Representatives from industry suppliers expand on what the concept means to their companies and the message they’re trying to convey to superintendents. A3328_5_full

Brian Galbreath President

Humate International

What does sustainability mean to you and your company.

Sustainability refers to a means of caring for plant life that is sustainable and requires minimal external inputs. It means creating and maintaining a healthy soil environment. It means removing stress by natural means. It is the way Mother Nature does it. Mother Nature wants to create a forest to maximize diversity in the soil. This means creating and maintaining a broad spectrum of active microbial populations and providing high-energy organic matter for the microbes to work with. A soil with these two factors working in conjunction with each other may need a minimal input of nutrients, but little if anything else to sustain plants.

What message are you trying to send to superintendents about sustainability?

We realize the demands put on golf course superintendents to maintain a monoculture that is continually under stress (frequent mowing at extremely low mowing heights, compaction, high nutrient inputs, frequent fungicide applications, etc.) is counter to nature’s approach to sustainability. We have, however, demonstrated that our programs based upon the use of our high-energy humate organics – building and maintaining a diverse, active microbial population – can build a soil environment for growing healthy, stress-resistant plants.

In general, are golf courses doing a job of embracing sustainability? Why or why not?

More and more golf course superintendents are considering the concept of reducing inputs on a preventive basis to maintain their courses. Furthermore, they realize this is the future and that they, at some point in time, will need to face restrictive regulations on the use of synthetic chemicals to maintain their courses. However, most golfers still want golf courses that are pristine, beautiful to look at and favorable to low scores. Golf course superintendents are caught in the middle and their jobs are on the line.