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Pythium, AT&T PB ProAm and the Big Show in San Diego

I know this post is a day late, but I hope Megan doesn't mind me barging in on her Friday again. I'm lucky to have gotten out of Washington DC and back to southern California today with over a foot of snow forecasted for the area this weekend! I hope that the huge storm hitting the mid-Atlantic won't screw up too many folk's travel to San Diego in the next few days.

Pythium in the West
As Jim had mentioned in his post a few days ago - he was surprised to see the damage that cool season Pythium can cause in the Midwest. After this last year - I can say I'm a believer in cool season Pythium.

We're continuing to pick up Pythium from samples in California and Washington this week. Sometimes oospores are present in the tissues, sometimes not; but in many cases, we can get Pythium mycelium coming out 24 hrs after plating plants onto agar. We're in the process of ID-ing the species that we are finding now and I hope to have a better idea of what species are most common in the West.

The big question is: how much damage are these Pythiums causing. The short answer is: I don't know.

Typically, cool season Pythiums are not regarded as "killer pathogens". But....cold wet conditions that promote cool season Pythium development are not good conditons for turf growth. So what is the bigger cause of turf loss in these cases, the Pythium or the sh*tty weather? It may be a half dozen of one, 6 of the other.

Under cold weather conditions, it's certainly not a bad idea to try to control Pythium if it's diagnosed. I think I've said this before though - if wet and cold conditions persist, the Pythium can come back and plant growth and recovery may not be substantial until things dry out and get a little warmer.

As far as fungicide choices - I haven't seen enough data to be able to make a good recommendation for specific cool season Pythiums, but also haven't seen any data to show that cool season Pythiums have any differences in sensitivity to fungicides vs. warm temp. Pythium blight type species.

The difference though may be in the location of the Pythium fungi - many for Pythiums involved in cool temperature outbreaks - we've been seeing more oospores in the roots and crowns than in the foliage. If these Pythiums are causing more root/crown problems - systemic materials like mefenoxam (Subdue), fosetyl-Al (Aliette/Signature), azoxystrobin (Heritage), and fluopicolide (Stellar) may be more effective in penetrating these tissues. Fungicides that are less systenic like propamocarb (Banol), etridiazole (Koban/Terrazole), pyraclostrobin (Insignia) or cyazofamid (Segway) may need to be applied at higher water volumes or watered in to get into the root and crown areas.

There is certaily much more attention being paid to cool season Pythiums this year, and we'll keep working on this one to figure out what's been going on.

Prepping for the AT&T
Staying in line with coverage of some of the big tournaments in California --- The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is taking place in this week (Thursday - Saturday).

The Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course, Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach Golf Links are hostng the event this year.

Spyglass Hill Superintendent Bob Yeo has got a positive outlook despite the forecast for some rain:
Wet conditions have been the topic for the month of January here in California. 6+ inches for the Pebble Beach area [recently]. AT&T prep has been slow due to storm clean up and wet mowing conditions. [The] current break in the weather this week has allowed us to catch up in our preparations, but rain is forecasted for Friday and Saturday.

Disease pressure has been mild for me. Not any [conditions] to get the pinky* going, but I have used PCNB, and some other preventative products quite frequently to make it through this period before the tournament. Keep you fingers crossed for us!
*pink snow mold

We'll be keeping our fingers crossed and look forward to a great tournament for you guys in Pebble Beach!

The BIG SHOW in San Diego
The GCSAA National meeting is going to be in San Diego next week from Feb 8-12. Don't bring your board shorts and sun tanning lotion though - highs are expected only to be in the 60s with some showers on Wed.

None the less, I'm hoping for a great conference with some quality education and tours.

Just a quick run down of some of the Western GCSA's Events during the week:

California GCSA Hospitality Room, Wed Feb 10, 6:30 - 9:30 pm @ the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, 1 Park Blvd.

Northwest Room (Idaho GCSAA, Inland Empire GCSA, Oregon GCSA, Peaks and Prairies, GCSA and Western Washington GCSA ), Wednesday, Feb 10, 6:30 - 10 p.m. @ the Bristol Hotel 1055 First Ave.

Cactus and Pine Chapter Reception, Thu, February 11, 6:30pm – 8:30pm , The Horton Grand Hotel, 311 Island Ave.
(Apologies to groups who's information I didn't have...)

Until next week, Signing off from the Left Coast......

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