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Pathologist or Psychologist

How come we don't get paid as much as Dr. Phil?

Image from by greggoconnell
We have moved into August and hopefully that means only 2 or 3 weeks until some sort of a break arrives. This has definitely been a brutal July (and summer for that matter) and my discussions with golf course superintendents' recently has me feeling more like a psychologist than a pathologist.  Samples have been rolling in from throughout the Northeast with fears of everything from bacterial wilt to summer patch to Pythium.  As far as real diseases go, summer patch seemed to be making its way onto golf courses and athletic fields in the last week or so.  In many cases, people were disappointed about not getting more than 3 weeks of control from the usually effective fungicides. Since this year is anything but usual, I just write this off to extremely high pressure.  My recommendation for curative control has always been high rates of thiophanate-methyl.  I did read Dr. Vincelli's fungicide efficacy chart found here and he mentions that t-methyl has been erratic in its control so I was wondering what you all thought.  In my experience it has been the best, but perhaps geography plays a role in this.

Other diseases and anthracnose update.

In addition to the widespread outbreaks of summer patch, there have been reports of several other diseases including Pythium, gray leaf spot, brown patch, dollar spot, anthracnose, rust (in my backyard), and probably others. Just a brief update on anthracnose. Our research trials this year have been some of the best in recent history and there are several products standing out in the study. The new fungicide Torque (tebuconazole) is once again performing outstanding with less than 1% disease in plots as compared to the ~45% anthrancose in the untreated control plots. Also performing exceptionally well are Daconil (3.2 oz) + Signature (4.0 oz), Signature (4.0 oz) applied every 14-d in combination with Triton FLO (triticonazole) + chlorothalonil alternated on 14-d intervals, and several experimental fungicides.  Moderate anthracnose suppression is being seen within plots receiving only DMI or chlorothalonil, which again shows the importance of tank-mixing these fungicides (they look great in the study when combined).  On the flip side of things, the QoI chemistry is not holding up and there is likely resistance issues at our research plots at Penn State.  Oh, and I almost forgot about the fertility plots.  We have some fertility treatments in combination with Signature alone. Signature alone is providing about 25 to 50% control of anthracnose while Signature + the various fertilizers are providing about 60 to 80% control. So the take home message is to tank-mix and spoon feed to help suppress your anthracnose.

Spreading the word about the difficult year.
Both the USGA and GCSAA have put out their notices to golf courses describing the excessive heat and humidity this year.  This is good information for members and greens committees wondering what in the world is going on.  You can find the GCSAA's report here and the USGA's report here.  The difficult thing for most golfers to understand is "why does our course look bad when I played next door and the greens are great?".  Unfortunately, a lot of this can't be explained or not in a simple way.  Most of the time the difference is sound cultural practices employed previously and not anything done this year.  Those superintendents that were allowed to pull cores multiple times, install drainage on poorly drained greens, or selectively remove trees that were causing shade problems are the winners.  It could, however, be as simple as explaining to members that your crappy Poa greens just won't hold up like the bentgrass greens at a neighbors.

2 Responses to “Pathologist or Psychologist”

Megan said...

John, you should have used Photoshop to superimpose YOUR face onto Dr. Phil's head :)

John Kaminski said...

I spend ENOUGH time on this website already!

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