LeatherJacket population counts

Over the Christmas holiday we began to see some LeatherJacket damage. In my last Blog I wrote about the journey the offending grubs have been on since birth.

If you’re seeing damage or you feel there is a chance of LeatherJackets in your sward then having a good understanding of the population will help you make good decisions about what agronomic decisions to make, particularly for fertiliser programmes and aeration.

Population counts are pretty easy, get yourself a board or tarp and leave it on your surfaces overnight. The important thing is that it keeps the moisture in, keeps the light out and doesn’t blow away. I had some made up by Covers & all and are well worth investing in.

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LeatherJackets are currently very small so need a keen eye

Lift it in the morning and then count what you find. Bare in mind that the LeatherJackets will be small so this it’s a time consuming job and during these early stages of the LeatherJackets life it’s a job that requires some commitment. You’ll need to get on you hands and knees and look closely.

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This is a trial we have in place where we’re evaluating optimum timings for Acelepryn and I know it’s a painstaking task because I speak from experience!

This is not worth doing until the temperatures lift, I think around 5 – 6 C overnight is about the stage it’s a worthwhile exercise.

What to expect?

In the above trial we saw:

  • Good quality turf – under 12 LeatherJackets M2
  • OK turf quality – 13 – 24 LeatherJackets M2
  • Poor turf quality – over 25 LeatherJackets M2

Of course this a one off trial but as move further into a world with fewer controls this kind of monitoring will become increasingly important.

Since you got this far I guess you’ll be interested in the Acelepryn trial – it’s early days but its showing some really positive results that we’ll learn alot from.

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You can see the difference between untreated and treated here showing obvious control – the challenge is stopping the LeatherJackets from the left hand plot walking into the plot on the right.

Watch this space.

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