Results of independent trials have proven the curative activity of Daconil Weather Stik, which could help turf managers counter the increasing incidence of Fusarium in mild, wet conditions this winter.
Fusarium Patch will hit most amenity turf surfaces during late winter, but turf managers can still achieve good curative control with Daconil Weather Stik applied at the first signs of infection, reports Syngenta Technical Manager, Simon Barnaby.
Trials by STRI on high quality turf have consistently shown over 87% disease control, compared to untreated - preventing turf loss that will be slow to grow back in winter conditions and can leave surfaces vulnerable to irreparable damage.
"Bare patches caused by Fusarium Patch will ruin the consistency of a putting surface and expose winter sports pitches to far greater damage during play," warns Mr Barnaby. "As well as creating bare soil that will allow Poa annua and other weeds to establish.
"Ideally turf managers should be looking to predict specific periods of high disease risk, and treat before any signs of infection are visible," he advises. "But where fungicide applications have been delayed, or missed in difficult conditions, the proven curative activity of Daconil Weather Stik can minimise further damage."
Mr Barnaby reports the trials in 2006 demonstrated how applying Daconil Weather Stik at the first signs of infection could reduce the effects from a highly damaging 25% of the turf area, to an acceptable 3% (Table 1). Repeated in 2007, Fusarium Patch infection on untreated greens rapidly spread to affect 16% of the turf, but was held at just 2% on the treated area.
Table1: STRI trials have consistently proven the curative control of Daconil Weather Stik.
"This proven powerful kick-back activity of Daconil Weather Stik could prove invaluable for turf managers seeking to cope with increasing pressure of Fusarium Patch during any mild wet spell through late winter and early spring."
Disease records on the turf management web site - www.greencast.co.uk - reveal turf has already been exposed to persistent periods of very high disease risk, through wet and warm periods in December and early January. The high level of disease inoculum now present in most turf surfaces could rapidly break out whenever conditions are conducive to infection.
Mr Barnaby acknowledges that at this time of year fungicide application can prove a major headache for turf managers. "The key advantage of Daconil Weather Stik is that it is very easy to use and is rainfast in an hour, or as soon as the spray is dry on the leaf, so the strong protection remains even if there is heavy rainfall soon after application."
The multi-site activity of Daconil Weather Stik - affecting the disease pathogen at a number of points in its life cycle - means that it is effective in preventing disease causing damage, curing infection at any early stage of growth, and stopping blistering and sporulation that will limit further spread of the disease. This unique activity means that it is the only turf fungicide currently classified by the STRI with a low risk of resistance.
"The resistance-busting alternative chemistry, effective curative activity and broad-spectrum of disease control makes Daconil Weather Stik the ideal complement to the other Syngenta Professional Turf fungicides - Banner MAXX and Heritage - to create an effective Integrated Turf Management programme," advises Mr Barnaby.
For specialist Syngenta turf management information visit the web site www.greencast.co.uk