Spring is popping across the country, which means snow mold isn’t on many minds at the moment. But the snow has FINALLY melted off our research site in Marquette, MI and I am pleased to present the results of our 2014-2015 Snow Mold Research Trials. While the reports and pictures from each of our 6 trials are posted, the only two sites with any significant disease are Wausau CC and Marquette CC. I have a few comments on these two sites below, but I encourage you to look through these results yourself before purchasing your next snow mold product and discuss with your local sales representatives to find the best product(s) for your site and budget.
Wausau CC had 90% disease on the non-treated control, with pink snow mold (Microdochium nivale) being the primary snow mold present. Temperature at the turf surface held constant at 30°F for most of the winter (see last page of report), with the only exception being mid-December during a thaw that melted the snow down to a very shallow (and poorly insulating) depth. Despite this intense pressure, 77 of 119 treatments provided greater than 98% disease control. Most of those effective treatments contained 3, 4, or even 5 active ingredients, and it appears that in most cases a mixture of 3 active ingredients from 3 different fungicide classes is the minimum needed to consistently provide excellent snow mold suppression under heavy pressure. Many products we have come to rely on performed exceptionally well, including (but not limited to) Instrata, Interface + Triton FLO, Torque + 26/36, Turfcide + Concert, QP Enclave, and Lexicon + Trinity + Daconil. A couple treatments that we haven’t tested extensively before in our research but also performed well include Disarm C + Chipco 26GT, Disarm T, Interface + Mirage, and QP Strobe + QP Tebuconazole.
Disease pressure was even higher at Marquette CC, with non-treated controls averaging 94% disease and higher amounts of breakthrough on treated plots relative to Wausau CC. The primary snow mold present here was speckled snow mold (Typhula ishikariensis), and despite the intense pressure there were still 62 of 101 treatments that provided greater than 90% disease control. Many of the treatments that performed well at Wausau also performed well at Marquette, indicating that a good mixture of active ingredients from multiple chemical classes will protect against snow mold whether pink, gray, or speckled is present.
Once again the main thing I took away from our snow mold research is there are lots of product combinations that work well even under intense disease pressure. The key is finding a combination that works well at your facility, meets the expectations of your clientele, and meets your budgetary demands. If you have any questions on any of the results presented in these reports, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 608-576-2673 (mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org, or @uwpaul.