Hi All,

Alot of people are asking me “When is summer going to start ?”, well I’m afraid at the moment we’re still stuck in this remarkably consistent, fixed pattern of weekly weather…. That is to say a quiet start to the week, with warmth, light winds and dry, followed by a gradual deterioration from Thursday onwards with high winds and rainfall, as a low pressure moves in in time to trash the weekend. Needless to say I was bailing out the boat again yesterday morning and the waves were wild. That said, if you’ve ever watched a Trout move along and just inside the crest of a 3ft wave to take a fly at close quarters, it’s mesmerising believe me…:)

Courtesy of Southern Water - http://www.southernwater.co.uk/environment/managingresources/bewllevel.asp

The graph right typifies the year so far rainfall-wise, and shows the level of Weir Wood Reservoir near East Grinstead, it’s a reservoir that is filled by rainwater alone so it’s a good benchmark. You can see how the level began increasing sharply in early April, levelled out in early May for that brief dry period and then began rising quickly on it’s way to full capacity. Last weekend the north-east and north-west of England received 100mm of rain over the course of 24hours as that intense low pressure centred over the north of England. The problem occurs because of our lethargic jet-stream, which instead of moving a low pressure quickly across the U.K & Ireland, it ‘allows it’ to circulate and re-circulate over the same area, dumping rain along the way.

So is it going to change this week ?…… in a word…no…..

General Weather Situation

As hinted above, we start this week, dry, warm and settled with light winds and for many this will be the best day of the week as there’s only a light risk of rain in northern England. For Tuesday we have rain moving into west Munster from the early hours and then quickly tracking north and west across Ireland. By late morning that rain is into Wales and the south-west of England, with potentially heavy rain for a time in the latter. The rest of the country looks to stay dry and warm through the day. During the night that rain pushes into the the south of the U.K and again may bring potentially heavy rain for the south coast. By the start of Wednesday the weather is beginning to break down again with heavy rain for Ireland and Wales, with the band of rain stretching across through the Midlands to the east coast of England by late morning.  It will however still feel warm / very warm so we’ll have very high humidity until the low pressure pushes in. This rain clears through the afternoon but I’m afraid the worst is yet to come and I can see more flooding at the end of the week as a new low pressure pushes in and circulates over the U.K and Ireland. Thursday may start off dry for you, but not for long, as potentially heavy rain pushes in during the morning tracking north-east across the U.K, (up the M5) with Ireland also wet, but you should miss the heaviest of the rain. It’ll feel cooler as well as that humidity is pushed away.  By late afternoon the whole country will be experiencing rainfall and into the evening this may be very heavy as the low re-circulates, so more flooding I’m afraid and I think the east side of the U.K is the most at threat. Friday looks a little better unless you’re in Ireland and the west side of the U.K because that low is only catching it’s breath again before pushing in for the weekend, so maybe drier away from the west coast on Friday.

For the weekend I’m afraid it doesn’t look great with that low pushing strong south-west winds and rain showers across the U.K and Ireland on Saturday, but Sunday may be potentially better with lighter winds as that low moves through.

Outlook

So again next week looks to be starting off settled as the low moves away and at the moment I can’t see a new low ready to slot in and repeat the pattern. Coupled with that, there is a high pressure sitting out in the Atlantic, so who knows, maybe that’ll build and give us a settled start to July, here’s hoping….

Agronomic Notes

I’m not going to repeat myself again because the advice has been the same now for at least the last month, but in terms of getting things done, Monday and Tuesday are definitely the days to get product on this week, if of course you can get around the golf course with a sprayer.

One factor that may make life more troublesome this week is the combination of higher temperature with humidity during the early-mid week part of the week. This has the potential to kick off some pretty aggressive disease and in particular Fusarium, Red Thread and possibly Dollar Spot for those places that get it. To be make life slightly harder it’ll be difficult to spray from Thursday onwards because of the strength of the wind.

Nutrition-wise, it’s the early part of the week for applying light rate liquids and PGR’s or if you’re thinking of using a light-rate granular, it’ll be the end of the week onwards that’ll suit, but I’d wait till after Thursday’s predicted heavy rain because that does have the potential to leach nutrients through the rootzone.

If you do have to spray, I’d be going with my earlier advice and that is to combine a systemic like Azoxystrobin or Propiconazole with a half-rate Iprodione to knock as many birds on the head as possible in one application. You could argue that the likelihood of Anthracnose in the summer with the current lack of stress seems unlikely, but I’d argue the contrary that the current combination of warmth and moisture is ideal for the development of all fungal pathogens, so I’d still expect to see Anthracnose and Take-All in July, especially if and when we get a hot, drying weekend with high winds and obviously high E.T.

All the best….

Mark Hunt