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Turf Science in Action - Anthracnose control

Disease Control

Results of new turf trials have demonstrated that a programmed approach, with a combination of Greenmaster Liquid fertilizer and Banner Maxx fungicide, has a synergistic effect that results in significantly improved Anthracnose control and improved turf health.

The research, undertaken by STRI and backed with further trials by Syngenta and ICL, has highlighted that where there is a risk of Anthracnose attack over the summer and autumn, a rapid response with Greenmaster Liquids, the fast uptake liquid fertilizer and Banner Maxx fungicide programme can effectively minimise damage from infection and protect playing surface quality.

Furthermore, Syngenta Technical Manager, Dr Simon Watson, reported the integrated combination of treatments results in increased chlorophyll that drives greater photosynthesis and turf health - giving visibly improved turf quality.

He warned that the severity of Anthracnose disease attack had increased significantly over the past 10 years. "It is one of the most difficult turf diseases to control. The spread of infection can be very quick and the damage to fine turf can be extensive. Any attack can cause serious loss in surface quality - including smoothness and turf cover."

Dr Watson highlighted that periods of prolonged hot dry weather are more likely to trigger outbreaks, whilst the recent trend to reductions in nutritional inputs may have made turf plants more susceptible to disease.

"When disease is active, products have to work quickly, before damage occurs to the turf surface," he advised. "Providing instant relief of nutritional stress promotes healthier turf, which in turn initiates faster uptake of active ingredient. Turf is also better able to withstand the reduced pressure of Anthracnose attack as a result of the Banner Maxx treatment."

Everris Technical Consultant, Simon Barnaby, added the new guideline recommendations, based on the trial results, is to apply Banner Maxx at 3.0 l/ha in a tank mix with Greenmaster Liquid Spring & Summer 12-4-6+TE from mid-July to August when there is the first high risk of Anthracnose attack, or at the first signs of disease. This should be followed with a repeat treatment of the same combination 21 to 28 days later. A further application of Greenmaster Liquid NK 10-0-10+TE, five to six weeks after initial treatment, has also shown to have a beneficial effect.

Mr Barnaby advocates a proactive integrated approach, including cultural treatments, to reduce stress on turf can lower the risk of an Anthracnose outbreak. "Use the GreenCast website disease forecasting system to identify periods of Anthracnose foliar blight risk, and an Everris iTurf programme, to time activities and preventative applications more effectively," he added.

To further help turf mangers tackle Anthracnose more effectively Syngenta and Everris have published a new Turf Science in Action guide: An integrated approach to Anthracnose control. A copy of the guide can be downloaded by clicking on the image below.