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Civitas shows promise for control of dollar spot and brown patch

Since the new fungicide Civitas was unveiled at the GIS Show in New Orleans, we've had a number of questions from golf course superintendents and product distributors about its effectiveness against turfgrass diseases. This year, we evaluated a mixture of Civitas + Civitas Harmonizer for control of brown patch and dollar spot on creeping bentgrass putting greens. So far, the results are promising.

The mixture of Civitas + Harmonizer was applied every 14 days beginning prior to the onset of disease symptoms. Industry standard fungicide treatments were included in each study: Heritage 50WG (0.2 oz every 14 days) in the brown patch study and Banner Maxx + Daconil Ultrex (2 fl oz + 3 oz every 14 days) in the dollar spot trial. The incidence of each disease was assessed periodically during periods of activity.

Civitas + Harmonizer provided good suppression of both diseases. Brown patch incidence was maintained at or below 5% of the turf surface area throughout the study, even under intense disease pressure in late July. Dollar spot incidence was significantly reduced throughout the season, reaching a maximum of 36 spots per plot in plots treated with Civitas + Harmonizer as compared to 160 spots in untreated plots.

The bottom line - Civitas showed good activity against brown patch and dollar spot in North Carolina in 2009. While it did not always provide acceptable levels of control alone, it should prove to be a useful tool for disease management as part of an integrated program.

A few words about the active ingredient in Civitas, which is a type of mineral oil, also commonly referred to as 'horticultural oil'. Horticultural oils have been used for disease and insect control in a number of crops for many years. These products have direct fungicidal and insecticidal activity, and are highly desirable in organic farming due to their safety and short residual in the environment.

Suncor, formerly known as Petro Canada, also claims that Civitas works by inducing systemic resistance in the plant. However, the research supporting this claim has not yet been published.

6 Responses to “Civitas shows promise for control of dollar spot and brown patch”

Frank Wong said...

Any observations on phytotoxicity?

I'd suspect applications at high temps could be pretty tough on turf.

Lane said...

Great question...I left that out just to make sure someone was paying attention.

We saw no phytotoxicity or other injury from these applications to creeping bentgrass, even during the hot North Carolina summer. I was surprised by this, I expected to see at least some injury. The Civitas-treated plots have maintained good quality in both trials.

I suspect that the Harmonizer, which is a pigment or dye of some sort, is designed to prevent or mask potential injury. We did not apply the mineral oil alone in these studies, it was always mixed with the Harmonizer, so I cannot comment on the injury potential from Civitas alone.

Wakar Uddin said...

Civitas showed significant disease suppression in studies at Penn State. It was most effective on gray leaf spot and spring leaf spot/Melting-out, and did quite well on dollar spot (Civitas alone at high rate as well as tank-mixes with fungicides). Results on brown patch and anthracnose varied by year. Currently it is showing good suppression of anthracnose and brown patch. Suppression of the disease by Civitas has always been more pronounced later in the season in most studies here in central PA and southeastern PA. Early application may be a good way to go with Civitas. No discoloration of turf has been observed in recent studies.

Leah Brilman said...

Today I was talking to Dr. Ron Welty, retired plant pathologist from the USDa lab here (Yes, I even talk to retired plant pathologists), about this mineral oil. He said years ago a friend of his went down to Brazil to work on diseases with bananas. He applied his fungicides and at that time many had a mineral oil carrier or they had you add it. He also used three controls, the mineral oil, water and no spray. Lo and behold he found equal results with the mineral oil by itself as with the fungicides. See it pays to keep that long term memory around.

Bruce Clarke said...

We had very good results with Civitas for the control of anthracnose basal rot on annual bluegrass maintained at greens (0.125 in) height. The pigment Harmonizer may be masking some of the anthracnose damage, but the plots treated with Civitas + Harmonizer were among the most efficacious treatments that we tested in 2009. Since this was the first year that we tested this product, I will reserve judgement until we have a second year's worth of data. It will be interesting to see if the results from year two are as good as they were this summer.


Jeff Rice said...

We spot sprayed some Civitas and Harmonizer on some bentgrass fairways that got hit with some anthracnose. We have seen some phytotoxicity from this application. It has been >90 degrees for 10 days straight. The toxicity seems to be worse in areas that tend to wilt first. We have been syringing since we seen the reaction and it looks like it will grow out it. However, I would recommend ensure good soil moisture and avoid applying on hot days on bentgrass.

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