The Groundsman

November 2016

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Page 46 of 51

WEATHER UPDATE 47 the Groundsman November 2016 Autumn goes on November ought to see the onset of winter, but for the past two years has been more akin to early autumn. The prolonged extension of autumn has continued with unseasonably mild weather through to Christmas. For the south of England, last year's average daily high for the whole of November was balmy 12.7°C, but key were the cloudy conditions that also kept the overnight temperatures even higher above the long term average. Overall for England & Wales, the average minimum temperature was 3°C above the long- term norm. However, recent history highlights that there have been some dramatic cold snaps through November. Half the past five years have been below the norm. As recently as 2010 there was an unprecedented average 11 days of frost for the UK, and overall temperatures 2°C below average (Table); the east coast of Scotland had frost on 50 per cent of nights. Temperature variability, shorter days and wet weather all put extra stress on turf, as well as creating conditions conducive to disease. Where warmer days initiate growth, any soft leaf tissue can be especially susceptible to infection. Wet weather risk GreenCast historic disease and weather charts have shown that during any dry spells in November, the Microdochium Patch (Fusarium) risk correspondingly fell. But where rain fell, with leaf surfaces slow to dry, disease pressure remained exceptionally high throughout. Last year was exceptionally wet for large parts of the country, with corresponding high disease incidence. But the rain was highly variable, from double the average rainfall in west Scotland, to less than average in central south east England, which highlighted the importance of localised risk prediction. Integrated Turf Management options to dry surfaces - including drainage and aeration, improving air flow, switching- off dew and thatch removal - can help minimise the level of disease inoculum in the turf and limit the conditions for it to develop. Furthermore, applications of Contact+ Medallion TL will target disease pathogens on the leaf and in the thatch to further reduce infection pressure. Improved weather and disease forecasting can help target applications ahead of key risk periods. • 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 results November Top Tips New research by STRI has shown the preventative Medallion TL programme has given long-lasting results and can effectively keep turf clean right through the winter. 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. 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 November 2015 was the second consecutive year of incredibly warm temperatures for all – combined with exceptionally high rainfall for many areas creating very challenging conditions 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. 2015 8.2 +1.9 36 -47% 173 +52% 3 -3 2014 7.6 +1.3 52 -8% 124 +3% 2 -4 2013 5.5 -0.7 71 +24% 91 -25% 7 +1 2012 5.8 -0.5 62 +9% 136 +12% 6 0 2011 8.7 +2.4 59 +1% 101 -15% 1 -5 2010 4.3 -2.0 65 +11% 123 +2% 11 +5 Long-term av. 6.3 °C 57 hrs 121 mm 6 days

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