USGA Green Section Northeast Regional Update
August 13, 2008
2008 is shaping up to be a challenging year, though probably not the toughest in recent memory. Weak greens have struggled at times this year, and once again the effects of poor growing environments have been felt. Recent heavy rains have saturated turf at many area golf courses, elevating disease pressure. But keep in mind, even with wet soils, low humidity levels can wreak havoc on turf with weakened root systems. Don't assume the turf will make it through the day without syringing just because the soils are wet!
With just a few weeks of potentially tough weather ahead, keep the following in mind:
- Wilt can trigger turf diseases such as summer patch and anthracnose, so if the low humidity catches you by surprise, be prepared for the aftermath that may be a disease outbreak.
- The potential for gray leaf spot is extremely high right now, so be aware of this disease that can cause extensive damage very rapidly. We haven't experienced tremendous damage from gray leaf spot in the Northeast Region in recent years, but this could be the year.
- Annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) populations have been very high this year, and extremely high numbers were observed causing injury at two courses on Long Island and Westchester County in the last week. Be watchful for this pest.
- The pyrethroid insecticides have worked well on ABW in many locations, but poor control in some locations continues to raise concerns of resistance.
Now may be a good time to begin the fall cultivation program and aerate greens. Rapid recovery can be achieve through August aeration, but be sure the turf is healthy enough to handle it.
As always, don't hesitate to call if we can help. Best of luck for a successful conclusion of the summer season!