Innovation with Real-World Impact

BASF launched two groundbreaking DMI fungicides in 2019 with much fanfare. Two years later, we asked superintendents if the products lived up to the hype. The answer is a resounding yes.

By Pat Jones   

Pat Jones

In 35 years covering this industry, I have seen a steady flow of game-changing turf technologies: PGRs, improved seed varieties, vastly better irrigation systems, sophisticated cultivation equipment, high-efficiency fertilizers, etc. But major innovations on the disease management side seem to come less frequently due to the massive cost and effort required to bring a new fungicide to a relatively small market like golf.

As a result, broad-spectrum actives that are safe for turf and provide more than a week or so of efficacy have been harder to find. And the holy grail – a summer-safe DMI that works on a bunch of major diseases – seemed out of reach as more and more options fell out of rotations. Supers had largely given up on the idea.

But a few years back, when we started to hear about testing and trials for Maxtima® fungicide and Navicon® Intrinsic® brand fungicide (both based on BASF’s Revysol® brand DMI fungicide technology), ears perked up a bit because it promised to deliver the goods: superb control of dollar spot, fairy ring and more without fear of phyto. Many of the top plant pathologists in the world studied it…and liked it a lot. The question remained how the technology would perform in the real world of turf.

So, two years after Maxtima fungicide and Navicon Intrinsic brand fungicide hit the market, the folks at BASF asked me to independently benchmark how supers who’ve tried the products like them. 

I created and distributed a survey to let users rate the product and, more importantly, give some feedback – good, bad, or otherwise – to BASF. More than a hundred of you responded in detail. Here are the results of that study and what I learned.

Maxtima logo

Navicon logo

Superintendent satisfaction

After two years on the market, superintendents don’t like Maxtima fungicide and Navicon Intrinsic brand fungicide…they love them.

I’ve done quite a few product satisfaction studies like this in the past and I’ve never seen 90% of superintendents say they liked something new this much. Even more remarkable is that 60% of superintendents who have used one or both say they are VERY satisfied with the results. The comments I got from supers across the board – north, south, high-end, modest budget, etc. – felt almost giddy because the products work so well.

Why? What’s behind that kind of enthusiasm from veteran supers who face some of the toughest disease challenges out there? I took a close look at their verbatim comments to find out.

Let’s start with how these DMIs handle the heat…


Ross Miller

"Navicon is a cornerstone for our greens program during stressful summertime conditions. It puts our minds at ease that disease won’t be an issue during the challenging summer months."

Ross Miller
CC of Detroit


Steve Hammon

"Maxtima’s chemistry gives me the peace of mind to spray it on my 100-year-old annual bluegrass greens during hot weather."

Steve Hammon
Traverse City CC, Michigan


John Jeffreys

"Maxtima is an excellent DMI with no phytotoxicity so we can apply when it is hot and greens show no negative effects. Our target is take-all root rot (TARR) in mid-summer and we have seen excellent results."

John Jeffreys
Pinehurst No. 2, North Carolina

A lot of folks appreciate the extended control…(Click to expand)


Marlin Murphy

"With Maxtima, we can stretch our spray out an extra week. It is a very long-lasting product and cleans up dollar spot well."

Marlin Murphy
Stillwater CC, Minnesota


Tad Miller

"Both products give me 21 days of control, which saves me money and time. My roots are the healthiest they have ever been, which means firmer, drier and faster. I haven’t seen any soil-borne diseases since I started using these two products."

Tad Miller
Spring Lake CC, Illinois


Dylan MacMaster

"With labor always an issue, getting away from a 14-day fairway spray program has been a game changer. In season I was able to push applications to nearly four weeks with Maxtima, saving both labor dollars and peace of mind."

