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.

Global Sports Venues in Brazil Have Chosen Rain Bird
Rain Bird Corporation has been selected as the irrigation system partner for 13 newly constructed multi-sport and green-space venues in and around Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The water-efficient green spaces are in various sports complexes and city parks. Some of the projects included are the Barra Athletes’ Housing Complex, Barra Sports Park Complex, the equestrian cross-country course, the field hockey, soccer and rugby pitches and Madureira Park. The projects used a variety of Rain Bird products.

National TurfMutt Teacher Award Announced
Scholastic is creating a National TurfMutt Teacher Award in conjunction with the OPEI’s annual “Be A Backyard Superhero” essay contest. The winning teacher will be awarded a trip to the National Science Teachers Association annual conference in Los Angeles being held March 30 to April 2, 2017. The TurfMutt essay contest launches in the fall and K-5 students can submit essays on how they are helping TurfMutt and the Outdoor Powers combat the environmental villains. One winner will earn their school a $5,000 grant to spruce up their school grounds or put in an outdoor classroom.

PERC Unveils New Propane Equipment Dealer Point
The Propane Education & Research Council has launched the Propane Equipment Dealer Point as an online resource and search tool for commercial landscaping contractors to find dealers nearby offering propane-powered mowers. Propane equipment dealers can also sign up to be listed as a propane equipment dealer.

South Carolina Company’s Bermudagrass a Hit at Rio Games
Sod Solutions, Inc., headquartered in Mount Pleasant, is providing the grass for many of the field activities for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to the Moultrie (SC) News. The company’s flagship bermudagrass, Celebration, is covering the surface of a number of stadium venues, including Maracana, home of the opening and closing ceremonies. Is is featured on five Olympic soccer fields, equestrian, rugby and assorted training venues.

Boxer Adds to Worldwide Distributor Network
Boxer has added new companies and new locations to its distributor network. The companies include: Advantage Rental and Sales, Barton Tractor, Capitol Equipment, Project Equipment LTD and Wando Power Equipment Company, Inc. Morbark has also reached agreements with Bold Hawaii and Parker Sales & Marketing to promote the Boxer line in Florida, Hawaii and Guam.

Toro Reports Record Third Quarter Earnings; Declares Two-for-One Stock Split
The Toro Company reported net earnings of $55.8 million, or $1.00 per share, on net sales of $601 million, a decrease of 1.4 percent, for its fiscal third quarter ended July 29, 2016. In the comparable fiscal 2015 period, the company delivered net earnings of $53.3 million, or $0.94 per share, on net sales of $609.6 million. For the first nine months, Toro reported net earnings of $200.8 million. In the comparable fiscal 2015 period, the company posted net earnings of $178 million. Toro’s Board of Directors also declared a two-for-one split of the company’s common stock, which will be effected in the form of a 100 percent stock dividend. The stock dividend will be distributed on September 16, 2016, to shareholders of record as of September 1, 2016.

New California Law Requires Annual Training for Anyone Applying Pesticides to School Sites
An amendment to California’s Healthy Schools Act (HSA) went into effect on July 1. It requires teachers, custodians, administrators, other staff or volunteers, and licensed pest management professionals applying any pesticide (this includes disinfectants and antimicrobials) at a school site to take an annual training course covering school integrated pest management (IPM). The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) must approve the training course, reports the UC Agricultural and Natural Resources Green Blog. An online course, Providing Integrated Pest Management Services in Schools and Child Care Settings, has been approved for the annual training requirement of the HSA.

Netafim Web-Based Irrigation Controllers Earn WaterSense Label
Three of Netafim USA’s NLC web-based irrigation controllers have been awarded the WaterSense Label by the United States Environment Protection Agency. The NLC-100S Conventional, NLC-100D Decoder and NLC-100S Hybrid will all carry the WaterSense label, an endorsement that comes only from rigorous third-party testing and verification according to the WaterSense program’s stringent criteria for water efficiency and performance. Only those controllers that meet or exceed the standards, including a 20 percent or more reduction in water use, are awarded certification.

Hunter and Ewing Extend Recycling Program
Hunter Industries and Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply are extending the sprinkler-recycling program through December 31. Ewing announced the program last year for select California and Texas locations. Hunter and Ewing partnered to give new life to old sprinklers and keep them out of landfills. All plastic Hunter rotors and spray head sprinklers will be collected, except for those with stainless steel sleeves. Reusable materials from the collected sprinklers will be reclaimed and used by Hunter to manufacture new products. To recycle your Hunter sprinklers, check with a participating Ewing location in California, Colorado or Texas.

University of Florida’s Michael Dukes Earns John Deere Award
Michael Dukes, an irrigation specialist and research professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, recently won the 2016 John Deere Gold Medal Award from the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE). It’s one of three ASABE’s gold medals given each year, the highlight of the Annual International Meeting Awards Luncheon. Dukes, a Florida native, has earned two patents and written or co-written hundreds of journal articles, book chapters and conference proceeding papers. Other career awards include the Irrigation Foundation Excellence in Education award, the University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship (2010 to 2012), the ASABE Young Extension Worker award and induction to the Water Institute of the University of Florida as a faculty fellow.

Toro Extends Partnership With State of Ohio
The State of Ohio and Toro have renewed a long-standing contract approving the use of Toro equipment and irrigation products by all state agencies and authorized users. State agencies covered under the contract include municipalities, counties, public works departments, schools, parks and other state entities. The contract is set to expire on September 30, 2017.