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John Reitman

By John Reitman

With a little help, Vincelli's fungicide guide moves into the future


Twenty-nine years ago, the nationwide average price for a gallon of gas was $1.12, Phil Collins' "Another Day in Paradise" opened 1990 as the No. 1 song on Billboard's Top 100, "Dances With Wolves" won an Academy Award for Best Picture and Nick Faldo won the second of his three Masters championships.

The year was 1990, and it was the same year that newly minted University of Kentucky professor Paul Vincelli, Ph.D., first published what has become one of the turf industry's most important works.

Entitled "Chemical Control of Turfgrass Diseases" and known throughout the industry as Vincelli's "Fungicide Guide" or simply "PPA-1", the guide has grown into the industry's authoritative voice on fungicide efficacy.

Recently, the 2020 version of PPA-1 was released, but it no longer is a solo effort by Vincelli.

Bruce Clarke, Ph.D., of Rutgers University got involved three years ago when he added information on combination products. Paul Koch, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin, also is a co-author this year, contributing data on gray snow mold and making the tool available as a mobile app.

"It's taken on a life of its own, and I'm glad for that," Vincelli said. "I contributed minimally to this version. Bruce and Paul did the heavy lifting."

Vincelli has welcomed the extra help as his interests expand into other areas, including sustainable agriculture. Recently, he was named a Fellow with the Jefferson Science Fellowship Program, which is part of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

"Bruce and Paul have taken it and run with it," Vincelli said. 

"Bruce has made a lot of great updates to it the past couple of years."

It's taken on a life of its own, and I'm glad for that.

Vincelli has known Clark since the former was working toward a master's degree and the latter on his doctorate at Rutgers. Vincelli went on to earn a Ph.D., from Cornell before landing at the University of Wyoming for a two-year stint from 1988-90.

"I have known Dr. Vincelli since graduate school and felt for a long time that his PPA-1 publication was one of the best turf fungicide recommendation booklets in the country," Clarke said. "When Paul indicated in 2016 that he was getting more involved in other areas of science and had less time to commit to turf, I offered to co-author the publication."

The 34-page document organizes fungicides by disease and active ingredient, and offers information on FRAC Code, efficacy and spray intervals, risk of resistance and commercial product names.

There are several other fungicide guides available today, including Koch's own guide at Wisconsin. Connecting that tool with Vincelli's PPA-1 was key to him getting involved.

"The online web page that I have actually uses the exact same ratings as this publication," Koch said. "And I became involved with Bruce and Paul after asking if I could those ratings in my web page."

Vincelli was happy to get the help that has allowed one of the industry's leading resources to remain viable.

"I'm really glad my colleagues have grabbed this project and ran with it," Vincelli said. 

"I'm excited to see where it goes."

Edited by John Reitman

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