The Groundsman

December 2015

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Page 46 of 51

WEATHER UPDATE 47 the Groundsman December 2015 Stormy times ahead An extended autumn and early winter of record warm temperatures has also seen intense storms with periods of heavy rain and flooding for some areas. The pattern is following repeated recent seasons, which brings a sense of foreboding for those that suffered horrendous experiences of the last few years. Despite the mild conditions so far, the long-range forecasters have already issued doom warnings that this could be the coldest and wettest winter ever. December 2011, 2012 and 2013 were all significantly wetter than average for the UK, with 138 per cent, 149 per cent and 162 per cent of rainfall respectively. Last year was also above average for the UK as a whole, although below average for most of England, south of Yorkshire. Furthermore, the six previous Decembers had all been drier than average. And last year turned out to be the second consecutive season of incredibly mild conditions. The average for England and Wales was 0.8°C above the norm; although well below the balmy highs of 5.7°C in 2013 - nearly 2°C above average. There were still 16 days with frost in the east of Scotland last December, along with 12 days across eastern England. And the frequency of rainfall events, on over 25 days in Scotland, for example, gave little time for surfaces to dry out for recovery growth. Proactive disease prevention The prospect of wet surfaces and even snow cover significantly increases the risk of Microdochium Patch (Fusarium). Disease thrives in wet surface conditions, and snow acts as a thermal blanket at soil level that creates permanently moist leaf conditions. Early reports indicate that, after the wet November, there is already a high incidence of Microdochium inoculum present on the leaf and in the thatch, which can be expected to increase as conditions turn more conducive. Applications of Medallion TL can reduce the pathogen loading in the thatch, and help to deliver • Watch out for risk of Microdochium (Fusarium) Patch infection • Use ITM practices and fungicide treatments to reduce disease risk • Remove dew and encourage air flow to keep surfaces dry • Apply Medallion TL fungicide ahead of cold, wet periods or predicted snowfall December Top Tips long-term protection for the turf leaf. Assessing this season's on-going risks, using the GreenCast five-day disease forecasts to proactively target application timing, can help to prevent disease affecting turf quality early in the winter, when there is little opportunity for recovery right through until the spring. Treatment justification Where it is possible to foresee periods of disease risk there is potential to get the best protection from proactive applications of Medallion TL, applied as close as possible to the infection period and targeted to reduce turf pathogens on the leaf, thatch and soil. In variable weather conditions, or if applications have been delayed, the multi-active Instrata offers greater flexibility. 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 December UK average weather highs and lows. 2013 was the third consecutive December with well above average rainfall – in fac,t it was 56% more than the norm. It was also the warmest December for over a decade UK weather records since 2010 highlight the typically warmer and wetter conditions that have been experienced in December – apart from the bitterly cold and snow covered 2010 Warmest Coldest Wettest Driest Sunniest Dullest On record (since 1914) 1934 (6.9ºC) 2010 (-0.9ºC) 1929 (213mm) 1933 (32mm) 2001 (64 hours) 1956 (20 hours) Past decade (2005 - 2014) 2013 (5.7ºC) 2010 (-0.9ºC) 2013 (188mm) 2010 (48mm) 2014 (57 hours) 2011 (41 hours) Av Temp (°C) Sun (hours) Rain (mm) Nights with air frost Diff to 30-yr av. Diff to 30-yr av. Diff to 30-yr av. Diff to 30-yr av. 2014 4.4 +0.5 57 +40% 133 +10% 10 -1 2013 5.7 +1.8 42 +3% 188 +56% 4 -7 2012 3.9 0 46 +13% 179 +49% 11 0 2011 4.8 +1.0 39 -5% 168 +40% 7 -4 2010 -0.9 -4.9 48 +24% 48 -62% 23 +12 Long- term av. 3.9°C 41 hrs. 121 mm 11 days

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