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).
Raven Industries has been a leader for many years when it comes to golf course sprayer control technology. Most of the original GPS spray systems in use on golf courses utilized the Raven Envizio-Pro Field Computer, which makes sense since the Raven SCS-440 was the mainstay of flow based controllers at the time. Turflux started off selling the Envizio-Pro as its GPS Controller and later upgraded to Raven's Viper 4+ with an improved display and increased functionality.
Raven and Turflux partnered in 2014 to focus on the golf course market, and our User List of golf course customers shows our success. Raven chose Turflux because of our previous experinece in the golf market and our commitment to a customer-focused approach.
Turflux signed an agreement to begin selling the Ag Leader product line in 2021. Ag Leader is a big player in Precision Agriculture and they had a few systems running on golf course sprayers. Ag Leader recognized that Turflux had a significant presence in the golf course market, and Turflux offered a great opportunity for their growth in golf. Turflux recognized that Ag Leader controls could do everything required by a current Turflux system and more, and they could be installed at a lower cost to our customers.
The Turflux - Ag Leader relationship is truly a win-win for each company and a great advantage for our customers.
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 Coil System, which utilizes your current nozzle bodies and controls them individually by replacing the check valve with an electric solenoid. We also offer a multi-section manifold control system, typically installed on a "speed and pressure" sprayer like the Toro MP-1250 or MP-1750. Top of the line nozzle control utilizes the advanced PWM (Pulse Width Modulating) technology of Capstan's SharpShooter or Raven's Hawkeye nozzle control system. PWM nozzle control allows for varying speeds while maintaining constant pressure (and droplet size), while continuing to apply product at your preset target rate.
The backbone to RTK is an internet connected base station network that uses fixed reference points on the earth. In 2019 Turflux partnered with HP RTK to expand the coverage of its base station network to include HP RTK's dedicated RTK base station system. We have always been committed to an independent RTK network that is not dependent on the individual state run CORS networks. These fixed reference points go through a rigorous survey process creating redundancy in your position correction signal.
The HP RTK base station network includes redundancy in their network avoiding the dependence on a single base station or a government run CORS network inheirent in competitive options.
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 increasing your control 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 they typically see 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, and a greater ability to stay ahead of play.
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 Raven's Slingshot® RTK or Ag Leader's AgFiniti Essentials are 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.