Bayer Environmental Science introduces Armada 50 WDG (water-dispersible granule), a preventive and curative fungicide for disease control on turf and ornamentals

As noted in the Louisiana State University Ag Center’s ( online posting, Optimizing Pesticide Performance, “Factors that influence pesticide performance include water quality, coverage, agitation, mixing, watering practices, water temperature, rotation, application time, pesticide incompatibility, residual activity and surfactant use.”

When making any pesticide application, always read and follow label instructions precisely. All products listed may not currently be registered for sale or use in all states. Check with your state or local extension service for the latest registration information.

In March 2012, FMC Professional Solutions ( launched Talstar XTRA GC granular insecticide. It is labeled for use on most cool and warm-season grasses on golf courses, sod farms and lawns, and in landscaped areas and perimeters around residential, institutional, public, commercial and industrial buildings, parks, recreational areas, golf courses and athletic fields.

This gives sports field managers the option of using the newly introduced product or Talstar XTRA. Both products combine the proven residual provided by bifenthrin with the speed of a new active ingredient, zeta-cypermethrin. The zeta-cypermethrin moves across the cuticle of the insect quickly to disrupt its nervous system. The product provides the two to four month residual that sports field professionals have come to expect from Talstar. The dense sand granule allows the product to penetrate thatch to reach many surface-feeding pests, yet appear invisible due to its small size.

It is effective against most ants, (including fire ants), chinch bugs, fleas, ticks, mole crickets, crane flies and other turf pests. It is approved for broadcast or mound applications on athletic fields.

“When used as directed, Talstar XTRA eliminates fire ant colonies in four hours or less, often in as little as minutes,” said Adam Manwarren, FMC product manager for turf and ornamental products. “This means dangerous fire ants can be eliminated from athletic fields quickly. You can treat in the morning and play ball that afternoon.”

Craig Dennie is IPM coordinator/pest control supervisor for the Dallas (Texas) Independent School District. The district covers approximately 360 square miles with 230 schools and 16 more under construction. Dennie says, “Talstar XTRA is our ‘go-to’ product for fire ant control. We use it according to the situation. We may apply it to an entire football field, around the perimeter of a baseball field or just spot treat the fire ant mounds. With our multiple sites, we have to have results we can depend on. It delivers that fast, complete control so we can get the game started on schedule. On the full and part-field applications we’re still seeing great results two to three months later for not only fire ants, but a wide range of pests, including chinch bugs, that can really do lots of damage here.”

Disease control

These fungicides are recommended for use in programs that are compatible with the principles of integrated pest management (IPM). This includes the use of disease-resistant turf varieties, cultural practices, pest scouting and disease forecasting systems, which reduce unnecessary applications of pesticides. The manufacturers note that these products are effective for strategic use in programs that attempt to minimize disease resistance to fungicides.

Bayer Environmental Science ( introduced the fungicide sports field managers have found effective for disease protection of both turf and ornamentals in a new water-dispersible granule, Armada 50 WDG. It contains the active ingredients triadimefon and trifloxy- strobin, combining the power of systemic and local penetrant (contact) fungicides for twice the disease-fighting power.

Craig Dennie, IPM coordinator/pest control supervisor for the Dallas (Texas) Independent School District, calls Talstar XTRA the “go to” product for fire ant control

Armada 50 WDG is a preventive and curative fungicide that can be applied to all major turfgrasses at sites including: institutional, commercial and residential lawns; sod farms; sports fields; parks; municipal grounds; and cemeteries. Turf diseases controlled include dollar spot, brown patch, anthracnose, leaf spot, gray leaf spot, summer patch, rapid blight, pink patch, southern blight, fusarium patch, red thread, rust, stripe smut, pink snow mold, large patch, fairy ring and take-all patch.

Jimmy Johnson, fungicide product manager, says, “With the new water-dispersible granules, Armada is now easy to measure and use across the spectrum of application equipment, from a backpack sprayer for spot treatment to a large mixing tank for broadcast applications.”

For enhanced leaf greenness and turf density, sod producers can apply Armada 50 WDG to warm-season turf varieties such as bermudagrass. When applied prior to harvesting and transporting, Armada-treated sod will show enhanced performance under shade conditions.

Johnson says, “Sports field managers appreciate the versatility of multiple uses from a single product. With the new water-dispersible granule, it’s also easier to store.”

BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals ( recently introduced Pillar G fungicide. Pillar G is a combination of pyraclostrobin (the active ingredient in Insignia fungicide) and triticonazole (the active ingredient in Trinity fungicide). This combination of two highly effective active ingredients delivers excellent disease control on numerous disease problems including dollar spot, anthracnose, brown patch, large patch, take-all patch, summer patch, Fusarium patch, snow molds, gray leaf spot, melting out, Pythium blight and more. It’s labeled for use on golf courses; institutional, residential and commercial lawns; sod farms; parks; recreational areas including sports fields; and cemeteries.

Tom Hill, communications manager, says, “Pillar G is formulated on a clay granule that provides excellent spreading characteristics due to its density and uniform particle size. The active ingredient moves quickly off of the granule after irrigation or precipitation to protect turfgrass soon after application.”

Due to variability within turfgrass species and application techniques, neither the manufacturer nor the seller has determined whether Pillar G can be safely used on all warm and cool-season turfgrasses under all conditions. Do not use it on ultradwarf bermudagrass varieties.

