Maximize Turf Pathogen Management this summer with HEADWAY® MAXX and VELISTA® Rotation Program


Article written by Dr. Brett Morris, Technical Manager Turf & Landscape - Syngenta, ANZ.

As we transition from spring to summer, the weather forecast predicts warmer and drier conditions across much of the country. This increase in temperature and dryness may lead to a rise in pathogen activity, which could bring a challenge for turf managers in the coming months. For peace of mind in managing pathogens effectively across any turf surface this summer, consider using a rotation program with HEADWAY® MAXX Turf fungicide and VELISTA® Turf fungicide.

Fungicide Selectivity and Mode of Action 

Selectivity of fungicides are driven by its mode of action and those modes of action target 6 major cellular sites of the fungal pathogen. Multiple target sites of activity include energy production sites, cell membranes and general cell constituents, hence rotating groups to target these cellular sites reduces the risk of resistance. By rotating HEADWAY® MAXX and VELISTA® this summer you can cover more than a dozen various pathogens from Leaf Spot to ERI to Fairy Ring, thanks to the research and formulation of the products.


HEADWAY® MAXX is a powerful Group 3 & 11 combination of azoxystrobin and propiconazole. Azoxystrobin differs from other strobilurins available today in its movement in the plant and displays true upwardly movement from the point of contact (Fig 1). With a broad spectrum of activity on its own, the systemic nature of the active ingredients allows it to continuously move into new developing growth, thereby providing strong preventative control of pathogen spore development and germination. Propiconazole, a DMI fungicide, effectively targets a wide range of pathogens, particularly Ectotrophic Root-Infecting fungi (ERI). Independent research conducted in Australia and New Zealand on emerging ERI pathogens in turf, showed that HEADWAY® MAXX significantly reduced radial growth of several ERI pathogens in vitro. Propiconazole provides both preventative and curative activity, and when combined with azoxystrobin, it covers all growth stages of the developing pathogen (Fig 2).



VELISTA® consists of penthiopyrad, a unique Group 7 SDHI fungicide with a broad spectrum of activity. VELISTA® is both a preventative and early curative fungicide that works by disrupting energy production in the mitochondria. VELISTA® offers the ability to apply during periods of high heat and stress and is the perfect rotation option with the Group 11 strobilurins. One of its key strengths is its ability to control Fairy Ring, with fast results across all 3 Fairy Ring types following application.


Figure 1. Movements of strobilurins in the leaf.


The Benefits from HEADWAY® MAXX and VELISTA® Rotation Program?

From root tip to leaf tip, a rotation program of HEADWAY® MAXX and VELISTA® will provide peace of mind during stress periods. Key features

• One of the broadest ranges of pathogens controlled from Fairy Ring, ERI, Pythium, Brown Patch to Leaf Spot across cool and warm season turf 

• Three powerful actives targeting individual locations of the pathogen, minimizing the risk of resistance 

• Strong performance in both preventative and early curative control. 

• Research driven recommendations, with both products being the first-choice recommendation for multiple pathogens as per the Turf Fungicide Guide 

• Backed by Syngenta.

How to get the best from HEADWAY® MAXX and VELISTA® applications?

Monitoring soil temperature is a useful tool to guide application timing as many turf pathogens become active at temperatures above 12°C, increasing in activity as the soil temperatures rise further. To manage ERI pathogens such as Decline in couch grass, applications of HEADWAY® MAXX must be positioned around the rootzone with high water volumes (up to 1000 L/ha) using XC08 nozzles, followed by irrigation of at least 6 mm to wash in. For management of Fairy Ring in turf with VELISTA®, use high water volumes (up to 1000 L/ha) with XC08 nozzles and tank mix with a non-ionic surfactant like AGRAL® to assist with positioning.

• Access the Turf Fungicide Guide for a quick guide to all the pathogens controlled by both products. 

• Refer to the respective product labels for full information

For more information on HEADWAY® MAXX and VELISTA® contact your local Syngenta Turf & Landscape Representative.

Download the Technical Note and watch Dr. Brett Morris' video on HEADWAY® MAXX Turf Fungicide, below.

HEADWAY® MAXX Turf Fungicide, the trusted formulation explained by Dr. Brett Morris