Golf courses affected by contaminated fungicide ArmorTech ALT 70 are no longer in danger of losing more turf and are on their way to varying degrees of recovery, according to a press release by the NovaSource business unit of Tessenderlo Kerley Inc.
The brief statement on the Alt70info.com website identified the offending chemical but did not explain how the contamination occurred.
The problem was caused by the “non-selective herbicide sulfometuron methyl (SM),” according to the release, which also stated that 18 courses in 11 states were affected. Damage ranged from “insignificant to serious,” the release stated.
At least two courses, one in North Carolina and one in Connecticut, were forced to regrass all their greens after applying tainted Alt70.
According to one superintendent contacted by Superintendent magazine, NovaSource compensated affected courses for the damage. He said his club signed a non-disclosure agreement with NovaSource and was not allowed to discuss the settlement.
The company press release states Jim Connolly, a former agronomist for the United States Golf Association’s Green Section, was hired by NovaSource to advise affected courses. He recommended approaching the problem areas much the same way one would deal with turf loss from winterkill or disease. Replacement of existing root zone soil was deemed not necessary because SM has a short half-life.
“Accordingly, every golf course that applied seed and/or sod on the surface of affected areas saw successful establishment at about 30 days after the last application of contaminated product. After 45 days, there was no evidence of SM causing the decline of existing or new grass,” the release stated.