April 2022 FAQ’s

If I think back to April 2021, and read through Last year’s April FAQ’s I’m reminded that April last year was cold and dry and LeatherJackets were in full attack mode.

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Image courtesy of Lucy Sellick, Course Manager at Wenvoe Castle @lucysellick

Well here we are, one year later and I’m mostly talking to people about how cold and dry and cold it is and how nervous we all are about LeatherJackets attacking!

It’s a subtle difference but one that I’m going to take as an industry win for now! More on that later

Dry and cold

So 2021 was dry and cold but how does 2022 compare??

Well yes it is dry, again! Dry weather is not unusual in April. April showers are a myth in my opinion.

In the last 13 Aprils, we’ve seen 9 dry ones, two wet ones and two in the middle.

The agronomic odds seemed to be stacked in favour of a dry April.

It’s been cold too, but nowhere near as cold as 2021. The above chart shows the coldest temperatures reached in two locations (South Coast and Yorkshire) in April over the last 13 years.

You can see that we’ve certainly hit growth stopping conditions, but you can also see that this isn’t unusual for the month of April.

One last graph I promise, this one’s looking at the average low temperature for the month. I’ve taken the lowest temperature of each day and averaged it over the month to create one figure showing the extent of the growth stopping temperatures.

It’s not been the coldest year, it has been one of the colder ones but it’s nowhere near as cold as last year was.

Conclusion? The Agronomic odds are generally stacked in favour of a dry and cold April so we need to prepare and arm ourselves for it.

Early wetting agent programmes and good moisture management.

Many problems I’ve encountered this month have simply been down to drier than expected rootzones.

Not often do I blow my own trumpet but check out Aprils “on the horizon” to see how myself and Henry called this one in Mid February.

Listen in here

PrimoMaxx II and timings

With April’s cold and dry weather, the obvious question is do I start my Primo programme yet?

My take is always – Yes on outfield areas – there is no loss

It’s safe, you get great longevity out of it at this time of year and when things do kick into growth, things are a lot easier.

For greens, I’m a bit more weary – mainly because of these all too predictable cold and dry periods we see.

Seans has done a great bit on this:

Leatherjackets

April is the crunch point for leatherjackets.

This still feels like the biggest challenge to hit the industry for a while and whilst it feels to me like we’ve moved on a little since last year, I’m still not confident that we are out of the woods.

Some (although less than this time 2021) are reporting back that they still have high leatherjacket populations in their rootzones.

The damage levels are not at the levels we saw last year but some activity is there.

It feels like the later Acelepryn application advice has helped many people and moved us forward but I’m still nervous that damage could escalate if we see another cold growth stopping May as we did in 2021.

Fingers crossed we won’t.

PestTracker

April again, didn’t deliver the Leatherjacket hatchfest I was expecting.

Latest PestTracker numbers

Currently looking like a similar hatch pattern to 2021, but I suspect the hatch is only a few weeks away – as soon as the temperatures pick up I think we’ll see it.

You can read a blog on that subject here:

Please, please, please make sure you keep logging your sightings on PestTracker it really helps and you can read why here:

Whilst we’re on leatherjackets – it’s worth reading this blog on the subject of leatherjacket redistribution.

Fingers crossed for a warmer and wetter May.

Glenn

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