Building Better Roots

Company's products fit perfectly within the concept of sustainability, StollerPRO's Bill Davis says

Editor's note: The June issue of Superintendent magazine features a special report on golf and sustainability. "Driving Sustainability" comprises a 32-page supplement. We were fortunate to have 13 advertisers/sponsors involved in the supplement to make it possible and to help educate superintendents about sustainability. We asked the sponsors to share their philosophies about sustainability as it pertains to their products. It's clear these companies take sustainability very seriously and are committed to its economic, environmental and social components. While their stories appeared in the June issue, we're also sharing them in this newsletter. Today, a look at StollerPRO.

StollerPRO's Bill Davis has heard the talk. More and more superintendents are speaking about the importance of building a better root system in turfgrass today than they were a few years ago. That bodes well for the plant health-based line of products that Houston-based StollerPRO offers to superintendents. The products fit perfectly within the concept of sustainability, Davis says.

"Our products help create lateral roots," says Davis, StollerPRO's sales and marketing manager. "Without lateral roots, turfgrass can't take up enough nutrients and water. The plant becomes more efficient when it builds a better root system."

StollerPRO has only sold its products, such as Root Mass 20/20 and SuperCharge Humic, in the golf course maintenance industry since the beginning of the year. For the past two and a half years, Davis, a former superintendent, led university and superintendent research of the products on putting greens and fairways.

Davis says turfgrass treated with Root Mass 20/20 and SuperCharge Humic required less water and stayed greener longer when under stress. The treated areas also recovered from stress much quicker than untreated areas, he notes.

Davis believes more superintendents are taking sustainability seriously. Part of his perception is based on superintendents wanting to impress government legislators with their environmental prowess so golf courses aren't heavily regulated in the future.
"They realize they have to be proactive and not reactive," Davis says.

Roots 20/20 has a high-end price per gallon. But what adds to the product's sustainability is that it can be sprayed at .25 to .75 ounce per 1,000 square feet, Davis says.

"The industry standard is 2 to 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet," Davis says, noting that 1 gallon of the product will spray 8 acres of turf. Because of the low rate, the cost to spray is about $20 an acre or 50 cents per 1,000 square feet.

Davis, who is looking for distributors for StollerPRO's products, agrees it's a good time to get in the industry considering the sustainability movement.

"I just wish I could've offered the company's product to Texas superintendents who had to deal with the drought last year," he says.