Greenkeepers are crucial to a golf course’s success, but inevitably a helping hand is sometimes required to maintain playability throughout the year to maintain stress free turf.
“We don’t know yet what conditions greenkeepers will have to deal with during 2020, in recent years they’ve had to manage both unseasonal dry and wet conditions, and at times it has been a challenge to keep on top of turf stress,” says Neil Pettican, Bayer head of sales. “Due to the unpredictable nature of the UK climate, we strongly recommend investing in a preventative and integrated approach to turf management to be in a position to handle whatever is thrown at turf throughout the year,” adds Neil.
He says when it comes to disease management implementing a preventative approach is key and can be achieved by incorporating cultural and biological practices alongside chemical solutions prior to the onset of disease.
“Healthy plants are better equipped to combat disease and mitigate stress. Modern fungicides and IPM programs need to do more than just work on the pathogen for disease control, as improving plant heath plays a crucial role,” he explains.
If greenkeepers aren’t invested in this approach, we’re recommending that 2020 should be the year that they change their focus.
“If you prevent diseases before they affect playability, it both reduces long-term costs and any negative effects on the golfers experience,” says Neil.
He recommends that if greenkeepers are looking at using preventative fungicides, they should look out for Stressgard® Formulation Technology as it is proven to improve plant physiological results. It enhances plant health allowing superior disease management and healthier turf, ensuring grass is in a stronger position to withstand further pressures.
“Disease pressure will inevitably be present during this year, so it’s best to get prepared well in advance,” says Neil.
He adds that for instance it’s been reported that 90% of golf courses suffer with Microdochium patch annually, so it will pay to be prepared early prior to infection, especially as the early stages of Microdochium patch can be very difficult to spot.
“Taking an early stance on preventative, rather than curative, applications will limit the severity of disease outbreaks later in the season, improving consistency of long-term playability and ultimately satisfaction for you and your golfers.”
Top pictured: healthy plants are better equipped to combat disease and mitigate stress