Anthracnose Disease ManagementAnthracnose (Colletotrichum graminicola) has become a major disease on UK and Irish turf over recent years and is most severe on plants under stress from:

  • Compaction
  • Excessive heat or drought resulting in dry patch
  • Low fertility
  • Poor surface drainage
  • High surface fibre levels

In the 1980’s, Anthracnose was a disease characteristic of late autumn and winter, when persistent moisture favoured the development of basal rot on the base of Annual Meadowgrass (Poa annua) plants, its preferred host species. However, it has become more of an issue as a disease of the summer months. There are many suggested theories for this change in activity, but what is certain is that a clear correlation exists between increased summer stress and incidence of Anthracnose.

Summer stress is brought about by the typical practices adopted in the summer months on golf greens, i.e. low cutting heights, occasional rolling for key tournaments / events and frequent top-dressing.

The two forms of the disease, foliar blight and basal rot may act in sequence or independently from one another. The disease can affect Poa annua, creeping bentgrass, bent / fescue mixtures and perennial rye grass.

However Poa annua is the most susceptible.

Basal rot is most commonly seen in the UK and Ireland, and whilst bentgrass may recover from this, Poa annua is nearly always killed once the rot has entered the crown.

Prevention is better than cure

This last point is fundamental to the understanding of Anthracnose management. Only a preventative strategy can be 100% effective to control the disease and therefore once you see widespread symptoms, you will only achieve containment, rather than cure.

To help in the management of anthracnose, the following good cultural practices should be adopted.

  • Reduce surface compaction to aid moisture movement in soils
  • Provide adequate, but not excessive nutrition.
  • Avoid aeration / topdressing during periods of stress
  • Manage surface fibre levels to ensure moisture is not held in the surface
  • Avoid the development of dry patch, by using wetting agents and hand-watering

Greentec 13-3-13+MgO KEY POINTS

  • Ammonium sulphate fast start for cool temperature performance
  • Methylene urea for added longevity
  • Ideal for use during high Anthracnose disease pressure periods
  • Organic base (2.7% humic acid) and potassium sulphate for added turf safety in high temperatures

Greentec 13-3-13+MgO is formulated as a summer granular fertiliser to provide safe and sustained feeding, even during cool, wet periods of weather.

The product features four different forms of nitrogen. The first, ammonium sulphate, provides the initial release and low-temperature response. This is enhanced to provide 6 weeks longevity, by three longer term nitrogen forms, urea, methylene urea and organic nitrogen. Granule breakdown is rapid, minimising pick up and the fine granulation allows low application rate flexibility, down to 15gm2. Ideal for application pre-anthracnose disease period.

Greentec 13-3-13+MgO is ideally suited to a light rate application in July, just prior to the main anthracnose disease pressure period to enhance growth and provide good levels of plant vigour. Research has shown that one of the most effective ways of preventing Anthracnose is to raise plant nitrogen levels just prior to the main disease period.

C-Complex 7-0-7+5CaO KEY POINTS

  • Contains 5 nitrogen sources for gentler release in high temperatures
  • 34% methylene urea content for extended longevity
  • Potassium derived from organic sources
  • Suited for use as a summer granular fertilizer
  • 7.2% humic acid and cold-processed seaweed meal

C-Complex 7-0-7+5CaO has been improved with the intention of maximising product performance during the summer. The addition of methylene urea adds to nitrogen longevity and results in slower release, making it ideally suited for use as a summer fertiliser.

Raising plant nutrient levels prior to and during the main risk period for anthracnose disease has been shown to minimise infections.

C-Complex 7-0-7+5CaO provides a granular fertiliser solution to this potential problem. Further improvements have been made with respect to the potassium content, with a reduced risk of leaching due to the incorporation of an organic potassium source.