In a webcast for members of the media today, Syngenta anounced that the U.S. EPA has registered Daconil Action, a new product that combines the fungicide chlorothalonil with acibenzolar-S-methyl (ASM), a turf protein booster that the company says enhances disease control and improves turf quality. Daconil Action is the first of several new "game-changing" products the company plans to release over the next 12 to 18 months.
Syngenta's fungicide brand manager, Bob Goglia, said that the company has been working on reinventing its portfolio for some time and will be replacing older products with some products that have evolved from the old standbys and with some revolutionary products --- the "game changers."
Mike Agnew, Ph.D., senior technical manager for Syngenta, said that research on ASM has been going on since the 1990s. Professor Jack Fry and others at Kansas State University published early information on ASM (then called Actigard) in the July 2006 issue of Golf Course Management ("Reducing fungicide use on creeping bentgrass greens," p. 77-81). At that time, Fry and his colleagues found that cultivar selection and the plant defense activator Actigard had "the greatest potential to reduce fungicide requirements on creeping bentgrass." In an interview today, Fry said that ASM itself has no fungicidal activity itself, but it activates the plant's natural defenses. Interestingly, ASM mimics salicylic acid, a plant hormone that is similar to the key ingredient in aspirin.
Daconil Action is designed to be used preventively in order to build up plant strength so that the plant can resist diseases such as dollar spot and anthracnose. Syngenta says that the product has also been effective in suppressing pythium blight and bacterial wilt. The product has been registered by 40 states and will be available October 1.