Editor’s note: The June issue of Superintendent magazine features a special supplement on golf and sustainability. We were fortunate to have several 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 Engage Agro USA.
Talk about embracing sustainability. Engage Agro USA’s mission statement mentions that the Prescott, Arizona-based company aims to be a leader in the introduction of sustainable solutions in the industry.
Trevor Thorley saw an unmet need when he became president of Engage Agro USA about four years ago: to offer more environmentally friendly products as part of the company’s brand. Thorley says the interest was there from superintendents.
Engage Agro offers the bio-based pesticides, Regalia PTO biofungicide and Grandevo PTO bioinsecticide, which are registered trademarks of Marrone Bio Innovations. It also offers several soil surfactants, including Integrate P pellets, which contain seaweed extract to increase plant vigor and reduce stress while holding water.
Thorley notes that more superintendents tried Regalia PTO as part of their fungicide programs in the past year. Regalia PTO is an extract from Reynoutria sachalinensis, a giant knotweed. The active ingredient (AI) inhibits the pathogen through induced systemic resistance and controls dollar spot, anthracnose and bermudagrass decline, among other diseases.
“They’ve seen the benefits of mixing it in programs,” Thorley adds.
In certain areas of the Northeast, where environmental restrictions are more stringent, superintendents have been more open to products like Regalia PTO, Thorley notes.
Thorley says he fielded more questions from superintendents about Engage Agro USA’s sustainable products at this year’s Golf Industry Show than in the past.
“They want to be on the leading edge, and sustainability is a big part of being on the leading edge,” he states.
But, as Thorley has stressed in the past, the products have to perform because the superintendent is still accountable for providing top conditions.
Engage Agro USA is working on some new bio-based products, including a bionematode product with a “completely different mode of action,” and some “next-generation nitrogen products that fit in the framework of sustainability,” Thorley says.
Thorley has a history in the industry, once leading Bayer’s turf and ornamental business, as well as serving as president of Valent U.S.A. He admits he never would’ve considered the bio-based products for his company’s portfolio if they didn’t perform.