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17 Pro Tips for Turf Success

When the Tampa Bay Rowdies hit the field at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, they slide tackle, cross, and lob on top of the turf that Jeff Parkinson painstakingly manicured for years.

But Jeff approaches the project knowing it’s going to face that type of abuse.

CropCare SprayerAs Director of Grounds, Jeff takes care of two fields – the stadium field and a practice field – for the professional soccer team, part of the North American Soccer League.  It’s owned by Big 3 Entertainment.

Jeff must keep the turf healthy to minimize the chance of players getting injured.

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Need to lift plastic mulch? No problem

With fall just around the corner, there’s likely farmers out there dreading the task of picking up the plastic mulch that helped their produce crops flourish this spring and summer. Picking up plastic mulch by hand is dirty, strenuous and time-consuming.

At Pine Valley Farms in Rochester Mills, Pa., Jeff and Kegan Wright plan to get their 21 acres of mulch lifted and rolled in less than 13 hours using CropCares PR2500, also known as the Plastic Mulch Lifter/Wrapper. Continue reading ..

Spray forage crops carefully

alfalfa, hay, forageA sprayer helps forage growers reap a successful harvest through weed control, preservative/fungicide application, and pest control.

Before spraying, farmers should consider the economic threshold and impact on ecosystems.

“I do not recommend that farmers just spray without knowing that the economic benefit of spraying will be equal to or greater than the cost of spraying,” says Marvin Hall, Pennsylvania State University’s forage management specialist. Continue reading ..

Farmer’s sore back leads to new farm equipment

Here’s a fun look at the timeline of the PA1600:

farm equipment picking and planting fruit vegetables
The prototype of the PA1600 is shown, built in 2008.
PA1600
The PA1600, 2015 model.
  1. Originally developed in 2008 by Keith Zimmerman to help alleviate a local farmer’s sore back. The machine allows farmers to pick produce while lying down.
  2. The Picking Assistant was added to the CropCare product line when there proved to be a potential market. It’s manufactured by PBZ LLC of Lititz, PA.
  3. The Picking Assistant has undergone several small updates over the past 7 years.
  4. Introduced the first major new model in the fall of 2015. It gained national attention in August after a news broadcast by WGAL News 8 reporter Meredith Jorgensen, operating the PA1600 at Plum Creek Farm, was syndicated.
  5. This latest model includes wider, more aggressive tires for better traction in muddy conditions, a gear drive motor system, variable speed controls, and solar panels to eliminate the need to bring the machine in from the field for charging. Large rear produce trays on each machine hold 5 strawberry flats to minimize trips to and from the field.
  6. Many updates to the picking/planting assistant were based on customer feedback.
  7. Plum Creek Farm in Berks County, PA., used three machine last year, which played a critical role in refining the new model in preparation for release to the market. The farm continues to use the PA1600 to harvest strawberries for sale at its farm market stand.
  8. Sales of the picking assistant have increased more than 200% since September 2015.

See the PA1600 in action here.

Is Your Sprayer Nozzle the Right Material?

poly nozzle sprayer tip
Poly Sprayer Nozzle

Sprayer tips can be made from various materials, mainly soft metal (aluminum or brass), polypropylene, stainless steel, hardened stainless steel, or ceramic.

When choosing the nozzle for your sprayer application, think about the nozzle’s cost, its longevity/durability, and its performance/accuracy. (See Tips For Choosing The Right Sprayer Nozzle.)

The material it’s made of will play an integral role in meeting your needs.

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