The Heat is On

June 22, 2010

Summer officially began yesterday although it has felt like summer for some time now. The temperatures forecasted for this week should create ideal conditions for disease activity. Our research facility has a buffet of diseases right now. I have seen red thread, leaf spot, yellow tuft, fairy ring, dollar spot, and brown patch just in the past week. The high stress conditions could also spur on anthracnose. If you think you have anthracnose, look for the black colored fruiting bodies on the leaves of plant. The fruiting bodies, or acervuli, are best viewed using a hand lens or hand held macroscope. More information about identifying anthracnose and management of this disease can be found by clicking here.

A droughty month of May has given way to a wet and rainy June. Weather is the great equalizer in the turf business and this season has been a rollercoaster compared to the steady temperatures we experienced in 2009. Overall, our day and nighttime temperatures have been warmer this year compared to 2009 for the month of June. It was this same time last year that we experienced a warming trend that sent temperatures into the mid 90’s. But so far the biggest difference in weather has been the rainfall. Twenty days into June last year, Ames had received 1.95 inches of rain compared to the 6.36 inches of rain we have gotten this year.

Golf fans saw Irish golfer Graeme McDowell win the 110th U.S. Open on Sunday by shooting even par over four rounds at Pebble Beach. Coming into this tournament I had no idea who Graeme McDowell was but I quickly gained respect for him when listening to his post round interview. While reflecting on what he had just accomplished, and in amongst his numerous thank-yous, he took time to thank the maintenance staff for all their hard work and commented on the great condition of the course. Classy move Mr. McDowell, now off to Disney World you go!

Marcus Jones
Graduate Research Assistant