As the big thaw goes on, disease can quickly breakout on wet leaves. An application of contact fungicide Daconil Weather Stik now will help prevent damage occurring.
As the recent snow cover recedes, turf managers can expect to see new Fusarium Patch infections breaking out, as a result of the high risk conditions for the disease developing under the snow blanket. The pathogen is frequently referred to as 'Pink Snow Mould'; a testament to its thriving in the unique microclimate under snow.
The snow blanket effectively insulates the turf sward, creating humid conditions conducive to the development of the pathogen, Michrodochium nivale, warns Syngenta Technical Manager, Dr Simon Watson. "The thaw typically coincides with rising temperatures that can trigger Fusarium outbreaks. Furthermore, as the snow melts the turf leaf remains constantly wet for prolonged periods, which are ideal conditions for the disease."
Dr Watson advocates that with the high risk turf managers will need to get an effective protectant and curative contact fungicide into place as soon as possible. "Quick action with an application of Daconil Weather Stik as soon as conditions allow, preferably before the first signs of infection are visible, could help prevent loss of turf quality and damage to the playing surface.
"But with infection breaking out, the key advantage with Daconil Weather Stik is that it can also effectively protect clean turf surrounding areas already with visible symptoms of Fusarium Patch disease. Protecting uninfected turf will help to stop small spots coalescing into patches, which could seriously affect playing surfaces and leave them more vulnerable to further winter damage.
If the pathogen is allowed to develop and lesions break out at this time of year, it could take weeks or months to repair the damage."
Independent STRI trials over different seasons have shown Daconil Weather Stik applied at the first signs of Fusarium infection has stopped disease spread and given an average 87% reduction in infection compared to untreated, demonstrating the powerful curative control.
Assessments of turf quality during STRI trials have shown Daconil Weather Stik increased turf quality by more than 40% over the treatment programme, compared to just 5% improvement with iprodione.
"Turf managers should keep a close watch on the GreenCast web site disease risk forecasts over the coming weeks, for advance warning of Fusarium attacks. Well timed applications at periods of medium or high risk disease predictions, but before any visible signs of disease, have been shown to achieve an average 95% control of infection," added Dr Watson. "Action now will give the best possible results."
Dr Simon Watson
Syngenta Turf & Amenity Technical Manager
Tel: 01223 883441
For turf specific information visit the web site www.greencast.co.uk