Get to the point

Dollar spot beware! There’s a new strobi being tested that is proving to be a powerful tool against this sinister, summer blight.

Developing a fungicide means displaying extreme patience. Test. Wait. Test some more. Wait some more. The process doesn’t always mesh with a society tilted toward instant gratification.

For the last 10 years, the Nufarm/Valent fungicide Pinpoint has been tested on university research plots for dollar spot control. The fungicide has received approval for use in Canada and is still awaiting EPA registration. Pinpoint is the first new fungicide introduced by Nufarm/Valent since the companies announced a collaborative agreement in 2014. “When it takes 10 years for something to come out, there’s a huge investment before one package is even sold,” The Ohio State University turfgrass pathologist Joe Rimelspach says. “A lot of leg time goes into it.”

GCI recently visited the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Research and Education in Columbus, Ohio, to meet with Nufarm and Valent representatives, discuss the fungicide with Rimelspach and Ohio State colleague Todd Hicks, and observe test plots. Pinpoint targets dollar spot on greens and fairways and its active ingredient mandestrobin represents a newcomer to the golf industry. Mandestrobin belongs to the strobilurin class of fungicides. Pinpoint is the first strobilurin that doesn’t have to be used in combination with another fungicide to target dollar spot, according to Hicks.

Pinpoint has been tested under a variety of conditions at Ohio State, along with other universities and multiple golf courses, in the past decade. The Ohio State duo tested Pinpoint at 14-, 21- and 28-day intervals during mild, sticky and hot summers using the product at a rate of two gallons per 1,000 square feet.

“The nice thing about having multiple years is that we have done work from 14 up to 28 days,” Nufarm technical director Jason Fausey says. “Fourteen to 21 days for dollar spot is going to be our suggested program. I know some of those early spring applications were well over 21 days depending on the time and the pressure. Leaning on research and efficacy data, we like a 14- to 21-day interval.”

Pinpoint possesses preventative and curative activity, although Fausey says, “its strength is going to be the preventative activity.” Hicks sees the fungicide fitting nicely into a summer dollar spot control program.

“Two questions a superintendent asks … First, does it work? And, second, OK, now where do I use it?” Hicks says. “I like this chemistry because of the safety factor of using it in the summer. We have not seen any adverse effects no matter what the weather pattern is. In the middle of the summer from June 15 or 20 to about August 20 is what superintendents call ‘the survival zone.’ I get everything the way I want it by that period and I just try to maintain it as it slowly weans off and turns worse until I can grow it back. If you have something that gives protection and is safe to use, that’s a huge bonus for a superintendent.”
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