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TECHNICAL


Professional turf management has been a bit of a late arrival at the party, we’ve been pushed toward looking at biological controls rather than embracing them enthusiastically


For example, the same broad-spectrum fungicide we apply to control Microdochium nivale might prove detrimental to the population of beneficial microbes we have been attempting to support. That can be absolutely appropriate but the important thing to recognise is that it is an informed, conscious decision where we know what we are doing and our decisions determine the outcome.


Biorational product solutions


Ideally, as managers we need to predict the outcome of the operations we undertake and the products we use. This is becoming increasingly important if we are undertaking contradictory actions without thought or understanding, we are not going to get anywhere, i.e. aerating to stimulate bacteria but then applying ferrous (iron) sulphate to target another problem which then kills


the bacteria we’ve encouraged to assist with the original concern. Use of biorational products will be a key determinant of our ability to effectively develop a best practice integrated pest management approach which enables us to deliver nutrients and control pests without negatively affecting non-target species or the beneficial microorganisms within biocontrols. The term biorational describes


substances or processes that, when applied in a specific system or ecological context, have little or no adverse consequence for the environment and non-target organisms, but cause lethal or other suppressive or behaviour modifying action on a target organism and augment the control system. Regardless of origin, these agents might be developed from natural or synthetic models, and generally exploit the evolutionary divergence of physiological systems in the


PC April/May 2019 145





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