Advice

How fungicides can help to tackle summer stress

A new trial is underway in Ireland, looking at how a range of fungicide products can prevent the symptoms of summer stress and turf diseases.

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Charleville Golf Club 5th green

The new trial has been launched in Ireland this summer, following the outstanding results from last year’s STRI trial, to see how the same fungicide products work practically on a busy golf course.

The trial, which started in June, is being undertaken at Charleville golf course in Cork, and is measuring the effect of Stressgard formulated products on combatting the signs of turf stress and disease incidence.

 

Charleville Golge Club 11th hole

Credit: Alan Mahone

 

What is summer turf stress?

 

The summer months can be an incredibly stressful time for greenkeepers as they try to tackle the impacts of increased temperatures and golfer traffic.

These factors can cause stress on the turf, which has a knock on effect on the health of turf and its ability to resist diseases such as Anthracnose.

This means it’s incredibly important for greenkeepers to protect the turf from the risks of stress to maintain optimum plant health and golfer satisfaction.

Often greenkeepers rely on fungicides and plant protection solutions to protect the turf and alleviate the symptoms of summer stress, so this trial was created to give them the confidence that products will work effectively on a ‘real’ course.  

 

How is the trial being carried out?

 

During this Irish trial, two Stressgard formulated fungicides, plus an established broad spectrum fungicide, from Bayer are being investigated and applied to the turf. These are:

Signature Xtra is an exclusive product in Ireland and can be applied up to three times a year, per label guidelines. Exteris can be applied twice, whereas Dedicate can be applied up to 4 times a year.

Applications of fungicides are planned to take place on putting greens every 28 days from June to November 2021. Application timings may change throughout the course of the trial if weather conditions change or if disease begins to actively grow.

 

Date

Product

Application rate

29 June 2021

Signature Xtra

20kg/ha

27 July 2021

Signature Xtra

20kg/ha

24 August 2021

Signature Xtra

20kg/ha

21 August 2021

Exteris

10L/ha

 

Dedicate

0.5L/ha

12 October 2021

Exteris

10L/ha

 

Dedicate

0.5L/ha

02 November 2021

Dedicate

1L/ha

23 November 2021

Dedicate

1L/ha

The time line proposed for fungicide applications between June and November 2021.

 

The Stressguard formulated products include innovative technology which provide UV protection and help to encourage the healthy development of plants, all while combatting disease.  

To compare how well the fungicides are working, circular control zones are in place on the putting greens, so that the treated and untreated turf can be easily compared.

 

Applications of Signature Xtra

 

Since late June, Signature Xtra Stressgard has been applied at the golf course to tackle the impacts of summer stress.

When the first application of Signature Xtra was applied at the end of June, the weather was dry and there was a small amount of disease active on the course.

For the second application in late July, weather was much poorer, with very wet and humid conditions persisting for at least 2 weeks after the application.

These conditions were conducive to both summer stress and disease growth so it was expected that turf would suffer and diseases such as Anthracnose would thrive.

 

The Results

 

Even after challenging conditions, the results were very promising. In areas where Signature Xtra was applied, turf was kept in great condition with little sign of stress or disease activity.

In comparison, the untreated control zones (shown in the pictures), showed signs of dry patch, a turf condition that can occur during periods of high stress, usually when winds are high.

 

Control zone 1 - no Signature Xtra appliedControl zone 2 - no Signature Xtra applied

Two circular control zones located on the golf course, where Signature Xtra was not applied, and turf appeared to suffer from signs of turf stress i.e., discolouration and dryness

 

This highlights the fantastic benefits of Stressgard formulated products such as Signature Xtra as the turf that was treated with the fungicide maintained optimum health even after challenging conditions.

 

 

Next steps of the trial

 

The trial will continue at the golf course until late November, where the remaining fungicides will be investigated.

During the autumn as conditions get milder, it is likely that diseases such as Microdochium Patch will start to crop up. This is a disease many greenkeepers try to prevent as it can cause significant damage to the turf. It often results as a secondary problem if turf has experienced a high level of summer stress.

The fungicides used in this trial were proven to have effective control against this disease during the STRI trial, so seeing how the products work in a real-life scenario is an exciting prospect.

Signature XTRA Stressgard Product Image Fungicide

Signature® XTRA Stressgard® currently for Ireland

The first FULLY systemic fungicide available to the Irish...

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Fungicide

Exteris Stressgard

Exteris Stressgard is the first combination SDHI fungicide...

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Dedicate Fungicide

Dedicate

Dedicate is a contact and systemic fungicide for use in...

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