Incorporating Poacic Acid into a Turfgrass Disease Management Program: Webinar Recording Published

Dr. Paul Koch, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, described recent efforts to use poacic acid to control dollar spot disease in turfgrass during the July “Pests and Progress” webinar.

Dollar spot is the most common disease affecting golf course turfgrass in temperate climates worldwide. Managing dollar spot can require 10 or more fungicide applications per year, which is increasing management costs. Dollar spot is also becoming resistant to the fungicide treatments that are available, and without treatment, the turf can be ruined.

Poacic acid, an agent that was a byproduct of biofuel production, has been found to have anti-fungal activities. Its antifungal properties were identified by Dr. Mehdi Kabbage and others at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and it that has shown promise in plant disease suppression.

Poacic acid is effective against dollar spot and snow mold in the lab but showed less control in the field. Since poacic acid does not mix well with water, Koch’s team partnered with industry to create an adjuvant to help the acid spread out and cover the blades of grass. Together, the adjuvant and poacic do suppress dollar spot to a degree, but it is not as effective as fungicides. Since the highest rate of poacic acid and the highest rate of adjuvant together produced the most control, trials will be repeated with increased concentrations to find the most effective rates.

Stay informed about poacic acid trials on Koch’s lab website, and learn more about turfgrass disease research and fungicide trials on the Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab website.

Paul Koch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and has been with UW in various roles since 2005.  Paul’s research focuses primarily on developing precision disease management strategies for snow mold and dollar spot in turfgrass, investigating the fate and impact of turfgrass pesticides in the environment, and the turfgrass microbiome.