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Microdochium patch running amuck!

Thanks to the lovely weather we've been experiencing in the Midwest, Microdochium patch has probably worn out its welcome. We just went through the second coldest October on record and I think one of the wettest! Absolutely perfect weather for Microdochium. Microdochium is a pathogen of many turfgrass species and can be especially severe on cool-season turfgrasses. The symptoms appear as small (<6 to 12 inches) water-soaked patches in absence of snow cover. Affected plants are blighted and may have a greasy appearance or may be a tan color. Stand symptoms can also have a pink or salmon hue evident after snow melt. Also symptoms tend to more severe after extended snow cover.

The conditions that favor disease development are cooler temperatures ( 32 to 60 F), high humidity and high nitrogen content in the leaf tissue. Snow cover is not required for this disease to develop, but is usually more severe when snow cover occurs. Microdochium management is fairly simple because many chemicals are efficacious. The tried and true combination for many people is a tank mixture of chlorothalonil and iprodione. Avoiding late season fertility applications seem to limit Microdochium symptoms. The exact timings to avoid are not know, but we are examining that particular question this winter.

Just returned from Pittsburgh attending the Turf Nerd Conference as John put it. The Agronomy Meetings are my favorite time of year. The graduate students at the meeting give fantastic papers and it is a real joy to find out what all of us are doing. For those that are not familiar with these meetings, our division C-5 is the second largest division in the Crop Science Society. Yet the camaraderie amongst the members of the division is great! I've heard that Pittsburgh was not a nice location years ago, but I really enjoyed my stay in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately I did not make it to Primanti Brothers. I did not have a bottle of Pepto with me and just getting over my recent battle with the flu I did not want to chance an upset stomach. Next time the corned beef and cheese sandwich is mine!!

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