News from around the Green industry

NYFVI Names DeBuck Producer of the Year

Leonard DeBuck

The New York Farm Viability Institute named Leonard DeBuck a Producer of the Year. The award is based on a producer’s willingness to promote farm-based/producer-driven research projects and share ideas and results of research studies. DeBuck owns and operates DeBuck’s Sod Farm in Pine Island, N.Y., with his wife Valerie and son Greg.

DeBuck got involved in a two-year experiment with sod production via a NYFVI-funded Cornell University study examining production methods that will grow sod at a faster rate, thus decreasing production costs. The research trials at DeBuck’s farm focus on decreasing time to harvest by using different levels of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Another growing method under examination is voluntary regrowth after harvesting a field. Martin Petrovic, a horticulture professor with Cornell, is working with the DeBucks on the project. Results of the study will be available in late 2008.  

GIE+EXPO Offers Benefits to All Participants

After a successful inaugural year, the Green Industry & Equipment Expo returns to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., October 23-25, 2008. The event is sponsored by the Professional Landcare Network, the Professional Grounds Management Society and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

Items on display will include lawn and garden products, outdoor leisure products, rental lines, outdoor power equipment and related products for consumer, commercial and rental use. The event will feature 650 exhibitors showcasing their latest innovations in one 425,700-square-foot exhibit hall; 19-acre outdoor demonstration area; The Dealer Experience—A Guide to Profitability; PLANET’s Green Industry Conference and PGMS’s School of Grounds Management; two free concerts; networking events; and giveaways.

Foley Participates in RVHFH Project & Dedication

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity held a house dedication ceremony to mark the completion of its latest building project in Franklin Township, N.J. Kim Foley, chairman and CEO of Foley, Inc., highlighted the importance of corporate partnerships with organizations such as Habitat. Building the houses was part of Foley’s 50th anniversary celebration, with 207 Foley employees volunteering their time. Foley is a signature sponsor, which is the largest corporate sponsor on a given project. In addition to providing funds and workers, the company also donated the use of its rental equipment.  

UMass Extension Landscape Message Now Free Online

The UMass Extension Landscape Message, previously available only by subscription, is now available for free online at http://umassgreeninfo.org/landscape_message/lm_welcome.html. The message allows landscapers, arborists, turf managers and nursery growers to be in touch with local pest activity on a 24-hour basis. The following information, from sites throughout Massachusetts, is available for turf and landscape plant materials: what insects are emerging that week; disease occurrences and potential disease problems; growing degree day reports; cultural problems and solutions; and pest management strategies, including integrated pest management.

A new message is available weekly during the heart of the growing season, biweekly in mid to late summer and monthly during the winter. A faxed version of the Landscape Message is available by subscription. Call 413-545-0895 or e-mail kcarroll@umext.umass.edu for details about a fax subscription.

MLB and No Fault Team Up for Playground

A ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony was held for a new No Fault EcoPlay Playground at Kips Bay Boys’ & Girls’ Club in New York. The playground was designed and built by No Fault Sport Group and Safeplay Systems. Ceremony attendees included representatives from Major League Baseball, Natural Resources Defense Council, Safeplay, No Fault, Boys’ and Girls’ Club of America and over 50 children and parents. No Fault collaborated with MLB on the project.

Rain Bird Announces Award Finalists

Rain Bird named the finalists for its 2008 Intelligent Use of Water Award, which recognizes persons or organizations whose innovation, leadership, ingenuity and overall commitment to improved landscape water efficiency has raised the standard for outdoor water conservation. The finalists are Christopher S. Gray Sr., Benton, Ky.; David Salman, Santa Fe, N.M.; Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association, Atlanta, Ga.; the Council on the Environment of NYC, New York, N.Y.; and Glendale Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, Glendale, Ariz.

The recipient will be announced October 11, 2008, at the Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition. The winner will be chosen by a panel of experts that includes Elizabeth Cutright, editor, Water Efficiency magazine; Dan Stark, executive director, American Public Gardens Association; Ron Stoltz, director, University of Arizona School of Landscape Architecture; and Marty Eberhardt, executive director, The Water Conservation Garden, and winner of the 2007 award.

