Brown ring patch, also known as waitea patch, is a turfgrass disease caused by the pathogen Waitea circinata var. circinata. The pathogen is similar to those in the Rhizoctonia genus that cause brown patch and yellow patch diseases.

The brown ring patch pathogen primarily infects annual bluegrass putting greens. It has also been known to infect creeping bentgrass. The pathogen is relatively new, as it was first identified in the United States in just 2005. 

Brown ring patch occurs in the spring and summer under humid conditions with low sunlight. It survives within a wide range of air temperatures, from 60 to 95°F. 

The symptoms of brown ring patch include the namesake patch, which in fact is more of a yellow ring early in the disease cycle. As the disease progresses, the yellow leaves on the perimeter of the patch can turn brown or even die. The patches range in size from several inches to several feet across. Brown ring patch symptoms are sometimes misidentified as necrotic ring spot or summer patch.

Brown ring patch is more common and more severe in environments with low nitrogen. Therefore, nitrogen applications can help minimize infection and aid in disease recovery.

Fungicide applications also help control brown ring patch. Liquid options include Fame C, Lexicon, and TEB 360 XL. Another option is Affirm WDG, which has a concentrated, water-dispersible granule formulation to deliver disease control through foliar and translaminar systemic activity. Whichever fungicide you choose, be sure to water it in after application.

Consult your ATS sales representative for help diagnosing and controlling brown ring patch on your course.