New independent trial examines options for Fusarium treatment


New independent trial examines options for Fusarium treatment
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

A new independent trial has examined the most effective treatment for Fusarium.

Fusarium patches are fungi that attack turf – particularly fine turf – and are a common occurrence on golf greens. 

The trial was conducted at Thetford Golf Club in Norfolk, UK, and compared ten different commercially available turf fungicides. Field trials specialists FieldArm carried out an untreated control in a ‘randomised complete block’ design, with four replications of small plots. This helped ensure treatments were made to a fair and random selection across the golf green.

“The trial was specifically designed to investigate a range of products and most of the current leading fungicides were compared,” said Peter Duncan, director at FieldArm. “It’s not often you have such a broad range test. The first application was made when we initially saw 1-3 per cent onset of the Fusarium, on 20 October 2015. So effectively we made an early curative application, which is a typical strategy by greenkeepers for the control of Fusarium. We then made a repeat application of treatments one month later on 20 November in line with common practice, with Fusarium in the untreated at a mean infected leaf area of 21 per cent.”

The turf was tested every 14 days until January. Interface from Bayer achieved 98-100 per cent control until the end of December, and offered superior turf health and colour, sward thickness, and an absence of disease.

“There were a handful of products that also gave complete control, but when it came to turf quality and visual merit, Interface was streets ahead, and this could be seen from a distance,” said Paul Gould, course manager at Thetford Golf Club. “It’s one of the best trials I’ve been involved with, because it tested leading products side by side, and the difference was easy to see.”