Hi All,

General Weather Situation

Another week of sunshine and showers as low pressure drifts off north of the UK, allowing high pressure to build underneath it and affect the south of the U.K by the end of the week. Mid-week, a new low is projected to build, but this will mainly affect Ireland, the North of England and Scotland in a diagonal line from South Wales to The Wash…below that it’ll be dry and warm on the whole this week, with a potential rainy, slightly cooler interlude for the South-West on Wednesday p.m / Thursday a.m that threatens to head north into South England and the South Midlands from early Thursday. By the end of the week, high pressure is affecting the extreme south of the U.K and bringing warm / very warm temperatures by the weekend, high enough maybe to trigger off some thunderstorms.

Above that line, they’ll be heavy showers with rain expected mid-week and over the weekend for this area.

Winds will be West – South-West, turning round to the north as the low pressure drifts in mid-week, before swinging back round again to the south for the end of the week.

Night temperatures will carry on the theme of the summer dropping to high single figures and bringing a distinctly autumnal feel to the weather mid-week especially.
Looking at July’s figures, there were 14 nights recorded at The Oxfordshire when the temperature was below 10°C in July 2011, compared to just 6 in 2010.
Page 2 of the attachment shows monthly average air and soil temperatures for the year and you can see how much cooler June and particularly July has been this year.

This diagonal split in our weather is illustrated graphically on page 3 of the attachment detailing this years monthly rainfall in Bristol, Thame and Kent (Thanks James, Sean, Dan), with rainfall totals of 489mm, 241mm and 164mm respectively.

Agronomic Situation

As the changeable nature of our summer continues, stress and disease issues go hand in hand and vary depending on wether you’ve been getting rain or not.

Here in the Midlands, we’re dry and moisture is definitely limiting growth on un-irrigated areas, no surprise when you see we’re still running a deficit of 4″ of rainfall vs. E.T, compared to 2010. Where there is moisture, Red Thread is an issue and although I’ve mentioned this before, it’s worth remembering that environmental conditions are the main driver here as opposed to just lack of nitrogen as we used to believe. Still with growth rates slow, it is a damaging disease, particularly on Fescue and Fine-leaved Ryegrass.

That moisture has also triggered a good amount of Fairy Ring / Superficial Fairy Ring / Thatch Fungus activity and I’ve had a number of reports suggesting that applications of labelled products like Azoxystrobin have not proved as effective this year.

Dry areas and high E.T rates have also brought nematodes to the fore again as affected root systems struggle to keep the plant supplied with water and both ecto and endoparasitic species are showing in numerous samples at the moment. Still look on the bright side, we only have to keep going for another couple of weeks before stress levels traditionally decrease as we move into September, a sobering thought for us all….where has the year gone ?…


Mark Hunt