Education helps landscaper maximize effectiveness of lawn chemicals | Briggs & Stratton reports profit, will reduce salaried workers | 5 guidelines for picking plants in ornamental gardens
 
April 27, 2012
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Education helps landscaper maximize effectiveness of lawn chemicals
Proper education and training has helped Utah lawn and landscape firm Elite Grounds most efficiently use lawn chemicals, particularly green and organic varieties, according to this article. The firm emphasizes employee training, efficiency and upkeep. "Lots of cities and towns are now banning chemicals. That's one reason why we're pretty excited about organic programs, because they?re so safe. They're not as popular yet as I'd like to see them," owner Kris Ashby says. Lawn & Landscape (4/26)
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Industry Buzz
Briggs & Stratton reports profit, will reduce salaried workers
Briggs & Stratton reported lower net income for the fiscal third quarter ending April 1 but still posted $39.9 million in profit. The company will reduce global salaried workers by 10%, or about 210 jobs, as it expects demand for lawn equipment to decline in the U.S. and in Europe. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (4/26)
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Scotts expands e-mail marketing program to win customers
Scotts Miracle-Gro has expanded the reach of its "My Turf Tips" e-mail marketing program by allowing store representatives at home-improvement retailers to sign up people. The company sends a customized e-mail message to new customers and has iPhone and iPad apps to enable signups. MediaPost Communications (4/26)
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5 guidelines for picking plants in ornamental gardens
Visually interesting areas should be used to guide garden design, writes landscape architect Michael Spencer, who gives five tips for selecting ornamental plant materials and offers advice on using contrast for maximum appeal. Naples Daily News (Fla.) (4/26)
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Other News
Economic Indicators
Analysis: Most new jobs at U.S. multinationals are overseas
Big multinational corporations headquartered in the U.S. are creating jobs faster than other employers, but 75% of those positions are overseas, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. While the 35 firms analyzed added 113,000 workers to their U.S. payrolls between 2009 and 2011, they hired more than 333,000 employees in their foreign operations, the newspaper notes. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/27)
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Contracts to buy existing homes in U.S. approach 2-year high
The number of existing-home contracts buyers signed in March posted a strong increase, nearing a two-year high, the National Association of Realtors said. The group's Pending Home Sales Index rose 4.1% to 101.4, the highest reading since April 2010. Reuters (4/26)
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Inside & Out
What you need to innovate
Successful innovation efforts require a focus on knowledge management, Haydn Shaughnessy writes. "The ideas that make for important advances can come from anywhere -? customers, old idea challenges, that new news aggregator that one of your folks hooked into, your own big data resources." It's also important to use mobile technology to involve front-line workers in innovation and to focus on developing strategic options, he explains. Forbes (4/25)
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Column: Aeration loosens compacted soil, boosts grass growth
Lawns with compacted soil should be aerated three times annually to increase the circulation of water and air that are vital for healthy grass, master gardener Michelle Le Strange writes. A hand aerifier can be used to aerate small lawns, while a machine-driven aerifier is suitable for large lawns. Visalia Times-Delta (Calif.) (tiered subscription model) (4/26)
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Policy Update
EEOC issues update on criminal-background-check policy
A new policy from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that while employers might consider an applicant's criminal record in making a hiring decision, it cannot have a policy that completely rules out those who have been convicted of a crime. The EEOC says such an employer policy could have a disparate impact on racial and ethnic minorities and could violate employment discrimination laws. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/25)
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Business Tips and Advice
Sponsored Content from American Express
Diversion
Woman in Mexico could deliver 9 children, report says
A woman in Mexico is pregnant nine times over after undergoing a fertility treatment, according to a media report. Karla Vanessa Perez is carrying six girls and three boys in what could become one of the biggest multiple births. Reuters (4/27)
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SmartQuote
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
-- John Steinbeck,
American writer
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