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Civitas Update....By Popular Demand

First, my apologies for the tardiness of this post. The pre-Thanksgiving travel crunch got the best of me last week, and of course I spent the entire weekend watching football and hockey, so I am just now getting caught up! Several people have asked what happened to the Civitas update, so here it is:

Civitas is a new product for disease and insect control in turfgrasses that was developed by Suncor, formerly known as PetroCanada. The active ingredient is mineral oil, otherwise known as 'horticultural oil', which has been used for management of plant pests for many years. It has just never been used in turf because of issues with phytotoxicity. However, Suncor developed a pigment product, called Harmonizer, that is mixed with Civitas to reduce the potential for phytotoxicity. The advantage of mineral oil as a fungicide is that it has very low environmental impacts due to its low toxicity and rapid breakdown in the environment.

Because it contains oil and pigment, Civitas has a very noticeable effect on the color and appearance of the turf. The Harmonizer pigment, depending on the application rate, is a very dark green, similar to that provided by an application of Triton Flo or Tartan. Some people have complained that transfer of the pigment to shoes and clothing has been a problem, but I haven't rolled around on our research plots yet to see how big of a problem that is.

The mineral oil component of Civitas also gives the turf a distinct greasy appearance, very similar to that caused by an application of a wetting agent like Cascade. This greasy appearance is most evident in the morning and persists for several days to a week after application. Because of these unique characteristics of Civitas, I suggest that people try it out on a nursery green or putting green before treating the whole course with it.

We've been evaluating Civitas for control of various turf diseases for three years now. For a summary of our previous results, please see my post from last year entitled Civitas shows promise for control of dollar spot and brown patch. Be sure to read the comments at the bottom provided by Wakar Uddin, Bruce Clarke, and others regarding their experiences with Civitas.

We continue to see similar results against dollar spot and brown patch in our trials. However, this year we ran into serious problems with phytotoxicity when Civitas and Harmonizer was tank-mixed with Daconil and Banner Maxx. The injury appeared very quickly after the first application in May and became more severe as time went on. As you can see in the graph to the left, it is also interesting to note that half rates of the mixture components did not reduce the amount of phytotoxicity observed. Based on this result, we definitely recommend that Civitas and Harmonizer should not be mixed with Daconil and Banner, or with other fungicides until we have the opportunity to evaluate more mixtures for their safety.

We haven't seen significant phytotoxicity from applications of Civitas and Harmonizer alone in our trials, but some users have reported injury during times of severe stress, with high temperatures consistently above 90F. It makes sense that it could create problems to coat the turf leaves in oil under these types of conditions.

To summarize, Civitas has good activity against several important turf diseases like dollar spot, brown patch, anthracnose, and leaf spot diseases. Although it does not provide acceptable control alone in most cases, my opinion is that it could be useful as part of a disease control program. Civitas and Harmonizer should not be mixed with other fungicides or applied to severely stressed turf, or severe injury could result. However, if you are interested in using products that pose less risk to environment, then Civitas is a good choice.

100,000 Page Views Reached!

Just a short post today to say THANK YOU to all of our readers out there in cyberspace. I hadn't checked in a while, but when I checked today, I realized that we had passed the 100,000 page views. Not sure if this is good or not, but I was impressed none the less.

 Thanks again for all of our readers and contributors and thanks to Syngenta who was our sole sponsor for the year. Their support of our Turfgrass Compendium Giveaway contest helped to raise money for the Student Travel Fund within the American Phytopathological Society which helps to offset travel costs for turfgrass pathology graduate students.

Renown: Broad Spectrum Activity via Azoxystrobin and Chlorothalonil

Ha! Megan was right. Sorry for not posting this on Thanksgiving day as per the schedule, but Wong Family Thanksgiving in Fresno is serious business and I was definitely passed out in a food coma by mid-afternoon.'s a Sunday post to make up for it.

Renown Fungicide - Broad Spectrum Control of Foliar Diseases
Renown is a fungicide pre-mix recently labeled by Syngenta for use in the U.S. The active ingredients in Renown are azoxystrobin and chlorothalonil, which are the active ingredients in Heritage and Daconil fungicides respectively. When it comes to broad spectrum activity, you can't get much broader spectrum than both of these two active ingredients. Azoxystrobin is a QoI that is effective against a number of ascomycete, basidiomycete and oomycete pathogens. Chlorothalonil, as you all know, pretty much takes care of most foliar pathogens (including algae) but not foliar Pythiums.

Renown has a wide range of activity against a number of diseases including: algae, anthracnose, brown patch, copper spot, dollar spot, gray leaf spot, large patch, stem rust, stripe rust, southern blight, yellow patch, yellow spot, zoysia patch, leaf rust, leaf & sheath spot, melting out, Microdochium patch, pink patch, powdery mildew and red thread.

Because azoxystrobin is a systemic fungicide while chlorothalonil is a contact, the best use of Renown would be for foliar disease control. Also, if the product is applied in 2 gal water per thousand, that should also be enough to cover diseases that reside in the thatch, mat or upper root zone on closely mowed turf types (i.e. grees and tees). When targeting deep soil and root infecting pathogens like fairy rings, it may be better to use a different fungicide this purpose. Watering-in a Renown application to get soil activity from the azoxystrobin component could cause you to lose the benefit of the chlorothalonil for foliar disease control.

