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Chat with Brandon Perrine at Deerwood Country Club

I recently had a chat with Brandon Perrine at Deerwood Country Club in South Jersey. His story is cool, and one that anyone who is into EarthWorks and what we do would find interesting:

About half way through our conversation Brandon exclaimed, “I tell people I use EarthWorks and they say, ‘that’s the soil spray that you have to flush right?’ And that’s the rap that EarthWorks gets out there, I don’t get it. The 555 spray is the best Foliar nutrient spray I’ve ever seen hands down. It’s phenomenal.”

Brandon proceeded to get into the nuts an bolts of his program. “I use the 555 spray every two weeks as my foliar nutritional spray. And on the opposite weeks I put out a soil spray, that’s with the BioVantage, always with my wetting agent and phosphite.” I asked how do you get your fungicides in the program? “It depends on what I’m targeting, but I usually get my contacts and SDHI’s in with the 555 spray and if I’m doing a pythium spray or an insecticide, like my ABW spray, I get it in with the soil spray. I’ve never had any compatibility issues.” For fairways and tees the program is even simpler, Sea3 and urea triazone. It’s really cost effective, but it’s also a balanced C:N, and it’s made a huge difference to those areas.

Simplicity is a key part of Brandon’s program and approach. He has a small staff and doesn’t have the luxury of a big budget or a bunch of guys or turf interns to explore the finest of nuances in maintaining a golf course. And that’s where the EarthWorks products and SoilFirst management approach has been his biggest asset.

When he got there in March of 2017, the place was not in good shape. For example, there was only 50% coverage on tees. Thatch was the big story, pretty much everywhere, but especially greens and tees. And he attests the process of converting thatch into a useful humidified root zone material to the success he has had in the last 18 months. “That’s where the EarthWorks program and the cultural practices are making a huge difference. For example, last year these greens were showing serious wilt at about 13-14% moisture. Now I don’t see wilt until 6 or 7%.” Also I couldn’t mow them last summer without scalping, and we were mowing at 130. Yesterday we dropped them down to 115 and they’re as smooth as glass.” At this point he made the assertion to me. “You better be at the District 4 meeting at my place next month!” He’s been topdressing every two weeks religiously, and that is definitely helping a lot. I reminded him, that’s tough on the plant, especially through the summer and you have to be doing everything else right to have the plant withstand that pressure.

It’s not just in the field that he sees the changes. Reviewing his soil tests, he’s dropped Na on his greens on average 70 lbs to the 25 lbs from spring of 2017 to summer of 2018. That only happens if you are addressing the needs of the soil, reacting to the soil test and complexing (chelating) the soil solution with a carbon-based fertilizer program.

Towards the end of our conversation I told him I was happy and excited for him, because this job has been a great project and opportunity. He responded, “that’s why I love coming to work each day! I can see the final product in my head, all the changes that we can make out here, and the potential is awesome. It really is a great track and property, and every day we are inching towards it’s potential.


 

Jack Higgins
Regional Agronomist
jack@soilfirst.com