Fungicides

Written by Courtney Salinas
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A fungicide is a chemical agent that kills, slows the growth of, or prevents the growth of fungi. Fungal infestations can be unsightly and dangerous to any type of turf, residential or commercial. The most prevalent use of fungicides is on golf course turf, where the turf is held up to the highest standards.

Fungus comes in many forms that can infect and harm plants and trees. These fungal pathogens usually germinate in moist, cool areas, like piles of fallen leaves or on the lower branches of a tree where it is shady. The fungi are often spread by winds, which make fungi very contagious in windy climates. In order to keep fungi in check, keeping the area clear of potential fungal breeding grounds is essential. Applying fungicide as soon as fungi are noticed will help control outbreaks.

The Effects of Fungicides

Fungicide users have to be careful of the amount of fungicide they use and with what frequency. Fungi can and have become resistant to fungicides. In the early 1970s, benomyl was introduced. This systemic benzimidazole fungicide hindered microtubule development in the nucleus and worked much better against dollar spot, a kind of fungal infestation, than any other fungicides available.

Benomyl was used widely by golf courses and almost exclusively, although there were other fungicides available on the market. Through widespread and singular use, dollar spot was eradicated, but only for a time. A year or two later, dollar spot began to show up again. The fungus had developed a benomyl resistant strain, which was now flourishing.


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