SonicSolutions has partnered with AlgaeControl.US to distribute a powerful ultrasound transducer for non-chemical algae control. The new company will be merging the two names, and will move forward as SonicSolutions Algae Control.
The patent pending Hydro Bio-Science product line, manufactured by Diversified Power International, a Piney Flats, TN manufacturing facility, includes two models, Quattro-DB and *Mezzo-DB, and provides more than 2,000 frequencies in one transducer head. The algae control range can reach up to 120 acres of coverage for blue-green algae with a single unit.
“AlgaeControl.US has always promoted the Trifecta approach, which include three tools-in-the-toolbox for eliminating algae in affected bodies of water — bacteria, aeration and ultrasound,” CTO and VP George Hutchinson said. “Partnering with SonicSolutions and merging our teams to grow our customer service and sales base makes sense.”
The *Quattro-DB by Hydro Bio-Science is designed for algae and biofilm control. A radial sound output is achieved with two piezo sound emitters that can operate in two different bandwidths for better control of green algae and diatoms in the lower bandwidth and blue-green algae in the higher bandwidth, all accomplished with one device.
The device works in harmony with aquatic wildlife, aquatic plants, bio-solids and planktonic organisms other than algae. Since the device can control biofilm formation on cleaned surfaces, surfaces near the device remain clean for longer periods after being initially cleaned thanks to inhibiting anaerobic bacterial colonization. Fungi and bacteria with gas vesicles will also be controlled by the device by causing them to lose buoyancy.
The device creates ultrasonic frequencies that cover two important bandwidth areas where algae can be controlled via critical structural resonance similar to the way a crystal glass can be broken by the right sound pitch. Ultrasound works as the force to cause these internal vibrations in algae cells or in organelles inside the algae cells that disable them.
Syngenta has launched Appear II fungicide to provide superintendents with control of diseases like Pythium and anthracnose, while improving stress tolerance and turf quality in both warm- and cool-season grasses.
Appear II is designed for inside-out turf protection, with the active ingredient immediately available and quickly absorbed by the plant in its most active form, and an increased pigment load provide a deep, natural green color and enhanced turf quality.
“We developed Appear II with superintendents and golfers in mind,” said Steve Dorer, fungicide brand manager for turf at Syngenta. “Not only does it deliver the proven disease control superintendents have come to expect from our fungicides, it also offers improved mixability and resuspension that makes it easier to use and provides a more natural green color golfers can see.”
Internal research has showed that Appear II consistently enhances the performance of fungicide programs for disease control and stress tolerance. And when tank mixed with other fungicides, it includes additional diseases, such as bermudagrass leaf spot, bermudagrass decline/take-all root rot and pink snow mold.
“By incorporating Appear II into agronomic programs, superintendents can expect more than just increased disease control,” said Lane Tredway, Syngenta’s technical services manager for turf. “It also helps quicken spring green-up and really improves aesthetics and playability all season.”
Target Specialty Products is rolling out Turf Fuel Element 6, the flagship product in its Turf Fuel nutritional product line.
“Element 6 was designed to be the go-to product for turf managers seeking the highest turf quality in challenging environmental conditions,” said Mark Jull, Head of Turf Fuel Products’ Division, at Target Specialty Products. “Target Specialty Products’ customers and technical sales representatives have gravitated toward Element 6 as the backbone of their nutrition, fungicide and plant growth regulator tank mixes.”
Element 6 includes more proprietary Turf Fuel ingredients than any other product in the portfolio, with heavy internal research showing benefit in multiple stress situations.
“Element 6 is built on a platform of key sugars and amino acids coupled with our proprietary silica and the highest dose of Nutrifense available in any Turf Fuel product,” Turf Fuel Nutritional Product Development Manager Steve Loveday said. “We first discovered how powerful Element 6 really was in a Michigan State University study where turf treated with Element 6 was two-and-a-half times healthier than any other treatment under extreme drought and heat conditions.”
Turf Fuel Element 6 and other Turf Fuel products are available exclusively from Target Specialty Products, which is continuing its continental expansion.
Hello. Great to meet you. Let’s start walking and talking.
Bethpage State Park horticulturist Victor Azzaretto and I dash through the maintenance facility and down a steep hill referred to as “Pike’s Peak.” We stop briefly at a spot called “Victor’s Valley,” a former dump-turned-garden parallel to the Black Course’s fourth fairway.
