Relieving Golf Course Heat and Heavy Traffic Stresses

By Michael Gardner, Senior Director of Huma Gro® Turf Sales at Bio Huma Netics, Inc.

[Note: This article first appeared in the April 2018 issue of Tee Times Golf Guide Magazine.]

I just had one of those days on the golf course when you sit back and think, “Wow, what a great day!” I played a fabulous course in Carlsbad, Calif., where the ocean breeze is cool and refreshing and the sun warms your soul.

The course runs through coastal hills and valleys with impressive elevation changes. From the hill tops, you can see the ocean. Down in the valleys are wetlands, streams, and what are called “environmentally sensitive” areas where the foliage is thick and tall. An impressive 7 miles of cart paths weave in and out of canyons. You may drive 2 to 3 minutes through beautiful surroundings to get to the next tee box.

This day reminded me how much I love the beauty of golf. Not necessarily the game itself, but the actual beauty of the game. Standing on the first tee box with a large ravine in front of me, the green grass of the fairway in the distance, and the ocean to my right, I felt life’s stresses fading away.

I often think about the different stresses of life. As a “turf guy,” I’m aware of the stresses affecting golf courses. Just as stress affects our bodies, the different avenues stress takes are no different with turf. Stress from different angles affects turf health and playability.

Golf turf stresses are similar throughout the country. It’s a warm weather activity and local courses get a lot of play. These factors bring stress, not only to the courses, but to the golf course superintendents.

With spring around the corner, and soon the summer heat, it’s important for superintendents to get an early start on soil health and hydration. The summer heat brings drought, hot spots, water repellency, and other issues. Proper soil health ensures water penetration and retention, alleviating and reducing heat stress symptoms, now and in the future. Huma Gro® Turf focuses on long-term soil health to combat the summer heat.

With summer also comes the stress of soil compaction caused by heavy play. This includes all parts of the course: cart paths, walking paths, fairways, tee boxes, and greens. Running hundreds of golf carts each day takes a toll on golf courses. Superintendents take great care in directing traffic to reduce compaction. Proper soil health can help maintain air pockets in the soil and break up compaction.

Other proactive measures to prevent damage caused by summer heat and heavy play include raising mowing heights and using smooth rollers, alternating mowing and rolling and skipping a day when possible; aerating soil using smaller tines; fertilizing in small doses; and monitoring traffic patterns. Water management is essential—a surfactant should be used for quick water penetration and to increase moisture retention during a drought or to treat hot spots. A preventive fungicide is recommended.

Whether stress is created by the environment or the game, Huma Gro® Turf products can help. Programs have been developed that use a range of turf products to combat stress caused by summer heat and heavy play. Huma Gro® Turf products can be another tool for superintendents to use to prevent many stress issues on the course.

Huma Gro® Turf Surf-Max® soil surfactant improves water penetration and movement through the soil and roots. Turfplex® VII is recommended to nourish and correct deficiencies for vigor, vitality, and color; Calcium is applied for strength, growth, and plant health; Sil-K® for stronger blades for heat and wear tolerance; and Multi-Purpose™ for improved air and water exchange in the soil. These products are the Heat Stress Program and can be mixed together.

The Heavy Traffic Program includes Turfplex® IV, a fast-acting, long-lasting nitrogen source for vigorous turf, as well as Sil-K® and Multi-Purpose™, which are also in the Heat Stress Program. These products are recommended for use prior to tournaments and in heavy traffic areas. They strengthen the grass stem to prevent ball marks, fight cleat damage, and give the ball a faster, truer roll.

In addition to preventing heat and heavy traffic stress, Huma Gro® Turf Promax® is a recommended zero re-entry pesticide to cure and protect against nematodes and diseases in the soil. Huma Gro® Turf products can be mixed together.

Huma Gro® Turf provides the tools for stress-free turf. Whether you’re a superintendent enjoying your stress-free turf, a turf guy like me, and/or a golfer, the next time you’re standing at the tee box, look out and enjoy the beauty of nature, take a deep breath, and feel the stress trickle away.

