July 29, 2011 Scouting Report
Record Wet July: Brown Patch Peaks, Pythium Blight, Physiological Decline of Bentgrass and Poa, Type 1 Fairy Ring Begins, Tim recaps Wisconsin's Turfgrass Field Day, and Peter sees and says Agrostis ipsilon
Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - DSettle@cdga.org/Weather Blog
A week of plant health fallout. It was not entirely unexpected because as of last week we had just experienced our hottest air and soil temperatures. But one more thing happened that tipped the balance and on Friday, July 22 it began to rain. When the deluge was over, July 2011 had become Chicago's wettest since 1889. It was almost unbelievable since nearly all precipitation had occurred in just 6 days (9.75 inches at O'Hare). Not surprisingly strange things began to happen in the landscape and certain fungal diseases went wild. For example, brown patch development in fairways went beyond what seasoned superintendents had ever experienced. Then there's why overly wet rootzones are our worst enemy. Midsummer is never a good time for cool-season turfgrass because any additional downward spiral of turfgrass health can be difficult to reverse until cooler weather returns. Root biomass/length are at their lowest levels and what's left root-wise has impaired function because of high soil temperature. Turf plants in physiological decline display abnormal photosynthesis and respiration, yet concentrated wear continues on a daily basis (the life of a golf green). Often the only recourse is a well-timed cultural method such as needle-tine aeration. If it sounds as if I'm exaggerating or blaming the weather too much, guess again. Though today I did learn it could be worse. My colleague Dr. Megan Kennelly relayed Kansas had just experienced 11 of 14 days with highs of 100° or greater. I then checked and saw Wichita, Kansas hit a record high of 107° - even my mom is hot!
Click here to view the July 29, 2011 Scouting Report.
Hang in there as good news is on the horizon. The extended forecast is showing a slight cool-down (highs in mid-80s) is to begin next Tuesday.
Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research