After the summer what was I hope everyone takes a well deserved break sooner rather than later..
I have written pieces to this similar to this in the past. i do believe writing this every year helps my readers with making better decisions for the coming year..
One thing I hope everyone has done this year in some way is to document the summer. With temperatures the way they were photo evidence is key not just for yourself but show stakeholders of your facility. The NSWGCSA has done just this to help turf managers work with facilities. A copy can be found here.2017-GMA info sheet
Pleas download the article above it is well written and can be ustilised for any turf facility not just golf courses.
I also have some slides from the GCSAA when they went through drought back a few years ago which may come in handy.
Now I also want you to download the weather data from BOM website (click on this link to find your closest weather station) if you don’t have accurate records somewhere.This will show everyone and remind yourself on how much pressure your turf was under. In our job we watch the weather all the time. What i noticed and many of you know this is that the day temperatures were not the issue. We can deal with 40C days. It was the nights that caused the bulk of the issues. Night temperatures did drop all that much at night. Typically in January and February we saw a day of 35C-40C and night temps drop down to 25C only and that was only after midnight. Many posts I saw on Turf Management Australia Facebook page that guys were still at 30C at midnight and soil temps around the same amount.. How can we expect the turf to survive that whether it’s cool season or even warm season grasses.
These are the questions you need to ask yourself:
- What were my issues
- When did they start occurring
- Did I expect them to occur then
- Could I of dealt with the issue earlier
- Did I have outside issues to deal with
- Were the issues caused by nature or by putting the turf under undue stress
- Was there anything you could have done better
- Were you more proactive or reactive with the summer i.e did you have a preventative program or just deal with the issues when they arose
- Did your program stack up
Come March we had a big change in weather up until that point it was hot humid March added rainfall. Temperatures were still high though.
One thing for sure was that spray intervals were greatly reduced. Where commonly 21-28 intervals were the norm this was being reduced to 7-14 days at times as the pressure was very high.
Did you utilise a broad range of control options for the issue (e.g different products, cultural practices, fertility). Specifically for fungicides did you rotate resistance groupings enough What can you do next season to reduce the issues
Does the course need to be altered in any way to help (i.e does drainage have to be put in or fixed, is building a new green/tee possible) There is alot more of a list which I could write but this is just to give you an idea on topics to think about. Keep in mind with the disease pressure this year fungicides you used had to deal with high pressure situations and where expected residual was normally 21-28 days you may have only got 10-21 days control for systemic products or even less with contact fungicides. The fungicide had not failed but more so the pressure was too high to give you control expected. If you would like some help with reviewing your specific situation please do not hesitate to contact me either via this blog or email
Regards Nadeem Zreikat