Before broadcast use on other grass species, BASF recommends applying the specified use rate of Pillar G on a small test area under conditions expected to be encountered. Then monitor for any adverse effects during a 14-day period after application to determine if it can be used safely.

Introduced by Syngenta ( in late 2011, Headway G fungicide features two modes of action with azoxystrobin (Group 11) plus propiconazole (Group 3). It’s labeled for disease control on turf on golf courses; lawns and landscape areas around residential, institutional, public, commercial and industrial building; parks; recreational areas; and athletic fields. It can be used on both cool and warm-season turfgrasses, although bermudagrass can be sensitive to it. It also can be used for disease control in the establishment of turfgrass from seed or in overseeding of dormant turfgrass.

According to Syngenta, “Headway G provides the efficacy of a sprayed fungicide in a spreadable formulation.” It’s a broad-spectrum fungicide that controls more than 20 turf diseases, including dollar spot, brown patch, anthracnose, Pythium spp., gray leaf spot, snow mold, take-all patch, summer patch and necrotic ring spot.

The granular formulation allows application even when wind conditions prohibit spraying or soft ground won’t allow sprayer access. The high solubility of the DG-Lite carrier allows the active ingredient to quickly and thoroughly reach the plant and helps eliminate granule wash away during heavy rains.

Fungicide plus

The newest introduction from Syngenta is Daconil Action Fungicide, a broad-spectrum fungicide and plant activator. It combines the dependability of Daconil fungicide with the added benefit of acibenzolar-S-methyl (also known as acibenzolar).

Daconil fungicide (chlorothalonil) has proven effective for control of multiple turfgrass diseases including dollar spot, brown patch, gray leaf spot, algae, leaf spot, melting out, anthracnose, rust, Fusarium patch, gray snow mold and red thread.

Unlike traditional methods of disease control, acibenzolar is not a fungicide; it has no direct effect against pathogenic fungi and bacteria. According to the Fungicide Resistance Committee (FRAC), acibenzolar-S-methyl belongs to the product category called Host Plant Defense Induction (HPDI) in Group P. Acibenzolar-S-methyl is the only active ingredient in the HPDI category recognized by FRAC code P, and the only one registered in turf. This category bridges the gap between genetic resistance and conventional disease control.

Syngenta reports, “Upon application, Daconil Action adheres to the leaf surface and acibenzolar absorbs into the foliage where its highly systemic properties help achieve broad plant coverage. Once absorbed, acibenzolar stimulates the natural defense response of the turfgrass by activating the production of pathogenesis related (PR) proteins. This ‘PR protein boost’ enhances turf health and awakens its resistance to biotic and abiotic stressors like drought to enhance overall turf quality. The uniform distribution throughout the plant and superior systemic translocation ensure natural defense activation for new growth.”

Testing by major universities shows that Daconil Action, even when used at lower application rates, is highly effective for control of dollar spot under light to moderate pressure. Data showed that 1.6 ounces of Daconil Action was equivalent to 2 ounces of generic, 6-pound liquid chlorothalonil. (Syngenta supports FIFRA Section 2(ee) recommendations for the use of Daconil Action Fungicide to control dollar spot at the use rate of 1.6 to 2 ounces per 1,000 square feet on Group A Turf.)

Chlorothalonil has no activity on Pythium blight and bacterial wilt. Acibenzolar-S-methyl has no direct effect against pathogenic fungi and bacteria. However, the PR proteins activated by acibenzolar increase the plant’s natural ability to suppress these two diseases. (Syngenta supports a FIFRA Section 2(ee) recommendation for use of Daconil Action for suppression of Pythium blight and bacteria wilt on both Group A and Group B Turf as listed on the federal label. Check the Section 2(ee) recommendations to confirm they are applicable in your state.)

Daconil Action can be used on a wide variety of warm and cool-season turfgrasses. It is labeled for use on sod farms, turf on golf courses, professional and collegiate athletic fields, and lawns around commercial and industrial buildings. Do not use Daconil Action on home lawns and turf sites associated with apartment buildings, daycare centers, playgrounds, playfields, recreational park athletic fields, athletic fields located on or next to schools (e.g., elementary, middle and high schools), campgrounds, churches and theme parks.


While multiple organic options for turf- grass insect and disease control are hitting the homeowner market, suppliers report that research is still underway for similar introductions for the sports field and golf markets.

Of note is Growth Products ( promotion of its Companion Liquid Biological Fungicide as a beneficial “companion” fungicide when tank-mixed with chemical fungicides, or used in rotation with other fungicides, as part of the total IPM program, as well as a stand-alone biological fungicide. Companion was introduced in February of 2011 for turfgrass and landscape use in California. It combines a 2-3-2 fertilizer with a GB03 strain of bacillus subtilis that prevents and controls plant soilborne and foliar diseases through multiple modes of action. Keith Giertych, technical soil agronomist, says, “Companion has been tested and proven effective with: Daconil, Bayleton, Heritage, Cleary’s 3336, Chipco, Subdue and Banner Maxx.”

For the most effective results, all of the fungicide suppliers recommend preventative applications of their products early in the season so they are actively working in the plant before a disease attacks.

The author is a contributing editor for SportsField Management.