What you need to know for your 2024 agronomic planning

By the Syngenta technical services team

Southeast | Midwest | Northeast | West Coast | Digital Tools

To make the planning process a little easier, the first step is to reserve a free agronomic program poster tailored to your region. Proper planning is essential for protecting your turf from the myriad of pests. It’s also important to take into account abiotic stresses like heat, drought, traffic and shade that turf is frequently subjected to. Between your daily demands and how quickly the next season approaches, it’s important to consider an agronomic plan. However, agronomic planning is becoming more complex with overlapping pest pressures, resistance management considerations, seasonal use limits on some active ingredients and tank-mix considerations.

Agronomic programs from Syngenta are specifically designed to help your turf Condition, Perform and Recover. These tailored programs can help turf become fit before the season, provide improved turf quality for players and recover from stress in your region. Based on years of field research, we've created agronomic programs by region based on grass type, days of application and pest pressure, while adhering to proper resistance management strategies and seasonal use limits. Ascernity®, Posterity® XT and Posterity Forte fungicides are three outstanding products within the Syngenta lineup that are featured in several trusted agronomic programs.

Turf pests don’t have calendars – their growth and development are determined by weather parameters like temperature, rainfall and humidity, which vary widely from year to year. It's important to remember that the following recommendations for regional agronomic plans should serve as guidelines and should be modified as the season progresses based on prevailing conditions. 

Southeast | Midwest | Northeast | West Coast | Digital Tools


Fungicides: Whether you're growing creeping bentgrass or ultradwarf bermudagrass greens, a broad-spectrum disease control program is needed to protect the turf from pathogen attack. While under the persistent summer heat stress, creeping bentgrass putting greens are most prone to diseases such as anthracnose, summer patch, Pythium root rot, fairy ring and brown patch. Alternatively, ultradwarf bermudagrass greens are most prone to diseases in the fall, winter and spring because of short day lengths and cooler temperatures. Bermudagrasses are not necessarily immune to disease during the summer; a preventive program to combat Rhizoctonia zeae and fairy ring is essential to summer maintenance of ultradwarf bermudagrass greens.

With the addition of Posterity XT, Posterity Forte and the expanded Briskway® fungicide label, Syngenta is able to offer two guarantees for the most important diseases of golf course putting greens in the transition zone and south. The Preventive Fairy Ring Guarantee covers not only fairy ring but also mini ring in bermudagrass greens or summer patch/take-all patch in bentgrass greens. The Spring Dead Spot + Take-All Root Rot Guarantee recommends a program including Briskway, Posterity Forte and Headway® fungicides to provide guaranteed control of these destructive diseases in bermudagrass putting greens.

Tank mixtures of Appear® II fungicide with Daconil® Action™ or Secure® Action fungicides are foundational components of a fungicide program for either bentgrass or bermudagrass putting greens. For creeping bentgrass, these applications are recommended from May through September to protect against anthracnose, brown patch, algae and Pythium root rot. On bermudagrass greens, these mixtures are applied in the fall, winter, and spring to protect from leaf spot, Pythium blight and many other pathogens and contribute to a more rapid and uniform spring greenup.

Although warm-season tees and fairways do not require a season-long fungicide program, they can benefit from targeted applications to control certain diseases. Ascernity is an excellent option for large patch control as recommended by the Large Patch Prevention Guarantee and is the only product labeled to provide up to 42 days of large patch protection. For spring dead spot control in bermudagrass, two applications of Posterity Forte (0.63-0.84 fl. oz./A) on a 28-day interval are recommended. Applications for large patch or spring dead spot control should be timed when soil temperatures are consistently below 70 F. Check out Soil Temperature Maps or sign up for Soil Temperature Alerts to receive an email alert when soil temperatures become favorable in your location.

