December FAQ’s

Are you doing any research work into worm control?

The increased golf, wet weather and mild temperatures all added up to a perfect storm for muddy surfaces. Understandably people are after some form of control and they are hoping that we’ll come up with something.

The reality is that it’s unlikely you’ll ever see a chemical control for Worms again. The regulatory framework is very much set up to protect these little guys and any company with it’s roots in Agriculture would probably avoid the risk of the negative press that would be involved in managing these turfgrass pests.

Having said that I’m currently in the process of gathering information from a number of sources to share with you exactly what work is being done to improve the quality of courses that have to tolerate this challenge. Watch this space.

Fungicides don’t work!

I’ve heard this a few times this month and I’ve also had the pleasure of visiting some sites that have only used 3 fungicides to date in 2020 and are almost completely clean proving completely the opposite.

I’ve recently written a couple of blogs on disease pressure that may be worth a read and how to measure so you can gauge you success.

High periods of disease pressure will expose all but the most robust IPM programme.

When I get the chance to have a chat with people and look at their programmes with them there is generally some common themes.

  • Running a nutrition programme that is far to lean
  • Waiting too late to start their fungicide programme
  • Unrealistic expectations of how long fungicides will last
  • Choosing the wrong technology at the wrong time (still amazed how many people use medallion in mild conditions on active disease- wait until it’s cold and growth has slowed right down)

This list isn’t exhaustive and generally we can find ways of improving people’s programmes quite simply but it does take some thought and planning.

Fungicides are incredibly effective tools but remember if applied at the right time they’ll give you between 85% and 100% control. But to understand what that means you have to imagine what your turf would look like with NO fungicides, a good program will reduce that by 85% – 100%.

Adopting untreated control plots gives you a chance to see how much control you’re actually getting.

A fungicide can’t and won’t do all the heavy lifting by itself, if you have no other management strategies in place and you’re relying on a Fungicide to get you out of trouble, you’ll get away with it during periods of medium pressure but once the pressure ramps up, it’s highly likely you’ll perceive the levels of control you’re getting as a failure.

LeatherJackets – already

Beginning to get reports of leatherjacket activity already – 12 weeks after laying, I have some ideas here that may help us prepare for the new years challenges but hopefully the temperature will continue to drop and we have a month to think about it but in the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts and sightings on LeatherJackets. I continue to piece this puzzle together.

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