Chilling reminder of winter turf disease damage

Mark Sandersonin Consultancy

Fusarium Snow Mould trial   Untreated front preventative application surroundThe early arrival of snow is a clear reminder for turf managers of the dangers Fusarium Patch poses over the coming months. A strategy to reduce potential infection and protect leaves from attack with Instrata offers an effective route to avoid damaging attacks.

The coldest snap and earliest significant snowfall for nearly two decades has sent a chilling reminder of the damage caused to turf beneath the prolonged snow blanket last winter. When the snow melts, the full extent of the damage caused will be painfully revealed.

Syngenta Technical Manager, Dr Simon Watson, reports the experience of turf managers and extensive STRI trials has highlighted the need to get disease protection on the leaf surface before snowfall. "Beneath the layer of snow turf is insulated from the cold, and held in a continuous moist state that is highly favourable for the development of Fusarium Patch," he warns. "Any loss in turf cover and quality now is compounded by the fact there is little or no growth over the winter to aide recovery."

Simon Watson H&S mrDr Watson stresses the importance of effective contact activity to prevent spores germinating on the leaf. "But to have a better chance of controlling disease over a protracted period, turf managers should be aiming to reduce infective disease spores in the thatch and at the soil surface. The contact/systemic fungicide Instrata is now the only available source of the renowned contact protection of chlorothalonil. Instarta also contains the new bio-inspired contact+ active, fludioxonil.

"With fludioxonil turf managers can target turf disease on the leaf and in the thatch and soil surface. Reducing the numbers of disease spores lowers the risk of infection and helps provide control over an extended period, especially Fusarium Patch." In user trials turf managers have reported instances of over seven weeks control from a December application of Instrata.

New trials at the STRI have identified Instrata applications during periods of high disease risk when the pathogen is active, but before physical signs of infection are seen, can enhance the protection of turf quality. "Once Fusarium infection has penetrated into the leaf systemic movement, such as the fast-acting 'cold weather' propiconazole, also in Instrata, helps to seek out disease and tackle the problem."

He adds the combination of systemic and contact actives in Instrata significantly increases the flexibility in application timing, and is a product ideally suited to keep on the shelf for use at any time of the year.

For further Press Information please contact:
Dr Simon Watson
Syngenta Turf & Landscape Technical Manager
Tel: 01223 883441

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