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GIE+EXPO 2016 Kicks Off
The annual Green Industry and Equipment Expo kicked off this week in Louisville, Kentucky. The editors of Turf will be covering everything you need to know at the show with daily recap posts, bringing you the top moments from each day. If you’re at the show, be sure to stop by our booth, No. 10188, and say hello!

PERC Announces Inaugural ‘Propane Leadership Award’ Recipients. Awards announced during Dealer Day ceremony at GIE+EXPO
The Propane Education & Research Council announced its first annual Propane Leadership Award recipients on October 19, 2016 at GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Kentucky. Mike Halloran, owner of Halloran Power Equipment and MowerWorks in Chicago, and Jeff Sebert, owner of Sebert Landscaping in Chicago, are the first-ever recipients of the award.

“The Propane Leadership Award is designed to recognize those in the commercial landscape industry who are not only using propane equipment to better their own business profiles, but who have become propane advocates to their peers as well,” said Jeremy Wishart, deputy director of business development for PERC. “Both Mike Halloran and Jeff Sebert are shining examples of business owners who did their homework and understood the positive impact propane equipment could have on their businesses, both financially and environmentally. Now, they are reaping the rewards of propane while differentiating themselves from the local competition at the same time.”

Feds Allege Mainscape CEO Participated in Health Care Fraud
Dave Mazanowski, owner and CEO of Mainscape Inc., faces federal wire, mail and health care fraud charges alleging he participated for years in a scheme to defraud the federal health care system of millions of dollars. Mazanowski founded Mainscape in the early 1980s. In 2015 the company reported revenues of just over $70 million, making it one of the largest landscape companies in the Midwest.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis filed the case against Mazanowski on Wednesday, October 12, hours after a judge unsealed a 32-count indictment alleging James Burkhart, former ASC Chief Operating Officer Dan Benson, Burkhart’s brother Joshua and Burkhart’s friend Steven Ganote used shell companies and inflated invoices in a $16 million fraud and kickback scheme.

NCNLA Assists Members in Recovery Efforts After Hurricane Matthew
Days removed from the initial impact of Hurricane Matthew, historic flooding continues to threaten green industry business across eastern North Carolina.  While several wholesale nursery operations remain under several feet of water, businesses that have seen flooding recede are left to assess catastrophic damage to crops, structures and equipment.

In response to the storm, NCNLA has deployed several resources to begin to assist members in their ongoing recovery efforts:

  • NC Green Industry – Hurricane Recovery Facebook Page: A number of businesses have shared personal stories, along with some harrowing images, from the storm. In the coming weeks, this resource will be used to coordinate volunteer assistance/clean-up events at businesses that are need assistance. NCNLA will also share the latest news, including recovery and relief information from federal and state authorities, as it becomes available.
  • Green Industry Damage and Loss Assessment Survey: In conjunction with North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the North Carolina Farm Bureau, NCNLA has developed an industry-specific Damage and Loss Assessment Survey to more accurately gauge the extent of damage to green industry businesses in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
  • NCNLA Hurricane Recovery Resource Page: NCNLA will continue to update this information portal with available federal and state aid resources for affected businesses and individuals. The Hurricane Recovery Resource Page contains information about programs available to members as they begin to rebuild, including detailed information about eligibility for these programs as well as information for the appropriate entities to contact when requesting assistance.

MSU Turf Info Center Gets Dr. James Watson Collection
The Turfgrass Information Center of the Michigan State University Libraries has received a major donation of turfgrass industry materials from the family of Dr. James R. Watson (1920-2013), the former director of agronomy for The Toro Company. Included are hundreds of monographs, including university extension publications and bulletins, as well as 2,000-plus issues of periodical titles and assorted handwritten notes, loose articles, project binders, corporate-related papers, advertisements, commercial items, business correspondence, and personal papers. Watson’s materials also came with a few dozen boxes of slides and photographic materials.