Dylan MacMaster
Lochmoor Club, Michigan

Southerners love what they do for two nasty diseases: spring dead spot and take-all root rot (Click to expand)


Seth Smith

"Maxtima and Navicon have both been integrated into our preventative fungicide program. Managing ultradwarf bermudagrass greens, TARR is one of our biggest concerns. Both fungicides do a great job of keeping those pathogens suppressed and maintaining a healthy root system."

Seth Smith
Royal Oaks CC, Texas


Billy Lewis

"Maxtima helped us eliminate stubborn SDS on a couple of fairways that tebuconazole and other products didn’t get. It’s a very affordable DMI without the risk of heat-related damage.”

Billy Lewis
Dormie Club, North Carolina


Charles Aubry

"Both have been excellent in controlling TARR. It gives us another DMI/QOI we can throw into the mix."

Charles Eugene Aubry
East Lake GC, Georgia

Efficacy. They just plain work… (Click to expand)


Alan Fitzgerald

"Having another DMI to fight my perennial dollar spot issue is great! We tweaked our program last year and added Maxtima and had no dollar spot for the first time in years."

Alan Fitzgerald, MG

LedgeRock GC, Pennsylvania


Tom Glorioso

"I have battled with summer patch on my annual bluegrass greens for the past 20 years here at Toledo CC. Last year adding Maxtima was the only change to my disease management program. It was also my first year without summer patch."

Tim Glorioso
Toledo CC, Ohio


Thad Thompson

"Maxtima is now in my greens rotation. I’ve actually only sprayed it twice on greens (as of July 2021) but both applications were during intense disease pressure. I’m very pleased with the results and happy to say that the Maxtima performs as advertised."

Thad Thompson
Terry Hills GC, New York

From the PhD Perspective

Superintendents clearly feel good about these products two years into their use. What about the university researchers who studied the experimental compounds that eventually became Maxtima fungicide and Navicon Intrinsic brand fungicide? What have they observed since the launch in 2019?


I asked now-retired Clemson legend Dr. Bruce Martin how he’d sum up the impact of these DMIs over the past two years: “It continues to be good stuff in both formulations,” he said. 

“One thing we’ve confirmed more recently is its absolute safety on overseeded grass (Poa trivialis) on bermudagrass greens even when seed were just germinated, and plants were very young. “We also confirmed excellent efficacy for mini ring disease, and we observed significant disease suppression beyond 28 days from the last application for mini ring. I would not suggest users should expect this control in all instances, but results do demonstrate very good disease control when other IPM measures are implemented.”

“What has impressed me the most about working with Maxtima and Navicon is how versatile these fungicides are and how they have enhanced spray programs across the country.”

Cameron Stephens, PhD
Technical Marketing Manager, BASF

Finally, Martin echoed what many supers said about TARR and SDS: “In the southeast we have to contend with both take-all root rot and spring dead spot. Revysol has very good activity against both diseases versus SDHI fungicides which have variable efficacy for SDS and very low efficacy for TARR. So apps timed for SDS will also take care of take-all for a time in the fall.”

Dr. Jim Kerns of NCSU said the products have largely performed as his trials predicted but said he’s been pleasantly surprised by the level of TARR control. “The products worked well in trials prior to registration and they have really performed exceptionally the past two years since launch,” said Dr. Kerns.


Kerns suggests the products are at their best when used preventatively: “They have curative activity, but recovery from disease is not dictated by the fungicide itself rather the health and growth potential of the plant. So recovery could take 10 to 21 days depending on the disease and the host. Yet, using the Smith-Kerns model to forecast applications preventatively, Maxtima and Navicon will provide exceptional suppression of the disease.”


Wisconsin plant pathologist Dr. Paul Koch said nearly every superintendent he’s talked with has been very happy with using Maxtima fungicide. “One of the strongest benefits of Maxtima is the combined protection against both dollar spot and anthracnose,” says Koch. “Most other fungicides will provide better protection against one or the other, so to have that combined protection from one product is very attractive.”


