New Ashland scrapers will be arriving at select Bane-Welker Equipment locations over the next few weeks.

Sod Production Services Hires Chad Adcock as Director of Business Development
Sod Production Services, a division of Riverside Turf, proudly announces the hire of Chad Adcock as their new Director of Business Development. Adcock brings nearly 20 years of golf course management experience to the position, including a track record of operations management and facility development and improvement. Adcock holds a Bachelors of Science in Agronomy with an emphasis on Turf Management from Mississippi State University, and is a Virginia Certified Pesticide Applicator 3A, 3B, and 5A.

Read last week’s industry news: April Kicks Off World Landscape Architecture Month