7th October

Hi All,

Bit of a short blog today because I am up against it time-wise but wanted to give a weather and disease pressure update in the very least.

Nice to see Hurricane Lorenzo played out to be nothing more than another Atlantic low pressure by the time it hit these shores. Yes, it was windy and yes it was wet but the associated  hype from the Daily Express and The Sun turned out to be just media b***s**t. Ho hum.

I’ve experienced pressure from another direction of late as a young Robin has taken to give me the evil eye every morning as I’m sipping my smoothie. I call it the ‘bucket of guilt’ treatment, you know “That’s right, have your nice brekkie whilst I sit outside in the rain”…He will only desist when I chuck out a handful of RSPB Suet Sprinkles 🙁

After another Atlantic low this past weekend, do we have any sign of this unsettled weather pattern relenting over the next 7-14 days ?

General Weather Summary – w/c 7th October

So looking at this week we have a very deep low pressure coming in from the Atlantic with packed isobars meaning strong winds and plenty of rain associated with it. From the off on Monday we will see a rain front push through a.m. with another set to join it later in the day, initially pushing across Ireland during the late afternoon and then affecting the west and eventually central U.K later on in the evening.

This sets the pattern for the week with a moderate to strong westerly airflow, plenty of showers and heavier spells of rain, especially for the north and west throughout the week. The main rain fronts are set to pass through on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday across the U.K and Ireland with more in the way of showers for the west thereafter.

It’ll be cool enough in that wind because the low pressure is northerly orientated and that’s pulling down cold air from the Arctic into our region. So expect high single figures at night and low teens during the day for all areas I’d say with the coldest temperatures up north as you’ll be closer to the centre of the low.

As we approach the weekend the winds begin to drop and become more south-westerly in nature so that means a little milder with temperatures nudging up into the mid-teens for Saturday / Sunday. It’s unlikely to be dry though for everyone as a rain front will push across the U.K on Saturday / Sunday leaving behind a sunshine and showers scenario.

Weather Outlook – w/c 14th October

Well the rodeo ride on the jet stream looks set to continue for next week with no sign of the high pressure I was hoping for….So as we start next week we edge milder as the winds swing more southerly but whilst that may nudge up the temperature it won’t bring glad tidings because a Bay of Biscay Low is set to push into the south of the U.K next Tuesday and bring strong winds and heavy rain to the southern half of the U.K. Thereafter we look to return to a south-westerly / westerly air flow with more rain pushing over Ireland and the U.K for the 2nd part of next week. So I’d say similar temperatures to this week maybe a bit higher initially in that southerly air stream but no end in sight to the strong Atlantic low pressure-dominated weather picture. With the low pressure systems concentrated over the south and central regions of the U.K and Ireland, it may just be a tad drier across Scotland.

Agronomic Notes

I thought I’d kick off with showing the Meteoturf module for this week from my location in Market Harborough as it summarises our scenario well.

First off, you can see we will be maintaining decent growth with a GDD total of 50 / G.P total of 4.6 for the week. That means steady growth which will help autumn seeding and outfield recovery for those who experienced a dry summer (long forgotten already eh?).

The windy weather will also mean not bad E.T which is good for drying things down between the rain showers.

There is a positive side to the mild and wet weather pattern…..

For those of you who picked up some early disease scarring in September this will hopefully aid recovery and heal up those thinner areas. It will of course also mean that fungicide longevity will be most likely limited to a 14-17 day longevity for the first part of October as per the last 3 years as steady growth removes the A.I from the sward.

I remember looking at this picture last year of disease scarring that had practically healed over by the 2nd week of November from disease activity 3 weeks before. It helps significantly if your surface organic matter levels are <6.0% in my experience both in terms of less visible scarring and faster re-growth.

Lack of spray windows….

The problem is if you look at the graphic for spray windows there’s practically nothing for this week unless you want to come in very early on Saturday morning before the next rain front pushes in 🙁

If next week’s outlook proves to be correct then I can see a similar scenario then. That means we may have a situation where the fungicide is close to running out and no opportunity to re-apply. Is this going to be a problem as it has been in other years ?

Microdochium nivale activity….

So are we looking at heavy disease pressure for mid-October this year ?

Well obviously it’s tricky to generalise for every location but if the weather outlook proves to be accurate and we stay in the wet and windy weather pattern then currently I can’t see a significant disease spike for the next 7-10 days.

Of course this is a caveat-laden paragraph because if we switch to a milder southerly air stream and then the wind drops it could be a very different scenario. So there’s possibly a positive flip side to this run of weather in that the Microdochium pressure tends not to be very aggressive during windy and wet weather in my experience. Fingers crossed.

Worm casting….

Unfortunately this run of wet and mild weather will encourage plenty of worm activity and with no labelled control option available anymore since the demise of Carbendazim, it could make outfield surfaces pretty tricky to maintain. Raising the cutting height and applying a late PGR with an acidifying iron to limit cutting frequency and therefore smearing are the only two real strategies I’ve heard of that make a difference, unless you know better ?

Ok that’s all for me this week, a bit short and sweet but hopefully helpful.

All the best for the coming week.

Mark Hunt