We asked experts from several fungicide manufacturing companies: What’s the one key thing athletic field managers need to remember when making a fungicide application?

Rob Golembiewski
Green Solutions Specialist/Bayer

The one key thing to remember when making a fungicide application is to ensure that the fungicide is delivered when and where the fungi are attacking the plant. To accomplish this, the athletic field manager must understand when the disease is active (it may be prior to onset of symptoms) and whether the pathogen attacks the foliage, crown, or roots of the turfgrass plant. With this knowledge, a sports turf manager can select the proper application timing, spray nozzle and application volume to place the fungicide within the turf profile where it will have the greatest impact on disease control.

Jason Fausey
Director, Technical Services/Nufarm

Athletic field managers often become focused on managing a disease rather than asking, “Why does the field have this disease?” Disease identification, fungicide selection, proper use rate, application timing and coverage and other factors, ultimately determine the effectiveness of a fungicide application. However, the first question people should ask is, “Is there something I can do culturally to reduce the disease pressure, while maintaining the same level of turf quality?” Changes in mowing, irrigation, fertilization and aerification practices impact the results of every fungicide application, and when used in conjunction with fungicides, provide the most effective results.

Kyle Miller
Senior Technical Specialist/BASF

In order to get the most out of a fungicide application for an athletic field, it is very important to match up the diseases you are trying to eliminate with the proper fungicide — make sure the fungicide will control all of the potential diseases that could invade your turf. We also want to make sure that the fungicide we choose has long residual, so that it will be effective for a prolonged period of time. Minimizing the number of applications is very important from both a resource and cost standpoint.

Matt Cimino
Technical Services Advisor/Intelligro

The most important thing about spraying a fungicide for disease control is not allowing the disease to occur in the first place. Preventative applications of CIVITAS Turf Defense with StrengthIN trigger the plant’s defenses so that diseases are unable to gain the same foothold they otherwise would. The disease symptoms are then not expressed to the same extent when environmental conditions are favorable for disease development. If breakthrough occurs, symptoms are lessened and recovery time is reduced. Field managers can also be confident in using a product that is listed with the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), especially at the recreation level where optics are so important.

Mike Agnew
Technical Manager/ Syngenta

There is no one most important thing. There are several key factors to a successful fungicide application — from selecting the appropriate water volume and the right nozzle, to determining if you are targeting a soil-borne or foliar disease, to making sure your sprayer is properly calibrated — all of these are critical factors to making your application. Prior to application, we recommend conducting a jar test to ensure compatibility and incorporate Primo Maxx plant growth regulator with fungicides to maximize fungicide efficacy. Combining these steps will allow you to get the most out of your fungicide application.

Colleen M. Tocci
Marketing and Product Manager / Engage Agro USA

The most important thing an athletic field manager can do is to make sure that the fungicide application will be effective and sustainable when possible. Researchers nationwide test for product efficacy and many recommend a rotation of fungicides with different FRAC codes to manage resistance issues. Additionally, products with active ingredients that are deemed “safer” for the environment, yet effective, are a focus of chemical manufacturers. Along with conventional chemistries, athletic field managers have options with OMRI listed products or new methods of control and can use fungicides effectively.