AIM for clean greens

A new Syngenta one-box fungicide programme is now available, providing a well-proven, cost effective and agronomically strong season-long disease control strategy. 

March 19, 2024
2 mins

The AIM programme contains three leading Syngenta fungicides, specifically selected to provide an effective sequential strategy for summer through to winter, including Ascernity, Instrata Elite and Medallion TL.

Sean Loakes, Syngenta Turf Technical Manager for UK & Ireland, advocated the AIM approach optimises the potential to protect turf from immediate disease risks, while also providing longer term pathogen reductions that more effectively prevents disease outbreaks right through the season.

“Starting the programme with Ascernity, targeted at the increasing issues of summer Anthracnose and Dollar spot infections, followed by Instrata Elite in early autumn has proven to prevent the hugely damaging early outbreaks of Microdochium patch.

“The AIM pack then gives a further follow up of Medallion TL for when conditions cool. That gives outstanding protection against damage through the critical time of limited turf recovery,” he advised.

The AIM strategy is fully supported by the Syngenta Turf Advisor App designed to guide optimum fungicide application timing. That includes local disease risk forecast models and disease pressure levels over recent days and weeks, along with a host of weather data to refine decision making.

“Turf Advisor also provides instant assessment of growth potential (GP) of turf, for appropriate product selection.” Sean advocates the multi-active benefits of systemic Ascernity are best utilised while turf is actively growing, with a GP above 20%, while Instrata Elite remains extremely effective as growth slows to 5%-25% GP.

When growth slows further, the contact activity of Medallion TL effectively protects the leaf from disease infection, while also targeting pathogen spores in the thatch and root crown to reduce the risk of infection.

The further advantage of the AIM strategy is that each application contains different fungicide modes of action. The rotation of fungicides and utilising multiple modes of action is the basis of a good fungicide resistance management plan, he added.

“Targeting disease earlier in the season prevents damage to the leaf, reduces stress on the plant and effectively breaks the disease cycle – enabling fungicide programmes to maintain playing surface quality and longer lasting results throughout the season.

“Early disease outbreaks act as infection source for further spread as the season progresses,” he warned. Even where scars have dried up, millions of spores would have been released that can be waiting in thatch or organic matter for the right conditions to develop and trigger new infections.

“Disease management in the autumn is essentially a numbers game. The potential for disease outbreaks is dependent on both the number of pathogens present, and the conditions for it to multiply rapidly.

“Reducing the initial turf disease pathogen population gives the opportunity for cultural Integrated Turf Management (ITM) controls to be more effective.”

STRI trials in Yorkshire showed how the AIM programme of Ascernity at the onset of microdochium patch pressure, followed by Instrata Elite and then Medallion TL, kept disease down below 3% of surface area affected throughout the season, when infection in the untreated area quickly hit 15% and reached over 25% of disease cover. In high pressure trials at ISTI in Ireland, the AIM strategy was the only fungicide treatment approach to keep disease in complete control.

“The actual timing of each application and number of treatments required will be site specific, according to risks and pressure,” pointed out Sean. “The sequence of using the three products is now very well proven, and more convenient and cost effective in the AIM one-box solution.”

Preventing disease outbreaks from mid-summer gives the best chance to go into winter clean, and come out green in the spring.