Texas, New Mexico, and western Oklahoma are far from being over the drought, but at least we have experienced pleasantly mild temperatures this fall to give us good golfing weather. I encourage superintendents to continue irrigation cycles as long as there is any bermudagrass growth remaining. Hydrating the soil as best as possible is very beneficial to the bermudagrass as it goes dormant.
We have put a package of materials together to help courses evaluate the drought in the lower Mid-Continent this year, and review recommended management programs. This is available at http://www.usga.org/news/2011/November/Dealing-With-The-Mid-Continent-Drought/.
Let me remind you of the tree management webcast presented a few weeks ago by Dr. Todd Watson. The link to this webcast is noted below. If you have not seen this webcast, you will find it very informative about what we can expect from the drought.
On another note, Texas is currently in the process of applying for a 24(c) label for Avid (abamectin) for nematode control. The 24(c) label is a temporary pesticide label granted to only a few states that have a very specific need for the material. Avid has been documented in North Carolina to provide nematode control, and other states, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, have acquired the 24(c) label. Superintendents need to be aware of this, so if you are called on by your local superintendent association to provide support letters for need of this material, please do so.
We are also in the heart of our conference season, and listed below are a few of the conferences being held in the lower Mid-Continent Region this upcoming fall and winter.
- New Mexico Golf Summit, November 13
- Oklahoma Turfgrass Conference, November 15-16
- Texas Turfgrass Association Conference & Show, December 12-14
- Louisiana Turfgrass Association Annual Conference, January 6
Many courses have utilized Town Hall meetings to help inform and update golfers about the current situation about the drought and how it may affect their golf course. If this would be of interest to your course, please contact me or Ty McClellan, and we will be happy to set up a presentation at a Town Hall meeting at your course. They have been very effective in promoting golfer education and, just as importantly, golfer support as we go through these difficult weather extremes. Many courses will not know the full magnitude of their drought damage from this year until early next summer. If we can be of help in any way, please feel free to call or email.
If you would like more information about a Turf Advisory Service visit, do not hesitate to contact either of the Mid-Continent regional offices: Ty McClellan at firstname.lastname@example.org (630) 340-5853 or Bud White at email@example.com or (972) 662-1138.