BASF says Xzemplar and Lexicon Intrinsic work quickly to control dollar spot and other diseases

We like things done fast. It’s part of the culture in which we live.

Field managers are no exception, especially when it comes to treating turf disease. But speed in this case is more important than getting served a quick lunch at the local diner. Speed in this case could be a life-or-death situation when it comes to turfgrass, which these days could impact whether or not a field managert keeps his job.

“It’s important to get disease under control as quickly as possible,” says Bruce Martin, Ph.D., turf professor at Clemson University.

Martin was on hand at the BASF Innovation Summit last month at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort, where BASF introduced two new fungicides – Xzemplar and Lexicon Intrinsic – that feature a new active ingredient (AI), fluxapyroxad. Part of the carboxamide family, fluxapyroxad offers preventive and curative control. The message regarding the two fungicides: They work fast to control disease on cool- and warm-season turfgrass.

BASF expects the two products to be registered by the Environmental Protection Agency this winter, and they will be unveiled in February at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando and available for sale late spring pending state registrations and product availability.

Renee Keese, Ph.D., BASF’s biology project leader for turf and ornamentals, explained that fluxapyroxad efficiently blocks respiratory Complex II (succinate dehydrogenase), which disrupts the energy supply and biosynthesis of essential building blocks. Then, the growth of fungal cells is stopped.

Fluxapyroxad is absorbed to the waxy layer and evenly transported in leaves, Keese added.

Kyle Miller, senior technical specialist for BASF’s Professional Turf & Ornamentals group, noted that the company’s Emerald fungicide, released in 2003, is the No. 1 fungicide for dollar spot control on the market. So, why did BASF elect to research and release Xzemplar, which also controls dollar spot and has the same mode of action as Emerald?

Because Xzemplar works faster than Emerald in controlling dollar spot, Miller noted. He added that Emerald’s lack of speed in curatively controlling the disease was a common criticism of superintendents who use the product. Emerald works just fine, Miller pointed out, but it takes several days to see the results.

“The nice thing about Xzemplar is that it has curative activity and works faster than Emerald,” Miller said. “It also controls more diseases than Emerald, including brown patch. And [it] has performed as good or better than Emerald in university trials with regard to level of disease control and residual. It’s the better mousetrap, if you will.”

Xzemplar controls diseases on a variety of cool- and warm-season grasses. Depending on rate, it offers 14 to 28-day residual control.

“It is an excellent rotational partner,” Miller said, noting it has no issues with resistance.

Miller said the definition of “exemplar” is: an ideal example of something, worthy of being copy or imitated.

“I hope Xzemplar becomes an ideal example of a fungicide,” he added.

Lexicon Intrinsic combines two AIs – fluxapyroxad and pyraclostrobin. It controls 26 diseases, including brown patch, dollar spot, summer patch and fairy ring.

Kathy Kalmowitz, Ph.D., market development technical specialist for BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals, said that Lexicon Intrinsic’s two modes of action provide “complete and sustained disease control.” She noted that Lexicon Intrinsic doesn’t contain a DMI, also known as SBI (sterol inhibitor active), making it ideal to use year-round on any bentgrass or bermudagrass green. She added that the benefits of Lexicon Intrinsic include consistent performance, long-lasting control and curative activity.

Lexicon Intrinsic is also rain-fast within two hours, and is not lost to evaporation or washed off by rainfall or irrigation. A new level of turfgrass health (“advanced plant health”) has been observed in both bentgrass and bermudagrass after use of the product, according to Kalmowitz.

Lexicon Intrinsic is a next generation Intrinsic product delivering disease control and advanced plant health. According to Thavy Staal, BASF’s marketing manager for Professional Turf & Ornamentals, getting “plant health,” which pertains to root development and stress tolerance in this case, on the label is no easy task and requires “vigorous testing” and ” replicated trials.”

BASF invited Martin to present on “Xzemplar and Lexicon Intrinsic: Disease Management from Southeast Perspective.” He spoke about the chronic diseases of bentgrass in the Southeast, including dollar spot, anthracnose, fairy ring and Pythium; and diseases in bermudagrass greens and overseedings in the South, including spring dead spot, bermudagrass decline and leaf spots.

Martin showed a slide of TifEagle plots – the check plot was rife with dollar spot and leaf spot, but the plot treated with Lexicon Intrinsic was very clean.

Martin spoke of the importance of fungicide programs, but stressed that there is no one program that works for all fields.

“We want [field managers] to develop their own programs because they’re the boots on the ground at their own facilities,” he said. “A program is a sequence of fungicide applications made to prevent disease over a time period when stress and disease are likely. In bentgrass, that’s the summer. In bermuda- grass, it’s the fall, winter and spring.”

Before delving into the facts behind the fungicides, Staal spoke about the hurdles that must be jumped to bring a new chemistry like fluxapyroxad to market. Apart from medicines, plant protection products are the most thoroughly scrutinized substances, Staal noted.

BASF begins with a prescreening of 140,000 substances to get down to one AI. It takes eight to 10 years to do so.

“About 800 requirements need to be addressed, and more than 200 studies are filed for a registration,” Staal explained. “BASF spends more than 200 million euro ($270 million) in the chemistry, biology and toxicology to bring a new product to market.”