All eyes on Florida at Bayer’s Focus on Florida Media Summit

By |  August 26, 2019 0 Comments
and Mike Ruizzo at Bayer’s Focus on Florida Media Summit. (Photo: Clara Richter)

(L to R) Al Kinkle, Sheryl Wells, Todd Lowe, Laurie Frutchey, Zach Lane and Mike Ruizzo at Bayer’s Focus on Florida Media Summit. (Photo: Clara Richter)

When it comes to growing and maintaining turfgrass, Florida is a very important state. That was the main message behind Bayer’s Focus on Florida Media Summit, held July 11-12 in Naples, Fla.

“Florida is the perfect storm for grass growing, product development and learning about new turf diseases,” said Sheryl Wells, field development representative from Bayer’s crop science division.

During the event, attendees visited with superintendents at two golf courses in southwest Florida — Mike Meisenhelter at West Bay Club and Laurie Frutchey at Lexington Country Club — to learn how they care for their turf despite the demands of Florida’s growing conditions.

Before moving to Florida, Meisenhelter worked in Texas, where environmental conditions are a little different than in the Sunshine State.

According to Meisenhelter, the rain cycle affects irrigation practices, and the porous, sandy soil makes it difficult to regulate moisture. He adds that Florida is the “bug capital of the world.”

“If you are a superintendent coming to Florida,” Meisenhelter said, “pick up the phone and ask for help.”

Frutchey has been working as a superintendent in Florida for 27 years and has been at Lexington for 18 years.

She says two of the most difficult things about growing turf in Florida are the sandy soil and nematodes, but if you surround yourself with successful professionals, you can get through it.

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