Nematodes are widespread turf parasites in the Southeastern U.S., especially in sandy soils where sting and lance nematodes are predominately found. Just like fungal diseases, effective nematode management requires a season-long approach that incorporates multiple modes of action. Syngenta recommends incorporating Divanem® nematicide to provide season-long nematode control. Tank mixtures of Divanem with fungicides like Velista®, Briskway and Heritage® Action are also employed to control fungal diseases like take-all root rot, summer patch and Pythium root rot that often infect roots damaged by nematode feeding. Divanem and Heritage Action are available for purchase in a convenient Multipak.

Insecticides: Insecticide applications are critical to protect greens, tees and fairways in the Southeast, with Acelepryn® insecticide as the foundation. Applications of Acelepryn beginning in April or May, depending on geography, provide excellent control of white grubs and billbugs as well as long-term prevention of caterpillars such as black cutworm and fall armyworm. Where mole crickets are a problem, two applications of Provaunt® WDG insecticide two to four weeks apart, beginning after egg hatch, are recommended to provide season-long control through the Mole Cricket Guarantee. Lastly, the Advion® Fire Ant Bait Guarantee provides season-long control of these dangerous pests, which have become pervasive in the Southeast.

Herbicides: Weed pressures are a year-round concern in the Southeastern U.S., so a season-long herbicide program, including both pre- and post-emergent applications, is essential for success. Goosegrass is an increasing concern throughout the transition zone and south, and few options are available to keep it at bay. Pennant Magnum® herbicide is now labeled for pre-emergent control of goosegrass through a 2(ee) recommendation. With excellent safety on all warm-season turfgrasses, Pennant Magnum is a great partner with Barricade® brand herbicide to bolster control of goosegrass, sedges, and doveweed. For examples of how to incorporate Pennant Magnum into a season-long program refer to our fairway agronomic programs for the Southeast:

Few herbicides are available for post-emergent control of grass weeds in warm-season turfgrasses. Manuscript® herbicide can control crabgrasses, tropical signalgrass and more with outstanding safety to bermudagrass and zoysiagrass turf. Manuscript performs well in spring, summer or fall, and with its rapid activity against certain weeds and turf safety, it can help ensure rapid growth of the desirable turf species.

Syngenta also offers the following programs and guarantees to deliver effective weed control and resistance management:
  1. Poa annua Guarantee for Overseeded Fairways or Non-overseeded Fairways
  2. Most Wanted Weeds agronomic program


Fungicides: Turfgrass diseases vary in the Midwest based on location and turf species. Managers of cool-season turfgrass species on greens, tees and fairways should plan for preventive fungicide applications to control anthracnose, summer patch, Pythium, brown ring patch, take-all patch, dollar spot, brown patch and in northern regions, pink and gray snow mold. Fairy ring can affect all species throughout the region and can be an important disease to consider when creating disease control programs. Fungicide applications of Velista, Briskway, Secure Action and Posterity XT should be planned to focus on these key turf diseases.

Ascernity is a combination fungicide for use in greens, tees and fairway rotational programs. Its strength in cool-season turf is anthracnose, brown patch and leaf spot, but is also effective on dollar spot and gray leaf spot. In zoysiagrass, it's effective against large patch and is included in the Syngenta Large Patch Guarantee when applied in the fall and the spring for this destructive disease.

Posterity XT and Secure Action are valuable tools for combatting dollar spot and can be cornerstones of a fairway program for the Midwest. Posterity is the most active dollar spot fungicide available, providing 14-28 days of reliable disease control. Secure Action is an improved formulation of Secure fungicide, incorporating acibenzolar-S-methyl to offer extended dollar spot control and increased tolerance of heat and drought. Plus, Posterity XT and Posterity Forte offer disease control on fairways. Posterity XT is designed for programs looking for dollar spot control in addition to consistent brown patch and soil born patch diseases, while Posterity Forte is more suited for extended dollar spot control and occasional brown patch incidence. Both fungicides are best used in a program alternated with Secure Action and Daconil Action.