Bayer Opens 2016 Fall Solutions Early Order Program
Environmental Science, a business unit of the Crop Science division of Bayer, is launching the 2016 Bayer Fall Solutions Program, offering early order incentives for lawn and landscape professionals in the coming year. Fall Solutions extends through December 9, 2016. The flexible program allows participants to save on individual products and product bundles to maximize savings.

To participate in Fall Solutions, industry professionals must be a member of My Bayer Rewards. To learn more about My Bayer Rewards membership, please contact My Bayer Rewards at 1-888-456-6464 or email mybayerrewards@aimia.com.

Propane Mower Incentive Program Returns
The Propane Education & Research Council reopened online applications for the Propane Mower Incentive Program, a program in which landscape contractors, facilities managers, municipal fleet directors — and even homeowners — can apply for incentives of $1,000 for the purchase of a new propane mower, or $500 to convert an existing machine with a qualified conversion kit.

Visit Propane.com/Mower-Incentive to apply for the program. The website also offers a free Propane Mower Calculator in which contractors wanting to research the financial savings they might incur when switching to propane equipment can use.

Virginia Tech Recommends PremierPRO Bermudagrass for Virginia and Maryland
Sod Production Services, a division of Riverside Turf that provides sod production consultations as well as acts as the licensing agent for PremierPRO Bermudagrass, announces that PremierPRO has received a recommendation from Virginia Tech University. Dr. Mike Goatley and the team at Virginia Tech named PremierPRO as a recommended variety for use in Maryland and Virginia. The recommendation was published as part of the 2016-2017 annual report of turfgrass recommendations produced by the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

The report establishes a list of turfgrasses that have been studied and ranked according to their growth success in the states of Maryland and Virginia. In order to be considered for recommendation, turfgrasses must be available as certified seeds, sprigs, or sod; must be tested at sites in Virginia and Maryland; and must outperform other varieties for a minimum of three years. The report was published in August of 2016.

OPEI Issues Response to Bloomberg Businessweek Article
Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), has issued a statement in response to the Bloomberg Businessweek story, “Grass Warfare in L.A,” stating “America’s public policy responses to drought require well-thought out and proven strategies. California’s lawn rebate gimmick did far more harm than good – showing that hasty decision making may not be in the best of interest of the environment, families, or government coffers. I hope that other state and local governments can learn from California’s mistakes, so they don’t pay as steep a price.  Drought isn’t forever. Let’s not make forever mistakes.”

You can read his full statement on OPEI.org.

Sarlo Power Mowers, Inc. launches BigMo 34
Sarlo Power Mowers, Inc. introduces the new BigMo™ 34” Hydro, a walk-behind mower with a 34-inch cutting deck, hydro transmission and the patented Twin Track™ Deck. The Twin Track cutting system features an in-line spindle design built into a compact platform.

Thunder Creek Equipment Hosts Free Webinar on DEF Handling for Construction Equipment
Thunder Creek Equipment has announced a free webinar focused on Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) handling and best practices for the construction industry. The webinar, scheduled for Tuesday, December 6th at 1:30 p.m. CST, will cover important topics related to the construction industry, such as how DEF can become contaminated in transit or on a jobsite, as well as the many types of risks to high-horsepower equipment associated with improper DEF handling.

The webinar will also cover standards and best practices to maintain DEF purity, the value of API-Certified DEF and many other important topics relates to DEF handling for construction equipment.

Luke Van Wyk, owner and sales manager of Thunder Creek Equipment, will serve as the host and moderator of the webinar. In addition to his role at Thunder Creek, Van Wyk also serves on the Association of Equipment Management Professionals’ committee for fuel and DEF purity. He is also a regular speaker at the annual Integer Emissions Summit & DEF Forum USA’s off-highway DEF market panel.

Read last week’s industry news here: New Isuzu Truck Details Released, North Dakota State Dropping Turfgrass Program, Plus More Industry News