Renown comes as a suspo-emulsion formulation containing 0.32 lbs of azoxystrobin and 4.84 lbs of chlorothalonil per gallon. Use rates are 2.5 to 4.5 fl oz which is equivalent to 1 fl oz Heritage TL plus 2 fl oz Daconil Weatherstik and 1.8 fl oz Heritage TL plus 3.6 fl oz Daconil Weatherstik, respectively.

Renown has looked very good in our anthracnose and pretty good for dollar spot as you can see in the next few slides.

Two applications of Renown also appeared to be effective in controlling brown ring patch in 2008 trials in San Diego:

The benefit for using Renown would be in the control of multiple diseases where the combination of azoxystrobin and chlorothalonil would put you at a distinct advantage. For example, when leaf spots and brown patch are active at the same time, or gray leaf spot and Southern Blight, etc. There are some specific situations where using Renown would also make sense as described below.

Fungicide resistance. For certain diseases like anthracnose and gray leaf spot, where QoI-resistance is a problem, the pre-mix would be of an advantage. For both of these diseases, QoI-resistance has been a problem in a lot of locations, but the addition of chlorothalonil in the application would help control those resistant isolates. For other diseases, where QoI-resistance is not yet a problem, the mixture would aid in helping to delay resistance due to the dual mode of action.

Dollar spot. Although the WG formulation of Heritage is not particularly effective vs. dollar spot, it appears that the liquid TL formulation has better activity against the disease. The additional of chlorothalonil would help in controlling the disease. This would be valuable when there are other diseases like brown patch are active.

Non-DMI for summer disease control. Renown can pick up a lot of the mid- & late-summer diseases you would face on cool season and warm season turf like leaf & sheath spot, melting out, anthracnose, etc. Although highly effective, there can be times in the summer when a non-DMI would be advantageous for use in these situations.

Keep in mind that applications of Renown count towards the yearly limit of chlorothalonil use on turf. Each application contains 1.5 to 2.7 oz chlorothalonil, and recall that there is a 9.5 oz, 19.1 and 26.8 oz chlorothalonil per 1,000 sq ft yearly limit for roughs& fairways, tees, and greens, respectively.

Damn it's Cold on the West Coast
Although we're still a few weeks away from the official start of winter, it's been pretty damn cold in the West. Seattle got snow last week and Portland was pretty much frozen last Tuesday and Wednesday. Temps in the 50s-60s are present in much of the Golden State with below freezing night time temps being seen in the Central Valley.

Pink snow mold is likely to be coming in these cold wet conditions and so is freeze and winter damage.

Other than that, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! I'll see some of you in Portland this Thursday at the Oregon Pesticide Seminar.

Until then, signing off from the Right Coast....

Trinity and Triton

Trinity,Triton, & Turkey


I hope you all had a lovely holiday with your families and/or friends. Having met the extended Wong family, and seeing their passion for food, my guess is that Frank et al are all still in a food coma today.

Trinity and Triton are two of the newer DMI products in turf. Frank did a nice job summarizing these materials recently and you can check it out here:

Since I don’t think I could put the “review” any better than Frank did, I’ll let you read his description above. So, I’ll skip right to some of my own experiences. I’ve had a few trials with these products and I’ll mention a couple of them here:

2009, Triton Flo

The study was conducted in ‘A4’ creeping bentgrass. Applications were made at 14-day intervals beginning 28 May with the final application on 20 August. Fungicides were applied with a CO2-powered boom sprayer equipped with two XR Tee Jet 8004VS nozzles at 30 psi in water equivalent to 2.0 gal/1000 ft2. Plots were 4 ft × 10 ft and there were four replications of each treatment. Plots were rated by visually estimating the percentage of each plot affected by dollar spot or brown patch symptoms.

Dollar spot was present on several rating dates. All materials reduced dollar spot to zero except for a trace amount in the Reserve 2.8 fl oz treatment on 17 Jul and 12 Aug. Brown patch symptoms were visible on only one rating date, 17 July, at low levels, and all fungicides reduced disease to zero.

The results are summarized here, and you can click to enlarge:

2009, Trinity:

This study was conducted in a stand of Cato-Crenshaw. Disease became quite severe in the untreated. The photo below shows treated plots surrounded by untreated, and the graph shows disease progression in the untreated. All treatments reduced disease to zero on all dates:

Name Rate (oz/1000) Interval
Insignia + Trinity 0.5 + 0.1 14 days
Emerald 0.13 14 days
Emerald 0.18 21 days
Honor 0.83 14 days
Honor 1.1 21 days

Triton Flo, 2010

Triton Flo was part of a fungicide program study in 2010. You can check my post from 2 weeks ago.

Last note: potential phyto on bermudagrass

OH, don't forget, as I mentioned last week when discussing Reserve, triticonazole products can put the hurt on bermudagrass so read those labels and be cautious.

Honor (boscalid + pyraclostrobin)

Honor is a relatively new fungicide from BASF that contains the active ingredients boscalid and pyraclostrobin. Boscalid is the active ingredient in the excellent dollar spot fungicide Emerald and pyraclostrobin is the active ingredient in Insignia. Like Insignia, Honor will also be marketed under the umbrella of Intrinsic brand fungicides from BASF. If you have not heard of this, it basically states that pyraclostrobin may provide some additional plant health benefits aside from disease control. If you recall, John posted a blurb about our meeting at Farmlinks in October where we shown all the data behind the Intrinsic label. Although the data is a bit sketchy, there does appear to be some benefit to the plant. Before I go any further remember that these are fungicides and should only be used for disease control!

