Review of Tall Fescue Fungicide Trials in 2022

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Now that we have officially wrapped up most of our brown patch and gray leaf spot trials in tall fescue, we thought now would be a great time to share those results with all of you so you can start planning your management strategies for next season.

Extreme brown patch and gray leaf spot pressure in a tall fescue fungicide efficacy trial in Rolesville, NC.

Extreme brown patch and gray leaf spot pressure in a tall fescue fungicide efficacy trial in Rolesville, NC.

Just like cookouts and ice cold watermelon in the summer, brown patch is almost inevitable to some degree in most swards of tall fescue in North Carolina, particularly in the Piedmont where it tends be warmer than in the Mountains. Brown patch, caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani, usually develops mid-to-late May and will express symptoms throughout much of August and even sometimes into September depending on the weather. Thankfully, brown patch is fairly easy to control given the number of highly effective fungicides that provide up to 28 and sometimes even 35 days protection per application. For more information about brown patch, please visit the following website Brown Patch in Turf.

Gray leaf spot on the other hand, well it’s more like when your in-laws or your favorite neighbor just pops in out of nowhere. It might not happen, but when it does, you likely weren’t expecting the visit and it can sometimes turn into a bad situation quickly. Gray leaf spot, caused by the fungus Pyricularia oryzae, usually develops mid-to-late July and will continue causing damage through late-August/early-September depending on the weather. Not only is this an issue for tall fescue, it also can cause problems with seedling ryegrass being planted early for athletic fields, golf courses, etc. The biggest issue, however, is the fungicides that most managers use to control brown patch in tall fescue don’t work so well against gray leaf spot which forces those growers to switch up the fungicide products or tank-mix multiple active ingredients to cover all the bases. For more information about gray leaf spot, please visit the following website Gray Leaf Spot in Turf.

Now, for the part you’ve all been waiting for. Below you will find a review of our most interesting fungicide research trials we conducted this year on tall fescue for brown patch and gray leaf spot management. The figures are self explanatory, however if you have any questions, please reach out to any of us and we’ll help you out!

Graph showing area under disease progress by brand.

Area under disease progress Curve in Tall Fescue.

Area under disease progress curve, brown patch and gray leaf spot by day 28, 35, and 42.

Graph of Area under disease progress curve by brand of treatment.

Brown Patch and gray leaf spot control in Tall Fescue.

Brown patch & Gray leaf spot Severity by treatment.

Written By

Lee Butler, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionLee ButlerExtension Coordinator Call Lee Email Lee Entomology & Plant Pathology
NC State Extension, NC State University
Posted on Sep 7, 2022
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