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Above Average Rainfall in 2010 in California; Brown Ring patch on Bent?

Finally, after being delinquent for over a month, I'm getting back into the habit of regular blog posting. It's been a hectic month with travel in the Pacific Northwest, California, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

As far as diseases in the West, it looks like things have been fairly "calm" disease wise. Brown ring patch seems to be active on Poa greens, but other than that, it doesn't seem like anyone is screaming about diseases (although I've heard that with the ups & downs in weather conditions in the West, Poa seedhead production has been coming and going over an extended Spring season this year.

California is Above Average!
(Well, rain wise anyways)

I was watching the Amgen Tour of California bike race over the past few days on Versus and thought about how rainy or overcast it's been looking on the stages from Davis to Santa Rosa and San Jose to Modesto. Looking at the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, I pulled off the info for California's rainfall from last July to now and it looks like we're about 7% above normal (or average) rainfall in the state based on the locations presented. Compared to 2009 (which was about 28% below normal), we are in much better shape.

* PON = % of normal rainfall

As a result, I am hoping that we'll be free of any emergency water restrictions that were present last year. One big added bonus to all of this rainfall is a definite lack of rapid blight diagnoses in the West this spring. Normally, we'll pick up rapid blight fairly regularly in the spring and it will often start picking up quickly in late April as overcast days mixed with temps in the 70s and 80s create conditions great for the disease on salt affected sites. I am really hoping that the rainfall this year will have really knocked the sodium out of many locations and we can look forward to less salt and rapid blight issues going into this late spring and early summer.

By the way, wouldn't you know it, just as we got some research funding from some of the California GCSAs to do some rapid blight work, the disease disappears. Apparently, I still have the ability to scare away diseases (and bikini clad supermodels) on research locations.

Waitea Think About This?

As mentioned previously, brown ring patch (Waitea circinata var circinata) is active in the West. Comments on our Facebook page also say that the disease is pretty active in other parts of the US. I got a little treat by email this week from a superintendent in southern California who sent in a picture of disease on his 2 year old bentgrass greens. Although the rings are not what we typically see with brown ring patch (BRP), this really looks like the pattern of the disease. Although bentgrass is normally more resistant to the disease, BRP has been diagnosed from creeping bentgrass in the West a few times this last year. Anyone else seeing this on creeping bentgrass this year? We're still confirming Waitea or not, but dang, that would be something new if BRP starts becoming more active on creeping bentgrass!

How Many Facebook Friends You Got?

Finally, just some concern and observations. As you know, our blog is linked to The Turf Diseases Facebook Page . You may have also noticed that there is a Facebook page for Poa annua and Creeping Bentgrass.

Current Friend Count:
Creeping Bentgrass: 254
Poa annua: 587
Turf Diseases: 649

So...just an observation, in the world of Facebook, Poa is more popular than Creeping Bentgrass. Turf Diseases is more popular than both of them. If we were in high school, that's be kind of like the nerds being more popular than the homcoming queen. How much longer do you think that Turf Diseases will have more friends than Poa annua? If it's anything like how the real world is, I have the feeling that Poa annua is going to spread much faster than Turf Diseases will!

OK, that's all for this week! Signing off from the Right Coast until then....

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