Koch was surprised to hear supers talking about not having to worry about phytotoxicity or overregulation during the summer months. “DMI phyto is not common in the upper midwest, but it does happen now and then and it's nice not to have that be a consideration when using the product during the heat and humidity of summer.”

BASF’s Dr. Cam Stephens said he’s been surprised by the widespread appeal of Maxtima fungicide and Navicon Intrinsic brand fungicide. “What has impressed me the most about working with Maxtima and Navicon is how versatile these fungicides are and how they have enhanced spray programs across the country. They’ve really been game-changers when battling numerous diseases throughout the growing season on both warm- and cool-season turf. The broad disease spectrum and superior plant safety of Maxtima and Navicon make them an excellent tool for any superintendent.”


9 out of 10 supers said they would recommend these products to a colleague

Rest of the story

Finally, we asked those 80+ superintendents who have tried the Revysol products in the past two years one more question: How likely would you be to recommend these products to a colleague?

Yup, 9 out of 10 said they would. That blows my mind a little because, in my experience, supers are often hesitant to endorse or recommend anything. Yet, in this case, more than half of them (53.5%) said they were highly likely to do just that for the Revysol products.


I’ve done a lot of this kind of research over the years and usually the best conclusion you can draw is something like, “The majority of customers felt Product X achieved good control of brown patch.”

In this case, it is pretty hard not to say: “Nearly every super who’s tried Maxtima and Navicon likes it and more than half of them love it.”


Why? These products check a lot of important boxes for supers:

  • Summer-safe DMI with no phyto or growth-regulation issues
  • Go-to spray for dollar spot, fairy ring and anthracnose that lasts longer
  • Strong broad-spectrum control on both cool-season and warm-season turf
  • Hammers TARR and SDS in the transition zone and southeast
  • Recommended enthusiastically by their local sales pros
  • High-value EOP buy

There’s one more box to check that matters a lot to supers: buying products from a responsive company that delivers innovative solutions year after year. Ross Miller sums it up:

“BASF supports us where it matters most – by continuing to develop and deliver exceptional new chemistries that are really meaningful to a key part of our facility’s success. When you combine that with outstanding technical support it makes BASF a cornerstone partner for so many courses – big and small budgets alike.”

Ross Miller,
CC of Detroit

And the scientists at BASF have done just that this year…deliver exceptional new chemistries for turf pros, including:

  • Encartis fungicide, the ideal fungicide combo to “bookend” your disease control program to start and finish strong. It’s an easy-to-use, pre-mix formulation, combining the strength of both boscalid and chlorothalonil for strong preventive defense for up to 28 days and fast curative action.
  • Alucion 35 WG insecticide, BASF’s first turf insecticide, a dual-active, non-RUP pyrethroid which quickly and effectively manages surface feeders like billbugs, chinch bugs, nuisance ants and annual bluegrass weevils.
  • Finale® XL T&O, a new twist on a proven, non-selective, contact herbicide formulation with enhanced active ingredient loading, pinpoint accuracy and fast control of the toughest weeds at lower rates.

“We’re really thrilled that superintendents have so much confidence in Maxtima and Navicon.... But now we’re ready to see Encartis, Alucion 35 WG and Finale XL T&O make their own impact. It’s an exciting time to bring new innovations and solutions to a great market like golf.”

Brian Thompson,
Turf Marketing Manager, BASF

A Note About Methodology: The goal of the study was to measure product satisfaction among superintendents who have ever applied the Revysol formulations BASF launched two years ago. We collected 112 completed surveys: 82 supers who had applied the product and 30 who had not. The non-users primarily reported they either weren’t aware of the products or they were in one of a handful of locations still waiting for registration. Out of the 82 respondents who had applied the product there were fewer than five users who felt unsatisfied with the product. - Pat Jones


Maxtima® Fungicide

Our turf-safe, broad-spectrum DMI that you can spray at any temperature, on any turf. 

Navicon® Intrinsic® Brand Fungicide

A dual-action DMI that controls disease with powerful precision.