Greencast Sweden - Primo Maxx gains approval in Sweden
Full approval for the innovative Syngenta turf growth regulator, Primo Maxx, in Sweden has given greenkeepers and club managers the potential to reduce management costs and deliver consistently higher quality playing surfaces this season. Primo Maxx can help to produce great looking, hard wearing and healthy turf that is easier to manage and more attractive to paying golfers.
Syngenta Turf Technical Manager for EAME, Dr Simon Watson, reports Primo Maxx can reduce the vertical leaf growth of turf by up to 35% over the course of the season, with corresponding reduction in mowing frequency on greens, tees and fairways.
"Improved efficiency and less time spent mowing releases labour for more productive course management. It also cuts fuel and other costs, as well as wear and tear on machinery. It gives greenkeepers greater flexibility in mowing schedules, and creates a cleaner visual finish, especially after wet conditions," he said.
Dr Watson advises Primo Maxx works by blocking the production of gibberellic acid within the plant leaf, which effectively limits cell elongation and vertical growth. "That means the energy generated by the plant is diverted to boost root and lateral growth, creating stronger, healthier and denser turf.
"The benefits of Primo Maxx can be utilised to enhance playing conditions across the course, with turf quality improvements on tees and greens, fairways and semi-rough." He says the enhanced plant vigour of treated turf can help to reduce the effects of stress, give better drought tolerance and enable plants to recover faster.
Application rates for Primo Maxx should be tailored to specific seasonal growing conditions, typically starting in mid-May to mid-June in Sweden, according to Dr Watson. On fairways and semi-rough he advocates a programme of applications every three weeks during periods of active growth. A typical programme would start with two applications at a rate of 0.8 l/ha before increasing the rate to 1.6 l/ha; greens would normally be treated at a lower rate of 0.2 l/ha for the first two applications rising to 0.4 l/ha and applied very 10-14 days.
Dr Watson advises Primo Maxx should always be applied in tank mix with appropriate liquid fertiliser to maintain good turf health typically delivering a minimum of 2.5kg/ha of readily available nitrogen with each application.
Primo Maxx has been especially formulated for turf and can be safely applied to all turf species. Primo Maxx programmes have consistently shown improvements in turf density and quality across a wide range of turf species.
Trials by Bioforsk in Scandinavia have also shown that healthier turf as a result of a Primo Maxx programme, could significantly reduce the severity of winter Fusarium infection.
Syngenta Turf & Landscape EAME Portfolio Manager, Rod Burke, highlights the economic benefits of Primo Maxx use will prove highly attractive to golf club managers on two fronts - reducing the costs of mowing fairways and increasing club income from attracting more players by improving course quality.
He calculates that the cost savings from less frequent cutting of fairways would more than pay for the cost of the treatment through lower mower operating costs, less machinery depreciation and the ability to re-deploy labour.
"Allied to the potential cost savings, there are significant opportunities to increase club revenue through creating of better playing conditions," he added. "Golfers always want to play golf as soon as possible in the spring, and they always want to play where the conditions are best. Presenting the best possible turf quality and density as soon as possible in the spring is crucial to maintain players' satisfaction and to keep them coming back."
A report by the University of Copenhagen for STERF identified Swedish golfers as the most focussed on course playing quality among the Nordic countries. The report highlighted: 'Management of the golf course should focus on obtaining high quality, since these details are very important to the players.'
Dr Simon Watson adds that Primo Maxx can also play an important role in the management of fine turf on tees and greens . Enhancing turf density can create greens that are smoother and truer, whilst the slower growth means they remain a more consistent putting speed all day. "These factors have been highlighted as the most important factors for Nordic golf players.
"Experience with Primo Maxx on fine turf surfaces also indicates that cutting height may be raised slightly with no loss of ball speed. This can help alleviate stress, reduce susceptibility to disease, enhance root mass and minimise the risk of scalping during mowing - which all contribute to the maintenance of better playing surface quality."
Sweden is the first country in the Nordics to gain approval for Primo Maxx in turf. Further approval applications are being sought in other countries.