Records Are Made To Be Broken March 26, 2012 By R.A. (Bob) Brame

Suppressing Poa annua seedhead growth can dramatically improve playability. However, it is important to have a control plot with no treatment so that comparisons can be made.

Updated March 27, 2012 

I just heard that over 6,000 weather records have been broken across the country so far in 2012. The record breaking weather serves to emphasize how challenging golf turf maintenance can be. It also reinforces what should be a cardinal rule – hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

The timing of product applications is currently 3 to 4 weeks ahead of last year. Of course, a return to colder weather could force schedules to change again. One of the best ways to plan product applications is to monitor growing degree days. The GDD tracker offered by Michigan State University ( is an excellent tool. Growth regulator applications to manage or suppress Poa annua seedheads are a priority for many, and the warm weather pattern this year has necessitated much earlier applications. In addition, the difficult 2010 and 2011 seasons have made pre-emergence herbicide applications for crabgrass control a growing concern at courses throughout the region. Whether your challenges are Poa annua seedheads, crabgrass or spring broadleaf weed control, check out the GDD tracker to improve product timing accuracy.

Disease activity has not been a major issue yet this season in the North Central region, but that could quickly change. Widely scattered pink snow mold (Microdochium Blight) and leaf spot damage has been observed on recent visits while last week’s warm temperatures favored Dollar Spot. Here are some links to some helpful sites regarding the incidence and control of turfgrass diseases.

Purdue’s turf disease risk forecaster ( is a good site to monitor.

Dr Vincelli’s publication ‘Chemical Control of Turfgrass Diseases 2012’ can be found at  /content/dam/usga/pdf/imported/course-care/ppa1.pdf  and offers in-depth guidance for season-long turfgrass disease management.

Whether you feel pretty good about your maintenance package, aren’t really sure or know adjustments are needed, give us a call or email to schedule an onsite visit. We offer candid objectivity from years of experience that will ensure your maintenance program is moving in the right direction. Once again this year a $600 discount can be secured by committing to and paying for a Turf Advisory Service visit prior to May 15th. Even with early payment to secure the lower price, visits can be scheduled at any time. GCSAA continuing education credits are available for superintendents and assistants attending TAS visits – 0.3 (half day) and 0.6 (full day).

We look forward to working with you.

Source:  Bob Brame,   or 859.356.3272