Effective management of Rapid Blight Disease
First identified in the USA in 1995, and subject to four independent research projects in South Carolina, Arizona and California from 2001 to 2003, the obscure microorganism of marine environments, which attacks, (among other grasses), annual meadow grass, perennial ryegrass, and creeping bents, has been treated with over fifteen different fungicides. To date the results have identified Vitax's Insignia, developed by BASF, as the most effective management tool on the market.
In September 2003, field trials in California showed 99% control when Insignia was applied in a preventative situation at rates of 0.5 oz per 1,000 sq. ft., which are similar to those recommended in the U.K. Compared with other treatments and untreated check plots, Insignia also had the highest quality turf ratings.
In the same year greenhouse trials conducted by Dr. Bruce Martin of Clemson University, South Carolina on perennial ryegrass showed Insignia to be the most effective fungicide tested, achieving 81% to 93% control compared with the nearest alternative product giving 46%.
Clive Williams, Vitax's commercial development manager says that although encouraging, these findings are by no means conclusive and further research needs to be conducted in the U.K. "It appears that preventative applications have a much higher success rate then curative treatment, and under USA conditions, Insignia is the most effective management tool," he says. "Following these results we have begun our own investigations here in Britain. In the meantime, turf managers using Insignia as a general fungicide may be reassured that they are probably applying the most effective treatment against Rapid Blight at the same time."
For further information on Vitax's Insignia fungicide contact the company on Tel: 01530 510060 or visit their website at www.vitax.co.uk