Ascernity approval adds new power for sports turf disease control

Mark Sandersonin Chemicals & Fertilisers

The exciting new dual-action Syngenta turf fungicide Ascernity® has gained approval for use on sports turf surfaces - bringing a step change in disease control for high pressure conditions.

The initial approval enables use only on fully enclosed sports turf in the UK, including such football, rugby and cricket stadiums, training facilities, tennis courts and bowls, for example. The move is the first step in submissions for future extended approval for golf and other turf surfaces.

Ascernity brings an entirely new active for turf disease management, SolatenolTM, in combination with difenconazole - designed to together give the optimum balance of internal and leaf surface protection.

This balanced systemicity of Ascernity ensures the whole plant leaf remains protected for longer and giving sustained disease control in growing conditions, reported Glenn Kirby, Syngenta Technical Manager for UK and Ireland.

"It is especially well suited to stadium conditions where turf growth continues all year around, particularly with artificial lights and undersoil heating," he advocated. "The addition of Ascernity is extremely welcome for enclosed situations that create continuously high disease pressure, which seriously challenge existing limited options for managers."

The approval for Ascernity in the UK specifically states use only on fully enclosed sports turf where access by large herbivorous animals - hares and rabbits - can be excluded. Use areas in the future are expected to be extended when Syngenta is ready with further supporting data.

Glenn believes Ascernity will become a key fungicide option in the programme whenever turf is actively growing, particularly enabling stadium pitch renovations to establish strongly. Its use has proven safe from the two-leaf stage in seedlings and with no adverse effects on any turf.

Glenn Kirby, Syngenta Technical Manager

"Targeting disease earlier prevents damage to the leaf, reduces stress on the plant and effectively breaks the disease cycle - enabling fungicide programmes to maintain playing surface quality and longer lasting results throughout the season.

"The dual action of Ascernity is so effective since it initially stops germinating spores from developing hyphae on the surface. But if disease has penetrated through into the leaf, it can still act to stop further development - before visible damage breaks out."

Results from over 70 trials throughout Europe have shown effective performance against a full range of key turf diseases, including Microdochium nivale (fusarium patch), anthracnose and dollar spot. Trials have also shown activity on brown patch, red thread, fairy ring, take-all and leaf spot. Activity has been demonstrated with Solatenol use on grey leaf spot.

Ascernity is approved for two applications per season, at a rate of 3.0 l/ha. Applications must be made using LERAP 3-star rated nozzles, along with compliance of a six-metre buffer zone.

Research has shown it can be used to complement Instrata Elite and Medallion TL in a powerful disease control programme for turf quality.

Launching Ascernity in the UK, Syngenta Turf Business Manager, Daniel Lightfoot, added there has been huge excitement for the successfully approval and introduction of a new active ingredient for turf management.

"The investment in achieving approval for Ascernity underlines our commitment to delivering effective solutions for turf disease control, along with the research, support and advice to get the best results."

He pointed out that the power of the actives in Ascernity will perfectly complement other Syngenta turf fungicides, to enable turf managers to plan a strategic disease control approach, alongside advanced innovative technologies in wetting agents, pigments and amino acid biostimulant programmes.

"Used as a strategic part of an integrated Turf Management (ITM) plan, Ascernity can assure a sustainable long-term future for effective turf disease control in stadiums," he added.