Hi All,

As we all look back on a poor summer and questions begin to be asked about the coming winter, I thought I’d have a see how actually poor it was, from a growth perspective, simply by looking at the average soil temperature from March to September. As you can see from the graph, the difference between a warm summer (2006) to a cool summer (2012) is about 1.5°C in soil temperature terms, in other words, not a lot. It is also interesting to note that aside from 2009, the trend is downward.

Now I know alot of you will look at this graph and then think back to the amount of growth on outfield areas that you’ve had to contend with, but the take home points are these – the above is a measure of greens growth and this is a controlled environment to the extent that the area is irrigated. Outfield growth is dependent on the vast majority of courses on rainfall and it’s this that is the precursor of growth, not temperature.

One last thought before I move onto the weather, this summer we have endured a ‘trough’ pattern in the jet stream, so that’s cool and wet, the alternative as experienced by the U.S and Russia, is the peak pattern, which is record hot temperatures and dry, which would you prefer for your facility for the summer ?.









General Weather Situation

My projection from last weeks weatherblog was that we would be in for a wet and windy week this week and as you can see from the Weathercheck portal above for my home location, that appears to be the case, not that you could tell at present because it’s quiet, drizzly and dull outside at the moment. For this week though, low pressure is the kiddy I’m afraid.

So for Monday, we have some light rain around the south-west, south coast of England, northern England and Scotland and this rain will push inland affecting most areas with showers during the day. Ireland should be reasonably dry until the back end of the afternoon, (5 p.m.) when a concentrated band of rain pushes into south-west Munster and then north and eastwards across into the south-west of England and through the night, most areas will receive rain. By Tuesday early morning  that rain is arranged in a loose horizontal band across Connacht, Leinster and the north of England / Wales, other areas should be dry with pleasant sunshine and feeling a little milder than of late. For Wednesday we have a repeat of this as a new band of heavy rain pushes into Munster and the south-west of England and then north and eastwards up through Ireland and the U.K through the day, so potentially a wet one for some areas. As that clears from most places overnight, the low pressure sits straight over us and effectively rotates around, so this time it pushes rain into Ireland and the south-west for Thursday and in turn it brings up a new rain band from the continent that is projected to push up the eastern side of the U.K through Thursday p.m. For Friday, that rain is still with us and circulating across the U.K, so again a day of rain and showers with potentially heavy rain in the south-west and the north of England, but for Ireland, you may just miss this lump.

For the weekend we still have a low pressure in charge and it’s actually quite amazing how far south this low is projected to drop. As you can see from the Unisys image, that low pressure system is nearly reaching down to The Canary Islands and it’s all a feature of the trough effect I keep harping on about.


This weekend looks like continuing the unsettled theme with a dry start for many to Saturday potentially( Note to self – must get the lawn cut a.m.) before rain moves into the south-west and pushes east and northwards on a southerly wind pattern. Ironically we may then miss the worst of the rain as this low pushes south and takes the rain with it, so maybe not a bad end to the weekend.

 Weather Outlook

Tricky one next week I think because the low is projected to slowly slip away and in doing so it’ll encourage warmer, drier air (potentially) into the U.K and Ireland from Monday, so temperatures will begin to recover from their slightly unseasonably current cool position. So I think mild and potentially warm next week with temperatures in the mid to high teens maybe by the end of the week and certainly drier 🙂

Air temperature - last week of October - Thame, England


Agronomic Notes

It is worth noting that for the last 3 years, the last week of October has been mild and in some cases pretty warm and it looks like 2012 will be similar, as warm air pushes up from Africa. This of course has major effects on disease activity and in particular Fusarium and that’s what I’m going to talk about…..

Currently soil temperatures are sitting a little lower than normal, but I’d expect them to slowly rise this week and with ever-present moisture around, the stage is set for some heavy disease pressure next week. Bearing in mind that cutting frequencies, but more specifically the amount of leaf taken off in cutting will increase (as there’s not a lot coming off greens at the moment), this will have an effect on fungicide longevity.

I work on 4-5 weeks maximum longevity of coverage from a full-rate systemic and for Fusarium those comments only apply to a DMI (De-methylation Inhibitor) chemistry (actives like Propiconazole, Tebuconazole, Epoxiconazole, Cypriconazole- last 2 continental usage only) rather than Strobilurin chemistries, which I believe are inherently weaker on Fusarium at the labelled, UK application rates.

I’ve put full-rate systemic in bold because there are a number of companies touting ‘fungicide packages’ with their ‘half-rate this and half-rate that’ systemic component.Think about it, the systemic component of a fungicide tank mix is designed to provide longevity, so if you half-rate it, it cannot provide the same strength of cover, for the same time period, as a full rate. If you half-rate a fertiliser application, it doesn’t provide the same growth, colour and longevity as a full-rate application does it, so why should a systemic fungicide be any different ?. Be warned.

So bottom line, look at your last application type and date and work ahead 4-5 weeks to plan your next one. Spraying days this week are going to be tricky because of the rain pulses pushing through and the strength of the wind, particularly from Tuesday onwards and at the end of the week, so you may be better waiting till next week to apply if that’s practically feasible. (As it looks quieter and drier)

Other than a slowly ramping up disease pressure, there is alot of worm activity and this is set to continue with the weather forecast, but again getting out to spray will be tricky this week. It’s also worthy of note that I’m seeing a good bit of pecking and digging from our feathered and furry friends respectively…some of this is for worms, but some is for Leatherjackets, Bibionids maybe and Chafers.

Must dash, new technical support co-ordinator starting today, Hi Wendy, so hopefully I can soon retire to Trout and Barbel fishing from my palatial Market Harborough mansion…..there’s dreaming for you 🙂

All the best

Mark Hunt