What is Civitas?

I heard some buzz about Civitas quite a while ago, then a few Toronto area clients of mine started trials and were quite happy with the results. Civitas is not like chemical fungicides, instead of the sole focus being to kill the disease spores Civitas instead aims to activate the grasses natural defenses, thus giving the disease nothing to feed upon and will eventually die. Impressed by the results and the information on their website, primarily this video and trial results from the University of Guelph, I contacted Reinie Drygala Manager of Lawncare Products at Petro-Canada to learn more.

Turfhugger - When I think of Petro Canada I think of a gas station, not an environmentally friendly fungal control product. What division of Petro Canada developed this product, and are there any other products in the works?

Reinie Drygala - "Petro-Canada Lubricants blends and packages more than 350 different lubricants, specialty fluids and greases that are exported to more than 60 countries on six continents. Our products are used in health and beauty, pharmaceutical and food processing industries.

Petro-Canada has been an industry-leading developer of horticultural sprays for many years. Our PureSpray™ spray oils are non-toxic, clear, colorless, odorless and free of aromatics and carcinogens. In 2009, Petro-Canada launched CIVITAS at the Golf Industry Show. In addition to CIVITAS, Clear Choice is a selective herbicide that utilizes up to 85% fewer chemicals while still maintaining efficacy and is being sold to homeowners across the United States. Petro-Canada continues to develop products that will be launched over the next five years, expanding our presence in the Lawncare market".

Turfhugger - What are the active ingredients of CIVITAS?

Reinie Drygala - "CIVITAS is a unique breakthrough in fungus control. CIVITAS utilizes a revolutionary, patent-ending formulation utilizing a synthetic isoparaffin-based formulation that actually helps the plant defend itself against fungus. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, CIVITAS works with the plant’s natural defense system to fight off disease".

Turfhugger - Where is CIVITAS currently available?

Reinie Drygala - "Initially, CIVITAS was targeted on cool season grasses in the North East and Mid West United States. There are plans to expand into Canada pending PMRA approval. Next steps also include transition zone expansion and launch into warm season grass geographies. Visit our website to locate a distributor".

Turfhugger - What advantages does this product have over “Fungicides”?

Reinie Drygala - "CIVITAS is a real breakthrough. Only CIVITAS has a unique mode of action that helps the plant fight off fungal disease. Proven research from the University of Guelph demonstrates the efficacy of CIVITAS, works to promote turf health, has no maximum use per acre, has no resistance issues. CIVTAS has short re-entry intervals which help superintendents deliver tournament-ready conditions for their members. Has a unique mode of action that helps the plant fight off fungal disease".

Turfhugger - Why a colorant? Feedback from supers about the color?

Reinie Drygala - "CIVITAS does not utilize a colorant. Rather, part of the unique formulation utilizes an active ingredient that just happens to be green. This active ingredient mixes with the synthetic isoparaffin-based formulation to leverage synergistic effects. These parts allow CIVITAS to enhance turf quality, improving overall turf health and overall turf appearance. Superintendents value strong and healthy turf, resulting in positive feedback from coast to coast with the performance of CIVITAS".

Turfhugger - General Feedback from Supers? Any reviews in industry magazines you'd like to refer to?

Reinie Drygala - "CIVITAS has been very well received in the turf management industry. Since it’s launch in February at the 2009 Golf Industry Show, CIVITAS was highlighted in blog comments by university professors due to successful efficacy trials. In addition, CIVITAS earned a certificate of finalist recognition in the Best New Product or Service of the Year (Manufacturing Category) in The 2009 International Business Awards. Also, CIVITAS was a feature sponsor of the maintenance crew at the US Open, and has been used on hundreds of golf courses across the United States.

The revolutionary innovation behind CIVITAS will be featured on a documentary program “The Profile Series.” This series showcases the latest issues of the day and profiles new environmental solutions and breakthroughs. Stay tuned!"

I'd like to thank Reinie from Petro-Canada for taking the time to give Turfhuggers background info on Civitas and recommend the following links for some more technical background and trials.

From Turf Disease Blog - Civitas shows promise for control of Dollar Spot and Brown Patch

2008 Fairway turf study - Cornell trials (PDF)

2008 Putting green study - Cornell trials (PDF)

Dollar spot on fairways - Guelph trials

Dollar spot control - Florida trials

CIVITAS and CIVITAS tank mix show excellent results against snow mold

Quick re-entry time enables members to get back on course faster

Fits well into a resistance program, because there are no issues


Can't wait for this to come to Canada; with our increasing limitations in regards to practicing sound IPM practices this product will be a hit. To those out there who are skeptical, this stuff works!!!

I agree it will be a hit, but most importantly it represents a turn in the market. More companies will be delivering similar products. Competition leads to perfection!