The Importance of Basic Water Testing
Turf managers are the most well-rounded and professionally prepared managers on a property. Agronomic talents, financial forecasting, human relations, and personnel management, to name a few, are areas of expertise for a turf manager, regardless of business or facility. Tied into this level of expertise is the important and valued application of plant protectants, herbicides, and insecticides through spray solutions. We spend years understanding and tuning our programs and thousands of dollars (per application in the golf world) to achieve the results we desire. In the professional lawn care world, results drive revenue; in the golf world, results drive service and increase revenue. The product knowledge and environmental conditions that drive the use of products are paramount. However, we often overlook the quality of spray solution water used to apply the expensive and technologically advanced fungicides, herbicides, surfactants, insecticides, and nutrients.
Most of us are guilty of passing off water quality in the spray solution. I know it was on my radar as a turf manager, but was rarely something we focused on consistently. Having a basic understanding of pH and bicarbonate levels in your solution water can go a long way toward the optimum performance of the products applied. Many plant protectants and herbicides can be adversely affected by pH and bicarbonate levels. Weed control can suffer, fungicide life and efficacy can shorten, and nutrient availability can decrease. These all cause additional expenses for the target product, and often dissatisfied customers.
Fortunately, we can perform a simple and effective test of your fill water and provide recommendations on any additive necessity. Your ATS representative can take a small sample of your fill water, perform the test, and have results in minutes. In my area of the Midwest, our pH levels are often elevated outside optimum levels, and bicarbonates tend to run on the high end of acceptable. The elevated pH will tie up the efficacy of many products you’re counting on for effectiveness and longevity. As a result, re-application costs and customer dissatisfaction can be remedied.
Elevated pH is easily remedied with LV Spray Enhancer by Precision Labs, with a rate window of 4-32 oz/100 gals of total solution. I remedy most samples I encounter with 8-16 oz/100 gals. LV conditions the spray solution system and provides a safe surfactant for maximum efficacy of target products. The additive is pennies on the acre, creating a massive return on investment. Many operators in my region have set LV amount for every tank; it’s part of every spray they execute. The results have been noticeable, and the performance of your entire tank solution will improve.
Reach out to your local ATS representative or location for a simple water test and recommendations on how it can be improved for your operation!