Couldn’t make it to Irrigation Show this year? We’ve got you covered. Turf is on the ground, covering everything you need to know at the show. At the end of each day, we curate the top five moments from the busy day’s events — from announcements at press conferences to inspiring advice from educational sessions. Here are some of the top takeaways from Wednesday, Dec. 7.

1. Rain Bird’s New Wifi Module

Rain Bird has made remote access and control for residential and light commercial irrigation systems available with the new LNK WiFi Module. The device is similar in size to a USB drive and can receive weather information from the internet to adjust daily run schedules. The app connects to the module and can give real-time updates to the contractor and homeowner.

2. Coming Soon: An Interactive Map for Landscape Water Use

Time is of the essence when making adjustments to the irrigation schedule. If you wait a month to get the water meter bill, it’s too late. Using flow meters can help you keep track every day. Markus Hogue, program coordinator for the University of Texas at Austin, is creating an interactive map that can track each landscape area for water use. Once finished, it will be published live on the university’s website.

–  From the presentation, “Water Management through Live Dashboard Monitoring” with Markus Hogue, landscaping program coordinator at the University of Texas, Austin

3. Dormancy is a Drought-Resistant Mechanism

Because of heat island effect, people are realizing the need for irrigated green space. “The grass is not the culprit — it’s the irrigation system,” says turfgrass specialist Dr. Bernd Leinauer. The question to answer is not “how much do plants use water?” Instead ask “what is the minimum they need to survive?” Dormancy is a drought-resistant mechanism — it should not be confused as the same as “water use” or “water requirement.” However, more studies are needed to determine the amount of water needed for turfgrass and plants to recover from dormancy.

– From the session, “Turfgrass Selection to Maximize Water Efficiency” with Dr. Bernd Leinauer, extension turfgrass specialist, New Mexico State University

4.  Moving Away from Mandates

When there are water shortages, the current government response is mandates. Data will help prove the case and can help push government in a direction that isn’t such a prescriptive approach. By giving irrigation professionals and homeowners flexibility to choose how to reduce their water usage, they can make their own choices that still get to the same required results without mandates.

– From the session, “A New Approach to Sustainable Irrigation Practices” Doug Pushard, owner, Harvest H2o

5. Becoming a Better Listener

Everyone is selling every day. Our messaging is mainly outbound, and instead we need to be listening more than speaking. Effective listening requires the intent to understand. And understanding will have a greater benefit and get better results. Cliff Woodbury, senior vice president of culture and engagement for Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply, says there are four reasons to listen: to understand, to build trust, to be heard and to get results.

– From “Is anyone listening?” with Cliff Woodbury, senior vice president of culture & engagement for Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply.

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