Monday, September 27, 2010

The future of Maintenance

Hawks Landing is just down the road from one of the best turf research facilities in the country.  The University also has a top notch group of plant pathologists that devote much of their time in studying ways to reduce our inputs in all facets of golf course maintenance.  some of their research includes testing new turfgrass varieties to give the end user valuable information when selection seed.  Also they have developed  many models for the golf course superintendent to use in disease forecasting , this helps us in selecting the proper chemicals, proper application timing and the end result may save us money and reduce our use.

This year I have been working directly with Dr. Jim Kerns in a study that may be the future of chemical application.  What we are looking at is using a GPS guided sprayer to save time, apply only what and where you need it and in the end reduce our inputs.

Above are a few pictures of this new technology.  The accuracy of the GPS is within 1 foot and you can see a map that is made of the area treated.  Also this map is stored in an on board computer that can be accessed for record keeping.  Another great future is that each of the 11 nozzles is independent and only comes on when needed.  At the end of the application you only treat exactly what you want.  Our current sprayer is quite advanced and works extremely well and is calibrated to the exact amount needed. but having indepented nozzle control and hands free driving does save time and there is no chance of over application.           

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