Well, the disease season is off to a rip roaring start. In the transition zone and southeast we have had multiple days this month that have been in the 90’s with high humidities, and warm nights not much below 70. That kind of weather translates to serious disease. Dollar spot, brown patch (below), even some potential for pythium blight. It is clear from the photo to the right (Upper left plot is untreated) that having a preventative fungicide program is crucial to achieve successful disease control.
We have had an earlier than usual disease startup, but all in all it looks like our trials are off to an excellent start. Fungicide programs that are showing the best early results are those with Signature and Daconil as a backbone as well as those that have some form of StressGard in them. Also, programs using Syngenta products are performing well too. Fungicide programs with post-patent products, and a straight Daconil 7-day program are starting to curb some dollar spot that was present prior to the trial initiation and both of those programs are demonstrating good disease control into their second applications. On the dollar spot front, most everything that we are applying is working, and we are getting good disease control. Our controls however, continue to highlight the importance of good fertility (since we are only using 0.25# N/1000/month).
Finally, UT had a groundbreaking last Friday for our 1.5 million dollar Center for Safer Athletic Fields that has been funded by AstroTurf. The 5th first-round draft pick for the Kansas City Chiefs, Eric Berry was on hand to lend his endorsement, and we are excited to be building a facility that will provide funding for athletic field research on a scale that has only been seen in golf turf research previously. Look for more regular posts from the Southeast now that Summer is officially here!!