Featured Article | GreenCast | Syngenta

Start early to control fairy ring

​​​​​​​By Lane Tredway, technical services manager for Syngenta

Fairy ring is a chronic problem on golf course putting greens across the United States. Both warm- and cool-season grasses are susceptible to fairy ring, and the disease is most damaging in the sandy soils that are preferred for putting greens. By creating optimal playing conditions for the golfer, we also create optimal growing conditions for fairy ring pathogens.

The traditional approach to fairy ring control is to wait for symptoms to appear, and then make a curative fungicide application tank-mixed with a soil surfactant. The problem is that most research trials show curative fungicides to be ineffective on fairy ring. By the time symptoms appear, the pathogen has changed the chemical or physical properties of the soil — so to cure fairy ring symptoms, the soil conditions have to be brought back to normal with cultivation, soil surfactants and irrigation.

Photo credit: Dr. Lane Tredway, Syngenta. Photo taken: June 19, 2013

Just like any other disease, fairy ring is best managed with a preventive program. The key time to start a preventive program is in the spring when soil temperatures reach 55° F, which is when fairy ring pathogens begin to grow through the thatch and soil. No single application will provide season-long control of fairy ring, so repeat applications are necessary to maintain suppression through the season.

Spring is a busy time with lots to do on the golf course, so it can be easy to miss early spring applications. To ensure you don’t miss this optimal timing, Syngenta now offers automated soil temperature-based alerts for fairy ring and other key diseases when soil temperatures become favorable in your location.

The Syngenta fungicide portfolio includes several products that provide excellent fairy ring prevention when used as part of a program approach. With broad-spectrum options at our disposal, including Headway®, Briskway®, Heritage® Action™ or Heritage TL fungicides, it is now possible to manage fairy ring and other key root diseases as part of the same program, eliminating the need for dedicated fairy ring applications. Syngenta agronomic programs are specifically designed to prevent the most prevalent diseases, including fairy ring, in the most effective and efficient manner based on turf species and climatic conditions.

Two of the newest options for fairy ring prevention are Velista® and Posterity® fungicides. These succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHI) fungicides have unique properties and control spectrums that are useful as part of a program approach:

  • Velista offers broad-spectrum activity against anthracnose, summer patch, dollar spot, fairy ring, Rhizoctonia spp. and many others. Applications of 0.5 oz./1,000 ft.2 on a 28-day interval or 0.3 oz./1,000 ft.2 on a 14-day interval have provided excellent fairy ring prevention.
  • In addition to fairy ring, Posterity is a powerful option for control of two of the most important turf diseases: dollar spot and spring dead spot. Applications of 0.16 fl. oz./1,000 ft.2 to 0.32 fl. oz./1,000 ft.2 on a 28-day interval have been effective additions to fairy ring prevention programs.

Regardless of the product selected, applications targeting fairy ring should be watered-in immediately after application with 0.1” to 0.25” of irrigation, depending on the depth of fairy ring infestation. Tank-mixing with a soil surfactant can be beneficial in locations with a history of severe fairy ring, but is not always necessary for preventive applications.

To learn more about how to protect your golf course from turf disease, contact your local Syngenta territory manager.

©2020 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. Action™, Briskway®, Headway®, Heritage®, Posterity®, Velista® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.

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