The Non-Winter Continues

By Dave Oatis, director, Northeast Region
March 1, 2012

The oddity of the non-winter of 2011-2012 continues for much of the region with temperatures that have been extremely mild. Some areas in the northern portion of the region have experienced more typical winter weather, but for much of the region, it has been some rain, a few snow flurries, some colder temperatures, and back up to 50 and 60 degrees. It is one of the most peculiar winters we have experienced in the Northeast. As luck would have it, a winter storm is bearing down on the Northeast at the time of this writing, so things obviously could change very quickly.

The mild weather has allowed many courses to accomplish a record amount of work outdoors, although the lack of frozen soils resulted in more turf damage from construction traffic at some courses. Interestingly, some courses are actually behind on the typical “inside” winter work. Clearly, this is a small price to pay for getting more projects done on the golf course, but it is something to keep in mind as the rest of the winter unfolds.

The biggest concerns currently relate to pest populations and the possible pest pressure for the coming season. The mild winter temperatures have undoubtedly resulted in higher than normal insect survival rates, so there is a good chance that insect pressure will be higher this season. The warm weather is also likely to promote earlier insect activity. Already, adult Annual Bluegrass Weevils have been caught in pitfall traps in southern New Jersey, so treatment for this pest, and possibly others, will likely be necessary earlier than usual. As always, scout thoroughly and often for ABW and all of your insect pests.

We hope to see you at one or more of our upcoming USGA Regional Meetings and as always, be sure to give us a call if we can be of assistance to you.


  • Met Golf Association/USGA Green Chairman Seminar, Alpine CC, Demarest, NJ, March 15th  
  • New England Green Section Seminar, Blue Hill CC, Canton, MA, March 20th  
  • USGA Regional Conference, Oak Hill CC, Rochester, NY, March 27th  


USGA agronomists can provide insightful and invaluable information involving all areas of golf course maintenance, which will help maximize turf health, playability, and efficiency. Contact Dave Oatis, Director; Adam Moeller, Agronomist; or Jim Skorulski, Senior Agronomist for a Turf Advisory Service visit this season.



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