What’s New1



1/28/15- I am at the airport in Newark waiting to fly to Dayton, Ohio. I will be having a meeting at the lab in New Bremen tomorrow. I like to get to the lab every two years to see what is new in person and refresh my memory on how things are done.

1/29/15- Had a great day at the lab refreshing my memories of things and learning some new very helpful things for water testing. Off to the airport and home by 3am! a long day but worth the effort for sure…..


2/9/15-I am just getting started back to work today. I was on a family vacation in Lake Placid, NY. Very pretty part of the country and we got to walk the Hockey rink where the US beat the Russians in 1980! That was a great experience and something to see. A pretty rough cold virus is going through the family now and we are all trying to recover. I am looking forward to some good weather in San Antonio at the GIS.

2/10/15- I wanted to share some information that will help those of you with higher sodium and bicarbonate irrigation waters determine how bad “bad” is. See the article below…..

New Calculation for SAR on Irrigation Water Reports

The traditional sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) for irrigation waters is best used for waters that are low in bicarbonate andcarbonate at concentrations < 120 ppm and < 15  ppm, respectively. In the SAR equation, bicarbonate and carbonate concentrations are not included; therefore, it does not account for the effects of these ions. When bicarbonate and carbonate ions are present in moderate to high levels, these can react with calcium and magnesium to form lime by precipitation in the soil or sometimes in the irrigation lines. Thereby, soluble calcium and magnesium forms are depleted that are essential to displace sodium from the CEC sites on clay surfaces where the sodium causes breakdown of aggregates and dispersal of clay particles. To account for bicarbonate and carbonate ions in the irrigation water an adjusted SAR was developed (Ayers and Westcot, 1976). The formula is: adj SAR = SAR [9.4 – pHc], where the pHc value is a theoretical, calculated pH value based on the irrigation water chemistry, which integrates the influence of calcium, sodium,magnesium, bicarbonate, and carbonate concentrations. Both SAR and adj SAR are currently on our irrigation water reports. However, recent research has shown that adj SAR tends to overestimate sodium permeability hazard because it did not adequately account for changes in calcium after irrigation water addition due to the potential for dissolution or precipitation of calcium. The preferred adjustment for SAR is termed adj RNa and uses a substitute Cax value in the SAR equation in place of calcium concentration. The Cax factor comes from a table of bicarbonate/calcium versus electrical conductivity. Use of adj RNa is best for irrigation waters that are high in bicarbonate and carbonate, such as when concentrations are > 120 ppm and > 15 ppm, respectively. Given this information Brookside Labs, Inc. has decided to add adj RNa to our irrigation water reports. In published literature where SAR and adj SAR have been used in interpretation tables and figures, adj RNa can be substituted for these values. So the interpretation does not change, but the way that the permeability hazard is calculated does.

Using SAR and adj RNa. SAR is best used when bicarbonate and carbonate levels are low (< 120 ppm bicarbonate and/or < 15 ppm carbonate) and adj RNa is best used by when levels are high (> 120 ppm bicarbonate and/or > 15 ppm carbonate). So unless the irrigation water is very “clean” the new adj RNa calculation will be the one to use going forward.


2/12/15- Just read this historical article on Bermudagrass hybridization ….http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/452063/150


2/20/15- For those of you old enough to remember this time, the link below will bring back some good memories. Most people know of this game. I was just there on a family vacation a couple of weeks ago and got to walk the arena. Lake Placid, NY is a small town and after being there, it is hard to believe they ever held an Olympics!!



3/1/15- Another snowy Sunday heading into freezing rain Monday! I just got back and settled from the GIS in San Antonio last week and will be heading to Los Angeles tomorrow evening- assuming my flight doesn’t get cancelled! Anyhow, it was great to see guys and meet new people in Texas and get home safely. Those shows are long and rough nights. I am sorry if I missed some of you I had on my list to see. It was a quick trip and everybody is going in different directions. Back to work Tuesday and hopefully nice weather in SoCal….


3/8/15- I am back and settled in NJ from the SoCal trip. The weather there was great and it seems that the weather here is improving. (I was able to wash my car today!) I hope those I saw in LA area were helped and all the samples I collected should be back from the lab by the middle of this week. My next trip is to Las Vegas on Sunday night the 15th. I will be there and the surrounding areas until a red-eye flight on Friday the 20th. When I get back it will be nothing but report writing for a few weeks.


3/16/15- I am out in sunny Las Vegas this week visiting clients. Off to a good start with 3 courses visited today. All looked great in their own way.

3/20/15- I am in the airport in Las Vegas waiting for my Red-eye flight back to NJ. It was a great trip and I saw some golf courses in very good shape out here! Looking forward to getting home to see the family and shovel snow- well, part of that is true anyhow. I really appreciate the support from my clients in Las Vegas and look forward to seeing the data and getting reports back to the guys.


3/22/15- I was just reading an article on drought tolerant plants. Copy and paste this link and check it out: http://slosson.ucdavis.edu/Landscape_Plant_Selection_Guide_for_Recycled_Water_Irrigation/?sharing=yes


3/30/15- Check out the research on Princess 77 vs. Riviera seeding of bermudagrass. Still waiting for some real Spring weather. Soil temperatures on sand based green in PA last week at 33.7 degrees!




