As we adapt to the unprecedented challenges posed by the quickly evolving coronavirus situation, we want to assure you that Syngenta continues to take steps to ensure we are operating safely. Syngenta’s priority is the health and safety of our employees, families, customers and partners.
We continue to assess the situation daily and take actions in an abundance of caution to maintain business continuity while focusing on the safety and health of our customers and employees, including:
Supply Chain and Operations:
- Maintaining our supply chain, which has had minimal impact on our ability to serve our customers with continued supply reliability.
- Implementing contingency plans at Syngenta production locations and working with suppliers to ensure continued operation without disruption.
- Increasing our distribution capacity, adjusting hours of operations and positioning our inventory to replenish product from alternative locations should the need arise.
- Ensuring our customer service and logistics organizations are fully operational as they work remotely.
- As a leading industry innovator, our R&D teams and facilities remain at work, with appropriate precautions, to ensure we can meet our customers’ evolving needs.
- We encourage early placement of orders recognizing current strong demand.
- We are working to maintain service and relationships while minimizing personal contact as many of our customers are doing.
- We are continuing to monitor needs of our customers, channel partners, and our inventories to ensure we meet demand for our products.
- We have issued direction to our teams restricting travel and visitors at our sites for business-critical purposes only, for now.
- We have postponed or cancelled many planned events and activities, and are replacing non-essential in-person meetings with virtual discussions.
- We are following the advice and guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies at all levels including recommended social distancing.
- All our employees who can work remotely are doing so. We have technology in place to help them maintain our business operations including servicing our customers.
- For critical operations that cannot be accomplished remotely, we have implemented additional safety protocols and are cleaning and disinfecting our facilities for a safe work environment.
We are in regular communication with our employees to keep them informed of protective measures, operating guidance and the protocol to follow if they develop symptoms consistent with Covid-19.We will maintain these protective measures, and adjust or increase them as needed, until it is safe to resume normal operations. We hope our efforts do not cause you undue disruption when you interact with us and that you understand why we are being aggressive in doing our part to contain the spread of this virus.
Members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects participated in a Twitter chat Thursday in response to industry changes based on Coronavirus and Covid-19. They discussed what they are hearing from clients across the golf industry and seeing at golf facilities in their own areas. The chat transcript follows.
What is your general message to the golf course industry today?
ASGCA President Jan Bel Jan: I’ve tried to put myself in the shoes of club owners/operators. We should be aware of and weigh government stances (federal/state/local) each day. In this uncertain time, we must still respect staff members, golfers and feelings about personal safety and economic security.
ASGCA Past President Jeff Blume: I’m doing fine and am still visiting sites as normal. I have many projects underway that are carrying forward.
Forrest Richardson, ASGCA: The game has survived wars, recessions and even plagues. We can all agree the game is a reprieve from everyday troubles, so I think we need to look inward to see how it might help society at this point in time.
What has your interaction with clients been like the past couple weeks? How have things changed and how can you be effective?
ASGCA Past President Tom Marzolf: We are switching to video member meetings and using GoToMeeting – a good site for meetings to look at drawings and talk thru the computer. Fazio Design is still working. We are building four new courses this year and working on lots of renovations.
Jason Straka, ASGCA: Fry/Straka Golf has a new remodel client that is going to disinfect carts and have them available for one person to drive around the course together for an on-site meeting. No meeting will take place within an enclosed space.
Richardson: We’ve resurrected our ability to hold meetings via GoToMeeting. We had a nine-person meeting Tuesday and it has kept a project on schedule, avoided travel and allowed our client (the State of California) to adhere to their governor’s rules on in-person meetings.
What is your message to someone at a facility considering a project?
ASGCA Past President Dr. Michael Hurdzan: A golf course is a living organism that must be continually fed, watered, groomed, treated for pests and nurtured whether there are golfers or not. Golf may not be high on the spectrum of discretionary spending, although it should be if people think about it.
Richardson: We need to be safe, but we also need to keep people working so they are able to support their families. The best advice I can give now is to try your best to allow work to continue, but make sure you’re protecting everyone as it gets done.
ASGCA Executive Director Chad Ritterbusch: We need to be safe and good neighbors but golf is unique as a recreational pursuit that can still be played safely; just as the golf course industry can carry forward, just in a different way.
What is happening with respect to golf course construction?
Blume: My clients that are under construction are moving ahead without delay so far. I’m starting a new small renovation in San Antonio in a couple of weeks and hoping to finish up a local job in the next six weeks.
ASGCA Past President John LaFoy: From a construction standpoint, work continues on three of my current projects. Nothing is different than normal, except maybe dispensing of the handshakes.
