You are here

Turf Science Live launch for Instrata Elite

Disease Control
Marcela Munoz and Rod Burke at Turf Science Live Instrata Elite launch
Marcela Munoz explained how Instrata Elite tackles disease attack by providing contact protection on the leaf surface, along with curative activity to target disease mycelia infection inside the leaf

Greenkeepers and Course Managers at Turf Science Live 2017 earlier this month (25 July 2017), got to experience the launch of the exciting new Syngenta fungicide, Instrata Elite.

Introducing a new fungicide active for turf disease control in the UK, Instrata Elite now gives a powerful combination of contact and systemic properties, for reliable turf protection outside and in the plant.

Now approved for Microdochium control in the UK, Instrata Elite combines the new active ingredient, difenoconazole, with the outstanding performance of fludioxonil. Together, the complementary curative and protectant actives target different stages of disease life cycles for flexible application timing and reliable results.Other turf diseases on the Instrata Elite label include Brown Patch, Anthracnose and Dollar Spot.

Visitors to Turf Science Live Instrata Elite launch

Turf Science Live 2017, held at The Royal Automobile Club golf course near Epsom in Surrey, is the UK’s premier turf management event to highlight innovation and the practical implementation of pioneering research into proactive turf agronomy planning.        

Speaking at the event, Syngenta Technical Manager, Marcela Munoz, highlighted extensive trials have shown Instrata Elite is highly effective against key turf foliar diseases, to protect plant health and playing surface quality. Importantly, the new approval gives the opportunity for two applications per year in the UK.

“The unique properties of Instrata Elite rapidly bind the actives onto the leaf wax layer,” explained Marcela. “The fludioxonil component stays locked into the leaf wax to provide a protective contact coating that stops disease spores germinating and prevents infection of the plant."

Marcela Munoz at Turf Science Live Instrata Elite launch

“At the same time, the difenoconazole component immediately starts to flow from the leaf wax into the leaf. It targets disease already active in the leaf, providing early curative activity and preventing symptoms breaking out,” she added. The flow of difenoconazole from the leaf wax reservoir provides systemic protection throughout the plant, to protect new growth and ensure lasting results.

Crucially, with Instrata Elite safely locked onto the leaf wax within 30 minutes of application, it is unaffected by rainfall or irrigation wash-off to ensure reliable results.

"With two applications of Instrata Elite per year are permitted, it will give greater flexibility to effectively target disease for longer through difficult high risk periods. Importantly, the UK approval covers golf and amenity turf, along with sports pitches and stadia," she added.

Instrata Elite targets:

  • disease spores before they can germinate
  • disease hyphae on the surface to stop infection getting into the leaf
  • disease mycelia inside the leaf to stop disease development


The consistently reliable performance of Instrata Elite has been proven by over 60 trials across nine European countries.

Instrata Elite trials demonstrated the potential to achieve almost total control of disease for up to six weeks from application when there was no visible disease at the time of treatment (Fig 1, below). Over the same time period, untreated greens area saw infection levels rise from less than 1% to over 10% - with resulting damaging effects on playing surface quality.

Instrata Elite trials results in a preventative situation

Two weeks later infection on untreated greens had further increased to 16% of surface area, but just 2% on the Instrata Elite treated area.

The trials results also showed the value of Instrata Elite’s outside in protection in a curative situation (Fig 2, below). On greens showing 6% surface area affected at the time of treatment, Instrata Elite prevented further development of disease, and protected turf that allowed clean regrowth and surface recovery.

Instrata Elite trials results in a curative situation

Within two weeks of application the affected surface area had shrunk back to 2%, and continued to decline as turf quality improved. On untreated areas, infection spread to reach over 13%.

Whilst applications in a curative situation - once early symptoms are visible - is not as good as a preventative treatment on clean turf, for greenkeepers and groundsmen in a practical situation – where weather conditions or player pressures may have delayed an optimum application timing – the early curative activity is an incredibly valuable asset.

For greenkeepers using indicator greens as a guide to application timing, it offers an essential flexibility to be able to target the diversity of disease pathogen stages that will inevitably be present on other greens when early infection is seen.

In the UK, STRI has been successfully using Instrata Elite in disease trials over the last two years at its Bingley research facility in Yorkshire, reported the independent turf R&D organisation’s Research Manager, Tom Young (below).

Tom Young of STRI at Turf Science Live Instrata Elite launch

“Instrata Elite has consistently shown excellent control of Microdochium nivale, especially when applied preventatively, or early curatively when used as part of a balanced fungicide programme,” Tom advised.

When applied as a single application in the STRI trials, either preventatively or early curatively, Instrata Elite has delivered reliable and high levels of Microdochium control, he added.

Presenting at Turf Science Live along with Marcela, Syngenta European Marketing Lead, Rod Burke, reported Instrata Elite will fit perfectly into a proactive fungicide programme. “It can be used throughout the year,” he said, “but the research and user trials experience indicate its unique properties and strengths typically match the demands for disease control on UK golf courses from mid to late autumn and through early spring.”

Rod advised that for best protection of turf quality, Instrata Elite should be applied before visible symptoms are evident, through to first signs of infection.

“Optimum timing will prevent disease infection getting into the leaf,” he said. “But with Instrata Elite there is still the chance for curative activity on mycelium in the leaf to stop disease before visible damage is done and minimise stress on the plant," he advocated.

“Targeting disease at more points through the life-cycle gives greater flexibility in application timing to hit infection.”

Rod advocated the use of the GreenCast website information, indicator greens and historic experience to highlight risk periods to devise an appropriate fungicide programme strategy and to tailor specific application timing.

“The advantages of Instrata Elite and the introduction of a new fungicide active for turf means it will have an integral role in every fungicide programme,” he said.

“It will have a crucial function in an Integrated Turf Management approach to deliver sustainable long-term improvements in turf quality.”  

Turf Science Live pic