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Greencast Sweden - Primo strengthened turf helps fight disease

Healthy, stronger turf promoted by Primo Maxx applications through the growing season can reduce its susceptibility to disease and maintain better turf quality right through the winter, according to results of new research.

Trials undertaken to support the registration for Primo Maxx in Scandinavia have shown significant reductions in Fusarium Snow Mould infection and corresponding improvements in appearance directly proportional to increasing rates of Primo Maxx. The level of Fusarium damage on fairway turf in the spring, following Primo Maxx programme the previous summer, was reduced from 17% of the turf surface affected in the untreated, to less than 2% with a six spray programme at UK fairway rates.

A summer Primo Maxx programme on a bentgrass green demonstrated over 70% reduction in winter disease effects, along with an 18% improvement in green cover and turf appearance score.

Norwegian researcher, Dr Trygve Aamlid of Biofosk Ost, believes the enhanced winter survival of Primo Maxx treated turf is most likely due to the higher accumulation of carbohydrates in the plant tissue prior to the winter. This echoes other research which has shown a significant connection between the carbohydrate content of leaves and infection of Microdocium nivale. Trials have shown up to 40% increase in the carbohydrate fructans in creeping bentgrass treated with Primo Maxx.

"Regular application of Primo Maxx may also allow greenkeepers to increase fertiliser levels slightly to reduce the risk for Anthracnose and other turfgrass diseases, without compromising green speed," he reports.

Following the full trials programme, on three golf courses and the Bioforsk research facility at Grimstad, Norway, the team has advocated Primo Maxx programmes at 1-2 week intervals on greens, every 2-3 weeks on fairways and up to four weeks on semi-roughs and roughs. Greens applications dovetail with the typical 'little and often' liquid fertiliser programmes used by greenkeepers, whilst the potential to reduce fairway mowing from three to two times per week may be attractive to many golf clubs, as well as contributing to reduced CO2 emissions, according to Dr Aamlid.

"Many greenkeepers will probably also find it helpful to spray Primo Maxx in areas that are steep or otherwise difficult to reach using ordinary mowing equipment," he adds.

The Ultimate Fairway Programme
Syngenta Turf & Landscape Market Manager, Rod Burke, highlights Primo Maxx is now widely used on golf greens and tees. "For those already using Primo Maxx on fairways the primary objective has been to simplify management and give greater flexibility through reduced mowing requirement. However, we have had repeated comments that the turf quality of fairways has been significantly enhanced with the Primo Maxx programme and the right nutrition.

"These improvements have also been identified by the club management and players, which can help course managers to gain the financial commitment to deliver better overall turf quality across the course."