Consult your local Huma Gro® Turf representative or turf specialist for specific recommendations. Huma Gro® Turf products include Micro Carbon Technology®, a proprietary blend of very small organic molecules that allows for more effective absorption of nutrients by plants.

Huma Gro® Turf Special Turf Programs can be found at https://humagroturf.com/special-turf-programs/.

 

Keeping Greens Healthy

By Michael Gardner, Senior Director of Huma Gro® Turf Sales at Bio Huma Netics, Inc.

[Note: This article first appeared in the March 2018 issue of Tee Times Golf Guide Magazine.]

Greens are the most valuable real estate on a golf course. Keeping them in top condition is a priority for every golf course superintendent. We always try to be proactive, to address known potential problems before they become actual problems that the members and patrons notice. But even with the best planning and prevention measures, unexpected problems come up. And if a problem is on the greens, then it’s “all hands on deck” time.

Technology is available to help us maintain the health of our greens, not to mention our entire courses. I’m a big fan of soil and plant analysis, using science to its fullest to help create and maintain good plant health. Soil analysis, in particular, can be a big help, because many turf diseases stem from soil conditions that are known to be conducive to pathogens. These conditions should always be on our radar so that we can deal with them before serious problems arise.

Soil is where all things good and bad begin for turf. It is the foundation of almost everything we do to create healthy, playable conditions for all to enjoy. Analysis not only gives us a view of nutrient levels, but also gives us a view into our soil structure, organic matter, our soil’s potential for health, and much more. These analyses can also help us to look into the future to see if there is an emerging environment conducive to pathogens that can lead to turf disease.

Huma Gro® Turf has developed a standard turf health program for greens that has been successful all over the world. The focus is on soil health and nutrition along with plant health and managed growth. The program is a package of four products, all powered by Micro Carbon Technology® for quick plant and soil response. They include MULTI-PURPOSE™ for soil health, BREAKOUT® for turf density and increased root mass, TURF IRON™ for color, and TURFPLEX® VII for balanced nutrition. These liquid products are simply poured into a sprayer tank prefilled with water—no dissolving needed, no compatibility issues, and no clogging of nozzles. Better yet, no watering-in is needed. These products can be applied in your normal application routine and can be watered in as part of a standard irrigation program.

One of the benefits of the Huma Gro® Turf products is that the Micro Carbon Technology® protects the nutrient molecule so that leaching and runoff become less of an issue for your course. This results in less wasted product and makes the courses much more environmentally friendly.

With the best plans in place and with the best of intentions, problems can still arise from time to time. Sometimes these are the result of inherited problems caused by years of mismanagement, and sometimes they are the result of extraordinary circumstances that are out of the superintendent’s control.

One such challenge is fairy ring.

Fairy ring can be caused by multiple types of fungi. When large numbers of these fungi colonize in a particular location, the soil becomes hydrophobic, or water repellent. Fairy ring can be a simple nuisance in the early stages, but it can lead to turf death along the rings when not confronted. When signs of fairy ring first emerge, it’s important to begin treatment before turf damage occurs. One proven intervention is Huma Gro® Turf’s PROMAX® product—an organic, OMRI listed, broad-spectrum fungicide that can be applied any time without harm to the turf or the environment. It has a zero-reentry interval, meaning that golf play can resume the same day as treatment. PROMAX® is both a curative and preventive product. When applied once a quarter, PROMAX® can also help to keep a healthy soil environment that is pathogen-free.

When spot-spraying PROMAX® or any other fungicide for fairy ring, it is important to treat both sides of the ring—fairy ring travels as the fungi seek out new food sources. It is also important to get product deep into the soil environment. Fungi can be present in the thatch layer down to 10+ inches deep in the soil. Once the fungi have been dealt with, it is important to address the hydrophobic “dry spot” they created in the soil. This can be dealt with by applying SURF-MAX®, a surfactant that brings moisture back into the soil and allows healthy hydration and nutrition uptake to resume.

