Not a lot of people in the turf industry have heard of GreenTRX. But that circumstance is changing. In a span of just a few months, the slow-release fertilizer is making a big impression.
GreenTRX was introduced this spring by Anuvia, an up-and-coming company based in Zellwood, Fla.. The product was submitted for a study at Penn State University in May and since then, superintendents at a handful of golf courses have been conducting their own ad hoc evaluations. Early reports indicate they like the results they're getting and are now beginning to incorporate GreenTRX into their fertilization programs.
What makes GreenTRX stand out? Simply put, it produces green grass in a very short span, typically within a few days’ time. John Fowler, a veteran of the turf industry, is Anuvia's sales manager for turf. "I've heard customers tell me that they've never seen something that's in a dry form when it starts that turns grass so green so fast."
GreenTRX itself is comprised of dry, homogenous granules composed of organic matter. Virtually any organic substance can be converted into the product, anything from food wastes, to waste water, to animal waste. The foundation of the product is its Organic MaTRX technology that allows the turf and the surrounding soil to absorb nutrients more efficiently. The Organic MaTRX features electronically charged amino acids that provide "docking sites" for various nutrients, such as nitrogen, iron, and sulfur. In layman's terms, the product mimics what happens with organic matter in the soil.
Dan Froehlich, Anuvia's vice president for development is an agronomist by training. He notes that GreenTRX contains multiple nutrients in the same granule, which improves distribution of nutrients. The nutrients provided are also in plant-available forms, which allows them to be absorbed more quickly by the plants and the amino acids in GreenTRX feeds the microbes in the soil.
You get synergy when nutrients are all in one granule and in the same place," he says. "Sulfur has been shown to improve the uptake of nitrogen when they are in close proximity to each other. Iron uptake is also improved by having it close to the nitrogen and sulfur."
Much of the iron that people apply today is not in a form the plant can use directly. It may be able to take it in but it can't utilize it internally until it converts it. Our product has the iron in a form where it can use it right away. That's one of the reasons we see rapid green up without getting the excessive growth."
Froehlich notes that Green TRX utilizes an ammonium form of nitrogen, which minimizes potential issues with leaching, ammonia volatilization, and leaf burn.
The product works on a continuous-release basis. Sixty-five percent of the nitrogen releases in the first two weeks after application, the remaining 35 percent over the following six to eight weeks; optimum re-application timing is still being determined, but following existing recommendations is very effective.
Conditions on a golf course are, needless to say, often different from those at a test center, a nursery, or even a practice area. But Anuvia has already done some testing in anticipation of one of those issues, cart traffic. Superintendents will experiment with GreenTRX on problem areas to see if it can eliminate or alleviate issues.
"We've had people that put it out and then purposely drove golf carts across it multiple times to make sure you don't see the wheel tracks," Froehlich says. "Which can happen with other fertilizers.
"All the feedback we've received so far is you don't get that streaking from the compaction and that concentration when you're driving over it. We’re pretty confident we’re not going to have those issues."
Froehlich is enthusiastic about GreenTRX to be sure. But the turf professional in him is careful to temper his enthusiasm. "As agronomist I'm cautiously optimistic and try to never overstate a product’s capabilities," he says. "We will continue to put GreenTRX through the paces and work with the superintendents to be sure we position it correctly. I've seen a lot of products come and go over the years and one of the issues you can have when you bring out a new product is overcoming negative perceptions. Fortunately, we have done enough mode of action work and understand our product very well so we haven’t faced any negative perceptions."
Rick Woelfel is a Philadelphia-based golf writer and frequent GCI contributor.