Golf courses aiming to face up to the challenge of turf disease and maintain high quality playing surfaces for their customers throughout autumn and winter have been just been handed a new, highly effective solution, Syngenta’s Instrata Elite. The company explains.

Launched this summer by Syngenta, the leading innovator in turf management solutions, Instrata Elite is a new fungicide formulated to deliver a step change in the level of disease protection course managers can give to their playing surfaces. Armed with two separate active ingredients – one to protect the plant on the leaf’s surface, and a second to attack pathogens within the leaf itself – Instrata Elite can both prevent the onset of disease and tackle existing infection. Offering greater flexibility, enhanced sustainability and superior performance, proven through exhaustive trials, this is a fungicide offering genuine innovation.

Greater flexibility
A key benefit of Instrata Elite is the extra flexibility it affords the course manager in executing effective and proactive disease treatment. The active ingredients complement each other to target infection at different stages of its development, meaning green staff are less reliant on pinpoint timing of fungicide application to optimise disease control.

While Instrata Elite can be applied at any time of the year, tests reveal it is particularly effective during the vulnerable and late autumn period, when so many diseases take hold. With growth unpredictable at this time of year, the new curative properties of Instrata Elite offer a vital additional safeguard against sudden infection.

Instrata Elite is also approved for two applications per year, an important development that will help course managers keep development under control from autumn through to spring.

Proven performance
The effectiveness and reliability of Instrata Elite has been extensively proven through no fewer than 60 turf trials, conducted in nine countries. The Sports Turf Research Institute also ran tests.

Invariably, triallists reported impressive results. “We began to see signs of disease last November,” says James Norris, head greenkeeper of Blackmoor Golf Club, Hampshire. “We immediately applied Instrata Elite and the infection very quickly cleared up.” Norris’ trial sheets showed a 2% infection at the time of application had halved within a week.

At Sand Martins in Berkshire, course manager Matt Short also noted how Instrata Elite’s dual-level approach proved beneficial through the dangerously fickle late-autumn UK weather. “By late October Fusarium was active on all greens,” he reported. “We tackled it by raising mower height and applying iron alongside Instrata Elite. By mid-November all the effects of Fusarium scars had grown in and there was no sign of disease. The systemic active ingredient appeared to tackle the intermittent growth that comes with variable weather. Players reported green quality was the best they’d ever seen at that time of year.”

Greater sustainability
Syngenta’s maxim for application is ‘As little as possible,as much as necessary’. Instrata Elite helps courses achieve this through using smaller amounts of active ingredient that demand lower volumes of water.

It has been fully tested and approved, and has been developed with enhancing sustainability very much in mind. Syngenta’s substantial support network ensures greater understanding of Instrata Elite, along with guidelines for effective and responsible usage. Its online resource, greencast.co.uk, delivers important information on how to use Instrata Elite as part of an integrated turf management programme, with tools to help each club tailor strategy and timing.

At Blackmoor Golf Club, for example, James Norris was able to call on historic disease pressure records to target November 6 as the start of a high-risk period, and apply treatments preventatively.

“Optimal timing will prevent disease infection getting into the leaf,” says Syngenta UK business manager Daniel Lightfoot. “But with Instrata Elite there is still the chance for curative activity to stop disease before visible damage is done and minimise stress on the plant.

“Targeting disease at more points through the lifecycle gives greater flexibility in application timing to hit infection. This, plus the introduction of a brand new fungicide active ingredient, is why Instrata Elite should play a crucial role in an integrated turf management approach to deliver sustainable long-term improvements in turf quality.”

Article published in Clubhouse Europe issue 12