GPS has become very common in our day-to-day life. Most of our personal or business tavel along with the transportation of our goods has become more efficient when using the satellite system developed in the United States known as GPS (Global Positioning System). Other satellite systems have been developed around the world such as Glonass (Russian) and Galileo (European Union) and all of these satellite systems are known generically as Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).
Turflux and Raven Industries have partnered to bring satellite technology to golf course spraying in the same way Raven has done it in Agriculture for many years. This readily accessible technology can greatly benefit golf courses both financially and in terms of course quality without much change to their daily maintenance practices. Many of our current customers have found the training period to be much shorter for new spray technicians, and the reporting capability of Slingshot makes it easier for superintendents to monitor their new, and even their experienced, spray technicians.
In 2019 Turflux partnered with HP RTK to greatly expand our access to base stations around the United States. These base stations are the backbone to sub-inch accuracy when using RTK technology.
Raven Industries has been the leader for many years when it comes to golf course sprayer control technology. The Raven SCS-440 was the mainstay of flow based controllers used by most golf course sprayer manufacturers and was often referred to by end users as their “Raven”.
Raven and Turflux partnered in 2014 to start selling Raven's advanced Field Computers and Slingshot® RTK to the golf course market. Raven chose Turflux because of our previous experinece in the golf market and our commitment to a customer-focused approach. Turflux chose Raven because of their leadership in advanced technology.
Nozzle control is an integral component to satellite controlled spraying on golf courses. The increase in accuracy and savings from satellite control would be minimal if the technology could only control one boom section at a time.
Satellites are the brains. Nozzle control is what makes it work. Turflux offers options from its basic "speed and pressure" based manifold system and its Hi-Flo electric solenoid dual nozzle setup to the advanced PWM (Pulse Width Modulating) technology of Capstan's SharpShooter and Raven's Hawkeye nozzle control system.
Eliminating unintended overlap of an area already sprayed or knowing about skipped areas by seeing them on a map will result in improved accuracy with your golf course spraying. Weakened turf from over application or unintended application is virtually eliminated.
With the mapping function your field computer will know the exact square footage of your spray zone and all applications will be the same, regardless of the operator. You will now know the right amount of product to keep in stock for your next application.
The elimination of off-target spraying by reducing your application from 3 boom sections to individual nozzles is the main reason for the savings. Additional savings is achieved because a nozzle will shut off if your operator strays into an area already sprayed or when it leaves a spray zone.
Our experience has shown that once a golf course installs a Turflux system there will be a 23% reduction in product used on greens, where the most expensive products are used, and an 11% reduction on fairways, where more volume is sprayed. Many courses have reduced the manpower needed for each application by eliminating one tank of time and product, resulting in even more savings.
With the increased control of liquid fertilizer and pesticide applications you can now map environmentally sensitive areas as “no spray” zones which will reduce human error and avoid any misapplications in the areas you need to avoid.
The record keeping function of Slingshot® RTK is an added benefit when it comes to documenting your spray applications for regulatory reasons. You take your role as an environmental steward seriously. Having documented proof will help back that up.
“We have already mapped our greens and approaches, so we know what square footage should be sprayed each time. In the past, different spray technicians always sprayed a different total area. In theory, every application will now be the same, so it should be much easier to budget for the quantity and cost of fertilizers and plant protectants to be applied. And I am actually more interested in the accuracy of the application - and the cost savings is just an added benefit.”
- Ken Flisek, CGCS, Golf Course Superintendent, The Club at Nevillewood, Presto, PA
“If we could save $15,000 per year it would be great,” [Mark] Kuehner says. “If we could save $25,000 per year, it was a no brainer.” 7 Springs [Golf Course] saved $27,000 in chemical costs last year , according to Kuehner. “We laugh at it now,” he says. “It’s like a license to print money.”
- From Golf Course Industry magazine August 2014 issue
Ken Flisek, The Club at Nevillewood
We have already mapped our greens and approaches, so we know what square footage should be sprayed each time. In the past, different spray technicians always sprayed a different total area. In theory, every application will now be the same, so it should be much easier to budget for the quantity and cost of fertilizers and plant protectants to be applied.
And I am actually more interested in the accuracy of the application - and the cost savings is just an added benefit.
John Stawovy, Cedarbrook Golf Course
I’ve cut 8 acres out of my fairway spray application using GPS Mapping and individual nozzle control.
That’s one full tank of product and labor.
John Shaw, Valley Brook Country Club
In the past we noticed some [sprayer] overlaps and those overlaps always show up in July and August where you’re repeatedly spraying in the same spots over and over.
Now with the GPS Sprayer we have 20” centers on the nozzles and they are individually controlled, so now we can do different angles. We can vary our pattern because we no longer have to follow a straight line [starting point] because the sprayer will snap on … creating that straight line.
Mark Kuehner, 7 Springs Golf Course
If we could save $15,000 per year it would be great,” (Mark) Kuehner says. “If we could save $25,000 per year, it was a no brainer.” 7 Springs (Golf Course) saved $27,000 in chemical costs last year (2013), according to Kuehner. “We laugh at it now,” he says. “It’s like a license to print money.
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