Another preventive measure that can be taken to minimize the threat of fairy ring is proper management of the thatch layer itself. Huma Gro® Turf’s FERTIL HUMUS® product can aid in this management by decomposing the thatch layer and building a humus-rich soil.

Although any turf disease is a complex situation that may require special interventions, the steps and products I’ve described here provide additional tools for the superintendent’s arsenal in achieving overall soil health—the first step to creating healthy greens.

A complete list of Huma Gro® Turf special programs can be found at https://humagroturf.com/special-turf-programs/.

Maintaining That Perfect Fairway

By Michael Gardner, Senior Director of Huma Gro® Turf Sales at Bio Huma Netics, Inc.

[Note: This article first appeared in the February 2018 issue of Tee Times Golf Guide Magazine.]

Have you ever stood on the first tee box of a golf course, looking over the vast real estate in front of you? The fairway is manicured, mowed to perfection, and lush green. There’s nothing more beautiful or inviting than the perfect fairway, and it can be the visual centerpiece of an entire golf course. This is where golfers make comments such as “what a beautiful hole” and “great hole,” and where superintendents find their success or failure.

Superintendents have many challenges in supplying their patrons with this wonderful experience. Every day presents a new assault on that perfect fairway from environmental stresses and the stress from heavy play. Defending against those assaults within the constrictions of a budget often requires an innovative approach.

Players’ expectations of a perfect fairway are sometimes very different from the superintendents’ expectations. Players may be looking for deep green fairways that are freshly mowed and manicured. They may also be looking for firm conditions that provide maximum rollout and no divots. On these same fairways, a superintendent will be focusing on many of these same issues, but is doing so from an agronomic point of view. How much stress can my grass handle from low mowing heights, cart traffic, and soil compaction? Is my irrigation set up for optimal coverage? Is my soil biology healthy enough to produce turf that can withstand these conditions? Are my nutrients being tied up in my soil, resulting in turf stress due to nutrient deficiencies? Are my soil conditions in a state that can resist disease pressure?

So many questions, so many challenges. I once heard a club member say to a superintendent, “Why can’t the fairways look as good as my front yard?” I wanted to go over and take 20 nice deep divots out of his yard . . . and not replace them, of course. Let’s see how that yard compares to the course now!

Huma Gro® Turf offers superintendents a wide range of turf and soil solutions to help them meet many of their most daunting challenges. Each of our products is powered by our proprietary Micro Carbon Technology®, a liquid plant nutrition carrier based on very small organic carbon particles that gets more nutrient into the turf, faster, than with other forms of fertilizer. These carbon particles aren’t only a great source of carbon for the soil and grass, they supercharge nutrient efficiency, soil health, turf growth and resiliency, and much, much more.

Huma Gro® Turf provides multiple programs and categories of programs for superintendents to use as tools to help a golf course achieve its full potential. These liquid products can be easily mixed together with no clogging of your equipment. One of these categories is our Fairways Program.

The Huma Gro® Turf “Fairway Program” is based on five fundamental modes of action:

  1. Soil health: achieving a proper balance of soil biology and carbon-to-oxygen ratios through a natural and sustainable approach.
  2. Properly managed turf growth: specific plant hormone activation to create horizontal growth resulting in full, consistant fairways and rapid recovery from divots and aerating—along with increased root growth that also increases nutrient uptake and overall plant health.
  3. Balanced nutrition: we offer nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) and 8 micronutrients that are easily and rapidly taken up by the turf and will not be tied up in the soil or leached away.
  4. Desired color without excessive growth.
  5. Products that do not need to be immediately watered in.

Because of the vast size of most fairways, Huma Gro® Turf has combined these modes of action into three liquid products that are easily mixed together in a spray tank. Curiosity™ provides proper soil health and a well-balanced nutrient package that includes N, P, K, and 8 micronutrients in one product; Breakout® minimizes top growth and promotes horizontal turf growth—which results in a more uniform and dense fairway with divots filling in quicker; and Turf Iron™ helps superintendents manage turf color with more exactness.

