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Greetings from the Midwest

Hello from the Midwest! I have been on hiatus from the blog because of a family issue that popped up. The main news from the Midwest has been the extremely warm spring. Most places in the Midwest experienced the second or third warmest spring on record. Samples have been rolling in to the Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab (TDL), but there has not been a consistent trend in our diagnoses. In other words, no single disease has dominated the Midwest. With the recent weather conditions, at least in Wisconsin, turfgrass is very happy! The picture to the right documents the average daily temperature from May 17 to now, which has been fairly warm for us.

We have seen a little bit of brown patch develop a few weeks ago when we were very hot and humid. Dollar spot has been seen throughout the Midwest and was first observed about two weeks ago. What a difference a year can make! Last year we were still dealing with snow mold and winter injury this time last year. This year we are already fretting over brown patch and dollar spot.

We have had a few samples already with symptoms characteristic of take all patch. After looking at the samples we had to do a double take, because it is way too early for take all patch. Again we had to keep in mind the extremely warm and early spring we experienced. We have had a few samples submitted complaining of small, yellow, irregular patches that developed in mid to late April. Typically the patches persist until early to mid-June and were on fairly young putting greens. We did not observe much pathogen activity in the foliage or root tissue, but isolations seem to indicate that a fungal or fungal like organism is associated with these symptoms. Dr. Lane Tredway has seen similar symptoms in North Carolina and did not find significant pathogen activity. Maybe later this week or next we can figure out what the fungus (fungi) is associated with the affected tissue.

Although we have had a warm spring, we have had significant, localized rainfall amounts . So some golf courses have experienced increased play volumes, while others have noticed similar levels to last year. The weekend forecast does not look promising for the Madison area, which stinks! Especially considering the fantastic day we had yesterday, it was 60 degrees with rain all day.

I'm glad I am back to the blog and plan to post weekly once again! The one main point I wanted to make this week was if you have not made your first dollar spot application, tomorrow would likely be good timing considering the forecast for the weekend. Have a good week and weekend! On a final note, remember the Wisconsin Turfgrass Association Summer Field is July 27th, so mark your calendars.

3 Responses to “Greetings from the Midwest”

Anonymous said...

"hiatus" not "hideous"

Jim said...

Thank you for catching the mistake. Probably shouldn't post so late at night!

2ndSwingGolf said...

Interesting bit about midwest turf. Playing in Minnesota seems like a tricky spot for the public courses. Do limited resources make it more challenging for the public courses to keep diseases in check and multiple grasses from spreading on the course?

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