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  • 09/23/15 | Read issue #42 of Growing Smarter!

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Grow The Right Way With Fertizona

Fertizona is Arizona’s largest agricultural fertilizer and crop protection retailer. With 9 locations located throughout Southern California, Arizona and Northern Mexico, and a regional trucking depot, fertilizer production facilities, and seed coating operation.

Fertizona and its member companies, Compton Ag Services, Ag Express, and CYC Seed Company provide inputs for Southwestern growers, turf managers, nurseries, landscapers, and municipalities. With an experienced staff of Pest Control Advisors, Agronomists and Turf Managers, we provide superior service and knowledge and provide for our Southwestern agriculture.

Developing Custom Alfalfa Blends for Better Yields

Large trial generates promising results in harsh conditions

At Fertizona, we believe in staying on the leading edge of agricultural innovations so we can help our customers to improve. Frequently that means introducing manufacturers’ new technology or products, but sometimes it means developing unique concepts on our own.

For example, Fertizona Seed Products Sales Manager Tyke Bennett and independent Pest Control Advisor Doyle Stewart began a series of alfalfa trials on 80 acres near Paloma, Arizona, with the goal of finding the most productive desert varieties. 16 different alfalfas were planted in October, 2013, all with the same inputs.

“We wanted to identify varieties that perform in that exact location, where the soil and water are both very high in salt,” said grower Lee Banning of Gila Bend, Arizona, who manages the trial. “And that must be one of the hottest places on Earth.”

Fertizona analyzed the results for the 16 varieties and selected the top performers. Then based on those results, we created a unique custom blend designed for low desert conditions. Marketed under the name “Saltbuster,” the new blend includes established varieties such as Certified Cibola, SuperSonic and a variety of S&W seeds, which are known for salt tolerance.

“We reevaluate after every cutting, looking for traits like longevity and consistency,” said Banning. “The trials are still ongoing, but the proof will be there.”

The Paloma alfalfa trial is currently in the second year of a three-year study, and the results have been very beneficial in helping Fertizona develop exclusive new blends. Using data gathered from this trial and comparable research, we're greatly improving our ability to make similar custom alfalfa blends that perform well in other certain areas in the Southwest.

“Saltbuster is like a prescription,” said Bennett, “because it’s made to work for exactly what someone is dealing with. As we move forward, we plan to offer other unique custom-blended varieties with the same kind of potential as Saltbuster.”

Visit your local Fertizona or Compton Ag Services location for details about custom-blended alfalfa.

Fertizona helps the Peoria Sports Complex to look its best

Expertise and economical products make a difference

Peoria, Arizona, a large suburb northwest of Phoenix, is literally a big league city. That’s because the Peoria Sports Complex is the spring training home of two Major League Baseball organizations: the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. 15 teams play in Arizona’s “Cactus League” every February and March, and they put a lot of pressure on local turf managers

“We’ll go for thirty days straight with major-league games every day,” said Brandon Putman, Sports Facilities Maintenance Coordinator for the city of Peoria. “If you count the minor-league teams’ spring training, we often have five games a day.”

Highlighted by a beautiful 12,000-seat stadium, the Peoria Sports Complex has 40 acres of turf across 13 baseball fields and common areas which get used year-round. Besides regular and extended spring training, the fields also host Arizona Summer League, college games, scouting tournaments, youth leagues, concerts and more. But in addition to the demands of heavy traffic, Peoria’s facilities have the challenge of maintaining turf conditions to the highest levels of quality in extreme summer heat.

“The major-league teams insist on certain standards, and the grounds managers always do an awesome job there,” said Kevin Walsh, Fertizona Turf Sales Representative. “Their conditions are immaculate, and the grass has consistent growth and color.”

Walsh has worked with the Peoria staff since 1993. He and Fertizona provide a wide range of products to the facilities, including seed, fertilizer, pesticides and Endurant® turf colorant. “We’re now using Sapphire® herbicide and Mountain View’s Home Run® rye seed,” Walsh said, “and the results have been amazing. The seed really outperformed, and the grass looks fantastic.”

Quality with Economy

Even though the Peoria managers have a great relationship with Fertizona, their product decisions don’t come easily.

“We have an unusual situation because we’re a municipality,” Putman explained. “We want our playing fields to be top-notch, but we have strict budget constraints. We’re responsible to our citizens first, so we price compare anything we buy.”

Fortunately for everybody, Fertizona is consistently able to recommend cost-effective solutions that allow Putman and his crews to do an exceptional job more affordably.

“We rely on Kevin’s expertise,” Putman added. “With his knowledge and flexibility, he’s really good about finding economical ways to keep our grass strong and healthy. Fertizona definitely gives us a bigger bang for our buck.”

To help your turf look big-league good all season long, call Kevin Walsh at 480.747.7131, or visit today.

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