Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chipco Choice Slit Injection

This week we are making a Chipco Choice application for the treatment of mole crickets.  Mole crickets are an extreme nuisance to golf courses in our region due their continuous burrowing through out the soil.  If left untreated this pest can cause extreme economic losses to golf facilities by having an extremely negative impact on playing conditions.

Damaged turf in 7 fairway with the dead cricket after treatment.

Close up of dead mole cricket on 7 fairway this morning.

The active ingredient in Chipco Choice is fipronil.  Fipronil is an insecticide (or medicine) that has a very low use rate.  The rate being applied is 25 pounds of product per acre.  Chipco Choice contains only .1% of fipronil.  This is the equivalent of putting out .4 ounces of fipronil over an acre or 43,560 ft2!  To put that in perspective imagine trying to spread a tablespoon of sugar evenly over a 1 acre home lawn. 

Application of Chipco Choice is made through a process called slit injection.  The machine cuts small grooves in the turf and then drops the material into the furrow.  This minimizes exposure to the sun and wind and improves product effectiveness dramatically.  You may notice small lines on the course for the next few days but this should have no impact on the playability of the course and the slicing is actually an added beneficial cultivation practice for our course.

Slit injection equipment being used at The Preserve Golf Club.

Fipronil is very stable in the soil and has activity on mole crickets for several months.  The combination of ultra low use rates and the extended activity of fipronil allows for excellent mole cricket control while significantly reducing the amount of insecticides (medicine) applied to the course.  In fact fipronil is so safe that pet owners commonly apply this medicine to the skin of their pets for flea and tick control (Frontline) and it is poured directly into the soil around our homes for termite control (Termadore)

Below is a video of the Chipco Choice treatment process being applied by a certified applicator.

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