John Noyce of Scotts discusses the revolutionary new plant growth regulator Primo MAXX, how it works and when to apply for best results.
Plant growth regulators have taken a massive step forward with the launch of Primo MAXX, a revolutionary new liquid product developed by Syngenta and brought to the market by Scotts.
Before its launch, Primo MAXX underwent an extensive and exhaustive registration period, including turf safety, efficacy, and registration procedures over a period of five years. In addition to trials at the Scotts Levington research station, trials were commissioned at the STRI under the guidance of Dr Ruth Mann, along with 25 end user trials across a wide range of parkland, heathland and USGA golf courses in the UK.
Areas under trial included fairways, tees, and greens maintained at various cutting heights and maintenance regimes in very diverse soil and climatic conditions. Following the successful conclusion of these trials, Primo MAXX was registered for the use and application on all turf areas from greens, tees and fairways through to driving ranges.
Primo MAXX forms a micro emulsion concentrate when mixed with water (the concentrate contains 13.5 per cent trinexepac ethyl). It works by reducing the growth hormone gibberellic acid at the final stages of the grass plant growth cycle and subsequently re-diverts the energy saved back into the grass plant root system. This reduces internodal leaf elongation (top growth) by approximately 50 per cent over a period of approximately four weeks when applied at label rates.
The redirected energy encourages the sward to develop a thicker and denser root system, which improves water and nutrient uptake and encourages lateral/side growth, helping to develop a closer, thicker, denser turf.
Water loss through evapo transpiration is also reduced because the grass plant produces more compact leaves with a smaller surface area, further improving drought stress tolerance and reducing the need to irrigate treated areas by up to 20 per cent. This is particularly important in areas such as the south and east of England, where threats of water restrictions are already being made.
Active ingredient uptake is mainly through the crown and leaf stomata, with vastly improved product uptake. The time span between cutting and spraying is as short as one hour. This is because the micro emulsion concentrate is very quickly absorbed into the grass plant. As an added bonus, Primo MAXX is also fully tank mixable with all Scotts liquid fertilizer, Seafeed and Greenmaster Blade carbohydrate products, for improved turf performance.
Application of the product should be made to a sward actively growing from approximately mid April onwards, providing the turf is neither drought stressed nor still dormant after the winter period. For fine and coarse managed, applications should be made on a 4-6 weekly cycle at rates of between 0.4-3.2 litres per hectare – depending on the turf surface. This can be done either alone or tank mixed with liquid fertilizer products and soil conditioners.
Application rates depend on grass species composition in a water volume of 300-600 litres of water per hectare, with a spraying unit delivering a medium spray pattern. The addition of an indicator dye such as Turfmark should also be added to the spray tank to ensure no areas are missed during spraying.
Selective herbicide applications can be applied one week before or after applications of Primo MAXX, subject to soil and weather conditions. Other benefits of using Primo MAXX include possible long-term reduction of earthworm activity by reducing the amount of organic matter (clippings) being returned to the soil – a very important consideration with the possible restriction of current earthworm chemical controls.
Restrictions on the use of Primo MAXX are as follows:
- Do not spray in drought conditions or during periods of grass dormancy
- Do not spray near to water courses
- Maximum application rate 16 litres per season equivalent to five applications at 3.2 litres per hectare.
Primo MAXX is available in five litre containers, boxed in outers of four, if required. The product is odourless, amber in colour for easy identification, and very safe to use on all turf areas. The product does not precipitate out when mixed with water and is highly stable in the spray tank.
Scotts Professional www.scottsprofessional.co.uk