Effective Fungicide Use Plus Additional Effective Strategies for Your Golf Course
The United Nations declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health. Had they waited a little longer, I’m sure they would have declared 2020 the year of… Nevertheless, we are in the year of plant health, and that means using fungicides effectively.
Fungicide use ties in with all other facets of your operation. While developing a plan, it is good to know what you are working with, so I would suggest starting with a soil test. Nutrient deficient plants are the first to have problems. We offer an economical and comprehensive test that can diagnose nutrient deficiencies, identify what is available to the plant, and gives you an opportunity to fix problems before they happen. Ask your ATS rep about Soil Solver testing.
Now that we have met our nutritional obligations, only the weather can stop us now! Mother Nature will eventually provide the environment for pathogens to bloom on your turf. Effective fungicide programs follow these simple guidelines:
First, utilize a preventative program targeting seasonal diseases on areas you know will get infected. A solid preventative program has proven to save money through the duration of a season. Stretching the window of coverage during prime disease conditions can wipe out all the hard work from previous months- don’t let that happen! Preventative applications put you in control to manage other issues that need your attention.
Second, your program should rotate products utilizing different FRAC codes. Using a DMI every application can lead to disease resistance, thus rendering DMI’s useless in your program. It has happened. Alternating between products and modes of action (contact/systemic) is essential. Inconvenient at times, but essential.
Third, utilize tank additives. Drift control and sticker/spreaders get more active ingredients on the plant, reducing the chance of misapplication. If you are riding on the low rate of a fungicide, a little drift can put you under the target and increase the chance of a problem you don’t have time to tackle.
Adjusting the pH is another helpful tool, especially with herbicides. Is your source water pH preventing effective chemistry in your tank? The addition of some Foliar-Pak products not only helps with nutrition but can buffer pH too!
We all know we must read and follow label directions. We know our climate, expectations, and budgets get harder to manage. We especially know now that unexpected and unprecedented times can throw our best-laid plans in the dumpster. That’s ok; we’re here to help- give your ATS rep a call!