Santa brings high disease pressure again!

Once again the Christmas period proved to be a tricky time time manage Microdochium patch in the UK.

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For a lot of turf managers the high temperatures and long periods of leaf moisture can add up and cause some real challenges.

This is nothing new (see below links to past Christmas blogs).

Whilst the Christmas period is towards the end of the microdochium disease management race, in recent years it seems to be the biggest and most challenging hurdle to jump.

The impact of climatic warming during the month of December is doubly challenging for course managers as the days are really short in December and the leaf will sit wet for longer than it does at any other time of the year.

Listen in to me and Henry chatting about it “On the Horizon” 43 minutes 22 seconds into the Podcast

In the below charts I’ve plotted the average leaf moisture against the average temperature between the 23rd December and the 3rd January for four different areas of the country.

I’ve plotted 2008 to 2021 to see how they all look.

I’ve also marked the area that I consider to be the danger zone for Microdochium patch with the big red blob.

The black cross represents the average for this 8 day period.

From this its clear to see that this time in the year conditions are highly conducive to high disease pressure. Some areas sit wetter, some sit a little cooler but during this time of year a short mild break quickly moves us into that dangerzone.

When we are in these high pressure situations, getting everything right is critical.

  • Good dew management strategies
  • Fertility at optimum levels
  • Good air flow
  • Right timing of Fungicide
  • Good application of Fungicide
  • Correct fungicide selection

And sometimes we just need to accept that the pressure was so high that even the best programmes can’t perform at the level we desire.

BUT we can be sure that although we’re not 100% clean – we are in a lot better position than if we hadn’t utilised those tools and hope that cold weather is around the corner.

Of course – none of this is new – it’s feeling like a bit of a new years tradition now.

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