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Syngenta US News

Syngenta enhances WeevilTrak for 2017 annual bluegrass weevil season

  • Updated growing degree day model aids application timing
  • WeevilTrak blog  provides real-time course updates
  • Added consultant from Cornell University to WeevilTrak team
GREENSBORO, N.C., USA – For 2017, Syngenta continues to offer innovative tools through WeevilTrak™, the leading annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) monitoring program. In addition to the Optimum Control Strategy, which outlines a proven ABW treatment protocol, the 2017 WeevilTrak program features the growing degree day (GDD) model, new golf courses serving as ABW research stations, and real-time blog updates from researchers.

“ABW is arguably the most troublesome insect for golf course superintendents in the Northeast, so we will have more success controlling it if we work together,” said Mike Agnew, Ph.D., field technical manager at Syngenta. “I’m excited about the addition of Kyle Wickings, to the WeevilTrak Team.”

Kyle Wickings, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Soil Arthropod Ecology and Turfgrass Entomology at Cornell University. He will be monitoring golf courses in central New York and contributing to the WeevilTrak blog throughout the season.

“Every year, we review research from the WeevilTrak program to ensure we’re providing superintendents with the best recommendations for scouting properly and treating ABW populations,” said Stephanie Schwenke, turf market manager for Syngenta. “A recently published survey1 confirmed that is the most popular means of monitoring ABW populations for superintendents. As we continue to learn about advancements in the management of ABW, evolves too.”

One of the newest features is the WeevilTrak growing degree day model, which calculates GDD data for superintendents based on zip code and has been calibrated specifically to provide data for monitoring ABW development.

“We’ve strategically placed GDD tracking devices on each of the WeevilTrak monitoring courses to measure ABW development, based on heat accumulation,” said Steve McDonald, Turfgrass Disease Solutions owner and managing consultant for the WeevilTrak research team. “Research has shown that growing degree days can be a valuable tool for tracking ABW activity and that they effectively complement individual on-course scouting.” 

The blog, which is updated weekly by a team of researchers, is just one of several tools returning for 2017. Additionally, superintendents can continue to use CrowdTrak to contribute to real-time ABW monitoring. CrowdTrak allows registered WeevilTrak users to submit insights and photos from their own golf courses via a short and easy-to-use form.

WeevilTrak is only available for registered subscribers. Register now for a WeevilTrak account, and sign up for email alerts by visiting Join WeevilTrak and ABW tracking conversations on Twitter using #WeevilTrak.

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1Weevil Management on Golf Courses in Eastern North America. Journal of Integrated Pest Management, 1–11.