The History of Labor Day

Many Americans are looking forward to the first Monday in September. Labor Day is a time to relax, get together with family and friends, maybe play a couple rounds of golf and give summer a proper send-off with one more barbecue before fall arrives. Picnics and parties aside, Labor Day is also a celebration of a very important person: the American worker. While many people are excited to get a day off of work, there is a lot of interesting history surrounding this day, dating all the way back to the late 1800s, around the end of the American Industrial Revolution. Because of the long hours and poor working conditions in many industrial labor jobs, unions began to form. They organized strikes and rallies to protest the poor working conditions and demanded that employers renegotiate hours and pay. On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers in New York City took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in what was the first ever U.S. Labor Day parade. Many parades like this one followed, and many laborers were willing to forfeit a day’s wages in order to make their voices heard. The Labor Day parades we know today are full of floats, candy and often precede celebratory festivals; a far cry from the initial marches that started the labor movement. In 1887, Oregon became the first state to declare Labor Day a holiday. In 1894 Congress designated the first Monday in September a legal holiday for all federal employees and the residents of the District of Columbia, thus marking the Labor Day tradition we’ve come to know....

Pesticide safety tip: use proper application equipment.

Even when the appropriate herbicide is applied using the right equipment, applicators will not achieve optimal results if their tools are not prepared properly. To ensure even, effective treatment, only use sprayers and spreaders that have been calibrated to the approved equipment settings for the herbicide being applied. Be sure to take into account field speed, application rate, spray pressure and the size of the treatment area to ensure pesticide safety. Accurate calibration helps ensure that an herbicide is applied at a rate that delivers effective control without endangering humans, plants and animals living nearby. After application, it is just as important to wash equipment and perform any necessary maintenance. Want more Applied Knowledge from FMC? Additional tips on safe and responsible pesticide use are available in the new FMC Stewardship...

Arrive Alive – The Importance of Safe Driving On the Job.

With the countless number of ways drivers can be distracted these days, practicing safe driving habits – such as maintaining a clear distance while behind another vehicle and always remaining alert – is as important as ever. One of the biggest steps you can take to ensure overall safety while behind the wheel is staying far enough behind the driver in front of you. Experts suggest allowing at least a three second space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of it, and up to a nine second interval when driving conditions are poor.* You may want to consider allowing even more of a gap while operating a work truck or van filled with chemicals and equipment. An easy way to know if you’re following at a safe distance is to make sure you can see the rear tires of the car or truck in front of you at all times. Here are some more tips to help ensure you and your fellow turf professionals experience nothing but safe travels: Never drive impaired. This not only includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but fatigue as well. Both affect your judgment and slow your reaction time while behind the wheel. Never text and drive. A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study found that texting takes a driver’s focus away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds – enough time to travel the length of a football field at 55 mph. Pay attention to the weather and adjust your driving habits accordingly. Rain loosens oil drippings on pavement creating potentially slick road surfaces while wind may blow...

Autumn turf maintenance can keep moss at bay.

Mosses are small, primitive, non-vascular plants that have no water-bearing vessels or veins and no flowers. Moss absorbs water and nutrients through its leaves and spread with the aid of spore-bearing capsules. Because moss can thrive in extreme situations that many turgrasses cannot withstand, it can be a difficult opponent for turf care professionals. When turf vigor is poor, moss is at its best. Although moss does not kill turfgrass, it readily moves into bare areas and areas where turf is sparse or worn by foot and vehicle traffic. While moss flourishes in shady areas, it can grow just fine in areas with plenty of sunshine as long as the soil conditions are right. It is critical to get heat-stressed turf in the best shape possible during the autumn to prevent moss from establishing. Here are some ways to avoid moss by helping your turfgrass thrive: 1. Raise the soil pH to help improve turf growth 2. Avoid mowing too close 3. Thin tree limbs to reduce shady areas 4. Ensure proper drainage and irrigation practices to prevent waterlogged turf 5. Aerate the soil — soil compaction can suffocate turfgrass roots 6. Overseed or reseed areas with sparse or no turf 7. If moss is present, it can be removed by scarification, or raking, in the early fall prior to overseeding. Because of the low mowing heights required for faster putting greens, silvery thread moss has become a very common challenge for golf course superintendents. Be sure to choose a product labeled for silvery thread moss. Home remedies like baking soda and dish soap can cause phytotoxicity and even...

FMC Turf Wire Top Tweets

Check out the most popular @FMCturf tweets from the past two weeks, including the fastest nutsedge control product on the market according to research. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for turf care industry news, expert advice and the very latest turf product updates from FMC Professional Solutions. We want to send you a FREE weed identification and treatment poster! Request yours: #lawncare ow.ly/d5KA8 — FMC Turf (@FMCturf) August 20, 2012 #Nutsedge is common and difficult to control. Find out what researchers say about the fastest product on the market.ow.ly/d1l0I — FMC Turf (@FMCturf) August 16, 2012 Turf pros: download your free #Ant Identification Guide today! ow.ly/dbuwg #turfgrass — FMC Turf (@FMCturf) August 23, 2012 #Dallas is searching for help on the #WestNile virus outbreak. ow.ly/d9r0l — FMC Turf (@FMCturf) August 23, 2012 New Blog: How to Follow the New Pyrethroid Use Guidelines. ow.ly/d851M #lawncare — FMC Turf (@FMCturf) August 21, 2012 High school turf pros: tell us why your school deserves to win the “Friday Night Lights” Contest from FMC! ow.ly/d1Cts — FMC Turf (@FMCturf) August 16, 2012 Researchers recently tested the effectiveness of Solitare #herbicide on ground ivy and the results look good. ow.ly/cZVMs — FMC Turf (@FMCturf) August 15, 2012 Please read and share these simple steps for smarter and safer pesticide applications: ow.ly/cZlYm #lawncare — FMC Turf (@FMCturf) August 15, 2012 FMC is excited to help some deserving schools have a safe football season.ow.ly/cZkWh Via @greenmediamags — FMC Turf (@FMCturf) August 15, 2012 We created a weekly email exclusively for turf & #lawncare pros covering industry topics & more! Want yours? ow.ly/cTos4 — FMC...