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Weather and golf course diseases

Anytime we talk about any plant diseases, we can't help discussing the disease triangle. A prerequisite for any disease are a suitable host, a pathogen, and the proper environmental conditions. While the presence of a host and a pathogen are important, the current and future weather is usually considered the most important factor (I will save the discussion about the importance of the host plant and pathogen for a future blog).

For golf course superintendents, monitoring the weather is usually high on the priority list of daily tasks. Conditions can change fairly quickly and encourage the rapid development of turfgrass diseases. To assist, turf pathologists have developed predictive models for a handful of turfgrass diseases. While none the models are perfect, they do provide managers with useful information about what diseases may possibly be on the horizon.

As we begin to enter the period in the Northeast where turfgrass diseases become more prevelant, take some time to check out the following site that provides weather-based predictions for various turfgrass pathogens.

Cornell's Forecast

Currently in the field: take-all patch, dollar spot (just starting), brown ring patch, leaf spot, anthracnose basal rot, red thread, and Microdochium patch.

Get ready for: dollar spot and summer patch (preventive applications).

Do you know of other disease prediction websites or services? Post links in the comments!

2 Responses to “Weather and golf course diseases”

Dean Rollie said...

Syngenta's GreenCast at is a pretty good tool. I like the email updates on weather and pests/diseases.

John said...

Dean, thanks for the suggestion!

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