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A Nod to Sod: Growing Football Fields with Center Pivots and Other Fun Facts

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Written by Kelly Cox |

In honor of the upcoming Super Bowl, we thought it would be fun to talk about growing football fields! That’s right, you heard me correctly – actually growing a football field. Some fields use natural grass, others synthetic sod. But did you know that many farmers irrigate sod with center pivots and linears? In addition to that fun fact, here are four more!

Fun Fact #1: Sod Farms are Everywhere in the USA

valley linear on sodRainger Linear irrigating sod in Florida.

According to Wikipedia, at least 368,188 production acres in the United States grow sod. In addition to producing grass for professional football stadiums, sod is produced for golf courses, other athletic fields and nice homes (the yards, not the actual homes). Specific varieties of sod grow in specific regions of the USA, based mostly around climate, regional pests and diseases.

Fun Fact #2: Sod is Also Known as “Turfgrass”

valley linear on sod Rainger Linear irrigating sod in Florida.

If you see an article or pamphlet that mentions “turfgrass,” it’s referring to sod. Both sod and turfgrass are one and the same! #MysterySolved

Fun Fact #3: 2018 Super Bowl Teams’ Home Stadiums – One is Natural, the Other Synthetic

linear irrigation machine Rainger Linear machine irrigating sod in Florida.

Let’s take a moment to discuss our 2018 Super Bowl teams’ home fields – those of the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. The five-time Super Bowl champion Patriots play on synthetic grass when they throw the ball around at home, whereas the Eagles play on natural grass in Philly. For this year’s upcoming Super Bowl, the teams will face each other on synthetic grass (made of crumb rubber, sand and shredded tires) inside the Minnesota Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium.

Which is better: the real deal, or the synthetic sod? Who’s to say? Over the years, each type of grass has received a fair amount of praise and complaint from professional football players.

Source: https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/sports-turf/nfl-stadiums-turf-or-grass/

Fun Fact #4: Remote Monitoring Can be Used with Center Pivot Irrigated Sod

agsense on phone AgSense is a remote management software built into all Valley ICON® smart panels.

Like with any other crop irrigated with center pivots and linears, sod farmers can use remote monitoring solutions, like AgSense®, to manage and control their irrigation anytime, anywhere. The advantage of using remote monitoring with sod, specifically, is to help keep the soil moisture at the optimal level for proper sod growth. From the kitchen, the football field or even while on vacation, the grower can check his sod field to ensure the crop is receiving the optimal amount of water at the right time – without having to be standing in the field. Talk about a touchdown!

Do you want to know more about irrigating sod (or turfgrass) with a center pivot or linear? Contact your local Valley® dealer today!

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