News from John Deere

John Deere’s Worldwide Commercial & Consumer Equipment Division announced Stihl, Inc. and Stihl Ltd. as the preferred supplier of gas-powered and corded hand-held power equipment in the United States and Canada. The existing John Deere-branded hand-held power equipment will be substituted with the Stihl portfolio at qualifying John Deere servicing dealers. Joint marketing efforts will take place to increase awareness of both brands’ product offerings.

John Deere announced a new name and number system for its tractor line with the introduction of the new 5D, 5E, 5M and 6D Series Tractors. Each new model number has six available positions. The first number represents its size. The second, third and fourth numbers denote its relative metric engine horsepower. The fifth position is a letter and indicates its capability and/or price level within its family. The switch will not be immediate for all tractors, but will be phased in over time when new product families are introduced.

Deere & Co. will enhance its parts service capabilities by investing in capacity expansions at four locations. The primary parts distribution center in Milan, Ill., will be expanded over 300,000 square feet. Current parts depots in Portland, Ore., and Regina, Sask., Canada, will be renovated for operation as regional distribution centers. Activities at a parts depot in Stockton, Calif., will be expanded and relocated to Lathrop, Calif.

Peterson Appoints New Regional Sales Manager

Peterson appointed Charlie Bagnall to the position of regional sales manager for the Northeast. This area of responsibility includes the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Bagnall has 13 years of sales experience in the heavy equipment business, including four years in end user sales of Peterson products. He will be based in Exeter, Pa.

Husqvarna Launches Chain Saw Demo Days

Husqvarna has launched Chain Saw Demo Days as part of its brand marketing campaign, “Master Your Great Outdoors.”  Through October 31, outdoor enthusiasts can participate in the Chain Saw Demo Days events to be held at participating Husqvarna servicing dealer locations nationwide. The events coincide with fall chain saw season and Chain Saw Safety Awareness Month.

For more information, visit www.MasterYourGreatOutdoors.com or www.usa.husqvarna.com.

Bobcat Manufactures 750,000th Skid Steer Loader

Bobcat Co. has manufactured its 750,000th skid steer loader, reaching the milestone 50 years after the Melroe and Keller brothers partnered to introduce the Melroe self-propelled loader, later known as the Bobcat skid steer loader. The 750,000th loader was manufactured at the Bobcat facility in Gwinner, N.D.

Bobcat employees in Gwinner celebrated the milestone with a special assembly line ceremony. It was also marked during a public celebration of Bobcat’s 50th anniversary, which included a program featuring Yongmaan Park, chairman of parent company Doosan Infracore, and other Bobcat executives, as well as North Dakota Governor John Hoeven and members of the Melroe and Keller families. The celebration also showcased the Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed North American Road Tour, the 24th stop of a 25-city traveling exhibit of Bobcat history.

Water Summit Showcases Research, Trends & Best Practices

Over 30 companies participated in Ewing’s third Water Summit, held in Seattle, Wash. A biannual event, the summit provides a platform for industry professionals from across the country to explore issues pertaining to water management and conservation.

Offered in collaboration with Hunter Industries, the Water Summit’s interactive two-day program included presentations by Robert Glennon, University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law; Steve Wightman, stadium and field manager for Qualcomm Stadium; Patrick Griffiths, water resources coordinator for Bend, Ore.; Alan Beaulieu, Institute for Trend Research; Amy Vickers, Amy Vickers & Associates, Inc.; and Marla Carter, Water For People.

Industry partners Baseline, Calsense, Tournesol Siteworks and the Irrigation Association also contributed to the success of the summit.

Mi-T-M Unveils New Corporate Identity  

Mi-T-M Corp., a manufacturer of pressure washers, generators, air compressors and other industrial equipment, unveiled a new corporate identity. The “M” in the new logo graphically represents a foundation of integrity, dedication, quality and excellence. The secondary graphic element is the colored stripes that have traditionally bordered the “M” and decorated Mi-T-M equipment. The three stripes will remain standard on all Mi-T-M equipment. The new corporate identity will be implemented through a transitional process.

Stihl Recognizes 1,000th Gold Level Service Technician

Stihl, Inc. certified its 1,000th Gold dealer service technician, Monte Gens of Monte’s Small Engine in Fredonia, N.Y. Gold level training is the third step in the Stihl technical education program that certifies Stihl service technicians. Technicians participating in this training provide service for the company’s product line at dealerships across the nation.