These programs can easily be customized to meet the turf and soil needs—along with the budgets—of just about any golf course.

Huma Gro® Turf represents a new technology (45 years in the making) that helps superintendents manage many of their most challenging turf needs. This is a new way of thinking—getting away from the harsh chemicals and conventional ways of previous generations. A complete listing of Huma Gro® Turf special programs can be found at https://humagroturf.com/special-turf-programs/.

Bio Huma Netics Appoints New CFO

Bio Huma Netics, Inc. (BHN), President and CEO Lyndon Smith has announced the appointment of Scott Bostwick to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Bostwick replaces Mike Smith, who is retiring after almost 30 years with the company. BHN produces the Huma Gro®, Huma Gro® Turf, Probiotic Solutions®, and Mesa Verde Humates® product lines.

Mr. Bostwick, an Arizona State University graduate, completed his certified public accountant (CPA) exam in 2007 and, after working in various accounting and finance positions for government and private companies, joined BHN as Senior Director of Accounting in 2014.

Lyndon Smith said, “Mike Smith has been our strong right arm at BHN for nearly 30 years. He provided conservative steady financial guidance through a period of rapid company expansion. With Mike’s insights and contributions sales grew ten-fold, and he has built a solid financial structure that will ensure our success well into the future. This has been especially felt as we launch our new product line, Fertilgold® Organics, in the coming months. I will miss my daily interaction with Mike, but I’m also very confident that Scott has the financial leadership capabilities we need to continue BHN’s growth and success.”

Bostwick said, “Mike Smith has been a terrific mentor and friend to me over the past 4 years, and he has helped me to become well prepared to provide BHN’s financial guidance going forward. Mike has agreed to remain available to BHN on a consultant basis, and it is great to know that he is there for assistance should a need arise. BHN is a great company, and I am excited to be able to take the financial leadership role in continuing a legacy of success.”

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About Bio Huma Netics, Inc.

Founded in 1973, Bio Huma Netics, Inc., (BHN) is a three-generation-family/employee-owned company that is a global leader in providing sustainable solutions to the world’s environmental challenges for agriculture (HUMA GRO®, MESA VERDE HUMATES®); horticulture, turf & ornamentals (HUMA GRO® TURF); and soil & wastewater remediation (PROBIOTIC SOLUTIONS®) through its proprietary Micro Carbon Technology® and its continuously improving and ever expanding product lines. Learn more at www.bhn.us.

Latest Edition of the BHN Newsletter, The Solution, Is Available

We love to hear stories from the people who use our products, and a number of those stories are included in this issue of The Solution. We begin with a report from Holden Research and Consulting on how use of certain Huma Gro® products on strawberries led to an ROI of over $3,400/acre. Amazing! Equally amazing is a report from Plant Sciences showing how effective Promax® is at controlling 8 strawberry pathogens. It seems that Huma Gro® and strawberries have an affinity for each other.

In our Probiotic Solutions® section we report on a case study involving a small town in New Mexico that was in need of reducing the sludge in its wastewater treatment system lagoon in order to meet state requirements. After 300 days of using Bio Energizer®, sludge was reduced to the point where the town had regained capacity to better handle the incoming flow and meet its permit requirements without dredging.

On the back page we share some videos out of Colombia, South America, from postings to the Huma Gro® groups on WhatsApp. Any story that involves a mule has got to be interesting, and the video showing hand foliar application of Breakout® on rice from San Jacinto del Cauca does not disappoint.

We also announce new Huma Gro® catalogs in English and Spanish, an updated Huma Gro® Turf catalog, and the launching of a Spanish version of our Huma Gro® blog at https://humagro.com/category/espanol/: We hope to use this blog to bring even more people into the Huma Gro® conversation.

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Bio Huma Netics, Inc., and Mesa Verde Resources Form Strategic Alliance

Bio Huma Netics, Inc. (BHN)—an Arizona company that produces products under the Huma Gro®, Huma Gro® Turf, and Probiotic Solutions® brands—has recently formed an alliance with Reid Enterprises LLC, which does business as Mesa Verde Resources in New Mexico. Mesa Verde Resources is a humic substance mining company that produces, manufactures, and sells humic-acid and fulvic-acid products.

