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Turf Canada Inc.: Technologically Advanced Grass is Always Greener
Trevor Parkes decided he needed to make a big change after 15 years in the video game distribution business. Since abandoning the world of Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox, Parkes has been hard at work building the company that leads the country in environmentally responsible turf care, Turf Canada Inc. (TCI). TCI provides golf courses, sport fields and lawn bowling enthusiasts with highly-efficient, smarter fertilization solutions with a reduced environmental impact.
Parkes fascination with the industry came as a result of a life-long passion for golf and an inherent entrepreneurial spirit. In 2003, Floratine approached Parkes to help them expand their business in Canada. However, after doing his due diligence, Parkes opted to form his own company to promote products like Floratine and The Andersons Inc. who have spent decades developing and formulating the most efficient fertilizers in the industry.
Of course, golf courses and parks require a lot of grass. Golf courses, especially, require extensive regular maintenance so it’s only natural that TCI’s primary customer base covers both areas. As Parkes puts it, TCI’s ultimate goal is to “trigger the plant’s natural ability to defend itself from day-to-day stresses.” Between spiky golf shoes and the increasing demand for lower cutting heights to increase green speed, golf greens are the most stressed of any grassy areas and thus, TCI’s main focus.
Balancing Technology and Sustainability
In order to produce the greenest turf possible, the company uses a highly scientific approach to recommend a system that will yield the best result for the long term. According to Parkes, granular fertilizers can leave as much as 70 percent of the product behind to end up in the groundwater, which can make its way into the area’s drinking water. “We take a scientific approach with every customer. We will go out to the property, pull some soil samples and then send them out to a lab for analysis. It is only after we have that quantitative data that we will make a recommendation,” asserts Parkes.
TCI is then able to make a recommendation from its family of top-of-the-line products. The healthiest turf start with the highest quality raw materials and TCI insists on representing products from only leading and top-of-the line manufacturers. TCI proudly partnered with Floratine early on in its history and is proud to promote the use of super efficient foliar feeding solutions that capitalize on the exchange of nutrients through the stomata on a plant’s cellular walls. In fact, Parkes credits Floratine’s innovative technology for its significant growth over the last 8 years. TCI now carries a complete portfolio of turf care solutions to suit every green, every climate and every budget.
If foliar feeding isn’t the best solution, TCI will recommend granular formulas by companies like The Andersons, a company that specifically developed a patented granular formula. In contrast to traditional formulas, The Andersons’ NutriDG formula is a small particle formulation of premium turf nutrients that pack a real punch. As Parkes puts it, “The technology is patented for a reason.”
In just over a decade, TCI has managed to expand across Canada, with the heaviest concentration of clients within the Greater Toronto Area. The company has notably works with such iconic golf courses as the Fairmont Banff Springs Resort and the Lambton Golf and Country Club. For both clients, TCI professionals took a personalized approach to the greens, and the clients described the end product as “outstanding”, “consistent” and “markedly improved”. The TCI advantage on every course provides clients not only with the solution to yield the best turf possible, but the understanding of the plant’s health to allow the fine tuning of maintenance protocol.
Ever Expanding Market
As technology for foliar fertilizer application continues to develop, so do the applications of technologies that spill into the arena of turf care. “There are a number of companies working to develop technologies discovered in the medical field that will change the way that medicine is delivered,” says Parkes. Eventually, Parkes hopes to find a way to apply this technology to the health of a plant, in order to offer the most efficient and comprehensive turf-care solutions.
Parkes soon hopes to focus on continuing work with companies developing applications that will help golf courses residential properties and parks reduce the need for harsh chemicals. Along the way, TCI will turn its focus inwards and develop its website as a holistic resource for clients interested in the most efficient turf care solutions available. “Not only is there interest in these products, but there is tangible demand and we see a very bright future,” continues Parkes. Across the country, policy makers are developing regulations that will encourage businesses of all kinds to be more efficient in the consumption of natural resources and limit the use of harsh chemicals. For many in the golfing industry, the pressure is on. Turf Canada Inc. is ready and willing to help make the changes that will keep golfing greens green to the fullest extent possible.