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This chart shows the results of a study examining the efficacy of FMC’s Solitare as compared to triclopyr.

Getting Faster Control of Ground Ivy

New research indicates that Solitare herbicide from FMC provides faster and long-lasting control of ground ivy when pitted against industry standard triclopyr.

A study conducted in 2011 by Dr. David Gardner of The Ohio State University examined control of ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) in Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. Gardner found that regardless of the rate, Solitare provided better control of ground ivy early on (three, seven and 14 days after treatment, or DAT) and as good, if not slightly better, control later (28 and 60 days after treatment).

“With Solitare, not only do you get control that’s as good or better long-term, but you get much more rapid control in the near term,” explained Gardner.

Turfgrass professionals with both warm and cool-season turf struggle with the pernicious weed. “Its cell walls break down rapidly, making it difficult to get an herbicide through the whole plant,” said Gardner. “So it may not be as pervasive as dandelion or clover, but it’s much more difficult to kill.”

As for timing of treatments, Gardner says there are two schools of thought. Professionals can treat after the weed flowers in May, when the plant is weak from reproduction, or treat in the fall, when weeds are actively translocating below ground, causing the herbicide to get piggybacked up to the roots. According to Gardner, “Neither is bad; they both work.”

Civil Engineers Creating Design Standard for Athletic Field Light Structures

More than a dozen light structures have collapsed at athletic fields around the country over the past several years and another 200 sports lighting structures have been removed from service as a safety precaution. In response, members of the American Society of Civil Engineers decided to examine these structures and create a new design standard for the industry.

The ASCE Athletic Field Lighting Structures Standard Committee was created in the fall of 2011 and is working to create a national consensus standard for the proper specification, design and system support of these structures.

“ln the United States, current practices related to the specification, fatigue design, installation and ongoing maintenance of athletic field or other area lighting structures are very inconsistent,” said Brian Reese of ReliaPole lnspection Services Co., chairman of the committee. “When we started looking at these failures, we surmised that fatigue resulting from wind-induced vibration as well as a lack of inspection and maintenance programs are believed to have played critical roles in these failures.”

Reese noted that in the past, some design professionals have used the lnternational Building Code as a design guide, but that code is not particularly adaptive to lighting support structures. He said other designs rely on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Standard Specifications for Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaires and Traffic Signals. Other designs rely on commercial-grade specifications developed by the individual lighting system suppliers, Reese said.

Until the new committee comes up with a new, formal standard, the committee recommends the following interim measures:

1. Design professionals should use the AASHTO Standard Specifications fifth edition with 2010 and 2011 interim revisions.

2. Designs should be made for a minimum life of 50 years and Fatigue Category I as it applies to the AASHTO Standard Specifications.

3. Owners should be encouraged to develop routine scheduled inspection and maintenance programs and contact qualified inspection professionals if cracks or corrosion are observed.

As the committee moves forward, it is actively seeking new members, especially those individuals directly affected by committee activities. For information, contact Lee Kusek at or Brian Reese at