Although it still feels like summer, it will be snowing before you know it, so it’s time to start planning for snow mold prevention. The Snow Mold Guarantee from Syngenta includes Instrata® fungicide for greens and tees and Tuque™ exoGEM™ fungicide, the latest fungicide for golf from Syngenta, for fairways to protect your golf course through the winter and help ensure a uniform greenup in the spring.

Insecticides: In the Midwestern U.S., white grubs are the most important insect to control. Other pests like cutworm, and occasionally armyworm, are also found on greens and tees. Preventive applications of Acelepryn, granular or sprays are more effective than curative applications, so be vigilant about application timing as each insect is unique. In the upper Midwest, the European crane fly can be a devastating pest in fine turf. Consider fall applications of Acelepryn or Provaunt WDG for control of young larvae at their most susceptible life stage. Acelepryn Xtra is a new option for insect control that incorporates thiamethoxam, the active ingredient in Meridian® brand insecticides, with Acelepryn. This combination widens the window of application for white grubs, offers ant mound reduction, additional control for billbugs and chinch bug, and early curative control of white grubs. Consider adding Acelepryn Xtra into your agronomic program to take advantage of enhanced control.

Herbicides: Pre-emergent applications should be properly timed to control annual grass weeds in turf. Typically, pre-emergent herbicides, like Barricade brand herbicides, are applied in the early spring for summer annuals such as crabgrass and Poa annua. Most dicots and sedges can be controlled with post-emergent herbicides, like Tenacity® herbicide, applied while the weeds are actively growing. Pre-emergent applications for winter annuals, such as annual biotypes of Poa annua, are made in the later summer months. Post-emergent control of dallisgrass and certain other grassy weeds in bermudagrass and zoysiagrass turf can be achieved with Manuscript. Weeds in native or fine fescue areas can be targeted with Fusilade® II herbicide. Nuisance grass weeds like johnsongrass and foxtail can interfere with a pure stand of fine fescue, and Fusilade II is effective at selectively controlling these and other species.

Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs): Integrating PGRs into a season-long agronomic program can improve turf quality and enhance surface playability. Primo Maxx® and Trimmit® 2SC PGRs reduce vertical turf growth to slow down clipping production, and are useful for increased rooting and tensile strength, and improved tolerance to common turfgrass stresses like drought, shade and traffic. If Poa annua reduction is a desirable objective for creeping bentgrass putting greens, consider incorporating Trimmit 2SC into the program to gradually transition to higher creeping bentgrass populations. In certain situations, it may also be desirable to tank mix PGRs (for example, for cool-season fairway clipping reduction, mix Primo Maxx and Trimmit 2SC).  


Fungicides: Fungicide applications should be planned to focus on key turf diseases in the Northeast based on location and turf species. Preventive fungicide applications to control anthracnose, summer patch, Pythium, brown ring patch, take-all patch, brown patch and dollar spot should be planned for greens and fairways in the Northeast. Managers of ryegrass fairways should also be prepared for gray leaf spot. Tank mixing and rotating fungicides are key to successful agronomic fungicide programs.

Agronomic programs from Syngenta provide guidance for selecting fungicides to achieve optimal disease control. Secure Action, Daconil Action and Medallion® SC fungicides provide contact activity, while Posterity brand fungicides, Ascernity, Velista, Briskway, Heritage® Action and Headway fungicides are excellent choices for systemic fungicides. On creeping Poa annua greens, Appear II is an excellent tank-mix partner for fungicides targeting foliar diseases.

Posterity and Secure Action are two important tools to help combat dollar spot in the Northeast. As the most active dollar spot fungicide available, Posterity provides 14-28 days of reliable disease control. Secure Action incorporates acibenzolar-S-methyl for extended dollar spot control, and increased tolerance of abiotic stresses like heat and drought. Visit the Dollar Spot Solutions page to learn more.

Effective snow mold prevention requires advanced planning. The Snow Mold Guarantee from Syngenta includes proven snow mold solutions based on years of field research. Instrata is recommended for greens and tees and provides up to 130 days of snow mold protection. Tuque exoGEM is recommended for fairways and higher heights of cut, providing up to 130 days of protection.

