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Pythium
11-21-2008, 05:42 PM
Our company is starting an organic lawn care division. I am very excited to start this as I see the trend towards "Green" in area. I have done ALOT of reading at this site and many others. What I am having trouble locating is University research on the benefits of Organic Products. I believe in the benfits I have read, but my boss want "University Proof" we can show poetential customers about our programs. Any links anyone has would be appreciated.

I will most likely be frequenting this forum for advice and input. So far I am convinced this is the way to go. Thanks!

Keegan
11-21-2008, 07:56 PM
you probably will have a hard time finding university studies on organics because the chemical companies will help fund their studies with the school.

americanlawn
11-21-2008, 08:27 PM
We deal with our land grant university on a regular basis, and we value their research. Below is a link that is typical for every year since. Iowa State always includes several "natural" organic fertilizers in their turfgrass studies. Hope none of you "natural" organic guys get mad, cuz the highest marks were not attained by "natural" organic fertilizer. Then there's the prob of loading a fert spreader with fifty pounds in it .....instead of 20 pounds. :cry:

http://www.hort.iastate.edu/turfgrass/pubs/turfrpt/1997/fertrials/KBfert.pdf

ICT Bill
11-21-2008, 09:56 PM
I am just getting back from travel but have extensive peer review and university information, some good some bad, just like the chemical companies, some systems work really well and other s need a push, even other fugitaboutit. I will try to post some this weekend, right now I am going to get a cold beer and put my feet up

a couple things that would help a lot is where are you located, what type of soils do you typically encounter, what is the typical grass mix and what is the typical soil organic matter in your area

Smallaxe
11-21-2008, 11:08 PM
Botany is Botany. Peer reviewed or not you need to know what makes sense and what is simply BS.

Understand Botany and the 'opinions' of growing something as simple as grass - becomes miniscule by comparison.

When you climb to vegetbles and grains for production - you need to - stop and think. Don't doubt your common sense and you will be fine.

Kiril
11-21-2008, 11:32 PM
Compost does a soil good! Find a good source of compost, and forget the rest.

NattyLawn
11-22-2008, 11:04 AM
I am just getting back from travel but have extensive peer review and university information, some good some bad, just like the chemical companies, some systems work really well and other s need a push, even other fugitaboutit. I will try to post some this weekend, right now I am going to get a cold beer and put my feet up

a couple things that would help a lot is where are you located, what type of soils do you typically encounter, what is the typical grass mix and what is the typical soil organic matter in your area

Very good, diplomatic answer Bill. American relies on the "land grant university studies" a lot, and my first inclination is always to fire back with a negative answer first.

Tim Wilson
11-22-2008, 11:36 AM
ICT Bill posted a nice easy to read study from Olds College the other day. Olds College is in Alberta and is highly respected.

americanlawn
11-22-2008, 04:43 PM
I suspect my land grant univrsity may not be up on natural organic fertilizers (for turf) compared to other universites. Also, the soil that ISU has at their research station is very good soil --- not clay, etc. I posted this info cuz that's what the original question asked for, but I would like to see more info (from other universities) too.

We use "synthetic" organic fertilizers in our liquid app's. We like the results, and we can include as many as seven needed micronutrients (according to over 200 soil samples taken in our area). I don't know of any granular fert that includes this many micro's.

We have tried "natural" organic fert on a very limited basis (so far) that phasthound sent to us. Nice results. (Thanks phasthound) :usflag:

We deal with our land grant university on a regular basis, and we value their research. Below is a link that is typical for every year since. Iowa State always includes several "natural" organic fertilizers in their turfgrass studies. Hope none of you "natural" organic guys get mad, cuz the highest marks were not attained by "natural" organic fertilizer. Then there's the prob of loading a fert spreader with fifty pounds in it .....instead of 20 pounds. :cry:

http://www.hort.iastate.edu/turfgrass/pubs/turfrpt/1997/fertrials/KBfert.pdf

phasthound
11-22-2008, 05:42 PM
We have tried "natural" organic fert on a very limited basis (so far) that phasthound sent to us. Nice results. (Thanks phasthound) :usflag:

Thanks Larry, try some more, you'll see even better results when using more than one bag once :)

That same product, Nutrients PLUS 16-2-3 is going head to head with a traditional 28-5-12 in a 3 year land grant university study. At the end of the first year there was no statistical difference in color or quality. But wait, there's more! In all trials the applied N in the 16-2-3 was 1/3 to 1/2 less than the 28-5-12. Same green, less N. Less N = less cost, less runoff and leaching, less energy used in production. More organic matter = reduced water usage, increased disease suppression, lower inputs.

