urf managers should be taking the temperature of soil and gauging turf growth when selecting appropriate fungicides choices this season, advocates Syngenta Technical Manager, Dr Simon Watson. In the company's first E-Tech Bulletin, sent out to registered members of the GreenCast website, he highlighted that soil temperatures and grass growth rates are the primary factor deciding when to use appropriate contact or systemic chemistry.
Dr Watson advises that when soil temperatures at 5cm below the turf surface are at 7°C or less, then Contact+ Medallion TL fungicide will be the product of choice, but once temperatures start to rise above 7°C, it's time to switch to systemic products. "The key point is when turf starts to grow. If there is active growth the systemic products will move around within the plant and provide protection to the growing leaf," he said.
As temperatures begin to warm up and consistent grass growth commences, he advocates greenkeepers use a cool weather systemic when conditions predict a high risk of disease infection. "In cool conditions the systemic active in Banner Maxx is more readily taken up and moves quickly around the plant, compared to most other products," he said.
He highlights that this typically makes Banner Maxx ideal for early spring and autumn applications, but last year would have remained equally applicable right through to mid-December in situations where turf growth continued in unseasonably mild conditions. "This really exemplified the importance of assessing soil temperatures and grass growth as the influencing factor in product choice.
"As a simple practical guide, you can select the most appropriate fungicide activity based on your daily grass clipping yield," he said. "If there's very little or no growth use a contact+, with limited growth a cool weather systemic and, where there's strong growth, other systemic fungicides become appropriate, such as Heritage Maxx or Headway."
Other factors that greenkeepers should consider with fungicide selection is the life cycle stage of the disease at the time of application and how the fungicides are being used as part of a disease control strategy. Both these areas are addressed in Dr Watson's E-Tech Bulletin, which can be viewed and downloaded from the GreenCast website.
To receive future editions of Dr Watson's E-Tech Bulletin greenkeepers, turf managers, agronomists and students can register for the free GreenCast website.
For further Press Information please contact:
Dr Simon Watson
Syngenta Turf & Landscape
Tel: 01223 883468
For UK specific turf agronomy and product information go to www.greencast.co.uk