Pythium diseases: Go with what you know

Identify Pythium disease and control it with the industry standard: Segway Fungicide SC


Pythium blight

Editor’s note: The following article was supplied by PBI-Gordon. All product claims, research cited and other information is directly from the company.

When a new barbecue joint opens in the neighborhood, there’s usually lots of hype and long lines of people trying to get in on it. You have to try it, too. And why not? At worst, the burnt ends will be dry. But what’s true for a new restaurant isn’t always true for a new turf solution. And when we’re talking about something that can devastate your turf like Pythium disease can, taking a chance on the hype can be dangerous. Go with what you know.

Before we can control Pythium diseases, we have to know them:

  • Arguably the most destructive of the four Pythium diseases, Pythium blight attacks perennial ryegrass, creeping bentgrass, Poa annua, and fescues, with symptoms that include collapsed leaves and stems in circular patches.
  • Pythium Root Dysfunction occurs in bentgrass greens more than 10 years old. Symptoms include a lack of root hairs on darker roots, plus plant discoloration, thinning, and eventually death.
  • Pythium damping-off occurs in turfgrass seedlings both before and after emergence, resembling seedling wilt until it turns darker and eventually dies. 
  • Found in poorly drained creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass greens, Pythium Root Rot shows as irregular patterns of orange or yellow turf, with individual plants appearing dark and greasy.

Different diseases might call for different solutions, but one thing the professional turf industry knows: Segway® Fungicide SC is the standard for control of the four main types of Pythium disease: Pythium root dysfunction, Pythium damping-off, Pythium blight, and Pythium root rot.

The proof of Segway performance comes from real world and university studies. This North Carolina State University plot study shows Pythium root rot is no match for Segway.

2018 NC State test patch
2018 – North Carolina State University. Top: Untreated Control. Bottom: Rate: 0.9 fl. oz. / 1,000 sq. ft. (28 Day) Latest Application on July 11, 2018. Photos courtesy of PBI-Gordon

This Penn State University plot study shows Segway delivers against Pythium foliar blight.

2016 Penn State test patch
2018 – North Carolina State University. Top: Untreated Control. Bottom: Rate: 0.9 fl. oz. / 1,000 sq. ft. (28 Day) Latest Application on July 11, 2018.

Segway features cyazofamid, an active ingredient with a novel mode of action that stops spores from germinating, inhibiting all stages of Pythium fungal development. This mode of action puts Segway in Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) Group 21.

Labeled for use on golf course tees, fairways, roughs and greens, Segway offers exceptional application flexibility. Segway can be applied two times consecutively; Up to three times per year at the highest labeled rate, and six times per year at the lowest rate.

Segway offers one more important benefit: it has no known cross-resistance with other classes of fungicides, making it an ideal part of resistance management programs. Because the success of our industry literally depends on resistance management, PBI-Gordon developed Rotation Nation. Offering fungicide and herbicide application programs based on specific regions, each regional program offers a guideline for effective resistance management, including application schedules and tips for applying PBI-Gordon products and solutions for other companies.

As always, growing strong, healthy turf is the most important step in controlling Pythium diseases and all turf diseases and weeds. Best management practices include proper irrigation, air circulation, and fertilization, especially with nitrogen, and following a resistance management program. And when the threat is as serious as Pythium disease, go with what ya know: Segway.