More than 70 turf managers gathered at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in September for the eagerly anticipated launch of Syngenta's new Contact+ fungicide active for turf, Medallion TL.
Presentations were given by Dr. Simon Watson, Syngenta's Technical Manager, on the fast-acting product which targets turf disease pathogens on the leaf, and has the same effect on Fusarium disease spores in the thatch layer and at the soil surface, offering a valuable opportunity to eradicate disease and providing long-lasting protection in the cooler months from late autumn to early spring.
"Medallion TL will change the way we think about disease control, not only protecting from disease infection, but also by reducing disease spore numbers and lowering the risk of further infection," Dr. Watson confirmed. "That makes it incredibly effective in its primary role as an autumn and winter Contact+ treatment, but could also have a really valuable effect on preventing disease outbreaks triggered by spring and summer aeration or maintenance activities."
Dr Watson added that it is the additional activity in thatch and soil surface that gives Medallion TL its Contact+ credentials. "The disease threat is ever present in the thatch layer, with spores living on decaying material and roots and waiting for the right conditions to flare up. Medallion TL gives us a powerful new chance to stop that occurring."
Simon Barnaby from Everris Limited, formerly named Scotts, presented a series of end-user trial reports which had been carried out over the last 12 months.
One such trial took place at Birch Grove Golf Club in Essex this year. The results demonstrated the exceptional long-lasting disease control that it's possible to achieve with Medallion TL, even under very high disease pressure and the testing conditions posed by prolonged snow cover. After a spray programme through late autumn and early winter, Medallion TL was still giving over 99.5% disease control when assessed at the end of February - more than 100 days after the final application. Over 25% of the untreated turf area was affected by Fusarium, with serious implications for playing quality and recovery.
Dr Watson highlighted that Medallion TL has an exciting new mode of action for turf that triggers treated disease spores to rapidly absorb water, to the point where they quite literally explode. "This happens so quickly there is no time for the spore to grow and infect the leaf, preventing damage to the surface and reducing subsequent threat, and since the product was bio-inspired by a naturally occurring antifungal compound of soil bacteria, it will destroy selected turf disease pathogens, but leave soil microbes with different protein structures unaffected. We see this as a really exciting opportunity to develop new disease control strategies."
Medallion TL is approved for use across all areas of the golf course and managed amenity turf and amenity grassland at the recommended rate of 3.0 l/ha, with up to four applications per year permitted. It is available now from Everris distributors across the UK and Ireland in the unique Syngenta S-pac for easy handling and efficient rinsing and recycling.
Syngenta advises that Medallion TL should be applied in a water volume of 125 - 500 l/ha. For optimum results its advocate the use of drift-reducing Syngenta Turf Foliar Nozzles, to ensure good spray retention on the leaf and deliver effective results in the thatch. Application trials have shown that using lower water volumes maximises sprayer efficiency and optimises spray timing, as well as delivering better spray retention in the target area.
A trialist's perspective
Medallion TL will play an essential role in maintaining turf quality and player satisfaction, which is paramount with the current financial pressures facing all golf clubs.
As one of the trialists in the Medallion TL development programme, Sean Clark, Club Manager and Professional at Royston Golf Club in Hertfordshire, describes the positive comments he received from both members and visitors as "quite remarkable."
Mr. Clark added: "The performance of Medallion TL proved exceptional under testing conditions this year. Despite three weeks of snow, there was no sign of Fusarium six weeks after treatment. The greens are probably in the best condition for many years."
"There is no doubt that the treatment has helped this and, with just one application, it has saved us both time and money. We are always looking at ways of improving the playability of our putting surfaces for both our members and guests, and we will definitely be using Medallion TL again in the future."
Colman Warde, Country Manager - Turf & Amenity for Everris Limited, sole Ireland distributors of the product said: "We are extremely excited that Medallion TL has gained approval because the feedback we've received so far has been incredible. With all our experience within the fungicide market, we have never seen such anticipation for a new fungicide technology."
For more information see Medallion TL.