Other than access to a greater range of products, customers from the two companies should see no change in day-to-day operations. There will be no immediate change in personnel at either company, and the two companies will continue to operate separately under separate names for the immediate future.

This alliance is expected to facilitate a synergistic relationship between the BHN lines of agriculture, turf, and wastewater/soil remediation products and the Mesa Verde Resources line of humic and fulvic products for both domestic and international markets. While BHN has previously focused on a fraction of humic substances to extract the Micro Carbon Technology® used as a base for all its liquid products, the combined company will now offer its customers an even greater selection of dry and liquid products that includes MVR’s various formulations of humic and fulvic acids.

Bio Huma Netics has averaged over 20% growth per year over the last 10 years. With the Mesa Verde alliance, combined company sales are expected to increase by 30% in 2017.

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About Mesa Verde Resources

Mesa Verde Resources (MVR) mines and manufactures high-quality New Mexico humates, with humic and fulvic acid products including granular products, powders for solution and suspension, and liquid humic and fulvic acids. MVR humates—mined from the Fruitland Formation of the San Juan Basin in Northwest New Mexico since 1975—are used extensively to increase crop quality and production and to improve and replenish depleted soils. Learn more at www.humates.com.

About Bio Huma Netics, Inc.

Founded as Sunburst Mining Company in Mesa, Arizona in 1973, Bio Huma Netics, Inc., (BHN) is a global leader in providing sustainable solutions to the world’s environmental challenges for agriculture (HUMA GRO®); horticulture, turf & ornamentals (HUMA GRO® TURF); and soil & wastewater remediation (PROBIOTIC SOLUTIONS®) through its constantly improving proprietary Micro Carbon Technology®. Learn more at www.bhn.us.

Media/Customer Contact: 1-800-961-1220

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BHN History Video

Bio Huma Netics, Inc.—the company that makes Huma Gro®, Huma Gro® Turf, and Probiotic Solutions® products—was founded under the name Sunburst Mining Company in 1973 by Dr. Jordan Smith, Don Organ, and Delworth Stout. These men discovered a unique oxidized humate that was rich in natural organic compounds and minerals in a mine in the northwestern United States. The founders developed a proprietary process to extract organic acids, valuable minerals, and other organic components from this material. This extract contains the base of Micro Carbon Technology® that is the foundational ingredient used in almost all of the more than 70 products produced by BHN.

This short video narrated by Lyndon Smith, current President/CEO of BHN and son of founder Jordan Smith, tracks the history of BHN from 1973 to the present.

Bio Huma Netics Opens New Lab Facility

alphasynecticslab1Bio Huma Netics, Inc. (BHN)—the maker of Huma Gro®, Huma Gro® Turf, and Probiotic Solutions® products—held a dedication ceremony to open its new Alpha Synectics Laboratory facility during its 2016 World Conference on October 26. This major expansion of BHN’s laboratory capabilities enables BHN to move in-house in terms of product development & improvement, quality control & verification, carbon extraction & characterization, and bioassay & microbial studies.

The Alpha Synectics Laboratory staff includes 2 formulation chemists, an analytical chemist, a soil chemist, and a phycologist. According to BHN Senior Director of Research & Development Dr. Rita Abi-Ghanem, “This world-class laboratory will better enable us to develop new products as well as maintain the consistent high quality of our Huma Gro®, Huma Gro® Turf, and Probiotic Solutions® products.”

To equip this laboratory, BHN has invested in state-of-the-art laboratory tools including a PerkinElmer NexION 350 Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) unit for elemental analysis; an Elementar vario MAX for carbon and nitrogen determination; and a PerkinElmer Fourier Transform Infared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) unit for functional group characterization.

alphasynecticslab2BHN President and CEO Lyndon Smith stated, “I’m really excited about the capabilities that this new, fully equipped lab brings to BHN in terms of new product development and enhancements while maintaining excellent quality control over our existing products. The Alpha Synectics Laboratory consolidates BHNs role in developing innovative solutions for agriculture, turf, and soil & wastewater remediation.”

