July 12, 2013 Scouting Report
This week I took the opportunity to visit courses in Central Illinois and it was a very nice week visiting and interacting with some of the hard working ingenious superintendents in the area. It's a very different dynamic in central and southern Illinois where issues such as goosegrass and crabgrass are more prolific. Grasses differ and the pressures from disease, insects and weeds are much more difficult to deal with. I would like to thank the superintendents for their hospitality and graciousness when I visited. I will continue to get down and meet people going forward - so if I didn't get to you this time, let me know, I will be back!
The one factor that came up which has been constant was climate and its variation. Golf course superintendents regardless of location understand that everything they do is at the mercy of the climate. There is usually a theme that runs through a season which leaves an indelible mark on the mind going into next year. This week I did pick up some really interesting tidbits which we can all consider as valuable information. In tough years - use the issues you see as testing for the next year. It may be that your product or cultural practice may not have worked this year due to timing or the excess moisture. It does mean that you can start to consider other options looking into next year and also remember what worked for you this year is conditions which brought high disease pressure or high rainfall amounts. If you end the year saying to yourself 'boy I sure hope we don't have another year like that' - as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west - it will be worse! However if you end the year thinking about what changes you need to make to get you through and it's an easier year - then you get to have the benefit of being over prepared. The other topic I picked up on this week was irrigation and water management and I will touch on it in the strategies portion of the report. However the crucial issue and lead point is this - know what the weather is doing to you. Turfgrasses in rootzones that have been wet and get into hot and humid conditions are not going to lose much water - the evaporative pressure to lose it is not there, thus watering is counterintuitive. Micro climates are of course going to throw this off but that comes down to you knowing your course. High sunny days with plenty of air movement are great weather especially after an inch of rain, that doesn't mean that the inch of rain is still there - don't lose turf because you failed to water either - watching and understanding the weather will allow you to do the simple things - and the doing simple things right makes for some good living.
Click here to view the July 12, 2013 Scouting Report.
As always if you have a question or query please do not hesitate to ask and you can call or email.
Ed Nangle PhD
Director of Turfgrass Programs
Chicago District Golf Association
Office: (630) 685-2307
Cell: (630) 423-1925
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