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Rainfall and Fairy Rings Throughout the Midwest

Our wet weather has continued throughout the Midwest. Accompanying the wet weather, has been heat- at least heat for us. I feel guilty saying we are hot when I saw the temperatures forecast for the Northeast and Southeast. On the weather channel this evening a couple took a picture of a bank marquee showing temperatures in New Jersey topping 100 degrees! However, we have been in the upper 80's, which is hot for us. Consequently we have seen anthracnose, brown patch and dare I say even some Pythium blight. Don't freak out about Pythium blight because it was only observed near leaky heads or drainage areas.

I have seen a lot of is fairy ring over the last few weeks. It appears to be more prevalent this year compared to last. If fairy ring has been problematic the best way to control the disease is to apply DMI fungicides (Bayleton, Tourney, Triton FLO and Trinity) when 5- day average soil temperatures are between 55 and 65 degress. However, we have moved out of this range in most places in the Midwest. Curatively, an application or two of Prostar (flutolanil) will help alliviate symptoms, especially when the applications follow solid tine aerficiation. If solid tining is not an option than a wetting agent should be tank mixed with the fungicide. Some golf course superintendents have good luck masking symptoms with applications of wetting agents, nitrogen and/or iron. This may be an excellent approach for a large breakout on fairways. If you have more questions about fairy ring, please attend our WTA Summer Field Day on July 27th! Dr. Lee Miller is going to join us to talk about his research on fairy ring.

With respect to diagnosing fairy ring, my best advice is to be like Tucan Sam and follow your nose. The thatch layer underneath the affected area will have a nice mushroomy aroma. You may also notice the thatch may have an orange tint. Another nice technique is to "incubate" a sample in a moist chamber, which is a tupperware container with a moist paper towel underneath the sample. The image below demonstrates the results of an incubation. I still encourage golf course superintendents to send a sample to a local turfgrass disease diagnostic lab if symptoms present themselves in an odd fashion.

Last week I had the great pleasure of showing Dr. Megan Kennelly around the OJ Noer Facility. It was a nice morning and the only disease I was able to show her was dollar spot. One of our putting greens has essentially become a 10,000 square foot dollar spot! I hope one day we can have Megan back to talk about her research on moss and nozzles (just to name a few topics), I think golf course superintendents in the Midwest would enjoy hearing her speak.

Yesterday was another pleasure, a few of us from UW Madison traveled to Whistling Straits to visit with the staff about the upcoming PGA Championship. We had a great visit and we also were given the opportunity to play golf. I cannot wait to see how the pros handle the course this year. I know I had trouble with the long grass a few times! I heard a rumor that John is visiting the Straits this weekend. Wonder if he'll experience the long grass a few times...

One response to “Rainfall and Fairy Rings Throughout the Midwest”

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