Keeping Ahead of Anthracnose
Summer months on the golf course mean managing and maintaining the best possible putting surface. The challenge is, that as temperatures rise, the plant’s recuperative ability slows. This creates opportunities for stress related diseases to take advantage of weakened turf. Now is the time to begin your management plan to defend your putting surfaces from anthracnose.
Anthracnose can be a severe disease of intensely managed putting green surfaces. While anthracnose is more common on annual bluegrass, it can affect older cultivars of creeping bentgrass too. The disease can also be opportunistic on higher heights of cut such as highly trafficked approaches and tees during peak summer stress.
The first step to managing anthracnose is an accurate diagnosis to determine the most effective action plan. Early scouting for the progression of anthracnose symptoms and signs is critical because curative control is easier to achieve during the initial stages of disease development compared to managing a severe infection.
// Anthracnose Scouting tips
The disease is most common on putting greens and occurs predominantly in midsummer under hot, humid conditions or in the fall and spring months under cold, wet conditions.
Anthracnose symptoms differ on host species. On low mown annual bluegrass, initial symptoms can develop as yellowing leaf tissue and a loss of shoot density. The yellowing leaf tissue is less common on anthracnose affected bentgrass and tends to be more bronze in colour. As a result, scouting for anthracnose on bentgrass surfaces can be more difficult compared to annual bluegrass. The base of the bentgrass plant, near the crown, may also appear rotted and water soaked.
It is not uncommon to see anthracnose develop into patterns such as streaks, where this is often observed on clean up mowing patterns on the perimeter of putting green surfaces.
Symptoms of anthracnose differ based on host species. If left untreated, anthracnose affected creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass can suffer considerable injury and death if left untreated.
Cultural controls can assist with disease prevention. Look closely at the cultural management on your course, considering your mid-summer mowing height, fertilization inputs and topdressing rate and frequency (to match your rate of growth). These are all important factors to evaluate before determining a fungicide treatment.
Anthracnose is a stress disease that is best managed by promoting plant health, like following sound agronomic practices and timely use of preventative fungicide programs.
Signs of anthracnose disease-causing pathogen, Colletotrichum cereale, can be seen with the aid of a hand lens and can serve as a useful diagnostic tool for areas affected by anthracnose.
A combination of cultural and fungicide programs is your best approach to an integrated anthracnose management program.
If your course has a history of anthracnose, a preventative fungicide program is your best defense. Unfortunately, no silver bullet product exists that can provide complete, season-long control of anthracnose, making it important to tank-mix other modes of action into your spray solution to avoid fungicide resistance. A strong fungicide program that alternates various classes of fungicides is critical in managing anthracnose during summer stress.
Signature XTRA Stressgard is a great anchor for a fungicide program, labelled for both anthracnose and Pythium root rot. An added advantage of using Signature XTRA Stressgard is protection across the entire matrix of the plant due to its systemic movement in the xylem and phloem tissue.
Mirage Stressgard and Dedicate Stressgard both contain the DMI fungicide Tebuconazole. These proven solutions offer effective management of anthracnose and other tough to control summer diseases. This DMI fungicide causes less growth regulation compared to others within the DMI class.
Alternating Mirage Stressgard or Dedicate Stressgard with the tank-mix combination of Signature STRA Stressgard + contact fungicide (like chlorothalonil) is an effective season-long strategy for optimal turf health during summer months of plant stress.
Visit your local agent/distributor to purchase Signature XTRA Stressgard, Mirage Stressgard and Dedicate Stressgard products.
For more information about anthracnose, or with Signature XTRA™ Stressgard®, Mirage™ Stressgard® or Dedicate Stressgard, contact your local Territory Sales Manager.