Steve Greil, one of the owners of Wind Lake Turf Inc., has been working in the turfgrass industry for over 30 years. During that time, he’s used many different fertilizers and products on crops, but of them all he believes Amp Agronomy’s Root Driver is among the best.
“I’ve seen a lot of products in my lifetime. We’ve tried a lot of stuff over the years but this product was basically the only one that I’ve really seen work. When you can harvest sod a month or two months earlier, that’s a huge deal,” Greil said.
Greil has sprayed several production fields of Kentucky Bluegrass with Root Driver at their farm and said he’s seen an incredible difference in the way the roots establish. He explained their sod is grown on organic soil matter, and that this product works phosphorus through the leaves and into the plant, making what he thinks is a noticeable improvement in the rooting of the sod.
He explained the grass can look good, but the real test of the product is when they go and cut and roll the sod and they can actually see the roots and blocking difference after Root Driver has been applied.
Greil started by testing the product a few years ago and when he realized he could push sod out almost two months faster than before, he said he was sold on the product. He was extremely pleased with the comparison of the sod he rolled that had Root Driver applied versus the sod that he did not.
“One time I sprayed half the field and like a month later we could go in there and cut the one half. The other half, it just fell apart,” he said.
Production fields of Kentucky Bluegrass at Wind Lake that Greil sprayed with Root Driver.
Greil said it’s an extremely simple product to apply. He typically uses the 2.5 gallon jugs and sprays two quarts per acre, with two separate applications on each field. He said the difference on the Kentucky Bluegrass acres they spayed this year has been phenomenal.
“The biggest thing in the sod industry is if you can come in and have a better root structure on your grass that early, that’s a huge amount of money. Because if we were short on sod and didn’t have sod for a month, if I could cut my crop a month earlier instead of buying sod from a neighboring farm, that would save a lot of money,” he added.
Wind Lake is a 600 acre sod farm in Southeast Wisconsin, which doesn’t offer the same growing season that sod farms in the South or Western regions are fortunate to have. Greil said their farm has roughly eight months of growing season, and that’s if they aren’t impacted by a cool, wet spring or other variables of Mother Nature. Since each day matters immensely to the success of their crops, they find products like Root Driver to be vitally important.
Greil has started experimenting with putting Root Driver on other crops, in addition to turfgrass seedings in their fields.
“I actually just gave two jugs of Root Driver to neighboring farmers to try on their soybeans. I have put it on mine too, so this year we will be testing how the product helps with production of some of these other crops,” he said. “I’ll be monitoring the harvest to see if there’s a difference.”
Greil applied Root Driver in the spring and summer after dormant seedings.
“You can speed up the harvest time of sod anytime you add Root Driver to dormant seedlings,” Greil shared. “Put it on in the late spring or early summer and again on dormant seedlings in the fall.”
He also shared that the past few years they have been running short on sod production, but now they are mostly caught up and pushing their harvest to turn over quickly.
This article was written by Cecilia Brown.