Freezing weather triggers patch-attack warnings from experts

Recent freezing temperatures could usher in more Microdochium (Fusarium) patch attacks, experts are warning.

Last week’s plummeting temperature triggered warnings that when the current winter snow and sleet melts, the prolonged wet thatch would create near-perfect conditions for disease outbreak. Early treatment could prevent damage through such high-risk periods.

Syngenta technical manager Dr Simon Watson said Medallion TL had performed well in the firm’s new product development trials this season. Trials in 2012 had "confirmed the product can provide extremely powerful long-lasting protection going into the winter season".

"One trial, at Birchgrove Golf Club in Essex, showed almost complete control 11 weeks after a two-spray programme while over 25 per cent" of the untreated areas were affected by disease patches," he said.

"Another Essex trial, at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club, but applied slightly later in the season also showed complete control from the Medallion TL programme, compared to 13 per cent of the untreated area affected by Microdochium Patch six weeks after the end of the treatments."  

Dr Watson said: "Clearly these trials results reinforce the most effective approach is to be proactive with treatments ahead of disease infection. Early application takes advantage of the long-lasting effects of Medallion TL and the reduction of infective spores in the thatch."

This gave the best chance to maintain turf cover and high quality playing conditions right through the winter, he added. But with later applications where disease was already present, the Medallion TL programme still protected against disease getting worse.

The 2012 fungicide trials programme was undertaken by independent trials and turf agronomy specialists he said. Syngenta has launched five new products in five years.

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