Azzaretto talks excitedly, waving his arms and hands describing how his role managing plant species fits into the greater mission of the five-course park. A gallery marches along the right side of the hole and Dustin Johnson, the world’s top ranked golfer, struts between the gallery and the temporary stopping point. Neither of us has much to discuss about Johnson’s prospects at the 101st PGA Championship.
Bethpage fascinates because if offers 1,368 acres of public greenspace, including a major championship golf course and four other soothing tracts, within a crowd slice of Long Island. High-energy, high-productivity personalities such as Azzaretto are entrusted with doing what they deem fit to lure visitors to the park. A Long Island native, Azzaretto worked as a teenager in Bethpage’s clubhouse, then joined the golf course maintenance crew, and later earned a horticulture degree from nearby SUNY-Farmingdale. His bosses created the horticulturist title, satisfying Azzaretto’s desire to work with plants while boosting golf course and park aesthetics. “This is a nice hidden gem,” he says. “You can learn a lot here.”
A hidden gem? In a county with 1.3 million residents? At a major championship venue? The rise of the Black Course as a fabled American golf venue represents a small sliver of Bethpage’s busy existence.
Daily green fees and PGA Championship tickets come with visual perks carefully cultivated by the Bethpage staff. Broomsedge adds fire and color to the golf courses, with the plants being grown by the thousands each spring in a greenhouse Azzaretto manages near the Green Course. The periphery of the Black Course boasts dozens of birdboxes, providing audible escapes from subway rumbles, car horns and jet engines.
Park ecologist Yael Weiss says tree swallows, bluebirds, warblers, red-tailed hawks and great horned owls are among the birds spotted on the Black Course each spring. The park collects data on its wildlife as naturalist Jim Jones serves as a part-time employee responsible for studying hawk and owl activity. Weiss hopes golfers are inspired to become citizen-scientists and contribute to the digital community of photos and observations.
“Before I got this job, I didn’t even know Bethpage State Park had a public area that people could go to,” says Weiss, a graduate of nearby Hofstra University. “I thought it was only for golf. It was a new world. It’s an open classroom and there’s so much that you can learn here. If this golf course wasn’t here, this would be developed. It would be a mall or something. People will say it’s a golf course and they use pesticides and all of that, but there’s so much untouched area between all the wooded areas and all the pollinator gardens and rough areas that serve as wildlife refuge. There’s so much greenspace here. It’s an important part of Long Island.”
The Black Course starter’s hut, a spot thousands of spectators pass during a major championship, displays signage promoting Bethpage’s status as a Certified Audubon Sanctuary. An extensive study with Cornell University examining reducing inputs makes Bethpage a frequent topic in industry research papers and conference presentations. But the park’s best ambassadors and educators are its employees, many of whom are self-starters such as director of agronomy Andy Wilson and Black Course superintendent Mike Hadley. Even well-traveled tournament veterans such as PGA of America chief championships officer Kerry Haigh notice employees’ zest for the park. “Their passion for this venue, for their golf courses, is second to none,” he says.
Creating repeatable course conditions over the years has allowed Bethpage to extend its outreach efforts, and Wilson and Hadley openly talk with anyone willing to listen about their maintenance practices and management philosophies. Wilson, who grew up in Bethpage, and Hadley, a western Pennsylvania native entrenched on Long Island for two decades, maintain turf that takes a pounding (the five courses combine for more than 225,000 annual rounds) yet keeps flourishing. Their team includes multiple employees who migrated from Bethpage only to return, a sign of the park’s enduring pull on talented people seeking lasting fulfillment.
State bureaucracy, golfers of all skill levels, taxpayer money, ecology, horticulture, Northeast intensity, televised tournaments and predatory birds could be a toxic mix at some places. But it all meshes at Bethpage.
Azzaretto continues our walk, stopping in the woods twice, including once on the way up “Pike’s Peak” to showcase blooming pink lady’s slipper, the only orchid found in the park. The people who care deeply about Bethpage are always moving, stopping and explaining. Creating connections to a park, whether it’s via golf, horticulture or ecology, requires unyielding enthusiasm.
It’s a major undertaking.
Guy Cipriano is GCI’s editor.