What fungicide to use running up to Christmas
Lots of questions on the build up to Christmas, as we left the safely of that cold spell.
December seemed to be warming up so what fungicide should I use in order to enjoy my Christmas break?
It depends if you have active disease or just don’t want to risk any disease as your made it this far without problems:
Fungicides don’t work!
I’ve heard this a fair few times this year, and December is no different.
There are many factors here, site, turf species, application and micro climates.
High periods of disease pressure will expose all but the most robust ITM program.
Generally some common themes where people are having issues:
- Running a nutrition program that is far to lean
- Waiting too late to start their fungicide program (preventative is king)
- Unrealistic expectations of how long fungicides will last
- Choosing the wrong technology at the wrong time (medallion is not going to perform as well in mild conditions on active disease – wait until it’s cold and growth has slowed right down)
This list isn’t exhaustive and generally we can find ways of improving people’s programs quite simply but it does take some thought and planning.
Fungicides are incredibly effective tools but remember if applied at the right time they’ll give you between 85% and 100% control. But to understand what that means you have to imagine what your turf would look like with NO fungicides, a good program will reduce that by 85% – 100%.
Adopting untreated control plots gives you a chance to see how much control you’re actually getting.
A fungicide can’t and won’t do all the heavy lifting by itself, if you have no other management strategies in place and you’re relying on a Fungicide to get you out of trouble, you’ll get away with it during periods of medium pressure but once the pressure ramps up, it’s highly likely you’ll perceive the levels of control you’re getting as a failure.
Read my other blog on Microdochium here – Microdochium mitigation
I need to aerate – can I?
We spoke a lot about reducing aeration after applications of Acelepryn last year.
What we should be doing now is monitoring to see how successful we’ve been.
Using small 1m2 sheets we should be looking to see just how effective we’ve been. This information will help to guide our strategy from this point forward. That strategy is different for everyone and will depend on the challenges each course has so ask yourself:
- What is the bigger challenge – drainage or Leatherjackets?
- Can I switch to slit tines or chisel tines?
- And how will you know how to prioritise without monitoring?
It may be that compaction, poor drainage or organic matter build up are a bigger issue that leatherjacket damage, in which case you should prioritise aeration over Acelepryn performance.
As how the weather unfolds has such a big impact on the agronomics of turf, know that time spent gazing at the forecast is not time wasted!
Take a deeper look at the Weather Pro tool blog I did earlier this month.
As we move into January fingers crossed for temperatures dropping which should take some of the disease pressure off – worth having a listen to Glenn and Henry talking about the challenges January can bring…