Turf mangers look set for a weekend of very high Fusarium infection, with forecasts of intense disease pressure right through from today (Thursday 10 April) to Tuesday next week across the UK and Ireland.
Syngenta Technical Manager, Simon Barnaby, warns the turf disease forecasting service, GreenCast, predicts the very high risk across central England on Thursday will extend to cover the rest of the country by the weekend (below). "The combination of rain, rising soil temperatures and levels of disease inoculum that have built up over the winter have conspired to create one of the most sustained periods of Fusarium risk," he reports.
Mr Barnaby advises turf managers will have to take action quickly if they are to avoid damaging disease symptoms spoiling spring preparation and renovation of playing surfaces. "With grass growth beginning to speed up, it is time to switch to the systemic fungicide Banner MAXX to quickly target disease infection before the damage is done."
He highlights the fast systemic activity will protect new turf growth, as well as ensuring the active fungicide remains within the plant, when contact fungicides could be mown off as turf grows.
"The challenge over the next few days will be finding the chance to apply a fungicide," he says. "The GreenCast spray window forecast (below) warns that wind could restrict spraying opportunities over the next five days, but that there may be a window of opportunity early morning on Sunday and Monday, especially if operators are using sleeved booms or drift-reducing nozzles."
STRI trials have shown turf managers can achieve the most effective disease control from fungicide applications when disease spore infection has occurred, but before any signs of disease are visible on the leaf. The GreenCast system provides a constantly updated five-day forecast of local disease risk for a complete range of key turf diseases.
The Syngenta internet -based system aims to assist turf managers with decisions on when to spray and the most appropriate fungicide for the most prevalent diseases and the time of year. Turf managers can log on for a free trial of the GreenCast system at www.greencast.co.uk