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September 9, 2019 • Baseball

Keeping the field in peak condition with the right equipment

{Sponsored} Maintaining a baseball field is an art form. Proper field maintenance is critical for a consistent playing surface, proper drainage, and player safety. To minimize field problems, grounds managers need the right equipment, and the right partners, in order to keep their fields in top condition throughout the playing season.

To keep the turf consistent, a frequent mowing schedule needs to be established to ensure proper height of cut. Fertilizing is also important to provide the right balance of nutrients for healthy turf throughout the season. In addition, the infield dirt should be properly graded to reduce standing water, and irrigation should be carefully monitored to provide just the right amount of moisture for proper turf growth.

Matt Parrott, head groundskeeper for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, utilizes several key pieces of equipment that were carefully selected to meet the needs of the ballpark. “Every piece of equipment has its purpose,” said Parrott. From the core harvester to top dresser, to the sprayer and the ProGator™, the utility of each piece played an important role in the decision making process.

To keep the field in top condition, Parrott and his team rely on John Deere equipment and an excellent dealer relationship. Their MVP is the 1200A field rake, which is used for tight and wide spots on the infield and warning track. The  John Deere 7200A PrecisionCut™ reel mower is primarily used in the outfield. The operator station provides tremendous visibility, allowing Parrott to clearly see his mowing path, pass after pass.

“The 7200A is very user-friendly and ergonomic. Basically, all the pieces have been outstanding,” said Parrott. “They’re easy to maintain and work on, and we can achieve multiple outputs with the same piece.”John Deere equipment in use at Charlotte Knights stadium

To keep maintenance simple, all of Parrott’s equipment is covered under warranty or service agreement with John Deere. “Our distributor takes care of scheduling repairs and allocating parts; it’s very seamless and turnkey,” said Parrott. “When we had an issue with the fuel tank assembly, John Deere came out to our facility and developed a fix for the issue.”

Of course, not every school will have the budget of a Triple-A-level baseball team, but Parrott suggests schools review their existing equipment and determine which pieces they use most, then consider the benefits of new versus used equipment. Working with the dealer is the best bet for schools, as the dealer can help determine which pieces of equipment will provide the best bang for the school’s buck.

Parrott is able to gain more value from his equipment by leveraging attachments to complete multiple tasks with a single piece of equipment. For example, schools should seek a ProGator utility vehicle with the option to convert to a sprayer. If they’re going all-in with the 7200A reel mower, they can add verticutters for agronomic purposes.

Investing in pre-owned equipment is smart for those on a tight budget and will help stretch tight budgets even further. This is especially important when the grounds manager knows what equipment is needed most, or wants to add another piece to the line-up.

When groundskeepers are properly equipped and have the right partners, they can do their best work. Doing their best work will result in a great playing surface that will positively impact their team, and the game.

Reach out to your regional John Deere dealer to start the journey toward creating your best field. Dealers can be found at www.JohnDeere.com/Dealer.

© 2019 John Deere

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