The Evolution of Turf Diseases: Changing management strategies

Understanding basic information about fungicides is critical in resistance management. Photo courtesy John Kaminski

By John Kaminski, PhD

Between old diseases emerging as more prominent problems, uncommon pathogens becoming more common, and entirely new pathogens appearing, the turfgrass pathology community is constantly evolving.

How does this impact turf professionals and the management of their issues? If they are one of the fortunate superintendents in the areas where pesticide restrictions are limiting the ability to manage the diseases, they are lucky. If they do not have the ability to do anything about it, then there is not much that can be done. The reality of disease management under the high pressure observed on golf courses is often too much to handle soley through changes in cultural management programs and, unfortunately, biological controls have been met with limited success in high maintenance turf.

If there is still a limited arsenal of control options available, then he or she may be one of the lucky ones. However, this does not mean reliance on chemical control should be the first option. Choosing sound cultural practices for the species being managed is the first place to make adjustments. Growing the healthiest plant possible is going to make the fungicides more effective.

Read the full article: The Evolution of Turf Diseases

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