Smallaxe
11-23-2008, 09:38 AM
...That same product, Nutrients PLUS 16-2-3 is going head to head with a traditional 28-5-12 in a 3 year land grant university study. At the end of the first year there was no statistical difference in color or quality. But wait, there's more! In all trials the applied N in the 16-2-3 was 1/3 to 1/2 less than the 28-5-12. Same green, less N. Less N = less cost, less runoff and leaching, less energy used in production. More organic matter = reduced water usage, increased disease suppression, lower inputs.

Less N needed. That says alot.

Add to that - less or no P necessary.

Less water + deeper roots = thicker turf.

That is too radical and too far out of the box thinking... :laugh:

Pythium
11-23-2008, 11:37 AM
We are located near Cleveland Ohio. The soil types we deal with are mostly heavy clay, high iron. Most of our client base is in newer construction homes with ZERO good soil. Typical turf species are mostly bluegrass and with some ryegrass.

We have a local supplier lined up for products, I want to evaluate them for a season before we start selling them to customers, but....boss man wants to go NOW!!! We did google research on organic lawn care and are getting 27,000 hits on average a month in our area..Possible high demand for this service.

I did read the study ITC posted the other day, very interesting stuff. I have much to learn. We have a great reputation for knowledge and service in our area, I don't want to blow it with this organic program, I want it done right.
Thanks for the help.

Smallaxe
11-24-2008, 09:33 AM
The only way to do it right is by the "Hybrid method".
Compost is your greatest asset. Learning to water properly.
Learn what it takes to grow deep roots and healthy plants.

The Chemlawn program and/or the use of Sustane is not organic - it only makes people 'feel' good.
These programs do not produce deep roots and healthy plants. They are just now addicted to "Organic" NPK in high doses.

ICT Bill
11-24-2008, 11:45 AM
We are located near Cleveland Ohio. The soil types we deal with are mostly heavy clay, high iron. Most of our client base is in newer construction homes with ZERO good soil. Typical turf species are mostly bluegrass and with some ryegrass.

We have a local supplier lined up for products, I want to evaluate them for a season before we start selling them to customers, but....boss man wants to go NOW!!! We did google research on organic lawn care and are getting 27,000 hits on average a month in our area..Possible high demand for this service.

I did read the study ITC posted the other day, very interesting stuff. I have much to learn. We have a great reputation for knowledge and service in our area, I don't want to blow it with this organic program, I want it done right.
Thanks for the help.

For starters begin to think in a "reduced inputs" or IPM fashion. This should be taught to everyone involved so that you are all on the same page as a company. How do you get your sites to look as good with less inputs?

As smallaxe said, organic matter, long and short term is the key, especially in areas of new construction. In new construction the soil is at the beginning of succession, small colonies of bacteria that are unable get the soil in good shape. As you add OM, which BTW is the gas that makes the engine run, the colonies will build and fungi will begin to populate the soil. these colonies are the ones that keep soil balanced and healthy. so goes the soil, goes the plant

You have to remember that plants were doing this for 450,000,000 years before we invented fertilizers

You may have to bridge some or most sites that are drug dependent for a year or 2

Pythium
11-24-2008, 12:33 PM
"For starters begin to think in a "reduced inputs" or IPM fashion. This should be taught to everyone involved so that you are all on the same page as a company. How do you get your sites to look as good with less inputs?"

"You may have to bridge some or most sites that are drug dependent for a year or 2"

I already use an IPM approach. I explain to each new customer, that I/we don't use a shot gun approach to lawn care. If you don't have it/need it we won't treat it.

I am looking at offering a bridge/ hybrid program. As well as an all organic program. If lawns have been on our (or other companies)traditional program, I will encourage them to wean there lawns with the hybrid program for a year or two before going all out organic.

Milky Spore..any body have any University research on this? I remember seeing some R&D on it back in my golf course days, but cannot seem to find it anymore. Grubs are a BIG problem in our are, not so much for the damage they do, but the skunks and racoons who go after the grubs.

MaineFert
11-24-2008, 12:39 PM
Pythium,
That is a good way to go about it. We offer the same services to out clients as well. We are using "bridge products" as well as all natural products for those clients who want that service. I may be able to help you set up a program to give you an idea of what we do and see if it will help. Drop me a pm or an email.

ps. I can also send you some of our University Research as well from Ohio State.

