WeevilTrak from Syngenta, the industry’s only annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) monitoring program, is enhanced for 2016. In addition to an updated Optimum Control Strategy and new features on its website, WeevilTrak.com, the source for scouting annual bluegrass weevils[i] also has a new managing consultant leading the charge.
Steve McDonald, Turfgrass Disease Solutions (TDS) owner, and a member of the WeevilTrak research team since the program began, is the program’s new managing consultant.
“The ABW has evolved since WeevilTrak began in 2009, and the program is evolving with it,” McDonald said.
WeevilTrak researchers will be pulling data from 30 different golf courses. The company also is adding a new feature called CrowdTrak, which allows superintendents to report their own scouting data. With more data to pull from, researchers should be able to make their most accurate predictions yet.
Created to get more superintendents involved in the data collection process, CrowdTrak allows registered WeevilTrak users to submit insights from their own golf courses via a short and easy-to-use form.
“In addition to providing our researchers with more data, we hope CrowdTrak will offer superintendents increased engagement with WeevilTrak,” explained Mike Agnew, Ph.D., technical manager for Turf and Ornamentals at Syngenta. “WeevilTrak was created for superintendents, and we think the program can be more successful through collective contributions. 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.”
CrowdTrak is expected to be live on WeevilTrak.com by March 1.
Another new feature of WeevilTrak.com expected to make its debut in early March is the growing degree days (GDD) model. This tool calculates GDD data for superintendents based on zip code. The WeevilTrak GDD model has been calibrated specifically to provide data for monitoring ABW development.
“We don’t recommend that superintendents use growing degree days in lieu of scouting,” McDonald said. “But research has shown them to be a valuable tool for monitoring ABW development. The degree-day data that we collect from each of the WeevilTrak monitoring sites significantly affects our recommendations for when certain ABW treatments should be applied.”