September really is a time when things come at you from all angles! August felt fairly quiet whilst people concentrated on keeping on top of grass growth and a bit of handwatering but September seems to have thrown everything at us this year!
Most of my conversations have revolved around:
- Dollar Spot
- Microdochium patch
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September 2021 I suspect will go down as having recorded record high temperatures, once the month is completed I'll pull something together on this because It's important to understand the implications of higher temperatures later in the year and disease challenges.
The shorter days we see in September result in much longer periods of leaf wetness. The combination of a stressed plant (from the lack of rainfall), High temperatures and long periods of leaf wetness all add up to some pretty challenging disease pressure!
The longer we hold on to high temperatures later into the year the more disease challenges we will see.
This is a challenge I've seen all over the South of the UK this year and seems to be presenting an increasing challenge for many year on year.
It's definitely something we need to get a better handle on as the key drivers are temperature and humidity.
As we see these milder periods later in the year seemingly increase year on year it's likely we'll see more of this challenge. With Fescue being particularly susceptible to it, it does raise the question of what grass species should I be trying to manage?
There are some good models out there that I intend to test but if you're seeing any dollar spot then there is much to be gained from moisture management, good air flow across the surfaces is a real win in high dollar spot pressure areas.
Instrata Elite or Medallion will certainly help. You need to be realistic about longevity of cover from these products in high pressure situations. In really mild and damp conditions like we have seen this month then 2 weeks of disease suppression is what I would expect to see in the field, hopefully by the time you get to that point the pressure will have dropped and you be out of the woods.
This has rumbled on once again. Augusts cooler weather seemed to hold it at bay but once the calender flipped over to September the gloves were off and away it went.
I've put a whole group of blogs together on this.
But in summary:
- Lift cutting heights – no getting away from this, just get them up.
- Lift the nutrition – sounds counterintuitive but have a plant too lean is the easiest way to drive disease in my experience
- Get a Fungicide on – Instrata Elite or FR321 are both great options – you’re going to want to ensure you are under good levels of protection if you’re already struggling and Microdochium patch is just around the corner, so get ahead of the game.
- Remember that a Fungicide application will only ring fence the uninfected turf at this stage so it will appear to get worse before it gets better.
- Apply amino Acids during periods of stress
- Drop a cut and roll
- Avoid cutting if its soft or wet
We are now moving into that season, the warm September has probably delayed things a little or at least put people in the thought process of "it'll grow out" but with so many disease challenges around it's really important to stay focused here.
Good ITM with a focus on moisture management is critical through this period but with so many challenges going on right now the the FR321 one box solution might be something you want to consider.
The longevity of fungicides in this kind of weather is truly challenged and the powerful combination in that one box solution is my go to product during this period.
Here's a blog on fungicide longevity.
Loads of Cranefly activity this month, you can see the latest PestTracker reported sightings below. It felt like it started earlier this year but the peak seemed to fall at exactly the same time as 2019 and 2020.
The message in short is:
Apply Acelepryn around the End of October, beginning of November
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