A jumpstart on spring

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September 25, 2018 -  By
Gil Del Rosario (left) discusses turf management with a sports turf manager. (Photo: Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of Dow DuPont)

Gil Del Rosario (left) discusses turf management with a sports turf manager. (Photo: Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont)

Using the right products at the right time can help LCOs keep their commercial customers happy while decreasing their heavy spring workloads.

Research shows that one of the main reasons customers replace their lawn care provider is because of poor weed control. Particularly on large commercial properties, customers want to see lush, green, weed-free stands of turf. Using the right products at the right time can help LCOs keep their commercial customers happy, while decreasing their heavy spring workloads.

Gil Del Rosario

Gil Del Rosario

“According to a recent article, one-third of the time LCOs get fired it is because of lack of weed control – customers will compare their turf to that of nearby properties and see that it just doesn’t look as high quality,” said Gil Del Rosario, market development specialist for Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, Turf & Ornamental Division. “Using an effective product correctly is the best way to eliminate that risk.”

Strategic use of a product like Kerb® SC T&O specialty herbicide in the fall can help LCOs who manage warm season grasses get a jumpstart on controlling Poa annua, as well as other troublesome grasses and broadleaf weeds, on their commercial properties in the spring.

The product, which is registered for use on non-residential properties and golf courses, provides preemergent and postemergent control of Poa annua, also known as annual bluegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, brome, chickweed, orchardgrass, quackgrass and annual or perennial ryegrass. Kerb also provides preemergent control of barnyardgrass, large crabgrass, yellow foxtail, henbit, wild mustard and red sorrel from seed. It is designed for use on warm-season turf and can be applied any time of year; however, Del Rosario says fall applications are optimal because of the Poa annua control provided.

Bermudagrass on the left side was treated with Kerb on Nov. 20, 2017, and the photo was taken two months after application. The green tinge on the right is the individual Poa annua plants germinating in the midst of the Bermudagrass going into dormancy. (Photo: Gil Del Rosario, Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of Dow DuPont)

Bermudagrass on the left side was treated with Kerb on Nov. 20, 2017, and the photo was taken two months after application. The green tinge on the right is the individual Poa annua plants germinating in the midst of the Bermudagrass going into dormancy. (Photo: Gil Del Rosario, Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont)

Poa annua competes with warm season grasses that come out of dormancy in the spring. If left untreated it can leave light green patches throughout turf. Poa annua also becomes an avid seed producer in the winter and throughout the spring, releasing tiny white seeds.

“During the busy spring season, LCOs have all these things they are trying to deal with, such as growing their businesses and spring fertilization, so the last thing they want to do during this period is fight a battle against a tough winter/early spring weed like Poa annua,” said Del Rosario. “The strategy is to take some of that workload that comes in the spring and put it into the fall season. By using Kerb in the fall, LCOs can eliminate some of these challenges that come in the spring.”

This strategy also can provide cost savings for LCOs. Because the Poa annua is in a more susceptible state in the fall, LCOs can use less product at a lower rate than they would have to use in the spring. Distributors often offer their best pricing in the fall, and end-user rebates are typically more robust at this time of year, as opposed to the busy spring season when most LCOs are stocking up on product. Corteva Agriscience also offers a money-back guarantee that, if used according to the company’s criteria and label recommendations, Kerb will provide 90 percent control of Poa annua until April 15, which Del Rosario says allows LCOs to do their jobs with confidence.

Bermudagrass in the early stages coming out of dormancy. The grass on the left was treated with Kerb, which has removed the unsightly clumps of Poa annua. The Bermudagrass is now able to green up and grow uninhibited from the competition of Poa annua clumps and sporadic growth that is occurring on the right of the Kerb treated area. The left side was treated with Kerb on Nov. 20, 2017 and the photo was taken six months after the application. (Photo: Gil Del Rosario, Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of Dow DuPont)

Bermudagrass in the early stages coming out of dormancy. The grass on the left was treated with Kerb, which has removed the unsightly clumps of Poa annua. The Bermudagrass is now able to green up and grow uninhibited from the competition of Poa annua clumps and sporadic growth that is occurring on the right of the Kerb-treated area. The left side was treated with Kerb on Nov. 20, 2017, and the photo was taken six months after the application. (Photo: Gil Del Rosario, Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont)

“When working with commercial properties, LCOs are often dealing with fairly large clients,” he said. “They want confidence that the products they are using will be effective.”

Kerb herbicide’s formulation is a suspension concentrate, so it is easy to mix and also stays in suspension without the need for constant agitation. Del Rosario says this feature saves LCOs time in the field and eliminates product waste.

“Because the product mixes so well, LCOs don’t have to worry about cleaning screens, unclogging nozzles and similar tasks that come up with other products,” he said. “It also stays in suspension without the need for constant agitation, so if LCOs don’t finish a tank at the end of the day, a quick remixing in the tank is all it takes to continue using the product the next day.

“When LCOs have a large commercial account, the last thing they want to do is not be able to address their concerns during the busy spring season,” Del Rosario adds. “By treating problems in the fall, LCOs won’t have to worry about them in the first place.”

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