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A closer look at SiteOne’s Lawn Care Virtual Forum

September 30, 2020 -  By

SiteOne Landscape Supply‘s virtual lawn care forum offered lawn care operators (LCOs) the opportunity to learn about some of the latest turf innovations to care for their lawns and some useful ideas to take care of their businesses.

After welcoming remarks from SiteOne CEO Doug Black, Grow Group and Grunder Landscaping Co. CEO Marty Grunder gave attendees some food for thought: Who is your right-hand person in your business?

“’Right-hand man’ is not a title on our org chart,” Grunder said. “Some people think it came from the Bible, some think it came from the military, since the person to the right hand of a warrior covered him with his shield — but clearly, it’s an important position.”

Vince Torchia, vice president of The Grow Group, and one of Marty Grunder’s several right-hand men and women explained, “It’s a person who can support and help you get the things you need to get done and on down the line. You have a right-hand man, your right-hand man has a right-hand man and so on.”

Grunder and Torchia said that right-hand people are generally humble, hungry and smart — and that empathy is also a key personality trait, since they can understand and help communicate your viewpoint to other team members.

“No one is good at everything,” Grunder added, urging the lawn care attendees to know their strengths, focus on leveraging those and delegate other tasks to team members strong in those areas — your right-hand person or people.

The Lawn Care Virtual Forum finished out with presentations from suppliers BASF, Bayer, Corteva, FMC, Nufarm, PBI-Gordon and Syngenta. Here are some key takeaways from the supplier sessions:


Zac Reicher, Ph.D., discussed herbicide treatments in lawn beds. He recommends that for preemergent treatments, lawn care technicians should include a nonseelective herbicide to try to control anything that’s already emerged. In most cases, he says fully emerged weeds will have to be controlled with post- or selective herbicides.

Reicher closed out his presentation by sharing some information on Bayer’s Specticle, which he said is a good product to avoid herbicide resistance, comes in granular and liquid forms and offers up to six months of control of 98 different weeds.


How often have your spray applications been ineffective because your spray nozzle was off? BASF Senior Technical Specialist Kyle Miller provided some do’s and don’ts of applications, such as replacing your nozzles every year, which he says is the simplest thing you can do to ensure that you’re spraying the correct amount of product. Miller also offered a useful chart rating the performance of popular spray nozzles.


In his report on the economic impact of COVID-19 on the lawn care industry and what to expect in 2021, Gil del Rosario, market development specialist at Corteva, explains that according to economists, the U.S. is looking like it will experience a long U-shaped economic recovery with a full recovery in 2022 and social distancing diminishing by Q3 2021.

Charlie Hall, Ph.D., professor of horticulture sciences at Texas A&M University and speaker on economics and the green industry, recommended that in preparation for the changes in the coming year, companies should be properly leveraged, anticipate increasing health care costs and continue to find ways to operate more efficiently and market services as essential to your clients. (edited)


Mike Sisti, marketing manager, FMC, informed attendees of the latest developments on FMC’s True Champions program, which, in addition to offering rebates and discounts on FMC products, is also creating a library of business-building resources on its website. “These will help transition you from working in your business to working on your business,” he said.


Nufarm Director of Technical Services Jason Fausey said, “A lot of the times I’m asked, ‘Can you mix product X with product Y?’ What I like to ask is, ‘Why?’”

Fausey explained how tank mixing lawn care products clearly alters the product and is not the same as applying the products alone and how the mixture might affect control of the desired weed.

PBI-Gordon Corp.

“It’s important to know that because you see a decrease in control does not necessarily equate to herbicide resistance,” said Brian Aynardi, research scientist, PBI-Gordon. Aynardi described what herbicide resistance looks like and that resistance is caused by target mutation so that the target product no longer works on it.


For LCOs struggling with grub control, Matt Giese, technical services manager, Syngenta, outlined how the company’s Acelepryn insecticide offers single-application grub control in April or May, doesn’t require immediate water-in after application and also offers season-long control caterpillars. The product requires minimal PPE, and has a low toxicity to bees.
To help LCOs educate homeowners on their lawn care products, Syngenta is offering free marketing materials regarding Acelepryn at

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Abby Hart

About the Author:

Abby Hart is the former senior editor of Landscape Management. A native Clevelander, she spent 10 years in Chicago, where she was operations manager of a global hospitality consultancy. She also worked as managing editor of Illumine, a health and wellness magazine; and a marketing specialist for B2B publications. Abby has a degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.

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