Good Afternoon to you all..

Took this pic as the sun broke through early morning fog over the dam at Eyebrook Reservoir yesterday (Sunday) morning, truly beautiful, pity that I was having a fishing strop at the time…..Well, a week of two parts coming up, as we have mild air for the start of the week, even though it’s currently as dull as dishwater outside, later on in the week, we’ll have a major temperature drop, but I don’t think it’s going to be quite as bad as the weather media say, chilly definitely, but not quite winter yet and after all, we are nearly into November. I also think it’ll be worse on the east side of the U.K, than the west by the way if you’re grabbing a half-term break.

General Weather Situation

So for Monday, a dull day with a weak band of rain moving northwards, gradually dissipating as it goes . Dull is the theme for the first part of the week because by and large it looks to stay dry (but with a damp feel as the air is saturated with water vapour) and dull for the rest of Monday and Tuesday , with perhaps a chance of sunshine in the south-east later on Tuesday and some light rain for Leinster and the north of England through Tuesday morning and afternoon. Winds from the north-east are pushing cloud in from the North Sea and that’s why we have the lack of sunshine. Wednesday carries on the dull theme, with perhaps a break in the cloud for Scotland, north of Glasgow. Into Thursday, temperatures begin to drop from their mid-teens into high single figures, as an easterly feel to the wind kicks in. We’re actually quite lucky because a high pressure system is keeping the really cold stuff east of us on the continent and it wouldn’t surprise me if Scandinavia sees the first major snow of winter at the end of the week / weekend. So Friday dawns cold with snow showers over the mountains of Scotland and The Pennines probably, further south it remains dull and chilly for the rest of the U.K and Ireland with much colder night temperatures, though the cloud cover should prevent a frost, though where it breaks, I expect a frost on Friday night / Saturday morning. The outlook for the  weekend looks like more of the same, cold, but potentially brighter on Saturday, though winds will strengthen and move round to the north, so that’ll make it feel well cool on the east side of the U.K, particularly on Sunday. For the west and Ireland, it’ll feel cool, but not as cold and pretty dry, with no rain systems in sight. The problem is with a saturated atmosphere I don’t expect much drying to actually take place.

Weather Outlook

The outlook for next week is that the winds will drop on Monday and therefore temperatures wil pick up, but not by much, and as we move into Tuesday the wind will push round to the west signalling the arrival of another cool low pressure system that’ll introduce a wetter, more unsettled theme to next week. By Thursday, that low will be dissipating to leave a cold feel to the weather with night frosts very likely from Thursday onwards next week.

Agronomic notes

With the mild night and day temperatures and saturated atmosphere, it won’t be a statement of the obvious to say that Fusarium pressure will be high this week, particularly through till Thursday. Currently the air is 94% saturated with moisture so that makes it very easy for a fungus to move across and to and from other grass plants. It also means you may be dew brushing the greens in the early morning, only to see the dew and guttation fluid reform shortly afterwards and in fact all through the day.

The other point to make is that in my experience when we get a sudden drop in temperature, the activity and efficacy of fungicides changes as well, most likely due to slower uptake by the grass plant. I noted this with Iprodione during November 2010, when we started the month in the high teens and finished close to -10 °C. End-users who applied product close to the middle of the month saw very little efficacy from their application and many applied again thinking that it hadn’t worked. The reality for me was that uptake was slow and there was a lag between application and a visual confirmation that the growth of the fungi was slowing. This lag is accentuated during sudden downward temperature changes.

It doesn’t just affect Iprodione of course, systemic fungicides are also affected, particularly the ones that rely on root uptake as the main vector to enter the plant. To try and reduce this lag effect you need to stimulate plant uptake, so try applying close to or with (if you know the materials are compatible) a water-soluble or liquid fertiliser application. I’m not saying the change in temperature later this week will be the same as the one we experienced in November 2010 (unlike the Beeb), but it will slow down uptake and therefore affect efficacy, that’s for sure.

On the nutrition side, if you’re planning on fertilising, I’d be trying to do it early on this week so it gets in the plant before the temperature change. If this is not practically feasible then the best option is to delay application till things settle down a bit and the plant gets used to cooler temperatures.

OK that’s all for now, sorry it’s late…wrap up well at the end of the week :mrgreen:

Mark Hunt