Disease Control
Honor is an excellent fungicide for broad spectrum disease control because it takes advantage of the dollar spot activity of boscalid and the brown patch and anthracnose activity of pyraclostrobin. Other diseases listed on the label are gray leaf spot, fairy ring, take-all patch and pink snow mold just to name a few. Therefore it could fit into a fungicide program for tees and greens at almost anytime of the year. However, I think it fits best during July or August when brown patch and anthracnose are likely to develop in the Midwest. Below are a few graphs highlighting the strengths of Honor against dollar spot. If you want to see how Honor's efficacy against anthracnose and brown patch compares to other fungicides, click on the diseases and you will see reports from Dr. Bruce Clarke at Rutgers University.

Curatively Honor (boscalid in particular) is slow to reduce the dollar spot epidemic, but overtime provides the best suppression. Preventatively Honor controls dollar spot well, but only provides acceptable control at the 1.1 oz rate under the pressure we experienced this year.

Honor is an excellent product especially for dollar spot and brown patch. I think the best fit for this particular product is during mid summer when dollar spot is still active and brown patch and anthracnose are just starting to get going. Plus pyraclostrobin also has activity against Pythium blight under lower pressures. Essentially this product could almost fit anywhere in a fungicide program in the Midwest.

Concert (chlorothalonil + propiconazole)

Concert is a "Pre-Mix" (yes I know many of you hate the term Pre-Mix, but this is my blog page and I can do whatever I want so take that Mr. Hoff essentially this is a prepacked version of Daconil and Banner MAXX) fungicide from Syngenta which combines the active ingredients of chlorothalonil and propiconazole. The new formulation for this mixture is similar to what Jim referred to earlier as a SE or suspoemulsion. According to Syngenta (slideshow below), the SE is a "water-based formulation that contains both suspended solids and emulsion droplets. Below is my summary of some research with Concert, a slideshow presentation from Syngenta, and my concluding thoughts.

Research results with Concert:
Below are the results of some research findings from Penn State and Connecticut. 

Disease suppression:
Brown patch suppression with Concert was excellent in a trial conducted in 2010 and this holds up with what has been seen in other trials that we have conducted. Treatments were applied on a 14-day interval, which may be improved with the use of a QoI which have excellent brown patch suppression. A benefit of this combination (chlorothalonil + propiconazole) would be the efficacy on dollar spot.  Although I didn't have any data pulled together for Concert, the use of these two active ingredients have shown excellent suppression of dollar spot in past studies.

Anthracnose basal rot is another disease where various studies have been conducted.  In our studies at Penn State, Concert looks good and comparable to similar fungicides. To the left you will see a fungicide study conducted by Johnny 5 Dr. Inguagiato of UConn.  I highlight this study because of the slight benefit that Concert provides when compared to the individual components. The 5.0 fl oz rate of Concert is equivalent to 3.0 oz of Daconil Ultrex and 1.1 fl oz of Banner MAXX for reference. In most of my studies, Concert has been included as part of a full rotational program. This is a good practice in general when dealing with season long applications of a DMI.


One of the things that is worth pointing out is that these field studies are done to determine disease control with single products. Due to this fact, most of our studies are carried out in a manner that results in repeated applications of products that would otherwise not be sprayed that often.  So it is not uncommon for injury to appear in our studies. Having said that, I found that the differences in injury among studies can often vary as was the case in two separate studies conducted at Penn State and UConn.  In the Penn State study, no differences were observed between any fungicide and the untreated control, but there was a separation among fungicides. Namely, those products that contained the pigment in StressGard had improved quality relative to plots receiving Concert.

On the other hand, field studies at Connecticut showed significant injury from repeated applications of other fungicides including Triton (a DMI) and Reserve (DMI + chlorothalonil). Injury was observed within the plots treated with Concert, but the phytotoxicity was not different from the untreated control. No injury was observed when either of the actives in Concert were used along.  So I guess the lesson here is that perhaps Mr. Hoff is correct and the new formulations developed during the creation of the "Pre-Mix" packages do influence different aspects of the product.  

You can read the full research reports here:
Inguagiato, J.C., R. Blake and J.E. Kaminski, 2010. Preventive anthrancose control in putting green turf with various fungicides.
Kaminski, J.E. and T. Lulis. 2009. Impact of fungicides on teh control of anthracnose basal rot, turfgrass quality and algae on a golf course putting green. 

What Syngenta said (slideshow):

Concluding thoughts:
Concert is an effective fungicide against a wide array of turf diseases and can be used as an integral part of a disease resistance management strategy due to the inclusion of chlorothalonil. Diseases that it would be effective against would be brown patch, anthracnose, dollar spot, gray leaf spot and others. Repeated application of this product may be met with a couple of problems.  First, seasonal use rates of chlorothalonil should be closely watched.  These tank mix partners can confuse or at least make it more difficult to figure out how much actual active you have put out, especially when using different products all containing chlorothalonil.  Additionally, the repeated use of any of the DMI's should be avoided due to potential phytotoxicity issues.  Most of the research protocols that I have seen have been built with Concert in mind as a component of an overall fungicide program.  Golf course superintendents should develop similar programs for their golf courses that target the primary problems they are facing.  In the right situation, Concert can be an effective product in a sound program.

Download the Concert Label 

Make your Friday night Reserve-ations

Book 7, part I … are you kids as excited as I am?

Maybe some of you went to the midnight showing last night?

My main post is about Reserve, but at the bottom I have some follow-up comments about granulars.




Last week I accidentally gave away a little bit of my story prematurely. Maybe it was my headachy/sleepy day, but I thought my fungicide assignment was Renown, not Reserve, and shared a little bit about a 2010 that included Reserve. You can look back at my post last week where Reserve was one component to a couple of program trials.


What is Reserve? It’s a new formulation from Bayer that combines triticonazole (0.54 pounds active ingredient/gallon) and chlorothalonil (4.25 pounds a.i./gal) as well as StressGuard.


It is labeled for quite a few diseases: anthracnose, brown patch, microdochium patch/pink snow mold, typhula snow mold, necrotic ring spot, red thread, rust, summer patch, take-all, large patch, and dollar spot as well as algae and summer decline.


Like other triticonazole products, there is potential for damage to bermudagrass. The label indicates that it should not be used at all on ultradwarf bermudagrass varieties. In addition, the label says not to exceed 5.4 fl oz/1000 every 30 days on any type of bermudagrass, and, for golf courses in Florida, do not apply Reserve to bermudagrass greens when temperatures exceed 90. Lane talked about this topic awhile back, and you can read about it here:


How has Reserve performed in KSU trials? As I said, it worked well as part of the program trials this year, and you can see last week’s post.


In 2010, we also compared Reserve with Concert, which is a formulated combination of propiconazole (0.3 pounds a.i./gal) and chlorothalonil (4.0 pounds a.i./gal).

Concert: applied at 5.5 fl oz/1000

= 5.9 grams propiconazole + 78 grams chlorothalonil/1000 ft2

Reserve: 2.5 fl oz/1000 = 4.8 g triticonazole + 37.7 g chlorothalonil/1000

______3.2 fl oz /100 = 6.1 g triticonazole + 48.2 g chlorothalonil/1000

______3.5 fl oz/1000 = 6.7 g triticonazole + 52.8 g chlorothalonil/1000


The 2.5 fl oz rate of Reserve was applied 7 times, on 24 May, 9 June, 22 June, 28 June, 6 July, 14 July, and 20 July. The other treatments were applied 5 times, on 24 May, 9 Jun, 22 June, 28 June, and 14 July.

Disease in the untreated plots bounced around a little bit, peaking twice at around 9% severity. Except for a little bit of breakthrough (2%) in the lowest rate of Reserve, all the treatments held disease around zero (click to enlarge).

As you might expect, the repeated applications of the propiconazole-containing Concert did have some negative DMI-type growth-regulating effects that reduced quality. However, keep in mind that most people would be rotating, not applying the same product over and over. This is an artificial type of situation used in an experiment.

Here are two pics, one with plot borders shown and one without, showing the quality effects associated with the repeated applications of the propiconazole-containing product. The triticonazole-containing Reserve did not have such effects.

Results were pretty similar in a trial I conducted in 2009.


Color splash or color crash? It’s not easy being blue-green?

I do have a final question about the StressGuard… I have heard from a couple of superintendents (like, literally, TWO) who don’t like the strong color that is apparent immediately after application. One guy said that he avoids products for that reason, and another said that he’ll water the products in a little bit to wash of the color. Anybody else have comments?


I have a few comments related to Lane’s posting about granular formulations. I have a few observations for formulations of azoxystrobin.


In 2008 I ran two trials for brown patch in tall fescue (lawn-height). In one trial, the applications were done on July 9 and August 5. The trial included Heritage TL at 2.0 fl oz/1000 (5.7 grams a.i./1000) and Heritage 50 WG at 0.4 oz/1000 (5.7 grams a.i./1000). On the morning of August 5, I rated the % blighting per plot before the treatments were applied. Disease in the untreated was at 32.5%. Here's a photo to show some symptoms:

Whereas both Heritage formulations knocked disease down to 0%, like in the plot below.

In a separate trial nearby, I applied Heritage G at either 2 or 4 pounds/1000, equivalent to 2.8 or 5.6 grams a.i./1000. Applications were done on June 30 and July 28, and disease was rated on August 5 (same as the other trial). In this one, the untreated was similar to the other trial, with about 40% blighting. The Heritage G treatments reduced disease to 7.5% (2 pound rate) and 4.5% (4 pound rate). So, while they did significantly reduce disease, it was not down to 0%. This photo shows some breakthrough with a granular treatment (blighted areas circled):

Of course, these trials were not set up to directly compare the granular with the sprayables, but it is consistent with Lane’s comments (and others) that granulars can lack the consistency that you might find with a sprayable formulation.



Fungicide Review: Polyoxin D

Polyoxin-D: Mother Nature’s gift for fighting Rhizoctonias (and some other important diseases).

Polyoxin-D zinc salt is the active ingredient in two turfgrass fungicides: Endorse (Arysta) and Affirm (Cleary Chemical). There’s been some switching around of names and products since 2009 (as discussed last year) when Arysta LifeScience took back the distribution rights for the 2.5% WP formulation and Cleary’s introduced Affirm, a 11.3% WDG formulation, that contained the same active ingredient. Either way, both formulations have the same range of disease control and I haven’t seen any data so far to suggest that the two formulations have any significant differences in disease control between them. Polyoxin D is classified as a FRAC Group 19 fungicide (polyoxin antibiotics) and presently, only polyoxin D is registered as a turf fungicide in the U.S. (Image to the right taken from

There are a number of other polyoxins out there (polyoxin A, polyoxin B,…polyoxin J, etc.), and they all share a common “ancestry” as far as being discovered as metabolites of Streptomyces bacteria (which are commonly called Actinomycetes). Streptomyces are typically soil inhabiting bacteria and are potent producers of some very important anti-bacterial and anti-fungal antibiotics. Interestingly, antibiotics derived from Streptomyces species account for two-thirds of our commercially available antibiotics including streptomycin, chloramphenicol, tetracycline and vancomycin (anti-bacterials) and nystatin and amphotericin B (anti-fungals).

Polyoxin D was discovered in 1965 as a fermentation product of Streptomyces cacoi var. asoensis (Suzuki et al 1965 Journal of Antibiotics Ser. A), so interestingly, this molecule has been around for a long time! Commercial fungicides containing polyoxin D utilize this active ingredient in the form of a zinc salt. Why, may you ask? Because the polyoxin D molecule is extremely water soluble and it would wash off of plant surfaces easily; the zinc salt form of polyoxin D is much more stable and enhances the longevity of the fungicide on the plant surface.

Biochemically, polyoxin D inhibits the formation of chitin, which is the main component of the cell walls of true fungi (Ascomycetes, Basidiomycetes, etc.). You can see from the photo here (taken from Endo et al. Journal of Bacteriology 1970), that fungal cells treated with polyoxin D (top photo) are unable to make functional cell walls and thus can’t function normally like the untreated ones (bottom photo).

Since Oomycetes like Pythium don’t use chitin in their cell walls, polyoxin D won’t affect these “water mold” type fungi. Polyoxin D is considered a local penetrant fungicide, and does not translocate easily upwards in plants like some other systemic fungicides, so coverage is important when applying these.

The earliest use of polyoxin D was for the control of rice sheath blight (Rhizoctonia solani) in Japan back in the 1970s. Not surprisingly, for turf diseases, Endorse and Affirm would be considered strongest against Rhizoctonia diseases like brown patch, large patch and yellow patch and the Rhizoctonia-like Waitea diseases like brown ring patch and leaf and sheath spot.

In a large patch trial we did in 2008, you can see that Endorse was very good in controlling large patch.

Applications made 16 Apr and 6 May to bermudagrass

In a brown ring patch trial also conducted in 2008, Endorse provided some of the quickest control of the disease, but didn’t have as much residual as some other treatments. We suggest tank mixing Endorse or Affirm with another fungicide like a DMI (Banner MAXX, Tourney, Triton or Torque) to get good knock down and added residual.

One curative application made on 26 Apr

In our California trials, we’ve seen it been pretty good against anthracnose and although other materials seemed to be better, Endorse and Affirm could certainly be added into the summer rotation.

Six applications total from Jun to Aug, 2005 data

Other diseases on the labels include pink and gray snow molds (it seems like they are best tank mixed with another fungicide for the best control, but ask Jim about that one), red thread, leaf spots, gray leaf spot, and fairy ring.

Endorse looked pretty good vs. fairy ring in trials conducted by myself and Mike Fidanza

However, I can’t say that I’d recommend polyoxin D by itself for gray leaf spot, I just haven’t seen enough data to say it’s a good choice for this disease when other fungicides are available.

OK – that’s enough geeking out for tonight – until next week, signing off from the Right Coast….

Instrata (Chlorothalonil + Propiconazole + Fludioxonil)

Instrata is another fungicide that combines different active ingredients into a single product. Instrata has chlorothalonil (Daconil and many others), propiconazole (Banner MAXX and others) and fludioxonil (Medallion). Instrata quickly became the gold standard for snow mold control in northern climates like the Upper Midwest. Interestedly the formulation of this product combined suspended particles with a microemulsion that Syngenta calls a suspomicroemulsion. I really don't know what that means for golf course superintendents, but you have to admit it sounds cool! All kidding aside, we typically suggest that active ingredients should be mixed in order to achieve acceptable snow mold control. With Instrata you have three active ingredients that when combined do provided excellent snow mold control. Chlorothalonil is a contact fungicide that has activity on all three snow mold pathogens (Microdochium nivale, Typhula incarnata and Typhula ishikariensis), but is strongest on M. nivale and T. incarnata. Propiconazole is a DMI fungicide, which are known to have excellent activity on T. ishikariensis and fludioxonil seems to have activity on all three snow mold pathogens too.

For those who manage golf courses in areas that receive intense snow cover will likely experience all three snow mold pathogens at one time or another. I think the reason Instrata is a successful fungicide for snow mold control is golf course superintendents don't have to worry about predicting the weather because all the product works on all three snow mold pathogens. With respect to efficacy of Instrata, I have posted a few figures highlighting how well this product works. We do see breakthrough at our site in the UP, which has intense snow mold pressure. Yet, for the last two years we observed that 70 % of the products break down under that pressure. Even under that pressure, a single application of Instrata keeps disease severity levels between 15 and 40 %. Anyone that experiences such snow mold pressure should make two applications for snow mold and we observed that two applications of Instrata at 5.5 oz worked better than a single late application of Instrata at 11 oz at our UP site. For most golf course superintendents however, the 9.3 oz rate will work beautifully! A word of caution about the product, do not skimp on the rate in areas of high snow mold pressure. We have observed that reducing the rate to 5.5 oz in some environments may result in significant failure.

In summary, Instrata is an excellent combination fungicide for controlling snow mold diseases. It also has activity on other diseases too, which is obvious based on the active ingredients in the product. Instrata is an excellent choice for putting greens and tees and if the budget allows high value approaches and maybe even fairways. If you are interested in this product and have not used it before check out the label and Syngenta's website for more information.

New Granular Fungicides for Turf

Historically, fungicides on granular formulations have never been used frequently on turf. With the exception of late fall snow mold applications and damping off applications to the seedbed, there weren't many situations in which granular fungicides were recommended.

Two things were limiting the usefulness of granular fungicides: a limited selection of products and low-tech carriers that weren't very effective for foliar disease control. As a result, my standard recommendation has always been that if you want good disease control,  you should spray instead of spread. As an example, look at the tall fescue plots to the left that were both treated with triadimefon at the same rate of active ingredient per acre. Triadimefon is not a very effective brown patch fungicide to begin with, but the sprayable formulation (Bayleton) is much more effective that the granular formulation (Fungicide VII).

Things changed quickly, though, and today many more products are available on granular carriers, including recent products like Armada, Disarm, Heritage, and Headway. Several others are currently being tested as experimentals. Furthermore, these new products take advantage of modern granular formulation technology that makes them more effective against foliar diseases by increasing foliar absorption of the active ingredient.

We've evaluated a number of these new granular formulations, mostly against brown patch in tall fescue in a lawn care scenario. I will include a couple of examples here. I would summarize by saying this: these new granulars are more similar to their sprayable counterparts for brown patch control, but generally their efficacy is a erratic and they require more frequent applications. I still think that if you have the capability to spray, it's still better to spray. But these products provide more options to turf managers in situations where spray applications are not possible or practical.

Another possible advantage of a granular formulation is for control of root diseases like summer patch, spring dead spot, fairy ring, take-all patch, etc. To control these diseases most effectively, you obviously want the active ingredient to be in the root zone. With a granular, you can make the application and then water in later at your convenience, rather than having to worry about running the heads right behind the sprayer before it dries on the foliage. While we haven't tested these newer products against root diseases, we always used to see very effective spring dead spot control from granular formulations of Rubigan.

I'd like to hear some comments from our readers on this topic: What are the advantages and disadvantages of these granular formulations in your experience? If you are using these products, how and for what are you using them?

Interface (Iprodione + Trifloxystrobin)

Interface® is a relatively new Pre-Mix fungicide from Bayer Environmental Science and contains the two active ingredients iprodione (found in Chipco 26GT and others) and trifloxystrobin (Compass). While some of us have worked with the individual products for many years, it is only recently that I (and probably many others) have worked with the Pre-Mix version. Below you will find data from a recent fungicide trial with Interface®, a statement from Bayer on the strengths of the product and my concluding thoughts.

2010 Dollar Spot Trial and Turfgrass Quality:
Dollar spot. Active dollar spot symptoms began to appear shortly after treatments were initiated on 24 May.  Disease activity began to increase rapidly in June and when plots were rated on 14 Jun, and average of 34 to 39 infection centers (IC) were present within the untreated control plots (data not shown).  Dollar spot was suppressed on most rating dates during periods in which treatments were applied and generally were very low (0-2 IC) within 7 days following application and low to moderate (1-14 IC or 0.1-2.9%) 2 to 3 weeks after the last application.  On 13 Aug (17 days after the last application), dollar spot was completely suppressed in plots treated with Interface at rates ≥ 4.0 fl oz. Moderate suppression (2.0% disease) was observed within plots treated with Interface (3.0 fl oz) and Iprodione Pro. Although disease pressure started to increase approximately 3 weeks after the last application, significant reductions in dollar spot were still observed within plots treated with the higher rates of Interface into early September.

Turfgrass color. Turfgrass color (which excluded the impact of disease within each plot) was rated on 27 Jul (2 weeks after the third application). All plots treated with Interface and Tartan had improved color when compared to the untreated plots and those treated with Iprodione Pro.

Overall, dollar spot suppression within this trial was good to excellent with products containing Iprodione.  A slight rate effect with Interface treatments was observed.  Moderate suppression of dollar spot was achieved within plots treated with Tartan.  This is likely due to a known reduced sensitivity to fungicides within the DMI chemistry at this site.  All treatments containing the green pigment StressGard improved turfgrass color and quality throughout the study.

What Bayer had to say:
Interface® is the non-DMI of choice 
  • Consistent Disease Control
  • Turf Safety
  • Turf Quality
  • Disease Control
    • Best Leaf Spot Product
    • Great Dollar Spot and Brown Patch Performance
    • Great rotation product for Anthracnose Programs (including Basal)
    • Top Snow Mold control for < 150 days snow cover with earlier green up in the spring
Concluding thoughts:
Interface® is a strong fungicide for certain foliar diseases found during the summer months, specifically brown patch and dollar spot. Although we have not conducted studies specifically for brown patch, all strobilurins (including Compass) generally provide excellent suppression of this disease. Coupled with iprodione, Interface® is able to target both foliar diseases. This may be particularly useful in situations where insensitivity to the DMI fungicides for dollar spot is present as is the case at our research facility at Penn State. Although thought of as a "great rotation product for anthracnose programs", the use of Interface for the suppression of this disease may be limited. In our previous trials, suppression of anthracnose with iprodione has been moderate to poor and resistance issues with the strobilurin fungicides against anthracnose may all but negate its usefulness for this disease. Where resistance is NOT a problem, the strobilurins work very well.  Unfortunately, where these products have been used extensively for anthracnose suppression they are likely not useful anymore.

An added strength of Interface® is the addition of the StressGard technology. While I still don't know exactly how and why this provides improved plant health, the benefits of this additive are consistently observed in the improved turfgrass quality and color following application. 

Overall, I think that the combination product will be useful for controlling common turfgrass diseases during the summer months and will be effective in a rotational program. In situations where its use is effective against anthracnose and/or other diseases where known resistance may occur, it will be important to rotate fungicides from other chemical classes. Although this is not specifically related just to Interface, the Pre-Mix packaging of fungicides is becoming more common. A primary concern of mine with this is the potential overuse of certain fungicides where resistance is known to develop relatively rapidly (namely the strobilurins). Golf course superintendents should pay close attention to the active ingredients within the various Pre-Mix products and make efforts to truly rotate chemistry when developing their seasonal fungicide programs.

Download the pdf Fungicide Label.

Theme Week: "New" Fungicide Reviews

As a way to increase our postings during the winter months and keep providing relevant information to golf course superintendents, the Turf Disease Blog has decided to do a series of "Theme" weeks in which each blogger tackles a topic within the theme.  Thanks to Dr. Tredway for coming up with the idea.

Our first theme is going to focus on reviews of individual fungicides that are relatively new to the market. Each blogger has simply been told what fungicide to review and what day to post. Other than that, there are no restrictions or guidelines as to the material presented.  I suspect that you will see a little data and some decent summaries of the strengths, weaknesses and potential issues with each fungicide.

"New" Fungicide Reviews*

Monday 11/15: Interface
Wednesday 11/17: Instrata
Thursday 11/18: Endorse/Affirm
Friday 11/19: Reserve
Monday 11/22: Concert
Tuesday 11/23: Civitas
Wednesday 11/24: Honor
Thursday: 11/25: Renown (posted 11/28)
Friday 11/26: Trinity/Triton
*Reviews of individual fungicides by authors of this blog do not endorse, promote, or in any way recommend the use of specific products. Reviews are based on public information, personal experience or company input. If you have questions or comments about the individual reviews, we encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments section of the individual blog post. Your question or comment may be something that provides valuable information to others reading the blog. Authors will do their best to respond to questions/comments in a timely fashion!

If you are interested in learning more about some of the fungicides that are now available, check back over the next two weeks.  Yes, I said TWO WEEKS...the idea was so good and there were so many fungicides that we decided to have everyone tackle two products and post through the week of Thanksgiving...sorry Megan!

Your Input Requested!
Do you have an idea for an upcoming "Theme Week"? If so, then leave us a comment below OR on the Facebook page. We can't promise we will get to them all, but we will do our best to address your concerns during the winter months while disease pressure is low!

Results from one of our summer trials

I'm home sick today. Yesterday I woke up with a pounding headache and major fatigue, as in, sometimes it seemed like too much work just to roll over. I'm not sure what is the causal agent, or is it environmental stress? I don't think it's bacterial wilt. Either way, I feel like crap. Yesterday I stayed home and out-napped the cat, who is a champion napper, and accomplished very little.

After another nap-off this morning (I defeated the cat once again), I was feeling good enough to sit at the computer, but not good enough to haul my sorry butt to campus. So, I'm doing what bloggers all over the world do... sitting at my laptop in my jammies and slippers, with my hair still in bed-head mode. At least I'm not in my parents' basement.


I thought I’d share some results from one of our summer trials in creeping bentgrass. The study was conducted in a stand of A4 on a sand-based green. There were four “program” treatments that rotated through different products. Those details can be viewed at a higher zoom by clicking on the boxes below, and hit the back button to return to the main article:




Now, here’s a list that shows all the treatments. The right-hand column shows the turfgrass quality as averaged across the whole season. Turf quality was based on color, density, uniformity, etc, but did NOT include disease (since disease is noted separately). 9 = optimum quality, 6 = minimum acceptable.

As noted in the table, programs 3 and 4 had some slight negative quality effects, presumably due to some growth regulating effects of the DMI fungicides that were applied in late June. The effects were subtle, and they don’t come across very well in a photo:

… but, there really was a slight off-color to those plots on one or two dates.
When it comes to dollar spot control, except for some trace amounts early on, the treatments all pretty much knocked disease down to zero compared to a peak of about 10% in the untreated plots. (click to zoom)

Hey, I just heard the garage door... I think my sweetie has come home for lunch. I bet he'll make some soup for me!


Pythium, Crop Science Recaps and Dr. Bob Endo

It's been a rough few weeks....
Well folks, it's been a rough few weeks for a number of us, especially if you're a Democratic, Pot Smoking, Texas Rangers fan. Superintendents in the West are still having a good amount of diseases. Anthracnose has been diagnosed from Poa greens from several locations ranging from southern California to Washington State and a freak rash of Pythium, large patch and even pink snow mold broke out on warm season turf in California about 2-3 weeks ago.

Here's a shot of bermudagrass from southern California that was hit with Pythium graminicola around October 25.

Above normal temperatures in the 90s in the second week of October followed by a solid week of cool, wet weather likely triggered the freak appearance of the disease on warm season turf in southern California. Although Pythium is normally thought of as a hot weather disease, anytime you have lots of moisture and weakened plants, there's a window of opportunity for Pythium to break out.

I've been getting several calls from superintendents in the Pacific Northwest asking about Pythium this week. The winter of 2009-2010 is likely one that a lot of guys from that area would want to forget. Although we did diagnose Pythium root rot from several courses there last winter, a hot summer followed by early freezes in December was also to blame for some of the widespread damage that was seen on greens.

My best advice or PNW guys going into the winter this year is to try to improve surface and soil drainage as much as possible and apply a preventive systemic Pythium fungicide prior to wet weather. The Pythiums we diagnosed last year tended to be considered 'weak' pathogens like P. torulosum so hopefully a little prevention will go a long way this winter in avoiding any turf loss due to these pathogens. Just in case any body was wondering, we did not pick up any P. volutum (Pythium root dysfunction) from the PNW last year associated with the winterkill on Poa greens. However we have found it one time in eastern Washington on creeping bentgrass, but it does not appear to be common in the West at this time.

Q: What do you call 50 turf nerds on a bus in southern California? A: The Crop Science Turf Tour.
As some of my colleagues mentioned this week, a number of us were at the Crop Science Society Meetings in Long Beach California from Oct 31 to Nov 3. About 50 turf scientists from all over the U.S. had the pleasure of visiting Riviera Country Club, Bel Air Country Club and Jackie Robinson stadium at UCLA last Oct 31st.

Co-organizer Larry Stowell put together this quick video recap you can see here:

Thanks again to Matt Morton at Riviera, Brian Sullivan, Nic Hoisington and Justin Carroll at Bel Air, Kevin Borg and Chris Romo at UCLA and Greg Fukumitsu and Dean Mosdell from Syngenta Professional Products for helping us put together a successful event for these turf science geeks!

Anthracnose Action from the Crop Science Society Meetings
Although I didn't have a chance to catch all of the plant disease talks at the Crop Science Society Meeting, here are a few highlights from some of the research presented there (I'll continue to highlight some of the presentations over the next few weeks as time allows):

Charles Schmid, James Hempfling and Joseph Roberts (Rutgers University)
In a series of three talks looking at cultural control impacts on anthracnose severity, these three students in the labs of Bruce Clarke and Jim Murphy, help shed some more light on factors that affected anthracnose severity.

Chas Schmid's research on nitrogen effects showed that both low and high nitrogen rates applied in the summer caused more anthracnose than moderate rates. An experimental putting green was treated with 0.1 to 0.5 lb N (ammonium nitrate) per 1,000 sq ft at 7-day intervals in June and mid-July to mid-August. The most anthracnose was found in plots treated-weekly with 0.1, 0.4 and 0.5 lb N while those treated with 0.2 and 0.3 lb N per 1,000 sq ft had the least amount of disease. Again, it goes to show that anthracnose is a disease of the 'sickly' --- greens that are too lean or too fat are more likely to get disease vs. ones that have 'adequate' nitrogen fertility.

James Hempfling examined the effects of spring and summer sand top-dressing on anthracnose development. Greens were topdressed with either 0, 3.9 or 7.9 cu ft of sand per 1,000 sq ft in the spring or 0, 0.25, 0.49, 0.98, or 1.97 cu ft of sand per 1,000 sq ft at 14-day intervals in the summer. Not surprisingly, the 7.9 cu ft rate in the spring was more effective than 3.9 or 0 cu ft rates in reducing disease and at least 0.98 cu ft of sand had to be applied in the summer to get a significant reduction in anthracnose. Bottom line: sand topdressing is your friend when it comes to reducing anthracnose severity.

Joe Roberts presented his research on the effects of greens rolling on anthracnose. He used both a vibratory roller and heavier sidewinder roller in his experiments. Rolling every other day reduced disease by 2 to 13%, and surprisingly, the effect of the sidewinder rollers was slightly better than the vibratory rollers. He also observed that areas that received higher equipment traffic also tended to have slightly less disease. The mechanism of this reduction is still under investigation, but it did show that rolling can be an effective cultural practice in helping to prevent anthracnose on putting greens.

Dr. Robert M. Endo (1925-2010)

Dr. Endo's research helped identify Ophiosphaerella korrae as one of the causal agents of Spring Dead Spot

Last week, I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Bob Endo. He was a University of California (Los Angeles and then Riverside) professor for 30 years who made significant contributions to the understanding of dollar spot, southern blight, and spring dead spot

Dr. Endo was also one of the Japanese-American volunteers who formed the 442nd Infantry Regiment in World War II. Despite facing questions of loyalty to the U.S. and being placed into internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, these men volunteered for duty and served in combat in Italy, France and Germany, gaining the distinction of the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the US Armed Forces.

Dr. Endo will be missed by all who knew him.

Until next week, signing off from the Right Coast....
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