Sound Agronomy and Innovation: GLK Turf Solutions Brings on the Spiio Sensor
GLK Turf Solutions combines industry expertise and entrepreneurship to serve other turf professionals in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Their partnership with Spiio has presented another opportunity for them to bring sound agronomy to their customers by solving the constant problems of water quantity and water quality.
GLK Turf Solutions are bringing on sound agronomy to their customers. Jeff Kadlec was working as director of agronomy at La Cantera Resort in San Antonio when he began using the Airg2g aeration unit—the first person in Texas to do so. He recognized its value, and in 2014, that recognition pushed him to move into contract work and sales. That’s how GLK Turf Solutions began. “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial side,” he says, “so I gave it a go with one piece of equipment and it’s grown from there.” They now partner with many affiliates, including Imants, Trimax, SGM Industries, and Turf Tec International.
“We’re a small company with big dreams,” says Kadlec. There are four company members covering Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Those four include Jeff, his brother Rick Kadlec, Riley Maxey—all golf former course superintendents—and Jaxon Bailey, a sports turf manager. Between them, they have decades of turfgrass expertise and experience. They take that credibility seriously, and they are choosy in partnering with new products. “We don’t bring it on unless we really believe it, because we’re putting our names behind it.”
“We’re a small company with big dreams. We don’t bring Spiio on unless we really believe it, because we’re putting our names behind it.”Jeff Kadlec about Spiio
Sound Agronomy: Water—Quantity and Quality—and the Need for Real-Time Data
One product that recently made the cut was the Spiio sensor. Kadlec has always been interested in understanding data about water management, understanding that it is the single biggest contributor to turfgrass success. After he heard some customers talking about Spiio, he did his own research and found it to be the best on the market. He and GLK are now excited to bring the Spiio sensor and sound agronomy to their customers. He foresees customers making good use of the moisture and soil temperature readings, with some benefitting particularly from salinity data.
“Water quality from some aquifers is not as good as we’d like, but it’s manageable. That’s where salinity comes in; bicarbonates can be high so monitoring that can be impactful.”Jeff Kadlec on monitoring salinity
Naturally, each geographical area has its own agronomic challenges. “It’s a broken record and it’s obvious,” states Kadlec, “but here, it’s water. There are also labor challenges. Texas is either in flood or drought, so you have to manage those highs and lows with limited resources.” Spiio’s soil moisture sensors make a big difference in navigating that uncertainty. In addition to water quantity, though, is the question of water quality. “Water quality from some aquifers is not as good as we’d like, but it’s manageable. That’s where salinity comes in; bicarbonates can be high so monitoring that can be impactful.”
By Turf Professionals, For Turf Professionals: Finding Solutions for Customers
GLK has two primary mottos. The first is to balance innovation with sound agronomy. Spiio technology’s real-time data delivery is innovative, while centered in the basic agronomic metrics professionals need to care for their turf. GLK is owned by and serves turf professionals—their second motto—and those professionals can take Spiio data to address the unique needs of their turf. For example, Kadlec points out that sports turf managers often have a lot of fields to look at with not much staff or funding to cover it all. To them, Spiio sensors can act as another employee, helping them keep eyes on the 50 acres or so of turf they may need to manage. Meanwhile, golf course superintendents are frequently laser-focused on about three acres of greens, and Spiio data can help them increase that precision.
“The great thing about this product for us,” Kadlec concludes, “is that we are in the business of turf solutions. This is a solution to a problem for our customers, and it’s a good solution.”Jeff Kadlec
“The great thing about this product for us,” Kadlec concludes, “is that we are in the business of turf solutions. This is a solution to a problem for our customers, and it’s a good solution.” He also explains that the price point is not as high as people often expect it to be, which can make it more accessible to customers and a great way to demonstrate credibility for a company like GLK. “We can sell easier to their budgets, and it helps us in the long run by proving we provide quality products.”
Learn more about the Spiio sensor here.