Get your disease management policy right this winter

Cambridge, 04 November, 2014

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With reports of high levels of fusarium and anthracnose on turf across the UK, the disease threat is likely to be above average this winter. Greenkeepers are advised to consider their approach to control in order to prevent scarring on greens.

Bayer’s technical manager, Dr Colin Mumford, is urging greenkeepers to be prepared for an increased threat, and notes the importance of a planned approach to treatment. “Where conditions are conducive to either disease, leaving a green for as little as five days to ‘see how it goes’, can result in a rampant outbreak. Greenkeepers will then be faced with having to firefight, and will see deeply scarred playing surfaces,” he says.

“Spraying turf prior to disease symptoms being evident, in other words, preventative treatment, should be based on historical disease threat and knowledge of the greens. Curative sprays should take place as soon as any symptoms are seen. He notes that where there are budget constraints, preventative treatments are often avoided to save spending money where there is not yet a need. However, Colin says greenkeepers must plan their treatment programme based on a combination of weather information, visual assessments and knowledge of the golf courses reaction to certain environmental conditions.

“If it’s left until the disease takes hold of the turf, an eradicative treatment will be necessary. Thisis more likely to lead to scarring which, during the winter months, will take longer to repair.”

Colin adds that greenkeepers are now reviewing and assessing weather data more effectively, enabling them to make a more informed decision. “With all the technical advances, greenkeepers have a greater awareness of risk factors. This combined with knowledge of the greens they manage, and a planned approach, places them in a strong position for effective and efficient disease control this season. 

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