Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fungicide Trials

Prior to the snow, Greywolf volunteered to host fungicide trials for the Prairie Turf Research Centre (PTRC) .  The PTRC works out of Olds College and conducts several research projects each year.

The PTRC fungicide trials are normally conducted yearly.  The goal is to test different fungicide combinations, new fungicide products that have gone through the regulatory process, and test the label rates at which these products are effective.  These trials help golf course around Canada determine effective rates and types of products to use to protect their golf course while using the products in environmental responsible ways.   The 2010/11 the trials are being held at Greywolf and the Candle Lake Golf Resort in Candle Lake, Saskatchewan.

Greywolf has hosted the trials over the past twelve years.   Why does Greywolf host the trials?  Greywolf is an excellent site for these trials due to our weather, long periods of snow cover and our high levels of disease pressure.  Snow mold (pink and grey) are what the fungicides are trying to prevent.  In general snow molds like cool, wet, dark conditions – in other words they like long periods of snow cover (but they do not need snow cover to occur)  Greywolf can provide those conditions!  Our turf can be under snow cover between 150 to 180 days – I am hoping this year it will be 150 days but as I am write this more snow falling.  Another reason we host the trials is we have a large sod nursery which can be used without impacting the on course turf.  The largest benefit is the fact that the Turfcare team at Greywolf, gets to see what fungicides are working the best in our climates and conditions.  This allows us to tweak and adjust our fungicide programs to get the best results, while reducing impacts on the environment.

In order to conduct the trials a randomized block design is set up on the nursery.  The trial is repeated several times and control plots are used to provide a base line.  A grid is laid out on the nursery and a buffer is left around each plot.  Each combination of fungicide is then sprayed into the appropriate plot in each replication of the trial.   

Trial Plot Layout
 The sprayer that the fungicide is applied with is a three nozzle air pressurized sprayer.  The spray is cleaned between the applications of different fungicides to prevent contamination of the plots.

Plots Being Sprayed
Different Fungicide Formula and Combinations Ready to Spray

This year the plots were sprayed on November 11th and snow began to fall on November 15th.  It is now just a waiting game until spring when the plots will be evaluated for the fungal activity.  I will try to get some pictures in the spring and let you know the results.

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