Turf Magazine - February, 2013
Franchise 500 Ranking
The Grounds Guys landscape management franchise announced record franchise growth year in 2012, expanding from 37 franchise locations at the end of 2011 to 94 one year later. The Grounds Guys offers a comprehensive range of grounds care and landscape management services to residential and commercial clients.
Entrepreneur magazine recognized the franchise's fast-track success by naming it to its elite Franchise 500 list for the first time in 2013, ranked at number 299. Each year, the magazine recognizes the top 500 global franchise brands by financial strength and stability, growth rate, and size of the system.
Founded under the name Sunshine Brands in Canada in 1987, The Grounds Guys expanded into the U.S. in 2010 as a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group. In little more than two years, The Grounds Guys has grown its U.S. presence to 34 states. Approximately 70 percent of the new franchises in 2012 are "conversions," rolling business in from an existing landscaping or lawn care business. Throughout 2012, The Grounds Guys received more than 1,300 franchise applications from entrepreneurs across the country.
BASF Creates Specialty Products Department
BASF is merging its distinct businesses to create the BASF Specialty Products Department (SPD).
The primary businesses known as Pest Control Solutions and Professional Turf & Ornamentals (T&O), and secondary businesses including Professional Vegetation Management and Market Business Development, will now collectively be known as SPD.
Each respective market will continue to be served, but BASF will do so as one business unit led by Jan Buberl, BASF's director of specialty products.
Dan Carrothers, formerly PCS business manager, and Brian Lish, formerly T&O business manager, assume the newly created roles of SPD marketing manager and strategic account manager, respectively. Both Carrothers and Lish will report to Buberl.
With this merger, the PCS business, currently located in St. Louis, will move to Research Triangle Park. The new SPD business structure will be in place by March 31.
Nufarm Acquires Cleary Chemical
Nufarm Americas has acquired Cleary Chemical Corporation, a marketer of fungicides, insecticides and plant growth regulators to the turf and ornamental horticulture industries. The acquisition, which closed Dec. 31, 2012, results in a stronger product offering for Nufarm, which is currently the third-largest plant protection supplier in the turf and ornamental market.
Nufarm will offer the entire line of Cleary products under the Cleary's brand name.
PERC Approves Ventrac for $1000 Propane Incentive Program
The Propane Education & Research Council has qualified Ventrac's 4500Z bi-fuel ready tractor for the Propane Mower Incentive Program. This incentive program gives eligible new owners of a 4500Z, equipped with a propane kit, a $1,000 incentive to use this propane-powered compact tractor. In return, program participants are asked to report to PERC on the equipment's performance and usage for one operating season.
Get details on PERC and the $1,000 incentive program at www.poweredbypropane.org.