Another unknown Weed

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I haven’t been able to find this in several weed identification sites or in my weed book. Pubescent stems branch from large taproot. Coarsely haired leaves are alternate, ovate and serrate. The petioles have little wings that clasp the stem. Leaves smell somewhat piney when crushed. My friend says they smell like dirty socks. So […]

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Field Vegetable Growers Offer Lessons in Dealing With COVID-19

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AmHydro Vegetable Production SystemThe specialty crops industry as a whole, including greenhouse growers and field growers, have all felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The post Field Vegetable Growers Offer Lessons in Dealing With COVID-19 appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

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How important are drawings for your clients?

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Do you come up with drawings for your clients? I can see the benefits of having such a document that would indicate where the wires are located in case that is needed in the future. I've attached a couple of pics of the type of drawings I would like to be able to do. I don't know the programs used for such.

Along these lines, do you provide your clients with the worksheets of your work which would include transformer info, length of wire for each circuit, measured voltages at each…

How important are drawings for your clients?

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Bobcat Company debuts new MT100 mini track loader

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WEST FARGO, N.D. –Bobcat is expanding its product offering with the new Bobcat MT100 mini track loader.

Powered by a Tier 4 diesel engine and efficient hydraulic system, the MT100 has a rated operating capacity of 1,000 pounds and comes standard with removable counterweights, which can be mounted in the undercarriage or at the rear of the machine on the uprights, to increase lifting performance. Plus, the MT100 is equipped with a new, more durable undercarriage that requires no daily maintenance.

The new mini track loader is ideal for digging, trenching, backfilling and moving material in tight-fitting jobsites. This machine is a replacement for manual labor and wheelbarrows in tight areas where larger equipment won’t fit.

 

Two attachment interfaces

Make quick work of grading, backfilling, digging holes, hauling and loading materials with two attachment interfaces available on the new MT100. The new mini track loader features the Bob-Tach attachment mounting system which makes it simple to put an assortment of Bobcat attachments on the machine. The Bob-Tach system uses an over-center latch mechanism and wear-compensating pins to make proper attachment-to-carrier fitment a given from the first exchange to the last.

The MT100 also features Bobcat Common Industry Interface design which offers operators the ability to exchange attachments as jobs change. Combining over-center latches with pin-on design provides simple attachment-to-carrier connection.

 

Easy serviceability

The MT100 has a new undercarriage that requires no daily maintenance. The rollers are permanently sealed and constantly bathed in oil for permanent lubrication. The surfaces of rollers and idlers are heat treated to minimize the wear and tear of typical use.

 

The Bobcat MT100 allows operators to gain access to routine maintenance areas by lifting the hood. They can quickly check coolant, fuel, oil and hydraulic fluid levels.

 

Maximized ride comfort

The MT100 mini track loader features ergonomic ISO joystick controls and performance features, including optimized roller spacing on the track system. Plus, an integrated ride-on platform gives operators a wider view to the sides, as well as to the bucket cutting edge or attachment.

 

Two track options

The MT100 offers two different track sizes to provide operators with their preferred combination of performance and comfort when traveling over established surfaces or adverse ground conditions. The standard narrow tracks keep the machine’s width to just 36 inches. Depending on the size of the attachment, operators can easily slip through doorways and fence gates. A ground pressure of 5.25 psi provides good protection for most turf and finished surfaces.

Optional wide tracks further reduce ground pressure and increase machine stability. At 3.97 psi, operators can achieve the lightest possible footprint for sensitive surfaces – and the mini track loader is still only 41-inches wide when equipped with the wide track option.

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Settle the Debate- are you poly or not?

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Poly sand that is. I used it for my first 3 or 4 patios ten years ago, but have long since abandoned it as an overpriced product that does its job for a year or two, but then basically just turns into inert dirt, since it is mostly extremely fine sand with a polymer that inevitably will wash out in a rainy climate. Once the polymer washes out, that stuff grows moss and weeds like plain old dirt. I use bagged silica sand or concrete sand during the dry season when I can get it bulk from the…

Settle the Debate- are you poly or not?

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Hemp Genetics CEO on Selecting the Right Strains

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ooted cannabis clones await propagationAsking for cultivar data that goes beyond what’s reported on a typical ag seed label is one of many valuable pieces of advice Beacon Hemp’s Nick Stromberg shared during a recent presentation.

The post Hemp Genetics CEO on Selecting the Right Strains appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

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Tackling tech

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Stephanie Early, chief of strategy at Timberline Landscaping, says the company has focused on SEO since she started seven years ago.

Photos courtesy of Timberline Landscaping

Stephanie Early, chief of strategy with Timberline Landscaping in Colorado Springs, says technology has always been an important element of the business and something they still focus on growing.

“Timberline has been an early adopter of technology for quite some time,” she says. “We began mobile timekeeping almost 10 years ago. And, from what we’ve seen, we were one of the first companies to really dive into that. We’ve had mobile timekeeping, GPS, estimating software systems and accounting for many, many years.”

Know SEO.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial component of Timberline’s technology use. Early says she works with Timberline’s marketing coordinator to develop SEO and keyword research into the company’s strategy.

“I’ve been with the company for seven years and we’ve had an SEO focus since that point,” Early says. “We have continually worked on that. What I love is that we’re at the point now that we are continually ranking well organically for most of the search terms that we want.

Early says Timberline, which has slightly more than 200 employees, targets a mix of short-tail and long-tail keywords. Examples of short-tail keywords would include “landscaping” or “lawn care,” and a long-tail keyword would be something along the lines of “Should I mow my lawn in the winter?”

She also suggests incorporating keywords into the title, image alt. text and headers of a post.

According to Early, ranking well in terms of SEO has boosted Timberline’s business.

Timberline Landscaping has always embraced technology. They instituted mobile timekeeping about 10 years ago.

“We’ve been able to create this free, organic pipeline of work, just based on search results, that is feeding a whole lot of business our way,” she says. “We measure our sales by marketing sources and internet search is our number three, just underneath current customers and referrals.”

Early attributes the company’s ranking to an aggressive in-bound marketing approach.

“Outbound is your cold calls, mailers and things of that nature,” she says. “In-bound is about creating content that people are already searching for and having that available on your site and giving them the opportunity to convert from there.”

Timberline’s website features blog posts and other gated content, where users must provide an email address to access it. Early says this content is rich in SEO keywords.

“When people sit down to do keyword research, they say, ‘Well I think people are searching this way.’ We actually plug it into a software and determine exactly how people are searching for each service and seeing what words they are using so we can make sure we are making our content rich in those keywords,” she says.

Early says the company determines the keywords internally but uses the software to determine which to go after. When choosing an SEO software, she suggests “looking for something that allows you to track performance analytics and plays nice with Google analytics and social media. Keyword traffic and ranking difficulty are great tools to have.”

It’s been an effective approach for Timberline, and Early says traffic to the website continues to increase.

“Our website traffic continues to rise year over year, every year,” she says.

Early adds there is one annual post that drives a large amount of traffic to the website every year.

“We do Christmas lighting as a service over the winter, so we prepare a Christmas lights map of the local area where people submit their house,” she says. “And that map drives 65,000 people in the month of December to our website. That amount of traffic helps our website authority for the rest of the year.”

The Christmas lights map, which you can view at bit.ly/xmaslawn, also keeps users on the web page for a while, which Early notes is important for improving SEO.

“On average, people are spending five minutes per unique view on that Christmas lights map,” she says.

Combine components.

Early says the company recently purchased a new business management software to help consolidate all the technology they were using in hopes of streamlining operations.

“We found we were limited by our estimating, job costing and CRM system,” she says. “We were using items that were working decently but weren’t cloud-based. We wanted to make sure that all this software was available to our field staff. We wanted to keep things moving quickly without having to come into the office.”

The new software, which is designed specifically for landscape companies, has helped Timberline.

“It brought out CRM, estimating, job costing, timekeeping and billing all under one umbrella,” she says. “The only things that are still separate are our overhead and our balance sheets and income statements. But there’s a bridge to connect those.”

Early says getting all the software onto one platform was great, but getting everyone on board with the new software posed a challenge.

“Anytime you move people’s cheese, they will struggle a little bit. We had a lot of conversations with our team as we were vetting out new software,” she says. “As we were demoing software, we narrowed it down to two and then brought in a lot of our team to watch the demos and learn what was going on. There is a ton of setup that goes into it. People not only have to learn the new software but also adjust their workflows.”

Early says Timberline’s C-Suite business unit leaders and estimators were all involved in demoing the software options. While no formal vote was taken, a general consensus was made by all parties.

While it might have been difficult early on, Early says everyone is adjusted to it now and sees the benefits of the process.

