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The trip from hell and current disease issues

For those of you following my twitter or facebook account, you probably already know that I had been stuck in Europe for the past two weeks. While I often heard comments like "there are worse places to be stuck" and "I wish I were stuck in Paris", the actuality of it is that the snowball effect of being stuck in Europe was not fun (although I will admit that Paris is now one of my favorite cities in the world). More on my travel problems below. for the turf issues happening now.

While away, it was apparently back to some cooler weather around the region, but things are definitely starting to look more like spring around here each day. Annual bluegrass seedheads seem to be in full bloom and ratings taken last week confirmed that certain treatments can be effective at suppressing the seedheads when properly timed. I will mention that we did see quite a bit of damage as well from some treatments.

In addition to Poa seedheads, brown ring patch seems to be rearing its ugly head again this year. Remember to follow recommendations of found in previous posts to control the disease. Another chronic disease that is active in certain parts of the northeast is anthracnose basal rot. A sample was received today from a golf course that was showing active conidia (spores) of the anthracnose pathogen. I noticed reports of this disease a few weeks back, but believe that most have gotten it under control. This is definitely good news and cases of anthracnose starting this early definitely is not a good sign going into the season. When cases start extremely early (right after snow melt) we usually see things clear up and not persist throughout the year. When cases start showing up in May and June, then the disease seems to last all summer long and cause the most problems.

Early season dollar spot treatments should have been applied in most regions within the past 2 weeks as well. I have not kept up with what is happening in all regions, but at least from what I can see in State College, PA things have been considerably dry and we have even seen some drought damage starting to appear on putting greens. It seems a little early and many of you will push the limits early in the season in order to pre-condition the plants to the stress, but be careful not to go too far as damage has been observed this year.  Of course, rain over this weekend and early this week make the last few sentences a mute point.

As for my time in Europe...

Once the volcano in Iceland started sending ash everywhere all hell broke loose with regards to travel in Northern Europe. Flights were canceled across the board in what they called the worse air traffic problem; surpassing 9/11. In my attempt to get back to the states in reasonable time frame, I was shuttled from Paris to Amsterdam, back to Paris and then to Madrid. This involved about 10 hours in line at train stations, gouging in terms of pricing of hotels, and many hours on the trains. Finally, when we thought all was squared away we got stuck in Montpellier, France because the French train workers were on strike. We ended up renting a car and driving over 900 km through the night to arrive in Madrid at about 3AM on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. We finally made it out of Europe and back to the US at about 11PM Thursday night. For all of you hearing about the situation on the news...I can first hand say that it was worse than you could imagine!  Lesson learned though...when travel troubles like this occur in the future, you can bet that I will just find a seat in a nice street cafe in Paris and relax.  Chasing the travel only made things more stressful and didn't really get me home any sooner!

At least I got to see some cool things while in Paris:

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