A new disease forecasting tool on the Syngenta Greencast turf management website now gives a clear picture of disease pressure across the UK - and a forecast of where there risk of infection is set to occur and will enable more informed actions.
Live Maps combine accurate weather forecast information along with proven disease prediction models, to foresee and track risks for up to five days before they occur.
Encompassing Google maps, users simply zoom in to their own area for a close up of detailed local information. The maps cover all key turf diseases, along with forecast changes in soil temperatures and a new feature for Grass Growing Potential.
Daniel Lightfoot, Syngenta UK Turf Business Manager, enthuses that one of the great advances of Live Maps for greenkeepers is the ability to visibly track conditions and risks progressing across the country - and giving time to assess action plans.
"Targeting preventative disease programmes during periods of infection risk, but before symptoms break out consistently maintains better playing surface conditions," he advocated.
Daniel pointed out that STRI research had shown fungicide programmes based on proactive forecasting maintained better conditions using fewer applications over the course of the season, compared to routine application or treatment at the first signs of disease.
"Timing is the absolute key," he advised. "Live Maps is a new way to better pinpoint the optimum application timing." He believed that turf managers are going to have to get ever better at prevention in the future, to mitigate the impending loss of iprodione and to meet the increasingly stringent demands of today's players
"Whilst products such as Instrata Elite have excellent curative activity on early disease stages with in the leaf, the results are consistently better and longer lasting if it can be applied before symptoms have broken out on the surface," he added.
Danial believes the new Grass Growing Potential maps will be especially useful for aiding Primo Maxx application interval timing - enabling turf managers to focus on periods of peak growth and potentially ease off when conditions are less favourable.
"If you use Grass Growing Potential in conjunction with soil temperature, it could be highly beneficial for timing renovation or over seeding activities to get seedlings off to the best possible start," he said. "It also has a role for predicting turf recovery and implications for the disease management programme."
The Live Maps are available now free for all registered GreenCast subscribers, under the 'Weather' tab in the navigation bar.