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STRI warns of consequences from insecticide withdrawal

Loss of chemical management option could result in significant damage to golf courses.

A severe case of leatherjacket damage to a green, with the holes from emerging adult crane flies clearly visible.  
STRI, the official agronomists to The R&A Championship Committee, has published an article which outlines the potential damage that golf courses across the UK could see as a result of the loss of chemical options for the management of the larvae of the crane fly, known as leatherjackets, and that of the chafer beetle.

STRI report that golf clubs have already seen large numbers of small holes to greens as adults emerge from their larval forms, often with dead grass circling the hole from larvae grazing on roots, and ground through the green ripped up by birds and badgers feeding on the larvae.

A leatherjacket – the larva of the crane fly.
Integrated pest management options are limited and seem unlikely to protect golf courses to anything like the level afforded by the withdrawn insecticides containing the active ingredients chlorpyriphos and imidacloprid.

Whilst potential management solutions are being considered, it is likely that golf courses will witness further damage before effective programmes can be devised and guidance circulated.

This is a further example of the pressure being placed on land managers in many sectors across the world as government regulation limits the availability and use of pesticides.

The article by STRI is available here.