“We pulled the trigger almost a year ago,” she says. “A couple of months in, people were still struggling, but by this point they say they get it and see why we made this change. We had to get used to taking the good, letting go of what we were used to do and just move forward.”

To help everyone transition, Early says Timberline took an employee who adapted to the new software early on and used him as a trainer for others.

“(He) helped train our team, setup the system and troubleshoot,” she says. “He continues to help us in that role still and we could not have done it without him.”

Research & request referrals.

Early says any company looking to implement a new software or technology should make sure they do their homework.

“Make sure you do your due diligence,” she says. “Look at multiple options, talk to people who are using the software and take your time with the decision-making process.”

Early also suggests getting good, reliable referrals.

“If a company is not willing to give you referrals, then we would likely steer clear,” she says. “Those referrals make a huge difference.”

While software can be expensive, Early says it can be an investment worth making if it’ll improve business operations.

“You’re definitely going to have costs associated with these things, but you have to think about that return on investment over time,” she says. “For us, it’s been worth it.”

 

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Project EverGreen creates photo contest

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CLEVELAND – Project EverGreen wants its volunteers, green industry professionals, military families and green space lovers to submit their favorite photos in the Project EverGreen “Go Green” Photo Contest.

Healthy yards, parks and community green spaces represent a silver lining in our current climate. Getting outside in a socially distant manner provides everyone – big and small – with an opportunity to enjoy the health and lifestyle benefits that well-maintained green spaces represent.

Starting June 24, Project EverGreen will highlight different themes related to green space enjoyment that can be shared via social media. All entries must be submitted by midnight on the day that the contest ends.

The “Go Green” Photo Contest weekly themes include:

June 24 – July 1 – Show Us Your GreenCare For Troops Spirit

July 2 – 8 – Community Parks Week

July  9 -15 – Relaxing Lawns and Landscapes

“Green spaces are visually stimulating and what better way to share your love of them by capturing your favorite ‘green’ moment with a photo,” said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Our volunteers, military families and community project residents all benefit from green spaces and we look forward to seeing how they are enjoying them. Be creative. Get your families, friends and co-workers involved!”

Winners will be announced weekly and will receive a $50 Amazon or Home Depot gift card, only two submissions per account and one cannot win twice. To enter, post photos on Facebook/Instagram and tag @ProjectEverGreen or on Twitter @ProjectEvrGreen and include #ProjectEverGreenPhotoContest and like/follow their social media pages.

Winners will be notified via social media and will be announced weekly. ]]>

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Foliar feeding and droplet size Ride-on.

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Been using my Exmark for foliar nutrition a lot lately and think i will be going liquid for a good part of my applications. Reading a few articles on how plants absorb foliar feeding got me thinking that the floodjets on the Ex/Toro are not ideal for full leaf coverage. For best foliar uptake, a fine droplet is recommended, where the FJ is coarse to ultra coarse depending on psi. I also find the floodjet to be lacking for low to ground plantain and think i might prefer better leaf…

Foliar feeding and droplet size Ride-on.

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IA celebrates efficient irrigation during July’s Smart Irrigation Month

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FAIRFAX, Va.  — The Irrigation Association noted July 2020 has once again been designated as Smart Irrigation Month. This month-long initiative is an opportunity for the irrigation industry to promote the importance and value of smart irrigation practices.

Smart Irrigation Month kicks off on July 7 with Technology Tuesday. Irrigation professionals are encouraged to wear blue on July 7 to raise awareness about everything that makes up smart irrigation.

This year, the IA is focusing on the people behind smart irrigation, celebrating the professionals within the industry. Irrigation professionals are invited to share their stories about smart irrigation and how they have used it in their operation or promoted its benefits to customers. Go to www.smartirrigationmonth.org to share your story.

“With the challenges our industry, our country and the world are facing right now with the COVID-19 health crisis, we are proud to be able to celebrate our industry through Smart Irrigation Month,” said IA Government and Public Affairs Director John Farner. “Smart Irrigation Month is our opportunity to showcase the value and importance of efficient irrigation. Focusing on the people behind irrigation is a great way to recognize those who are making a significant impact on managing our vulnerable water supplies.”

Smart Irrigation Month serves as the showcase month for the irrigation industry and the public to recognize and promote the benefits associated with smart and efficient irrigation.

“The irrigation industry continues to be at the forefront of developing technologies and practices for the most efficient and effective use of water,” Farner said. “We look forward to celebrating the people who make it all happen during 2020 Smart Irrigation Month.”

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