The Groundsman

October 2015

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Page 46 of 51

WEATHER 47 the Groundsman October 2015 Autumn chill extends disease fears After several seasons of Indian summers and extended warm dry conditions, this year September had a far more distinct autumnal feel - and with it cooling, wetter weather. Slower growth and extremely high risk conditions for Microdochium (Fusarium) Patch outbreaks has already caused widely reported problems for turf surface conditions. A review of recent weather patterns highlights that seasonal autumn temperatures have typically risen two to three degrees over the past four decades. The trend is clearly now for warmer conditions continuing through the autumn and early winter. The changing weather patterns - including an increasing incidence of heavier rainfall - have significant implications for managing turf. GreenCast historic disease and weather records show that typically half of October days will see significant rain, with heavy dew on over 80 per cent of mornings, which creates increased risk of Microdochium Patch outbreak during the month. The experience highlighted the elevated risk of potential infection through October, with expected periods of sustained disease pressure that could see infection symptoms break out. Poa annua dominant swards and areas with lush growth that remain wet for extended periods, particularly with restricted air flow or deep thatch, will be especially susceptible. Disease threat Initial reports this season are that the Microdochium nivale pathogen is active, with outbreaks triggered by the onset of misty autumnal mornings in September an early warning of the potential risk this winter. During extended warm autumn growing conditions, Banner Maxx will provide fast moving systemic protection. As growing conditions slow, the contact+ Medallion TL will be more appropriate to reduce the pathogen presence in the thatch and protect the leaf through the cold. Experience has highlighted the value • Be aware of Microdochium Patch risk • Keep turf surfaces dry • Manage nutrition to avoid lush growth • Apply fungicides proactively October Top Tips of proactive early treatments to reduce disease inoculum prior to periods of risk, to give long-lasting protection through weather conducive to disease. Continued growth A return to better growing conditions through October would give the opportunity to build carbohydrate reserves and strengthen turf ready for the winter. As daylight hours and light intensity falls, the use of Primo Maxx to increase chloroplast numbers in the leaf is even more important to improve the efficiency of light utilisation. l World-leading on-line advice for turf • Up to the minute weather forecasting • Advance warning of turf diseases • Application zone for practical pointers • NEW interactive forums Michrodochium (Fusarium) Patch risks in October last year highlighted several peaks over the course of the month – which would help with appropriate proactive fungicide application timing October UK average weather. October last year reinforced the trend to warmer growing conditions, and were a precursor to an incredibly mild open autumn and early winter that continued right through to the end of December Av Temp (°C) Sun (hours) Days with more than 1mm of rain 11.1 11.2 8.2 11.3 9.4 10.4 +1.8 +1.9 -1.3 +2.0 +0.1 +1.2 -11% -12% -2% -3% +14% -9% +25% +28% -1% -3% -21% -15% +4 +5 +2 +2 -1 -2 Rain (mm) 83 78 91 90 106 85 159 163 126 123 101 108 18 19 16 16 13 14 9.3 °C 93 hrs 127 mm 14 days 2014 2013 2012 2011 2009 30 year av 2010 Diff to 30 yr av. Diff to 30 yr av. Diff to 30 yr av. Diff to 30 yr av.

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