What's your Plan B?
IPM made Easy! The Power of Probiotics explained
Regardless of what side of the fence your on when it comes to environmentalism, the fact remains Golf Course Superintendents in Canada are losing reliable chemical tools at an accelerating rate. Health Canada is tightening the noose on acceptable levels of human and environmental exposures to toxic substances, and... probably should be. However, none the less, this significantly reduces the amount of effective chemical products allowable for use moving into the future. The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs are now mandated at every level of regulation. This means having even a basic understanding of Biological Activity in turfgrass stands will be of paramount importance moving into the future.
THPCo. has been working on Broadspec TechnologyTM with the development team at Eco Health Industries for over 4 years in the Pacific Northwest. That time spent trialing different product formulations tailored for the tough Pacific Northwest, lead us to the most revolutionary product development to come along in decades.
Broadspec TechnologyTM takes the need for knowing a complicated subject like Soil Microbiological and Ecological processes and turns it into as easy as knowing how to put product in the tank. After 27 years in the business, we feel Broadspec TechnologyTM is truly a game changer for the Golf Course Superintendent growing into Canada of the future.
The people at Eco Health Industries have laid it out below: All you need to know about integrating Broadspec TechnologyTM into your maintenance schedule.
'Don't do Nothing!'
Integrated Pest Management Made Easy
By Darcy Lepine,
Director of Eco Health Industries and Former CEO of Earthfort Microbial Biomass Laboratories
First off, this should be prefaced with knowledge that plants are most vulnerable to pathogenic attack when nutrient levels are low or imbalanced. Following an effective foliar nutrient schedule is highly recommended in order to maintain healthy turfgrass plants and a healthy microbe ecology. Heavy granular applications have been shown to adversely affect the microbe ecology in root zones. **Use granular fertilizers with caution. Spoon feed only when necessary if weather prevents use of foliars. The use of soil liquids is preferable to maintain a healthy root zone ecology. Aggressive aeration and rolling schedules are highly recommended in the Pacific Northwest regions.
Chemical Approach: Direct Control
The above diagram represents a normal distribution of good and bad microbes on a conventionally managed golf green under pressure of play.
Yes! disease organisms are there all the time. They live in a non-viral state when their numbers aren't high enough to safely launch an attack.
The disease we see with our eyes is a collection, or grouping, of thousands of microbes working together in a viral state.
Above is what it looks like immediately after a chemical treatment. Problem solved right?
However, look at the diagram below to see what happens next.
Below is how the microbes, both good and bad, grow back after a short interval following a chemical treatment.
Here's why we have to stay on top of disease constantly when using a chemical only approach.
All the vacant space left by the effective chemical treatment has allowed the disease microbes to 'out-compete' the good microbes for space and resources.
This is why you would need to frequently apply a chemical treatment to keep up with the pressure using a chemical only approach to disease prevention.
This is also why applying a chemical treatment leads to a dependency on their continued use.
Now let's see how a Broadspec Technology treatment works: Indirect Control
Same as before, the diagram above represents the distribution of good and bad organisms in a golf green.
This is what it looks like after a probiotic biological treatment.
All we have done is fill the voids. This makes it hard for the disease to spread to new areas.
It does not kill or remove disease immediately as with the chemical treatment.
However, it does help to resist the spread and limit the severity and duration of infection.
As seen above, over a short interval, the good microbes have out-competed for resources with the non-viral disease microbes,
and we see the same level of control as we do with the immediate control of the chemical treatment.
Notice the number of red dots between the two treatments by comparison.
Immediate effects of a chemical treatment on the left (top on mobile),
and the gradual effect of a consistent biological treatment schedule on the right (bottom on mobile).
Now let's consider an integrated approach: One Direct - One Indirect
If we consider combining the use of both approaches, for instance at times of high pressure in spring or preparing for winter, and we hit the reset button with an effective chemical application, following up with a biological treatment schedule will fill vacant voids and favour probiotics establishing dominance in the green. This would provide you with the immediate control of a chemical treatment and the long-term control of a biological schedule. This would limit the exposure to toxic constituents while preserving their effectiveness and keeping things safe and performing at high levels for your workers and your patrons. Keeping Chemical treatments in reserve and using Biologicals as a preventative we see as a WIN - WIN.