Golf Superintendent’s Natural Interest in Organic Alternatives Fuels Personal Mission to Share Effective Solution
Kyle Dykstra, a golf superintendent at the Sierra View Country Club in Roseville, Calif., has always been interested in organic solutions, natural ways to improve health, and environmental sustainability. However, when it came to finding an effective, reasonably affordable organic weedkiller, he was at a loss.
“Yes, we’re all trying to be environmentally conscious, but we also can’t jeopardize our jobs or lose our golf business using something that doesn’t work or is simply too expensive,” Dykstra explained.
A Well-Known Industry Issue
Every year, Dykstra and other golf superintendents are invited to continuous education seminars that bring in representatives from large herbicide manufacturing companies so they can share their newest chemical solutions with potential customers…
“During our last seminar, a representative from the University of California extension spoke about organic herbicide solutions,” Dykstra said. “The extension had tested a lot of organic products and the representative said that none of them had performed to the point where they would recommend switching over.
“All the organics I’ve tried have been contact solutions so they just burn the tops,” continued Dykstra. “The weeds are back in a month, and it takes many repeat applications and costs a great deal in terms of labor and product.”
A New Discovery During COVID-19
As the media coverage has steadily revealed questions, issues, and concerns with glyphosate, the most popular ingredient used in conventional herbicide products, Dykstra became more curious about alternatives.
“I’ve been following all the different stories about RoundUp, and they may be true or not, but I kept thinking there must be something else,” Dykstra said. “During the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, I had some extra free time, so I started researching online. I found someone commenting on a related website about a product from EcoMight.”
“EcoMIGHT is a true systemic herbicide; it kills to the roots”
“EcoMight is a true systemic herbicide; it kills to the roots,” Dykstra said. “Once we got to the warmer months, EcoMight performed above and beyond what we expected. We’ve had great success killing Dallisgrass, Bermuda grass, clover, oxalis, spurge, goosegrass, juvenile oak, fig and mulberry trees, nutsedge, dandelions, and many more weeds.”
Once we got to the warmer months, EcoMIGHT performed above and beyond what we expected. We’ve had great success killing Dallisgrass, Bermuda grass, clover, oxalis, spurge, goosegrass, juvenile oak, fig and mulberry trees, nutsedge, dandelions, and many more weeds.”
Ahead of the Curve
Although Sierra View has prioritized environmentally related initiatives such as recycling, water management, and reducing mow areas, the golf course has not experienced a great deal of pressure from the local government or community regarding herbicide usage.
“It’s nice to be ahead of the curve,” Dykstra said. “I know other cities are starting to ban glyphosate, and I expect that trend to continue. I have used EcoMight successfully around tree wells, bunker edges, lake edges, and landscape beds. EcoMight is a great addition to the fact that we already use about 40% organic fertilizer and mostly organic-based products in our lakes as well.
“Right now, we are sharing EcoMight with our members and our employees and promoting this alternative safe product,” Dykstra added. “Our applicators are excited; I think it shows that you care about creating a safe work environment for them. You’re not asking them to spray something you wouldn’t spray yourself.
“In addition, a lot of guys do landscaping on the side,” Dykstra said. “I’m encouraging them to promote EcoMight to their customers as a safe alternative. They can charge a premium for that service.”
EcoMight is naturally organic and classified as minimum risk exempt, which means the product is formulated from a strict list of about 40 ingredients, most of which are found in nature. When used as directed, minimum-risk exempt products pose little to no risk to human health or the environment.
A Personal Mission to Spread the Word
With a bachelor’s degree in environmental horticultural science and turfgrass management from California Polytechnic State University, Dykstra is an industry expert with 25 years of experience in the golf industry. As a certified member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, he has been superintendent at Sierra View for 19 years. Dykstra is now telling city officials, other golf superintendents, the University of California Extension, and others about his experience with EcoMight.
“I want to start promoting the product,” Dykstra said. “It’s hard to tell someone not to use glyphosate but then not offer them a workable solution. Now we have an effective, affordable solution, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t be using it.”
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