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A New Season Approaches

Hello again! I know my posts have been few and far between this winter, but now the snow has started to melt! I returned home this evening from pesticide applicator training in Eau Claire and Green Bay, WI and was excited to see my front yard again. I was also excited to see that my yard was free of snow mold damage, whoohoo! That being said our snow mold rating season is about to begin. We will likely head over to Milwaukee and Stevens Point, WI next week to do our first ratings. Most places in the Upper Midwest have had at least 6o days of continual snow cover, which is ideal for gray snow mold development. In Madison we have not seen bare ground since December 9th, so I suspect we will likely see substantial snow mold problems as far south as Chicago.

I have not experienced the travel problem that my fellow bloggers have. The only struggle I had was getting out of Oklahoma in January. A massive snow storm blew through Oklahoma and airlines were proactively cancelling flights. I had to be home that weekend because my wife had plans for my birthday, so I drove from Stillwater, OK to Madison. It was about a 12 hour drive and for the most part was quite pleasant.

The major change this year in Wisconsin is the statewide phosphorus ban in turf and landscape fertilizers goes into effect. Specifically the ban will take effect April 1, 2010. There are some exceptions to the regulation and they can be found on the following website: Basically, starter fertilizers are allowed during new establishments or if soil tests show that phosphorus is deficient. If you have any questions about this regulation please consult the website above. It does a nice job explaining the exceptions.

On a completely unrelated note, our department is celebrating is Centennial this summer. Here is the website: and it has some interesting articles from Arthur Kelman, J.C. Walker and Glenn Pound about the future and direction of plant pathology and the role of extension specialists in education. A nice program has been organized for June 24-26th and you are an alumni we hope you can make the celebration!

Now that the snow is finally melting, I will start posting on a regular schedule and if all goes well I will have some nice snow mold pictures soon. In the meantime hope you enjoy the Statue of Liberty on Lake Mendota, who knew they loaned out her head :).

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