New Turf Advisor app to support active management decisions

The new Turf Advisor app from Syngenta will now give greenkeepers, turf managers and agronomists instant access to a wealth of key information and advice to help make better decisions for day-to-day actions and planning.

Fully customisable for any location and situation, the revolutionary Turf Advisor app provides essential weather data and turf management models, presented in a clear dashboard that can be tailored and adapted through the season to focus on imminent issues and challenges faced.

UK & Ireland turf managers will be the first to have access to the immense global Syngenta investment in supporting turf managers and agronomists to make more effective sustainable turf management decisions.

The displayed data sets in Turf Advisor have been specifically selected as factors that influence turf health and management, including rainfall, leaf wetness, humidity, soil temperatures, Day length and evapotranspiration, for example.

Uniquely, it displays both the historic weather data for recent days that will have impacted on current turf health and quality, along with the forecast information for the coming days helping turf managers understand where they sit in a weather pattern, helping them to make management decisions.

Furthermore, the app makes many of the renowned Syngenta turf disease forecasting models more accessible and easier to use – enabling turf mangers to instantly assess risks, set risk thresholds tailored to their site and plan their actions. GreenCast disease models available include microdochium patch, anthracnose, grey leaf spot and a new for Syngenta UK & Ireland specific Smith-Kerns model for Dollar spot pressure forecasting.

Registered users can select and change which of the data sets they have showing on their personalised dashboard, and the order they display.

That will enable their dashboard to be tailored through the year - to focus on microdochium patch factors coming into autumn high risk periods, for example, then adapted to better cope with managing grass growth rates in the spring.

Turf Advisor incorporates the Growing Degree Day calculator that has proven the most favoured digital support tool on the Syngenta Turf website, along with an exciting new Growth Potential model. The two can be used in conjunction to more accurately predict growth patterns and product application timings. Importantly, users can now see their cumulative GDD tally in real time, to plan actions and application timings on the move.

Also built into the app is a clear spray window forecast, which can prove crucial in ensuring applications are made at the most appropriate timing and in the optimum conditions to improve efficacy and accuracy.

Syngenta EAME Technical manager, Glenn Kirby, has been instrumental in developing the Turf Advisor app. As a former course manager, his practical experience has ensured the app delivers the information he would use in making turf management decisions every day.

“The app has been entirely designed from the viewpoint of a practical greenkeeper or turf manager,” he reported. “We all know that subjectively we are using data around the weather and our own experience of the course to make decisions.”

“With Turf Advisor we now have objective data and records that can help support stronger practical turf management decisions."

"It in no way replaces the turf manager’s experience, but helps to support and validate their decisions,” he pointed out.

It has taken many of the aspects of the pioneering and globally renowned GreenCast website and added a whole raft of new elements selected to support turf management – and made it readily accessible and easy to use in an app.

“Microdochium attacks are influenced by a multitude of factors, for example,” he added. “The GreenCast microdochium model will pinpoint when there is the highest risk of outbreaks according to rain and temperatures, but for the most effective proactive strategies it should be used in conjunction with leaf wetness, humidity, GDD and Growth Potential to assess how it will impact on the turf and immediate implications.

“All those factors can be instantly viewed on the dashboard in the Turf Advisor app.” Users can set two profiles within the app enabling them to truly customize for their needs.

Syngenta trials of new fungicides and biocontrols will now include a Turf Advisor led programme, so that the launch of new products can be supported by the digital tools and recommendations.

With the extension of Syngenta’s new Ascernity fungicide on golf greens and tees, for example, Glenn highlighted that the balanced systemic product will be optimised when Turf Advisor indicates a Growth potential above 0.2 (20%). “That can be incredibly helpful in generating a preventative fungicide programme and an informed decision on when to switch to the contact Medallion TL,” he advised.

Turf Advisor app is now available to download free for Apple and android devices, from the app Store or Google Play. Users can follow a series of YouTube videos with suggestions of how to set up their dashboard and useful factors to focus on for potential challenges over the coming months.

Further seasonal advice will be provided through the GreenCast Advisory Blog and On the Horizon podcast.

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