Turf Disease Take Down

New Pillar® SC Intrinsic® brand fungicide from BASF controls 26 key turf diseases and improves overall plant health

FOR LAWN CARE OPERATORS, diagnosing turf diseases correctly is half the battle. To help combat the majority of turf diseases more effectively, BASF has released a new product — Pillar SC Intrinsic brand fungicide.


This fungicide has been specifically designed for the lawn care market — a first for BASF.


Pillar SC brings the same, trusted combination of active ingredients that we have in our current Pillar G product, which is a granule, but this comes in a sprayable formulation,” says Kyle Miller, BASF technical specialist for the northern U.S. “While Pillar G has been very successful, many lawn care companies prefer a sprayable product.”

Dollar spot

Miller says creating the new sprayable fungicide was essential to providing more options to LCOs.

“We’ve got limited options in the lawn care market that deliver what LCOs really need - broad-spectrum and long-lasting disease control” Miller says. “Pillar SC was developed specifically for use in lawn care. So that means even our research trials were targeted on lawn turf to ensure Pillar SC performs as expected in those situations, and what we found is that this product is a great fit.”


“We’ve tested it in many different spray situations that LCOs might use,” he says. “This formulation has been optimized for convenience and reliability, it mixes very well regardless of what type of equipment you’re running it through.”


Pillar SC Intrinsic brand fungicide delivers a dynamic combination of two broad-spectrum ingredients, pyraclostrobin and triticonazole, for excellent control of a wide variety of turf diseases.


Emma Lookabaugh, PhD, BASF technical specialist for the Southeast, says the fungicide’s duo of powerhouse ingredients makes the product an ideal solution for the lawncare market.

Brown patch and weeds

Pillar SC provides broad-spectrum protection against 26 turf diseases including some of the toughest lawn diseases, like brown patch, large patch, dollar spot - even take-all root rot and fairy ring,” she says. “Pillar SC readily fits into existing preventative fungicide programs for fast curative and season-long control. Plus, its two active ingredients work together to delay resistance development of fungal pathogens.”


Lookabaugh acknowledges there’s nothing worse than when disease takes over a lawn. She notes that Pillar SC Intrinsic brand fungicide works to combat disease preventively and even when disease is already active.

“Turf diseases like brown patch and large patch can be quite devastating to lawns,” she says. “These diseases can progress fairly quickly and if not controlled, can take out large areas of grass. Once the turf is dead, that’s when weeds can come in and take over. You end up with an unsightly front yard full of dead patches and weeds – and with that kind of damage the turf can take a long time to recover.

“Like Kyle mentioned earlier, currently there are only a handful of products out there and of those, very few offer any curative control,” Lookabaugh adds. “Pillar SC starts working very quickly to control diseases that are already present and provides long-lasting control.” And because it’s such a broad-spectrum product, Pillar SC Intrinsic brand fungicide is simple to use for most scenarios.

Brown patch

“We took the guesswork out of disease control with the pre-mix formulation,” Lookabaugh says. “It’s easier to mix and load, so that’s a huge benefit for our LCO customers. The label is simple. We have one rate on the label and that one rate controls all diseases, so you don’t have to try and figure out what rate to use for brown patch versus dollar spot or any other disease you’re after. You use one fluid ounce per thousand square feet for everything.”


LCOs also don’t have to worry about crafting a complicated schedule for using Pillar SC Intrinsic brand fungicide, since the label allows up to five applications per year. “You have quite a bit of flexibility to put out applications when you need them the most with this product,” Lookabaugh says.


While Pillar SC Intrinsic brand fungicide fights a number of tough turf diseases, Lookabaugh and Miller agree that it’s especially useful against one common foe of LCO’s: “What really sets this product apart is strong dollar spot activity,” Lookabaugh says.

And for most LCOs, that’s a disease they run into all too frequently.

“Dollar spot is the number two disease in lawns across the country, and Pillar SC has an advantage over the other lawn care products in controlling this particular disease,” Miller says. “Both of the active ingredients in Pillar SC have excellent activity on dollar spot.”


Diseases like dollar spot can be particularly hard to diagnosis when there are several types of turf in play, and Lookabaugh says this is where Pillar SC Intrinsic brand fungicide can be especially useful. 

Large patch

“Symptoms of brown patch and dollar spot are difficult to differentiate and it is common to have both diseases active at the same time. This is especially true in lawns with mixed turf types, like Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue blends. When we hear customers say ‘x fungicide isn’t controlling brown patch’ it’s usually a misdiagnosis and the product is actually failing to control the dollar spot. What’s great about Pillar SC is that it combines two active ingredients that work together to control whatever diseases pop up. Even when you have more than one disease present, you’re going to get effective and reliable control,” Lookabaugh says.


And not only is Pillar SC Intrinsic brand fungicide essential for fighting disease, but Miller says there are added benefits of plant health when regularly using this product. 


“Pyraclostrobin, one of the unique active ingredients in Pillar SC, can reduce turfgrass stress in so many ways,” he says. “This is very well documented in both BASF and university trials. Not only is Pillar SC an excellent fungicide, it’s also able to deliver what we call improved plant health by minimizing the effects of heat, drought, traffic, shading and other environmental stresses on your turfgrass. That’s what the Intrinsic brand means in the name Pillar SC Intrinsic.”

Miller says that alone makes it an even more important tool in an LCO’s toolkit. “In the end, you get two for the price of one with a product like Pillar SC,” he says. “It delivers great disease control and improved plant health.”

Always read and follow label directions. Pillar and Intrinsic are registered trademarks of BASF.

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