Syngenta has revealed enhancements to its popular WeevilTrak program for 2017. In addition to the Optimum Control Strategy, which outlines a proven ABW treatment protocol, the 2017 WeevilTrak program features the growing degree day model, new golf courses serving as ABW research stations and real-time blog updates from researchers.
“ABW is arguably the most troublesome insect for golf course superintendents in the Northeast, so we will have more success controlling it if we work together,” said Dr. Mike Agnew, field technical manager at Syngenta. “I’m excited about the addition of Kyle Wickings, to the WeevilTrak Team.”
Dr. Kyle Wickings is an assistant professor of Soil Arthropod Ecology and Turfgrass Entomology at Cornell University. He will be monitoring golf courses in central New York and contributing to the WeevilTrak blog throughout the season.
“Every year, we review research from the WeevilTrak program to ensure we’re providing superintendents with the best recommendations for scouting properly and treating ABW populations,” said Stephanie Schwenke, turf market manager for Syngenta. “A recently published survey confirmed that WeevilTrak.com is the most popular means of monitoring ABW populations for superintendents. As we continue to learn about advancements in the management of ABW, WeevilTrak.com evolves too.”
One of the newest features is the WeevilTrak growing degree day model, which calculates GDD data for superintendents based on zip code and has been calibrated specifically to provide data for monitoring ABW development.
“We’ve strategically placed GDD tracking devices on each of the WeevilTrak monitoring courses to measure ABW development, based on heat accumulation,” said Steve McDonald, Turfgrass Disease Solutions owner and managing consultant for the WeevilTrak research team. “Research has shown that growing degree days can be a valuable tool for tracking ABW activity and that they effectively complement individual on-course scouting.”
The blog, which is updated weekly by a team of researchers, is just one of several tools returning for 2017. Additionally, superintendents can continue to use CrowdTrak to contribute to real-time ABW monitoring. CrowdTrak allows registered WeevilTrak users to submit insights and photos from their own golf courses via a short and easy-to-use form.