We are entering the new year with many exciting trends in the turf chemical industry. Lower use rates, reduced risk, combination products, pigments and dyes, and of course plant health or induced systemic resistance.
Syngenta's move to include Acibenzolar (ASM) with Daconil (chlorothalonil) marked a major shift in thinking by one of the big three (Bayer, Syngenta, BASF). ASM is not a new molecule, in fact it has been widely used in the Ag market for several years. ASM has no measurable effect on plant pathogens; rather it induces the plant to resist disease. This approach is also espoused by the phosphites and Civitas.
BASF acquired Becker Underwood, a major manufacturer of pigments and dyes. This acquisition gets them in the turf market colorant game. Bayer continues to find combinations such as Reserve that is Trinity plus chlorothalonil and StressGard FT (Formulation Technology). The pigment market is getting crowded with Harmonizer, Turf Screen, and Foursome (a spray pattern indicator). You have to ask yourself why you got rid of all that Blazon that was sitting around the shop?
Secure from Syngenta is being touted as a contact fungicide partner to Daconil and could represent an important option for those interested in reducing (or at least complying with imposed reductions) their chlorothalonil use. Preliminary reports indicate great promise for this product.
What does this all mean to the golf turf industry? First, there will be significant hoopla and chatter in the run-up to the GIS next month. Second, get ready to have all your spray rigs colored green if you get on the pigment and dye bandwagon. Third, finding ways to integrate these technologies into your existing programs should begin now. Check the data from reputable sources such as Professors Vincelli, Kerns, Kennelly, and Ingugiato.
Don't get caught up in the hype; there are likely more questions than answers about many of these new products. The claims will start flying around soon and before you know it what you hear may resemble what gets whispered to the 7th person in a circle that began with one thing and now is completely different.
Happy New Year!