Sunday, July 8, 2012

CDGA - Weekly Update - July 6, 2012

July 6, 2012 Scouting Report

Record Heat: Chicago Counts Days of 100s for Highs, All 3!, Dollar Spot, Brown Patch, Pythium Blight, Both Peter and Tim Say Dollar Spot as it Explodes

Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - / Weather Blog

When Chicago's cool, humid environment is no longer either we know it, and so does our landscape. A very difficult week for plant health was just experienced. As is always true, it's all about the weather. It was just last summer when a single daytime high crossed the century mark. That raised eyebrows in Chicago because our last 100 degree high had been in 2005. Chicago is now having one of its hottest summers on record. The last most similar summer dates to 1995. A golf course superintendent never forgets a bad summer and both 1995 and 1988 are at the top of that list. This week brought consecutive 100+ highs which began on July 4th and by day three, Friday, our official temps at airports O'Hare and Midway saw 103 and 105 respectively. On top of that we continue to remain as dry as we've been in a long time. As we look down, we find unirrigated lawns are now straw colored and some have even begun looking somewhat white?!?

Golf courses in the upper Midwest deal exclusively with cool-season turf. Although we can have good control of irrigation inputs when it's dry, we have little to no control of temperature. The most troubling aspect is that peak summertime soil temperatures build on themselves during July and August and at the moment our current readings at a two inch depth have crossed into the 80s. In a majority of cases our current troubles are not disease, but instead midsummer physiological decline. Adjustment of cultural practices as needed can only maintain turf health. The heat is on.

Click here to view the July 6, 2012 Scouting Report.

Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
Weather Blog

Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research
Research Blog