New Bird Control Product Catalog from Bird-B-Gone

Bird-B-Gone, Inc. announced a new catalog, which features a complete line of bird deterrents. The full-color, 45-page catalog includes new products such as Bat Net and new hardware. A free copy may be obtained by calling 800-392-6915, e-mailing nobirds@birdbgone.com or visiting www.birdbgone.com.

Millenia Achieves GreenSpec Designation

Millenia Wall Solutions announced that its retaining wall units have been selected for listing in the GreenSpec Directory, published by BuildingGreen, LLC, Brattleboro, Vt. GreenSpec undertakes rigorous analysis of all products submitted for review and endeavors to include only the top 5 to 10 percent of the most environmentally positive alternatives among all green products.

Millenia uses 100 percent recycled, preconsumer polymeric resin materials in all its wall products. These materials are inert and do not leach any chemicals into the soil. Because they are lightweight, it takes less energy to transport Millenia wall units.

Undergrads Receive 2008 Bayer Scholarships

Bayer Environmental Science awarded its 2008 Bayer Undergraduate Scholarships, which recognize students pursuing careers in the green industry who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership skills. This year’s recipients are Tyler Andersen, Natasha Burkholder, Chase McKeithen, Mary Buth, Glen Smart, Jay Weaver, Angelo Magnasco, Stephanie Hranek, Floyd Tyler Cooper, Mike Paciga, Jeffery Jones, Andrew Storey, Sean Allen, Joshua Dunaway, Ryan Standifird, Shane Dorsey, Robert Cross, Jared Long, Nathan Albert Carney, Richard William Irvin, Jorden Thien, Jon Savoie, Kristopher Burkhart, Greg Caldwell, William Kreuser, Peter Schmidt and John Daniels.

Toro Expands TLC Program, Hosts WaterSmart Symposium

Toro has expanded the Toro Loyalty Counts Program to allow customers to earn credit toward Toro parts. Customers receive TLC Points when they buy Toro Genuine Parts for commercial products. The points can be redeemed for Toro logo items, merchandise and parts credit. Customers can register at www.tlc.programhq.com.

Toro Irrigation brought together landscape professionals and industry experts at its Success Without Excess III WaterSmart Symposium (available online at www.torowatersmart.com) to discuss the importance of water conservation methods in landscaping. Toro invited Stephanie Tanner, WaterSense products lead, Environmental Protection Agency; Mary Ann Dickinson, executive director, Alliance for Water Efficiency; and Julian Gray, CEO, Smart Approved WaterMark, to share their expertise during the symposium. They addressed how their agencies are working to promote products and services that help conserve water, educate consumers and champion solutions for sustainable water use around the home.

Biobarrier Selected for Urban Plaza Test

Fiberweb, Inc.’s Biobarrier Root Control Fabric is being used as the root barrier in a test of structural and noncompacted soils surrounding tree plantings in urban plazas. The test, conducted by Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories, Charlotte, N.C., compares a variety of soils and their efficacy for tree growth in a restricted area. Biobarrier’s role in this test is to confine the tree roots to the cell where the tree is growing. When the independent research is completed, Bartlett will know more about the impact of treatments on tree growth, how better to maintain trees in an urban setting and the impact of treatment on the integrity of the surrounding concrete.

Navman Enters Strategic Partnership with Donlen

Navman Wireless North America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Navman Wireless Holdings, has entered a strategic partnership with Donlen Corp. Donlen, through its subsidiary d/b/a Donlen Telematics, will now provide its customer base with Navman Wireless’ GPS fleet management solutions.

Scotts Promotes Shrom

The Scotts Co. North America Professional Business Group has promoted Karl Shrom to the position of marketing manager for specialty agriculture products. Shrom will be working in the specialty agriculture business across North America with an emphasis on expanding Scotts’ reach in areas producing high-value specialty crops.

Shrom previously served as senior formulations specialist for Scotts. He was also lead formulator for the Peters line of water-soluble fertilizers. Prior to joining Scotts, Shrom managed a local public golf course for seven years. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Ohio Wesleyan University.