Jim Allen
Nutrients PLUS

Pythium
11-24-2008, 12:55 PM
Sent you a message

ICT Bill
11-24-2008, 01:24 PM
Milky Spore..any body have any University research on this? I remember seeing some R&D on it back in my golf course days, but cannot seem to find it anymore. Grubs are a BIG problem in our are, not so much for the damage they do, but the skunks and racoons who go after the grubs.
Milky spore is very specific to jap beetles, I am sure they are not the only type of grub that you have there.
Bacillus thurengensis (BT) Kurstaki and Isrealinsis work very well long term, those are both in our Instant compost tea product. If you need control of an outbreak right away, we have a very safe product named 1-2-3 NPP that is made from crab shells. In our testing at the Univ of Rhode Island we had a 90% reduction in grubs and nematodes.

NattyLawn
11-25-2008, 05:13 PM
Milky spore is very specific to jap beetles, I am sure they are not the only type of grub that you have there.
Bacillus thurengensis (BT) Kurstaki and Isrealinsis work very well long term, those are both in our Instant compost tea product. If you need control of an outbreak right away, we have a very safe product named 1-2-3 NPP that is made from crab shells. In our testing at the Univ of Rhode Island we had a 90% reduction in grubs and nematodes.

Bill,

Tread lightly around claims that your product is a pesticide. Without registering it as one, you're opening yourself up to possible lawsuit, ala George Hahn from Worm Gold.

http://community.pacificlegal.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=721&srcid=273

Pythium
11-26-2008, 09:40 AM
I just read an article by David Shetlar,PhD from Ohio State University department of Entomology. Titled "Organic Lawn Care:An Entomologists View"

In short he recommends endophyte P. Rye of turf type tall fescues for chinch bugs and caterpillars. He says milky spore is junk...that treated turf has no more infected grubs than untreated.. Bt shows some promise. But he really backs parasitic nematodes. with about 70% control of grubs. He says the key is to find a good supplier with viable nematodes

The article was in the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation's magazine "Turfnews-Special Edition" it just came out this month. Not sure if it is available online.

Pythium
11-26-2008, 10:26 AM
I just read an article by David Shetlar,PhD from Ohio State University department of Entomology. Titled "Organic Lawn Care:An Entomologists View"

In short he recommends endophyte P. Rye of turf type tall fescues for chinch bugs and caterpillars. He says milky spore is junk...that treated turf has no more infected grubs than untreated.. Bt shows some promise. But he really backs parasitic nematodes. with about 70% control of grubs. He says the key is to find a good supplier with viable nematodes

The article was in the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation's magazine "Turfnews-Special Edition" it just came out this month. Not sure if it is available online.

ICT Bill
11-26-2008, 10:38 AM
Bill,

Tread lightly around claims that your product is a pesticide. Without registering it as one, you're opening yourself up to possible lawsuit, ala George Hahn from Worm Gold.

http://community.pacificlegal.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=721&srcid=273

It is EPA section 25B exempt, we are in the middle of registering in states so you are right we are not registered as a pesticide in every state. call if you have a question
also we are just stating testing results from university trials that confirm the claim from a disinterested third party

ICT Bill
11-26-2008, 10:46 AM
I just read an article by David Shetlar,PhD from Ohio State University department of Entomology. Titled "Organic Lawn Care:An Entomologists View"

In short he recommends endophyte P. Rye of turf type tall fescues for chinch bugs and caterpillars. He says milky spore is junk...that treated turf has no more infected grubs than untreated.. Bt shows some promise. But he really backs parasitic nematodes. with about 70% control of grubs. He says the key is to find a good supplier with viable nematodes

The article was in the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation's magazine "Turfnews-Special Edition" it just came out this month. Not sure if it is available online.

As you open this door to alternative ways to care for sites you will be amazed at how many people have doing this for a long time with great results.
also how many different ways there are to treat for certain outbreaks, often you do not have to use pesticides. As sites become more balanced you will find most of the extreme cases of outbreaks go away, fungal and pest disease almost disappear

I have one sports turf manager that has been in the industry for 17 years and has been saying "yeah right, sure" until close to fall when they noticed that they had not done one application of fungicide this year, they usually do 3 to 4 a year, this saved them a lot of money

Smallaxe
11-26-2008, 10:54 PM
As you open this door to alternative ways to care for sites you will be amazed at how many people have doing this for a long time with great results.
also how many different ways there are to treat for certain outbreaks, often you do not have to use pesticides. As sites become more balanced you will find most of the extreme cases of outbreaks go away, fungal and pest disease almost disappear ...

'Living soils', do produce healthy plants. Just like fruits and vegetables produce healthy bodies.
AS long as your digestion tract is up to the task of getting the necessary nutrients and vitality from those fruits and vegetables.

Oh, wait a minute. The correct microbes are what make that digestion possible, in either case. :)