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Tag Archives: Featured Articles

Managing Stormwater Runoff

Traditionally thought of as a municipal issue, stormwater runoff can be eased with well planned landscape projects. Landscape contractors can play a critical role in encouraging homeowners to consider designs that beautify their homes while simultaneously reducing the impacts of stormwater runoff.

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Show Preview: GIE+EXPO 2014

The Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) will be held Oct. 22-24, 2014 in Louisville, Ky. The Hardscape North America (HNA) conference and show will once again co-locate with GIE+EXPO. In addition, PLANET's Green Industry Conference and the Professional Grounds Management Society's (PGMS) School of Grounds Management will also take place in Louisville during GIE+EXPO. GIE+EXPO will also once again feature a 19-acre outdoor demonstration area, allowing users a chance to get their hands on some of the latest industry equipment. Education, equipment, networking and even entertainment are all part of GIE+EXPO 2014. The following is our preview of some of the key offerings for landscape and irrigation industry professionals.

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STIHL Inc. Celebrates 40 Years of Manufacturing in the United States

In 2014, STIHL Inc. is celebrating 40 years of manufacturing in the United States. Founded in 1974 by Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG, Waiblingen, Germany, STIHL Inc. began with less than 50 people assembling one model of chain saw. It has grown to 1,900 employees in Virginia Beach (with 200 more employees in branch locations) building more than 70 different models and more than 275 model variations in the U.S.

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Applied Research and the Bottom Line: Turf and ornamentals work at the Kao-Kniffin lab

Cornell University Assistant Professor of Horticulture Dr. Jenny Kao-Kniffin is “working on a bunch of integrated research projects about how to manage weeds in landscapes and turf without the need for pesticides.” Her ability to handily boil down sophisticated research into plain language is something she uses daily in her outreach and extension work as a weed ecologist of urban landscapes. Urban Landscape Weed Ecologist Dr. Jenny Kao-Kniffin (right) with Weed Scientist Dr. Andy Senesac at the Cornell Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center Weed Garden, which is overseen by Senesac. Photo by Kevin Kniffin

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Major Change in Overtime Pay under FLSA Will Have a Big Impact

On March 13, 2014, the Obama administration released a Presidential Memorandum in which the president stated “… regulations regarding exemptions from the Act’s overtime requirement, particularly for executive, administrative, and professional employees (often referred to as “white collar” exemptions) have not kept up with our modern economy. Because these regulations are outdated, millions of Americans lack the protections of overtime and even the right to the minimum wage.” He directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to propose revisions to modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The specific regulations are those that define the exemptions from both minimum wage and overtime for executives, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees. Those regulations were last revised in 2004 and had not been revised previously since 1975.

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A Pond for Every Property

Some people love water features. Others are downright passionate about them. Whether a client longs for the tranquility of a container-size pond that can be enjoyed on the back patio, or they are looking for a soothing escape from the frenzied pace of daily life, there is a pond solution for any size landscape.

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Understanding Heat Break Legislation

An employee at any company might tell his supervisor, “Hey, I’m feeling too hot. I want to sit down and take a rest.” Hopefully, few supervisors would dismiss or deny such a request in outdoor industries such as landscaping, agriculture and groundskeeping. A competent supervisor shouldn’t wait to be asked a direct question. He or she should be aware of the signs of physical discomfort commonly associated with heat exhaustion, heat stroke or other heat illnesses. Factors that contribute to overheating include high temperatures, humidity, direct sunlight and natural body heat from physical activity. Dizziness, weakness, clammy skin, irritability and nausea are signs of heat exhaustion that need immediate medical attention. Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, faintness and seizures. Common sense, compassion, and workers’ compensation costs should make the decision to authorize time for an employee to “cool down” automatic.

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What’s trending in sports turf irrigation? Q&A with Jeff Bruce

By Luke Frank If you believe irrigation consultants just know sprinkler systems, you’re way off the mark. The American Society of Irrigation Consultants (ASIC) has spent the past 40-plus years training and supporting irrigation professionals in the industry in emerging water codes and regulations, water resource development and quality, turf management, soil science, chemistry, agronomy, horticulture, business development, marketing -- you get the idea. We caught up with Jeff Bruce, ASIC immediate past president, and principal of Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company (JLB) in North Kansas City, MO. Bruce founded JLB in 1986, and has rocketed to the top of the sports turf industry since, completing about 600 professional and NCAA sports complexes in the past 10 years alone, including Yankee Stadium, Notre Dame Athletic Complex, and INVESCO Field. We asked Bruce what’s trending in sports turf irrigation. His vision of the future might surprise you -- it did us.

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Equipment Trends 2014

Landscape and Irrigation recently asked a wide range of equipment manufacturers and suppliers to share their insights about the equipment market, and how the trends they are seeing will impact equipment decisions made by landscape industry professionals. The observations of the respondents are as follows:

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