Insecticides: In the Northeast, the annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) continues to be a major pest. Season-long control can be achieved with properly timed insecticide applications that target different stages of insect development. Scouting remains an important tool to monitor ABW activity. The optimum control strategy includes Acelepryn, Ference®, Provaunt WDG and Scimitar® insecticides. Register at WeevilTrak.com for additional information.

Cutworms and white grubs are also insects of concern. A preventative application of Acelepryn in the spring can provide the foundation for control of these insects.

Herbicides: With weed populations varying across the East, herbicides that are applied while weeds are actively growing can provide post-emergent control. Pre-emergent applications should be properly timed based on geographic location to control annual grass weeds in turf. A pre-emergent herbicide, such as Barricade, is effective for controlling summer annuals like crabgrass and goosegrass and is typically applied in the early spring. Herbicide applications for winter annuals (such as biotypes of Poa annua) are made in the late summer. Tenacity can be applied in the fall for control of winter annuals and weeds in newly established turf. For native fescue areas, use Fusilade II to control unwanted grasses like crabgrass.

West Coast

Fungicides: Diseases vary in Western U.S. states based on location and turf species. Managers of Poa annua greens need to plan preventive fungicide applications to control anthracnose, summer patch, Pythium, brown ring patch, pink snow mold and rapid blight.

The new label for Briskway in California will allow superintendents to increase application rates and provide superior control of summer patch and other patch diseases.

Bentgrass greens are susceptible to Rhizoctonia spp., Pythium, take-all patch and snow molds. Warm-season grasses such as bermudagrass and seashore paspalum are susceptible to Rhizoctonia spp., dollar spot, bermudagrass decline and spring dead spot in California. With changes in our weather patterns, diseases have expanded beyond historical geographies. Gray leaf spot of ryegrass and kikuyugrass and summer patch on Poa annua and fine fescue turf are moving north into Northern California, Oregon and Washington. Fungicide applications should be planned to focus on these key turf diseases.

Daconil Action and Secure Action are contact fungicides that are the base applications of a greens disease control program. Heritage and combinations like Briskway are key additions to a fungicide program for summer patch control and other patch diseases. Ascernity has been a staple for many poa annua greens programs in California and the Pacific northwest for anthracnose control and newly labeled suppression of rapid blight. 
Ascernity is an outstanding fungicide on gray leaf spot, while Posterity Forte is suited for spring dead spot control in the West. In all winter overseeding programs, preventive applications of Heritage G and/or Subdue Maxx® fungicides are needed at seeding, including a follow-up application 14 days later, to ensure damping-off diseases don’t reduce turf establishment.

Insecticides: Billbug and black turfgrass ataenius issues have been more prevalent in recent years in the Western states of the U.S. Preventive applications of Acelepryn as broadcast or targeted sprays are more effective on these pests than curative applications. Masked chafer grubs are found periodically on the West Coast, so mapping areas with grub or animal damage will help target the control measures as damage grows. Watch out for the invasive European chafer that has moved into Washington as far south as Tacoma after first being discovered in Vancouver, British Columbia over 10 years ago. Having a preventive plan in place will help control these insects in areas of high grub damage. Other common greens and tee pests are sod webworm and cutworm, all of which should be considered while planning product usage. A product with a long residual like Acelepryn protects turf from most of these insect pests. In the Pacific Northwest and south to the Bay Area, both common and European crane flies can cause turf damage. Pest outbreaks can be treated curatively with Provaunt WDG, but preventive insecticide applications will reduce the collateral turf damage from birds and volume of dead larvae. A new pest on turf in the deserts of Nevada and Utah is the flea beetle. Population buildup over the summer to a point of turf damage evident in late July and August on bermudagrass and overseeded ryegrass. Scimitar GC will control the adults, but Meridian 25WG insecticide is key for larvae control and long- term success.