This year we have been busy upgrading or getting new equipment to keep the laboratory optimized. We recently added 2 more one of a kind, state of art, pH robots, which now brings us to 4 in the soils lab. These are the only pH robots like this in the world. We added more bench space in the instrument room and added a new top of the line N analyzer which allows the Ag lab to more quickly analyze many types of samples for total N. We now have 6 N analyzers we keep very busy. We have already upgraded several of our flow injection analyzers (FIA) to the 2015 latest models. And will soon have all 8 of our analyzers up-graded to the latest most accurate in the industry. Brookside is the first lab to have these new instruments. These analyzers are used to determine Bray I, Bray II, Olsen phosphorus, NO3 and NH4 and Chloride in our lab. Along with all these instruments we are upgrading many of the computers throughout the labs, which are needed to run the newer equipment. We have also replaced and upgraded our customized sample holders for the organic and pH robots which was a significant project.


4/9/2015- Hopefully this link will work and you can read the article on Nitrogen applications via spraying. It was in  a recent GCM Magazine. Hitting the road tomorrow in NJ. I hope the rain holds off until I am done sampling!!



5/4/2015-  I am just starting to get around and see courses in the NJ area. Soil temperatures are still fluctuating between 50 and 55 degrees even though the air temperatures and the sunny days make things seem nicer. It is still a little cool for grass growing here in the NJ area. I have seen very little winter damage on greens at my clients. I have heard some horror stories and I wish those guys good and quick healing. There are ways to speed things up but it takes the commitment of the club to bite the bullet and take the area out of play for a while. I look forward to seeing you soon!


5/13/15- Still out on the road but I had some time to look at this good article on goose grass…………http://www.gcsaa.org/gcm-magazine/2015/may/goosegrass-the-new-king-of-turfgrass-weeds


5/17/15- A good research project talking about the affect of nitrogen on the newer cultivars of bentgrass.



6/2/15- On the road again! I am in SoCal for this week seeing nice weather and good clients. Spent the day today with a sand supplier looking at some options for fairway topdressing for the area. I am in Aliso Viejo tonight and Bakersfield tomorrow night. I can’t wait to see some good grass in the next few days….


6/20/15- Another great trip to Las Vegas! Very hot and in the 110 range every day. It is hard to believe these guys do what they do there sometimes. Here are a couple articles on the California courses and their need to conserve water….




7/2/15- Last weekend most of us got a big rain. I collected rain water samples as I do every so often. One was in a metal pot and one was in a rubber mixing bowl. I had recently been told by someone much smarter than me, that rain water was very similar everywhere in the US. I have collected rain water in many areas for over 10 years and don’t find that to be true. he thought that my differences in pH from town to town could be of the objects I collected the sample in. So, I was just playing around to see. Not super scientific but this does show you what you got from the big “irrigation event” Saturday into Sunday.


Rain Water in the NE from 6-28-15


7/31/15- I am off to the Brookside Labs Summer Conference on Sunday afternoon. It is in Lake Geneva, WI. I get to do a talk on the Core samples we do on the greens and it should be a good three days. It will be nice to leave the humidity of New Jersey for a while and go someplace I haven’t been before.

As the irrigation water issue continues to be in the headlines, I found an article that might be some extremes but it shows what’s going on….



8/14/15- An interesting way to get irrigation water. Expensive!!!



8/31/15- Bunker Rake Placement I thought this was a great way to solve the bunker rake placement problem. It takes some effort but what a waste of a golfer complaint to hear them say “There weren’t enough rakes out there!” when what they really mean is that they were all on one side of the bunker. It was also very enjoyable as a player to be able to get to a rake when I needed it. (and I needed several on this day)


9/14/15- I’m in the Phoenix airport waiting to go to LAX and spend the rest of my week there. Tucson CC was looking good and I got some practice in with the new drone! Here is a good article on the Emerald Ash Borer…



10/15/15-  On my way to a meeting in Philadelphia today. I have an article you might want to look at. It is a “new” tool the USGA is talking about. I just thought you might want to know about it!



10/24/15- Is Golf supposed to be fun? Click the link below for some current stats and reasons why people golf..



12/2/15- I am on my way to Las Vegas for a day of work on  a new project. Then off to SoCal until Monday. The NJ Turfgrass show starts on Tuesday where I will have a booth at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!


12/9/15- The tradeshow in Atlantic City just wrapped up. It was good to see some of you and catch up with old friends. Southern California had great weather but it’s not too bad here. Greens may still be growing a bit this week!


12/11/15- Part 2 of a Water usage and Environmental Study out from the USGA and GCSAA. It’s long but has some interesting information. The overall number showing a decrease in golf courses using water is a little misleading due to many hundred course closures since 2005. It still puts some practices you may do in a good light.



1/1/16- Happy New Year everyone! I am excited for a bust 2016 and to see how things go on your properties. I am already mostly booked through March which is a great start for me. My first travel takes me to New Bremen, Ohio and Brookside Laboratories. I am going to spend the 11th-13th of January there and brush up on some testing I should be introducing to you on the environmental side of things. I just read through this article (link below) on what the government did when passing the recent Omnibus bill. Not light but enjoy…..



1/11/16- I am sitting in the Newark airport waiting to fly to Dayton. I will be making my yearly visit to Brookside Laboratories tomorrow morning. I am planning on spending most my time in the environmental lab. I will be working with the head of that lab on developing a package that will best suit clients that have waters running through the property starting somewhere else. It is easy for us to get the blame for “run-off” and things like that coming from the course but sometimes it doesn’t start there and we need data to help us out.

It should be a very cold couple of days but informative!