Turfgrass fungicides

This is the third in our series of Chemical Updates for 2000, covering turfgrass fungicides. This information, compiled and updated with the help of chemical manufacturers, is the most complete information of its kind. It is presented in a format that puts the solution to nearly every turf disease problem at your fingertips.

The tables on the following pages include information regarding:

* Active ingredient. We list chemicals by their active ingredients. This includes nearly every EPA-registered fungicide for turfgrass use.

* Mode of action. This shows whether a chemical behaves as a contact or as a systemic.

* Fungicide group.. This is another way of saying "chemical family." Knowing this is important for devising a chemical-rotation schedule, which helps reduce fungicidal resistance.

* Formulations available. This tells you if a chemical is available in a form you prefer, perhaps because it is compatible with your application equipment.

* Labeling for ornamental use may be important if you need a fungicide that you also can apply to landscape plantings.

* Diseases controlled. This is the reason you're interested in fungicides. These tables help you find the products that are effective against the specific pathogens infecting your turf.

The tables list chemicals by their common name, and the information you see is a compilation based on all brands using that chemical. This is necessary because several brands may use the same active ingredient. Products with the same active ingredient tend to have similar labeling, but this is not always true, and it's one example of why it's so important to read chemical labels. It's possible that a disease for which the chemical has registration may not show up on the labels of all products with that active ingredient. The same applies to other aspects of registration, such as site uses.

Most of these tables are devoted to showing which diseases the chemicals control. This reflects the importance of correctly identifying the pathogen infecting your turf. It does no good to apply a chemical that doesn't control the target pathogen. If you aren't sure about the identity of a pathogen, ask for help from an extension specialist or other expert. If necessary, send a sample to a laboratory for analysis.

Labels contain important application and safety information that will improve applicator safety as well as the control you get from the product. Read the label of every chemical you apply. Not only is it your legal obligation, but it also is the key to getting the most from chemical products.

Use these tables for preliminary planning only. They are not recommendations or substitutes for actual product labels. When you purchase a chemical, the label will come with the product. However, if you are just considering purchasing a product, suppliers typically will provide labels to those who request them. Our "Turfgrass Chemical Suppliers Directory" on page 37 shows you how to contact chemical suppliers for more information about their products.

This is the last of the 2000 Updates devoted exclusively to turfgrass products. Along with the January (herbicide) and February (insecticide) Updates, it's a comprehensive guide for your turf-pest-management planning throughout the year.

But don't forget to look for subsequent Updates, which will cover fertilizer/pesticide combinations, products for ornamental use, non-selective products, plant growth regulators and vertebrate pest controls.

We've also begun posting the information contained in the Updates on the Grounds Maintenance website in searchable form. You won't find all these tables-instead, you'll find a tool that we hope is even more useful to you. We invite you to try it out at www.grounds-mag.com.

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