As climate change brings more hot and humid weather, the severity and geographic range of fungal diseases are increasing. Disease control has become a greater challenge for many turf managers as they seek to reduce pesticide use. 4turf® tetraploid perennial ryegrass varieties have proven to be highly resistant to brown patch, as have several other outstanding diploid varieties from DLF. The use of 4turf®, and certain diploid varieties gives you a better brown patch resistance. Choosing varieties with high brown-patch resistance reduces your reliance on fungicides, and gives you a better pitch quality, more playing hours and increased peace of mind.

Comparison of brown patches and gray leaf spots on tall fescue.

What is Brown-patch?

Brown patch is a turfgrass foliar disease caused by Rhizoctonia spp. The fungus can attack all cool-season turfgrasses, but is most devastating to perennial ryegrass, bentgrass and tall fescue. Attacks are triggered by hot, humid conditions, especially if the grass has been over-stimulated with nitrogen fertiliser.

Brown-patch problems

Brown patch is becoming more common in high-end stadiums and training grounds across Northern Europe. The disease can potentially lead to the loss of an entire pitch if it attacks young seedlings during establishment or renovation. During hot, moist summers brown patch can also occur at a later stage of growth where it causes severe damage and dramatic reductions in pitch quality.

Brown patch on football pitch

Unique brown patch screening method

DLF has developed a unique greenhouse screening method to identify the most brown-patch-resistant perennial ryegrass varieties. Screening takes place at DLF Beet seed facility that specialises in Rhizoctonia. The scientists test varieties against a highly virulent fungal isolate from a European football pitch that suffered severe brown-patch attacks.

Sample of a grass variety with high brown patch resistance.

Varieties with high brown-patch resistance reduces your reliance on fungicide

Screening of different perennial ryegrass varieties.

Screening to identify the most brown-patch-resistant perennial ryegrass varieties

Sample of a grass variety with low brown patch resistance.

An increasing number of brown patch cases are observed due to climate changes

Screening results

The results of the screening show significant differences in levels of brown-patch resistance between perennial ryegrass varieties. 4turf® varieties are significantly more resistant to brown patch than most diploid perennial ryegrass but we have also identified specific diploid perennial ryegrass varieties with high resistance.

Screening results showing the average brown patch resistance score of perennial ryegrass varieties.

Find the perfect mixture

The Masterline® mixtures are designed for golf courses, stadiums, parks, etc. The mixtures consist of very fine-leafed and dense-growing, quality varieties. For enhanced performance two varieties of each species are always used in the mixtures.

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For over 175 years Johnsons Sports Seed mixtures have been equivalent to quality sports turf with an unequalled reputation for technical excellence, reflecting the standards set by the people who use them - those who lead the way in sports turf management.

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The MM Brand is one of the oldest most respected professional brands in the UK Industry with over 40 years knowledge in grass and wildflower seed. Our product portfolio is second to none with performance proven mixtures, that are used at elite professional stadiums, golf courses and international tennis centres.

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The latest Designer range of grass and wild flower seed contain mixtures and varieties that have been formulated over the last 30 years to withstand the UK climate and demands of the modern day sports and amenity professional. 

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Contact the amenity team

Amenity Team:

Telephone: 01386 791102