Keep your turf disease-free this fall with a program approach

By Lisa Beirn, Ph.D., technical services manager for Syngenta

Fall brings diseases that can impact golf course management including dollar spot, leaf spot and rusts.  It’s also an ideal time to begin planning for a snow mold prevention program.

Dollar spot

  • Secure® Action™ and Posterity® brand fungicides are great options to help control dollar spot in the fall
    • Secure Action provides the protection of a multi-site contact fungicide
    • Posterity brands deliver long-lasting systemic dollar spot control
  • Warm days and cool nights that produce heavy dews are conducive for dollar spot development; however, the key to dollar spot control is to plan preventive fungicide applications prior to a disease outbreak
  • Posterity XT and Posterity Forte fungicides offer flexibility with three modes of action
    • Posterity XT provides control of diseases such as summer patch, anthracnose and take-all patch in addition to dollar spot.
    • Posterity Forte is designed for extended dollar spot control in addition to brown patch and leaf spot diseases.
  • The Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) considers multi-site fungicides to be valuable tools that manage resistance by delaying its development to many pathogens

Application Timing

Dollar spot can be controlled with properly scheduled fungicide applications starting after Labor Day. Properly timed fall applications will not only control fall out breaks, but can also delay disease the following spring.
Sign up for dollar spot alerts to be automatically notified when dollar spot is at risk in your area.
  • Secure Action applied at 0.5 fl. oz./1,000 ft.2 can control dollar spot for up to 21 days
  • Posterity Forte at 0.63 fl. oz./1,000 ft.2 can provide excellent control of dollar spot for up to 28 days
  • Tank mixes of Secure Action and Posterity brand fungicides provide excellent control of fall dollar spot into the following spring
    • Two applications in September and October have provided the greatest reductions in spring dollar spot
  • If take-all patch or other soil-borne diseases are targets in addition to dollar spot, Posterity XT at 1.5-3.0 fl. oz./1,000 ft.2 can provide broad-spectrum disease control throughout the fall
  • If extended dollar spot and leaf spots are of more interest, consider Posterity Forte at 0.42-0.63 fl. oz./1,000 ft.2
  • It is recommended to shorten spray intervals to ensure optimal disease control during weather conditions that are conducive for high disease pressure
Fall applications can reduce Spring Dollar Spot
Bruce Clarke, Rutgers University, 2017. Secure Action was reapplied on September 15. All other treatments were reapplied on September 22, 2017.

Bar chart showing how two fall applications can reduce spring dollar spot
Dr. Bruce Clarke, Rutgers University, 2020-2021. Secure Action was applied at 0.5 fl.oz./1,000 ft2. Posterity at 0.24 fl.oz./1,000 ft2, and Posterity XT at 2.25 fl.oz./1,000 ft2.

Fall clean-up of leaf spots and rusts

While dollar spot may be the most important fall disease, leaf spots and rust can also adversely impact turfgrass.

Leaf spots:
  • Occur in areas that experience more than 10 hours of foliar wetness a day for several consecutive days
  • Favors temperatures between 40-80 F
  • Favors high amounts of nitrogen and a low mowing height
  • Favor moist, low-light areas
  • Favor temperatures between 65-86 F, depending on the species
  • Severe rust infections occur on slow-growing turfgrass, particularly those with low nitrogen levels and/or plant water stress
Secure Action or Posterity XT, applied in early October, can provide excellent control of leaf spots and rust.

Snow Mold

Now that you’ve got your plan for a disease-free fall, it’s time to start prepping for your snow mold plan.

  • The two most common snow mold diseases are pink and gray snow mold
  • Gray snow mold requires snow cover to develop, while pink snow mold can develop in the absence of snow cover
  • In late fall, preventative fungicide applications can provide control of both snow mold diseases
  • Tuque™ exoGEM™ fungicide combines two active ingredients, SOLATENOL® technology and fludioxonil, for excellent protection from snow mold
  • On fairways, apply Tuque exoGEM at 2.87 fl. oz./1,000 ft.2 in late fall prior to snow cover. Tuque exoGEM can also be tank mixed with Daconil Weatherstik®, Banner Maxx® II or Secure Action for additional or extended control
  • Instrata® fungicide is recommended for greens and should be applied at 9.0-11.0 fl. oz./1,000 ft.2
Looking for more on snow mold control? Matt Giese, M.S., and I recently held a webinar with the GCSAA in which we discussed tips for snow mold identification, as well as management strategies for planning a snow mold prevention program. Catch up on this 60-minute webinar:

Dr. Paul Koch, University of Wisconsin, 2020-2021. Species present included Monographella nivalis, Typhula incarnata, and T. ishikariensis. Creeping bentgrass/Annual bluegrass fairway HOC. Applied on October 6, 2020 in 1.5 gal. water/1,000 ft.2. Trial rated March 18, 2021.

Ensure that your course opens early next spring by following the Snow Mold Guarantee from Syngenta. Get protection from pink and gray snow mold by following this expertly researched and developed protocol. Tuque exoGEM — the latest fungicide in the golf market from Syngenta — and Instrata fungicides, the key products used in the Snow Mold Guarantee, are available in a convenient pallet solution. Additionally, you can purchase a snow mold pallet, which includes two 2.5-gal. bottles of Instrata for 22% savings and automatically earn a yearlong rebate of 5%.

To find an agronomic program to help prevent these diseases and more in your region, please visit or contact your local Syngenta territory manager.

All photos and videos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.

Performance assessments are based upon results or analysis of public information, field observations and/or internal Syngenta evaluations. Trials reflect treatment rates commonly recommended in the marketplace.

© 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. Action™, Banner Maxx®, exoGEM™, GreenCast®, Daconil Weatherstik®, Instrata®, Posterity®, Tuque™ and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Secure® is a trademark of Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, LTD. All other trademarks are the property of their respective third-party owners.

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