Scouting Report: July 30th
The countdown has started. There are 32 days left until September. More importantly though, is that we only have 1 more day until we can put July 2017 behind us. The reality is, however, that the ramifications of July may linger for a while longer.
From flooding in the northern part of the state to hot and dryer conditions further south, Illinois experienced a little bit of everything. Fortunately a timely rainfall on July 26th may help alleviate some of the abnormally dry conditions that have been developing further south.
As mentioned earlier, golf courses in the northern part of the state are still managing the effects of flooded turf.
Shortened and defunct root systems as a result of anaerobic soils are a common sight. Unfortunately, many will have to wait until fall to see the return of aggressive root growth.
As bad as July of 2017 was, there was still some positive moments worth reflecting on.
The best moments in July that I observed was seeing how much we helped and supported nearby courses that needed a hand. Not to mention how well some of our tournaments performed on the big stage such as the LPGA Championship, John Deere Classic, and the State Amateur. Many more courses are preparing for qualifying events and invitational tournaments.
This week the CDGA Turf Program got to visit with Mike Paciga (superintendent at Kemper Lakes Golf Club) to prepare our research trials that will be on display ahead of the August 29th MAGCS monthly meeting. This field-based educational event will showcase our current research projects on turfgrass disease management.
Pictured above is from our putting green anthracnose trial that Ron Townsend has been managing. Symptoms of anthracnose were first observed two weeks ago and we are excited about our results. We appreciate the agronomy team at Kemper Lakes Golf Club for sharing putting green and fairway areas with us.
On the topic of field day events. The University of Wisconsin recently held their annual summer turfgrass field day this past Tuesday.
The faculty, graduate students, and other research support staff did a great job presenting their latest research findings at the OJ Noer Turfgrass Research and Education facility.
Among the research projects on display was a trial focusing on the effects of nitrogen fertilization and source on dollar spot control. This multi-year trial is also being conducted at Northshore Country Club. This trial is a part of Ron Townsend’s M.S. research project working with Dr. Paul Koch.
Research is critical in help managing some of our diseases and pests in the region. Fortunately, this pest update is not as long as other have been in recent weeks.
Be on the look out for increasing populations of nutsedge. This weedy species has an affinity for wet soils and may over-take areas that were affected by flooding conditions.
This is an interesting picture of what can happen when irrigation heads are covered prior to a preemergence herbicide application.
Reports of grubs and billbug larvae has been increasing throughout the area. Finding these grubs can be difficult to see. Sometimes frass will be visible near feeding locations.
A few insect pests that is easier to see rights now are cicada killer wasps. These large wasps can approach 2 inches in length. They can be considered pests as they can be frightening to golfers and create mounds that disrupt turf uniformity. Once mounds are physically destroyed, new mounds can be built in less than 24 hours.
Fortunately these wasps do not attack humans. It is rare to be stung by one of these critters. As the name suggests, cicada killers have an affinity for cicadas. They attack paralyze the cicada with a stung and drag it down to their nest to serve as food for the wasp’s offspring.
There are not many surprises in this section. Many of us may be trying to recover from disease activity that occurred last week. Remnants of Pythium blight injury may remain visible a long while after initial infection.
Recovery from this disease can take a while as the entire top portion of infected plant material often dies. Recovery from Pythium blight damage is much different than recovery from dollar spot speckling.
Dollar spot and anthracnose continue to spread, albeit at a slower pace than last week in the Chicago area. Further down south, recent rainfall and cooler temperatures may lead to increased dollar spot activity in areas from Peoria to Effingham.
This is often the time of year that many fine turf areas begin to decline. Sometimes these areas have less to do with diseases and pathogens and more to do with environmental conditions and wear. Saturated soils, high nighttime temperatures, photorespiration, and excessive traffic are just a few contributing factors that can cause decline.
In many of these samples I can always find a fungal structure or two. Two of the common fungal organisms that degrade senescing leaf tissue are species of Curvularia and Leptosphaerulina.