Straka: Wadsworth Golf Construction was contacted by one of our mutual clients and asked if they were going to shut down construction. Wadsworth met and said since their construction is outside that they could keep good social distance; low risk to their employees.
Compared to the economic crisis of 2008, do you think golf facilities are better-equipped to handle today’s challenges?
ASGCA Past President Clyde Johnston: A golf facility that made it through the last 12 years should be in better shape, but I see some that are unable to perform needed repairs/renovations; bunkers being the most visible. When I talk to people, I always highlight the game’s benefits.
Ritterbusch: Those who used the circumstances 12 years ago to plan ahead tended to do best coming out of the volatility. Travel and other aspects may be affected now but the best courses (existing and potential) will talk about options with their architects and other team members.
Are you playing golf this week?
Brit Stenson, ASGCA: I have played, yes, and even shot my age for the first time last week! My club has closed all inside functions (dining, fitness, bridge, locker rooms, golf shop, etc.) but golf and tennis are still open for now. Walking and carrying my own clubs feels safe.
LaFoy: The clubs near me are remaining open (except the dining rooms) and members are using carts. Other courses where I am working allow walking only.
Any additional comments?
Bel Jan: As much as we know that playing golf and being outside is healthful, some government agencies may disagree on the grounds of protecting workforces. The same may be true for some clubs who want to assure they have staff who will return once the crisis is over.
Richardson: Golf is a tremendous individual sport with built-in social distancing. While many municipal park systems are closing, at most I have read about, the golf courses are remaining open; they don’t pose the close encounters associated with other facilities.
LaFoy: I recently referred a repeat client of mine to an ASGCA member architect who lives 20 minutes from the course needing attention rather than me flying 700 miles to get to the course. It provides another architect work and saves the client money on expenses.
Marzolf: Golf courses are staying open in our area. The grass is getting cut.
The collective findings of a study conducted by Purdue University and EnP Investments, LLC., provide evidence that amino acids exogenously applied to turfgrass foliage can be rapidly absorbed and serve as stable sources of precursor molecules to be integrated into the metabolism of the plant.
The data also suggests that intact amino acids are taken up by turfgrass foliage rather than being mineralized into other transportable forms of nitrogen.
“We’ve always said that our goal is to move the science forward in our industry,” EnP president George C. Murray said. “This is accomplished by doing research like this that helps us to better understand how we can effectuate metabolic changes in plants through an exogenous foliar application of specific amino acids.”
According to the study, the research was carried out as a result of the trend of amino acids emerging in many foliarly-applied products marketed to golf course superintendents and sports turf managers with claims of enhanced growth, greening and increased resistance to stress. Despite the substantial sales of such products from a variety of companies in the turfgrass market, there have been limited studies on the uptake by and the fate of amino acids in turfgrass foliage.
“The research you see here is just the beginning of a long line of research on this subject,” Murray said. “This investment in new research demonstrates our dedication and our commitment to our customers and to the industry at large.”“Exploratory Study on the Foliar Incorporation and Stability of Isotopically Labeled Amino Acids Applied to Turfgrass” was published on March 5, 2020, and is available in abstract, HTML, and PDF forms.
World Water Day is March 22 and RISE — Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment — is emphasizing the importance of protecting Earth’s most precious natural resource from toxic threats, including harmful algal blooms. Though algae is part of all food chains, some algal blooms produce toxins that can harm humans, wildlife or other aquatic organisms. Through proactive management, consumers and professionals can help prevent toxic algae from infesting local bodies of water and keep lakes, ponds and reservoirs safe for fishing, water sports and irrigation.
“Water is a critical resource for all living things, making it essential that we build coordinated, forward-thinking management plans for our ecosystems,” RISE president Megan Provost said. “In order to prevent and respond to threats in a targeted way, water managers must have access to a variety of technologies, including algaecides. We urge localities that are enhancing their water management systems to include professional pesticide applicators in conversations. Whether a water body is publicly or privately owned, a certified professional can provide insight on how to properly prevent and treat harmful algal blooms.”
Algae can be transported by people, when moving boats or other equipment from one body of water to another, by animals such as turtles who can transport algae on their shell, by waterfowl like geese and ducks, and even through the air. Ways for consumers to combat harmful algal blooms include:
- Avoid dumping bait buckets in bodies of water
- Wash boats and other fishing equipment before transporting them from one water body to another
- Take steps to prevent geese, ducks and other waterfowl from entering bodies of water
- Decrease the amount of foreign nutrients introduced to waterways, such as leaf and grass clippings as well as excess fertilizer and animal wastes
- Call the local wildlife commission or a certified professional if a local lake, river or beach side exhibits signs of a harmful algal bloom invasion, such as a weird smell, discoloration or dead fish