Herbicides: Weed populations vary widely across the West. Pre-emergent applications should be properly timed to effectively control annual grass weeds in turf. Pre-emergent herbicides such as Barricade 4FL and Barricade 65WG are very effective on summer and winter annuals, such as crabgrass, goosegrass and Poa annua, and should be applied prior to weed germination. In warm-season grasses, Pennant Magnum can be added to Barricade to bolster goosegrass control. Post-emergent control of crabgrasses, dallisgrass and certain other grassy weeds in bermudagrass and zoysiagrass turf can be achieved with Manuscript (not registered in California). Typically, pre-emergent applications for winter annuals, such as annual biotypes of Poa annua, are made in late summer. Princep® Liquid herbicide is an option in late summer/early fall and offers both pre- and early post-emergent control of Poa annua in warm-season grasses. Most dicots and sedges can be controlled post-emergece, with herbicides applied while the weeds are actively growing. Monument® 75WG herbicide is the standard herbicide for control of sedges and kyllingas plus several dicot weeds in bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. In any new seeding, apply Tenacity just prior to seeding to prevent weed competition, which results in faster establishment.

PGRs: Primo Maxx is widely used on all grass species, from Poa annua and ryegrass to bermudagrass and kikuyugrass, to reduce vertical growth and clipping production, as well as to improve quality, stress conditioning and playability. Primo Maxx also helps reduce water loss, which is a key benefit as the cost of water increases. For winter overseeding, Primo Maxx can reduce competition from bermudagrass to enhance overseeding establishment.

Trimmit 2SC has more specialized uses, such as Poa annua control on bentgrass greens and overseeded ryegrass fairways. It can also be combined with Primo Maxx for enhanced growth regulation of bentgrass, kikuyugrass and ryegrass fairways. 

Digital Tools

Syngenta also offers tools on GreenCastOnline.com to help you monitor pest activity and adjust your programs accordingly for the best results:

  • Pest Outlook Maps provide risk levels at-a-glance for important diseases and weeds like dollar spot, crabgrass and Poa annua
  • Soil Temperature Maps provide current and historical soil temperatures, plus the ability to sign up for email alerts when important pests become active in your area
  • WeevilTrak℠ is a valuable resource for selecting the best product and timing for ABW management, based on monitoring by local researchers
  • Growing Degree Days are tabulated for your location, with the option to receive email alerts to assist with herbicide, insecticide or PGR applications
  • Cooling Degree Days can help you better time your fall herbicide applications for dallisgrass control, with the option to sign up for email and/or text alerts when target cooling degree day thresholds are met in your area
For more information about Syngenta agronomic programs, receive a free agronomic program poster tailored for your region or visit ConditionPerformRecover.com

© 2023 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Divanem and Scimitar GC are Restricted Use Pesticides. Syngenta supports a FIFRA Section 2(ee) recommendation for Pennant Magnum on goosegrass. Please see the Section 2(ee) recommendation to confirm that the recommendation is applicable in your state. The Section 2(ee) recommendation for Pennant Magnum should be in possession of the user at the time of application. Syngenta supports a FIFRA Section 2(ee) recommendation for Manuscript on tall fescue. Please see the Section 2(ee) recommendation to confirm that the recommendation is applicable in your state. The Section 2(ee) recommendation for Manuscript on tall fescue should be in possession of the user at the time of application. Syngenta supports a FIFRA Section 2(ee) recommendation for tank mixing Recognition and Fusilade II to remove bermudagrass from zoysiagrass and St. Augustinegrass. Please see the Section 2(ee) recommendation to confirm that the recommendation is applicable in your state. The Section 2(ee) recommendation for tank mixtures with Recognition should be in the possession of the user at the time of application. The trademarks or service marks displayed or otherwise used herein are the property of a Syngenta Group Company. Secure® is a trademark of Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha. All other trademarks are the property of their respective third-party owners.

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