The name “Alpha Synectics” derives from Latin terms “Alpha,” for “First,” and “Synectics,” which means “Problem Solving/Methodology.” Alpha Synectics Laboratory is located about 1 block from the main BHN headquarters, at 1240 North Mondel in Gilbert, Arizona.

Bio Huma Netics Hosts 2016 World Conference

lyndon_bhn2016worldconfBio Huma Netics, Inc. (BHN), hosted its 2016 World Conference on October 25–28 in the cities of Mesa and Gilbert, Arizona. This edition of the biannual Conference had over 150 attendees from 20 countries representing distributors, customers, and staff from BHN’s product lines of Huma Gro®, Huma Gro® Turf, and Probiotic Solutions®.

This year’s conference featured over 30 presentations, including from such notables as Mark Killian—Director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture and member of BHN’s Board of Directors, and Dr. Mir Syedbagher— Professor Emeritus, University of Idaho. Presented on screen in both English and Spanish, BHN also offered live translations of the presentations in 7 languages that attendees could select and listen to from a smart-phone app. Many of the presentations were first-hand accounts of successful BHN product use by agriculture, turf, and wastewater treatment professionals from around the world.

Another feature of the 4-day event was the dedication of BHN’s new Alpha Synectics Laboratory facility. This major expansion of BHN’s laboratory capabilities enables BHN to move completely in-house in terms of product development & improvement, quality control & verification, carbon extraction & characterization, and bioassay & microbial studies. The Alpha Synectics Laboratory staff includes 2 formulation chemists, an analytical chemist, a soil chemist, and a phycologist. According to BHN Senior Director of Research & Development Dr. Rita Abi-Ghanem, “This world-class laboratory will better enable us to maintain the consistent high quality of our products.”

The Conference also served as the official release of the Huma Gro® smart-phone app for Android. The free Huma Gro® app, available at Google Play, provides a foliar application calculator, a product document library, a product mixing guide, and the ability to save foliar application data by field. The app can also be used to contact Huma Gro® sales representatives. The iOS version will be available in 2017.

During the Conference, attendees had the opportunity to participate in some uniquely Arizona activities, including attending a Phoenix Suns basketball game, golfing at the Apache Creek Golf Course, and going on a desert Hummer & UTV tour. Over 400 Conference photos are posted on Flickr: bit.ly/BHNcon2016 .

Conference attendees can access the Conference presentations and videos through the BHN Hub.

Watch a quick 2-minute Conference overview video:

BHN World Conference 2016 from BHN_Vimeo on Vimeo.

Get Ready for the 2016 BHN World Conference!

Every 2 years, Bio Huma Netics, Inc., (BHN) hosts a World Conference for its distributors and customers. We offer learning sessions related to each of our three product divisions—Huma Gro®, Huma Gro® Turf, and Probiotic Solutions®—and our two service divisions, Velocity™ Design Group (Marketing) and Opus Prime® (Business Management Systems), in which our distributors and customers will:

  • Learn to apply product more effectively.
  • Learn about new products and receive product-specific training.
  • See compelling product demonstration data from around the world.
  • Learn how to promote their businesses more effectively with new and engaging marketing campaigns.
  • Learn how to improve their sales strategies and gain skills to take back to their sales teams.
  • Experience some uniquely Arizona leisure activities on the final day.

This year’s World Conference will be held October 25–28 at the Sheraton Mesa Hotel at Wrigleyville West in Mesa Arizona. We’ll also be hosting a number of activities at the BHN offices in nearby Gilbert. Links to conference and hotel registration can be found at http://bhn.us/bhn-world-conference-2016/. We hope to see you there!

—Lyndon Smith, President/CEO

(When you watch the video invitation below, be sure to turn up the sound!)