19 Nov 2012
Variable autumn weather conditions create a difficult dilemma for appropriate fungicide choice.
The best all round option is to adopt a three-in-one strategy that covers all the bases for disease control, advocates Syngenta Technical Manager, Dr Simon Watson.
He highlighted that the multi-active fungicide INSTRATA has proven extremely reliable through a range of autumn weather conditions, and during periods of high or prolonged disease risk. "Autumn treatment really utilises the strength of each element in Instrata," he advised. "The fludioxonil cleans up pathogen populations and reduces disease pressure on the leaf and in the thatch, whilst chlorothalonil gives good protection against disease pathogen getting into the plant. At the same time the cool-weather systemic, propiconazole, targets any infection already in the leaf."
Dr Watson warned that using a fungicide with only contact or local penetrant activity too early in the season could effectively trap infection already in the leaf, where it can continue to develop and cause damage if conditions remain conducive to disease. "With Instrata, the systemic propiconazole plays an important role in seeking out and stopping infection within the plant, especially if conditions remain warm through the autumn, as experienced regularly in recent years," he advised.
Historic weather charts on the GreenCast website show that autumn weather conditions have been extremely variable across the UK in recent seasons. Most strikingly, daytime temperatures have typically remained unseasonably warm, but night temperatures can fall away quickly and, with day length and light intensity dropping, turf plants face intense environmental stress in conditions that can be highly favourable to disease.
"With declining growing conditions giving limited chance of turf recovery from disease attack, an effective fungicide programme is essential to protect playing surface quality during the winter and into next spring," he added. "The three-pronged activity of Instrata gives greenkeepers, turf managers and agronomists the essential flexibility and confidence to tackle unpredictable conditions."