The Groundsman

October 2013

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Page 12 of 51

INDUSTRY NEWS 13 the Groundsman October 2013 Treat turf to a 20/20/30 Headland fix Amongst our ever changing weather pattern, one thing that seems to have become established is the consistently warmer autumn periods, bringing the regular threat of enhanced disease activity. Longer seasons and increased demands for quality playing surfaces make it all the more important to try to minimise any disease presence, despite such ideal conditions, during these seemingly more predictable periods of attack. Headland's Andy Russell looks into the topic. Over the last few years, the influence of the jet stream has played an everincreasing role in the development of weather extremes in the UK and Ireland. Prolonged periods of 'peak' and 'trough' weather patterns now seem normal, resulting in unusually warm, dry 'peaks', and wet, cool conditions during a 'trough'. Conditions such as these have made it harder to manage diseases like Fusarium on a day-to-day basis, due in part to the increased speed and intensity of disease activity during warm weather, increased plant leaf moisture and a reduction in effective spray windows during cooler, wet periods. Maximising plant health going into and during this autumn period can have a positive effect on reducing the incidence of turf disease. This approach takes a longer term, strategic view of turf management using preventative applications of plant elicitors and plant hardeners, applied prior to the main disease period, rather than relying solely on costly, repeated fungicide application. Based on independent trials carried out at the STRI over the last 5 seasons, and many years of positive field experience, Headland Amenity customers have benefitted from just such a pro-active strategy to maintain surfaces in the autumn. The now well established '20/20/30' mix of specific plant hardeners and elicitors has shown excellent results and forms the backbone of many late season management programmes. The aim is to reduce the effects of disease occurrence by promoting a healthy, strong plant, which is more resistant to infection. Visit for more information and digital editions

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