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Soggy Midwest

The best way to describe the last couple weeks in the Midwest is rainy. It makes me think of a quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary." A report from Derek Settle at the Chicago District Golf Association noted that Chicago experienced the third wettest April to June on record! It seems that too many of our days have been dark and dreary. Much of what I am seeing or hearing is about flooding or soggy playing conditions. Today I received pictures from a golf course superintendent in Wisconsin documenting the flooding at their golf course. With all the residual moisture the Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab has been fairly busy, with a lot of the samples showing classic leaf spot symptoms. The picture above shows the spores from one the samples we looked at. We have also gotten a lot of calls and photos pertaining to slime mold.

Dollar spot is going nuts on one of our putting greens at the OJ Noer, but really hasn't flared up on our fairway plots. We have seen a few cases of brown patch in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin as well. Derek Settle documented a few cases of basal rot anthracnose in the Chicagoland area and this weekend may be a good time to start preventative applications for anthracnose. Especially since the forecast is predicting nighttime lows to eclipse 68 F. Our anthracnose trials have not been successful the past two years even when we inoculated our plots. Partly because we rarely were warm the past two summers. However, Bruce Clarke's work shows that tank mixing Signature and Daconil provide excellent control of anthracnose.

This weekend ought to be interesting. Our department is celebrating its Centennial Anniversary starting Thursday evening and finishing on Saturday at noon. The program is going to be a lot fun with distinguished guests coming from all over the United States. For the program, I was asked to document the history of turfgrass pathology at UW-Madison. Something I learned was John Monteith and Arnold Dahl were trained in our department. If you do not recognize these names, they were the first people to write a comprehensive publication on turfgrass diseases and their management. The publication was "Turfgass Diseases and Their Control" and it was published in 1932. Anyway, Dr. Monteith received his PhD in 1923 under the tuteledge of L.R. Jones (founder of our department) and Dr. Dahl received his PhD in 1931. Dahl's PhD thesis was entitled "Snow mold of turf grasses". Both went to work for the USGA Green Section and were the primary plant pathologists working in turf throughout the 1920's 1930's and into the 1940's.

As long as we are not swept off to Oz this weekend (more thunderstorms predicted), I'm sure I'll have more diseases to report on next week.

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