We asked a representative from pesticide manufacturing company Nufarm:
Many, including field managers, believe that climate change is real—whether it’s cyclical or caused by humans—and are concerned about its impact on turf maintenance, including turf disease and their fungicide programs. Should they be?
Here’s what Jill Calabro, Technical Services Manager at Nufarm, had to say:
“One thing that is known and widely accepted is that photosynthesis increases in plants, especially C3 plants, under conditions of enhanced CO2 levels. It then follows that, under the current climate trend of heightened carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, which are at their highest levels in over 650,000 years, cool-season turf will grow faster and bigger. So will weeds, especially nitrogenfixing weeds such as clover and black medic.
Fertilization is one strategy implemented to combat the impact of weeds but will also impact turf diseases. For example, heavy nitrogen applications encourage brown patch, pythium and leaf spots. Furthermore, the trend of increasing temperatures will lead to a shift in the diseases most commonly observed on a particular [field].”