To some, mowing the lawn is an enjoyable, almost therapeutic, task. To others, it’s a task they dread. For those, a new battery-operated mower, much like the popular Rumba vacuum cleaner, may be the product of your dreams.“The ‘automower’ actually isn’t a new concept. They’ve been used in Europe for a few years, but they haven’t been widely adopted in the U.S. to this point,” said University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Turfgrass Specialist Clint Waltz. Waltz is currently using an “automower” on the lawn just outside the new UGA Turfgrass Research Facility on the UGA Griffin campus. The Husqvarna mower is on loan from Georgia sod producer Super-Sod, so Waltz can observe and evaluate the concept of “continual” mowing, he said.Since putting the futuristic-looking mower to work the third week of August, Waltz thinks the mower has “great potential” for residential and commercial lawncare. The battery-powered device sets out to mow and returns to its charger when it needs “refueling.”When it comes to environmental impact, the “automower” doesn’t use fossil fuels and doesn’t stir up dust like conventional mowers. Maintenance costs do not include oil changes or new spark plugs; it only needs new blades every three to four months at a cost of about $20.With labor being the biggest challenge in the landscape industry today, the “automower” may fill a need, Waltz said.“When labor becomes difficult to find, or too expensive, innovation occurs. The ‘automower’ doesn’t stay home from work because of a case of brown bottle flu or complain to the department of labor about its continuous working schedule,” Waltz said.The small mower uses several tiny razor blades, similar to a double-sided utility knife, to cut grass. This “clean” cut of the leaf blade reduces loss of water and minimizes the opening for disease, he said. There’s no scalping of the turf, therefore, it’s a healthier grass plant“In tight areas of the lawn where a conventional mower may have to make multiple passes, compacting the soil and increasing traffic and wear, the ‘automower’ can mow more efficiently and decrease compaction,” he said.The auto-mower also reduces safety concerns for drivers of conventional mowers when mowing steep slopes or hard-to-mow areas. And, it can mow areas normally cleared with string trimmers.Since the mower removes no more than a third of the leaf at a single mowing, no thatch or surface clumps accumulate on the lawn.“This method of mowing also doesn’t overwhelm the soil microbes, making them more efficient at returning organic matter to plant-available nutrients,” Waltz said. That simply means there could be less need for fertilizer.So far, Waltz thinks the “automower” would be perfect for people who long for that “just mowed look.”“We are in a quality business. Turfgrass has to look good and perform,” he said. “Continual mowing removes seedheads more regularly or prevents them from fully developing. This alone leads to improved appearance because seedheads, or seed stalks, give a ‘stemy’ look that detracts from the lawn’s appearance.”Some “automower” models come with lights that could act as a wildlife deterrent, Waltz said.“The random mowing pattern may act as a deer deterrent within the landscape. It’s not substantiated, but there have been comments that landscapes with the ‘automower’ have fewer moles and voles,” he said.For now, the UGA Extension specialist is observing the device. “Potential research trials could develop such as the automower’s impact on disease, fertility and other management practices,” he said. “For now, it’s doing its job mowing and causing some second glances. It does bring with it a cool factor.”For more information on turfgrass research at UGA, go to www.GeorgiaTurf.com.
Image courtesy of Fluxys Belgium – P. HenderyckxThe Zeebrugge LNG terminal is expecting the arrival of no fewer than 16 ships in the first 20 days of December.Fluxys, the operator of the Zeebrugge LNG terminal, said on Monday that it expected multiple ships to unload their cargo for regasification, several ships to dock for transhipments, and a couple of small vessels to load cargo.According to the company, activity has been strong throughout the year and with the scheduling, for December the facility will cross the mark of 125 received ships in 2019.This surpasses the record of 82 ships registered in 2009. Also, LNG truck loading hit all-time highs as well, with the terminal set to accommodate nearly twice as many truck loadings as last year.Fluxys previously reported on record activity this year back in early October. At the time, the operator noted that in the year to date, the terminal completed a total of 85 operations, three more compared to the previous highest activity figures recorded in 2009.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health announced a new case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Florida.A 69-year-old woman in Broward County has tested positive for the virus.She is the third positive case of the virus associated with Port Everglades and the fourth in Broward.She is in isolation and will remain there until she is clear.The Florida Department of Health recommends all individuals experiencing symptoms, who have recently traveled through Port Everglades, to immediately contact their County Health Department or health care provider and self-isolate for 14 Days.Get the latest information about coronavirus in Florida by clicking here.
Broncos to work out QB Nathan Peterman early next week, report says The Broncos suffered a huge loss Wednesday as top wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders went down with a torn Achilles at the team’s practice. He will miss the rest of the season.Sanders was helped off the field and didn’t put any weight on his left leg as he was taken into the locker room for further evaluation, per The Gazette of Colorado Springs. According to NFL Media, Denver claimed former Bills receiver Andre Holmes later Wednesday. Related News The injury happened early in practice as he went down during passing drills. Sanders slipped when he was making a cut on a short route and there wasn’t anyone around him, 9News reported. Sanders has made a significant impact this season for the Broncos’ offense as he has 71 receptions, almost twice as many as his nearest teammate, for a team-high 868 yards and four touchdowns through 12 games.The Broncos (6-6) have climbed back into the AFC playoff discussion with a three-game winning streak that they put on the line Sunday against the 49ers in San Francisco.
*Students: Please do not go visit the middle school during school hours. If your finals are over, please wait until after school to visit with teachers. – Thank you- Middle School Staff Today is:Â National Dance Like a Chicken DayNational Buttermilk Biscuit DayFollow us on Twitter. TuesdayÂ May 19th7th Hour Final-Â 8:00-9:288th Hour Final-Â 9:33-11:00School is dismissed for the summer atÂ 11:00. MondayÂ May 18th3rd hour Final-Â 8:00-9:374th hour final-Â 9:42-11:18All students taking finals will attend first lunch5th hour Final-Â 11:45-1:236th hour Final-Â 1:28-3:05 *Help the Library create the ultimate young adult reading list by scanning the QR Codes on the flyers around the school. Let the Library know what books you want to read!Â You can also go to: http://goo.gl/forms/yElq1CUx2b Submitted to Sumner Newscow â€” Todayâ€™s Wellington High School bulletin for Thursday, May 14, 2015:Thursdayâ€¢Class Night 7 p.m.Fridayâ€¢State Tennis at Prattâ€¢AVCTL Track at AndaleSaturdayâ€¢State Tennis at PrattSunday Â â€¢Graduation, 2 p.m.Tomorrow’s Lunch– Chicken Drummies, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Peas, Applesauce, Hot Roll and MilkTodayâ€™s News* Mr. Smith’s 8th hour students need to come by sometime today to check in their book if they aren’t taking the final. *Volleyball girls- Just a reminder-Your tickets are due today. *Final Schedule–Students must be in the classroom for the entire finals period and cannot be released early, even if they finish early. *Students- Please check the lost and found table next to the office to see if anything belongs to you. Items on the table will be donated after school is out. Friday May 15thNormal 1st through 4th hours.Students not taking finals are released atÂ 11:18.All students taking finals will attend first lunch.1st hour Final-Â 11:45-1:232nd Hour Final-Â 1:28-3:05 *All LibraryÂ books were due on Friday. Any books returned this week will be fined $1 a day per book.Wednesday=$3 fineThursday=$4 fineFriday and after =$5 fineAfter Friday- bills will be sent home for the full replacement value of any item not returned. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments