The Groundsman

November 2015

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WEATHER UPDATE 55 the Groundsman November 2015 Autumn extension At the start of last winter November proved a prolonged extension of autumn, with unseasonably mild weather through to Christmas. Some areas had no frosts at all, and typically only one or two even in the north and Scotland. For the south of England, last year's November daily high for the whole month averaged 11.6°C, but key were the cloudy conditions that also kept the overnight temperatures up. In parts of Scotland, the average minimum temperature was 2.6°C above the long- term norm. However, recent history highlights that there have been some dramatic cold snaps through November. Three of the past five years have been below the norm, with an unprecedented average 11 days of frost for the UK in 2010, and overall temperatures 2°C below average (Table 1); the east coast of Scotland had frost on 50% of nights. Over recent years, November has experienced great fluctuations in average temperature and rainfall, making it especially difficult to plan turf operations. Temperature variability, shorter days and wet weather all put extra stress on turf, as well as creating conditions conducive to disease. Where there are warmer days, any soft leaf growth can be especially susceptible to infection. Localised conditions GreenCast historic disease and weather charts have revealed that during any dry spells in November, the Microdochium Patch (Fusarium) risk correspondingly fell. But where any rain fell in the same period, leaving leaf surfaces almost permanently wet, the disease pressure remained exceptionally high throughout. Integrated Turf Management options can help minimise the level of disease inoculum in the turf and to limit the conditions in which it can develop - including drainage and aeration to dry surfaces and improve air flow, switching- off dew and thatch removal. Furthermore, applications of Contact+ Medallion TL will target disease pathogens on the leaf and in the thatch to further reduce infection pressure. That, combined with new research showing uptake and movement of active with the • Watch out for risk of Microdochium Patch infection • Use ITM practices and fungicide treatments to reduce disease risk • Cold nights after warm, bright days can put extra stress on turf plants • Use Contact+ Medallion TL to give long-lasting protection November Top Tips plant to protect new autumn growth, has provided long-lasting results right through the winter months. In milder periods of intermittent turf growth, mixing actives to include both contact+ and systemic activity, such as Instrata, will give greater flexibility to target different stages of disease. Preventing disease attacks and consequential damage to playing surfaces is especially important through the late autumn and early winter. As weather conditions deteriorate, there will be limited opportunity for recovery until the spring. 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 UK weather records since 2010 highlight the extremely variable seasonal conditions that can be experienced in November Av Temp (°C) Sun (hours) Nights with air frost 7.6 5.5 5.8 8.7 4.3 +1.3 -0.7 -0.5 +2.4 -2.0 -8% +24% +9% +1% +11% +3% -25% +12% -15% +2% -4 +1 0 -5 +5 Rain (mm) 52 71 62 59 65 124 91 136 101 123 2 7 6 1 11 6.3 °C 57 hrs. 121 mm 6 days 2014 2013 2012 2011 30 year av 2010 Diff to 30 yr av. Diff to 30 yr av. Diff to 30 yr av. Diff to 30 yr av. Warmest Coldest Wettest Driest Sunniest Dullest On record (since 1914) 1994 (8.9ºC) 1919 (2.3ºC) 2009 (217mm) 1945 (22mm) 2006 (79 hours) 1962 (39 hours) Past decade (2004 – 2014) 2011 (8.7ºC) 2010 (4.3ºC) 2009 (217mm) 2004 (75mm) 2006 (79 hours) 2004 (46 hours) November weather highs and lows – UK average temperature, rainfall and sunshine hours. 2010 and 2011 recorded the coldest and then warmest November average temperatures for nearly twenty years

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