The Art of Application
The Art of Application is a new initiative from Syngenta to help golf course professionals get the most from their spray applications and have a better quality of playing surface for golfers in the RSA.
For more product to reach the soil, using the large orifice white 08 XC Nozzle produces larger droplets, which are poorly retained on the leaf surface. Using a water volume of 600 to 800 l/ha effectively floods product off the leaf and down to the soil (below, demonstrated by water sensitive paper). Furthermore, if the target zone is deeper, some irrigation, or rainfall, as soon as possible after application minimises the amount of product that sticks on the leaf.
Syngenta trials have shown that there is limited benefit in aeration or sarel roll before application – depending on where the target zone for the fairy ring is active. It could result in product moving down through the soil too quickly and too deeply to target the pathogen.
However, research would indicate that application in conjunction with a wetting agent could help to get product into deeper target zones and, in the case of penetrant/polymer combination of Qualibra, hold the treatment where it is wanted.
That is particularly important where dry patch is associated with Type I fairy ring, since the hydrophobic conditions it creates could physically repel the spray treatment and have less effect.
Managing the hydrophobic conditions created by fairy ring development is essential to protect the existing turf health and maximizing the putting surfaces during this period. With all soil management for dry patch, it is far more effective to prevent the issue arising, compared to trying to correct hydrophobicity after it has occurred.
Soil moisture management and wetting agent programme can be hugely influential in reducing the incidence and impact of Type I fairy ring effects. If dry patch is an identified issue, soil moisture probes can be invaluable in mapping the extent of the patches and undertaking intensive remedial action.
Furthermore, any agronomic measures that can enhance turf rooting and heath, as well as alleviate turf stress, such as Primo Maxx, and nutrition, could help plants to better cope with the adverse soil conditions created by the fairy ring incidence.
For Type II fairy ring in particular nutrition and fertilizer can also be used to help mask the effects, particularly if aesthetic effects are the primary concern for turf quality. The use of Ryder pigment can provide an even turf color, where the visible fairy ring effects are suppressed.
In many instances the occurrence of fairy ring is sporadic or of varying severity year on year. Its presence can be an indicator of management being out of balance – made more difficult by the changing climatic situation. The agronomic programme can add resilience to the conditions, whilst the preventative fungicide programme will reduce the risk of the pathogen flaring up.