Syngenta Professional Products has unveiled Pest Outlooks, a state-of-the-art predictive tool to help golf course superintendents, lawn-care operators and other turfgrass managers anticipate potentially damaging outbreaks of insects and disease. The online service allows customers to retrieve, at the click of a mouse, information that used to take days to collect from multiple sources.

Pest Outlooks is one of the first services under the new company`s GreenCast brand, which it has created to offer customers a range of value-added information and technology services.

Located at, Pest Outlooks is a proprietary service available only to Syngenta customers. It was developed in partnership with Pest Forecasting Group, Inc. and top university turf experts. It uses weather data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, historical data and pest models to identify--on a weekly basis--climatic conditions that favor outbreaks of a variety of diseases and insects. The service currently covers seven of the most common diseases encountered by superintendents or lawn care operators: dollar spot, gray leaf spot, summer patch, brown patch, pythium blight, rust and red thread. It also covers eight common white grub species including Oriental beetle, May/June beetle, European chafer, masked chafers, Japanese beetle, Asiatic garden beetle and black turfgrass ataenius.

"Including technical services such as Pest Outlooks in a total program will be the future of pest management," explained Dr. Joe DiPaola, golf market manager for Syngenta Professional Products. "Anticipating disease and insect outbreaks has always been partly a science and partly an art. We think that by putting the absolute best, most up-to-date information in the end-user`s hands, we can make their jobs easier and allow them to better manage their resources."

The Pest Outlooks website was designed with ease of use and the convenience of the user in mind. It is divided clearly into separate Golf and Lawn Care sections, which are carefully tailored to meet the needs of those customers regardless of where they are located in the country. For example, a visitor to the Golf section can click on "gray leaf spot" and see a map of the United States, color-coded with the relative threat of the disease to each area of the country indicated by Very High, High, Moderate or Low. The superintendent can then drill down further to see if the conditions are favorable for an outbreak in the next week in his or her region, state or immediate climate area (all 344 climate areas of the 48 contiguous U.S. states are listed). An interactive section allows users to pose questions directly to the experts at Syngenta and the new Golf Notes newsletter provides them with valuable information on soil temperatures and regional pest outbreaks. Many superintendents expect Pest Outlooks to have an immediate impact on how they manage pest problems.

Another benefit of the service, Syngenta`s Joe DiPaola said, is its potential to justify preventive applications and enhance the efficiency of chemical use.

"Knowing a week, or even days in advance, that your course may be threatened by a particular pest can make all the difference in the world," he said. "If your course is due for a preventive application for dollar spot, checking the likelihood of the disease may help you decide if it`s really necessary."

Pest Outlooks will be equally valuable for lawn care operators. The Lawn section of the website offers the same benefits as the Golf section, but is focused on pests such as rust and red thread that are more of a threat to home and commercial lawns. In addition, it includes an online version of the popular Tech Notes newsletter - which is similar in content to Golf Notes.

"While there are a lot of similarities, we really expect our lawn care customers to use Pest Outlooks in very different ways than our superintendent customers," explained Chuck Buffington, lawn care market manager for Syngenta Professional Products. "For a LCO servicing dozens of accounts in a single area, an unanticipated disease or insect outbreak can mean lost customers and lost income. Having reliable, timely information on potential problems can improve everything from the choice of chemicals to the allocation of staff and equipment and help make the business more efficient."

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