The Lockdown – Lowdown Week 6

Quick one this week as it’s half-term and I’m attempting to spend a bit of time with the kids! Which means squeezing one week’s work into two days – but I appreciate that’s nothing compared to the challenges you people are under!

I’m seeing a lot of images on social media at the moment of you hanging onto hand hoses keeping moisture levels under control. Keep it going, this spring is, so far, fairly similar to last year’s, when we then went into that wet spell in June and then held pretty stable for the rest of the year – fingers crossed we get a similar break in the weather again soon.

One of the notably comments from STRI on the trial this week is how they consider the Qualibra wetting agent programme is helping to make better use of the limited irrigation availability. Dr Christian Spring reports: “moisture content within the rootzone has remained above 20% from only one application of irrigation per week.”

Watch the video of week 6 below.

Will have to see how that continues with the hot, dry weather forecast, which is also noted we are racing through Growing Degree Day accumulation – or at least ‘racing’ relative for Bingley in Yorkshire. But it really emphasises how different locations will see optimum application intervals, as indicated by GDD, vary in duration to maintain the same levels of growth reduction.

Treatment list

GDD

The weather has been positively tropical for Bingley and we’ve moved into some decent growing temperatures. I do emphasise temperatures, whilst the temperature handbrake has been released the lack of moisture handbrake is being applied. The Qualibra and watering will be helping but the dry weather will be keeping things outside the “optimum”. The increase in temperature will mean that soon the 50 GDD applications will get very close to the same intervals as the 7 day applications.

Clipping yield

Clipping yield pattern has continued – the more Primo Maxx II the more suppression we have achieved.

Still achieving that 50% reduction figure in the 7 day plots but now with the increase in GDD the 50 GDD windows are tightening up and it’ll be interesting to see if the 7 day apps effect reduces, or even if the 50 GDD apps come into sync soon?

Sward regrowth

Sward regrowth patterns have again remained similar. Worth noting we had a drop in HOC to 4mm on the 18th May and then again to 3.5mm, so the growth spurt is greater than it looks, as the start point is lower than previous. Also, another three day weekend to take into account here.

Evenness of cut

Evenness of cut patterns continue – the more Primo Maxx the more even the cut – think we’re getting to fully appreciate this one now.

Turf quality

Up until this point the message has been – 0ne cut a week = healthier turf. Well the change in cutting heights seems to have put a stop to that. That I could have predicted but the lower cutting heights seems to have had a positive impact on the plots cut more frequently. That’ll be interesting to watch in next weeks data to see if that pattern continues?

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