Hi All,

As we continue our way into November, there’s still no sign of winter actually starting. I was fishing on Saturday in summer gear watching Trout take flies off the surface, normally a late-spring / summer phenomenon, with the temperature hitting 16.5 °C during both days of the weekend. This time last year we had just began a slide into winter with a number of heavy frosts and the first signs of heavy snow on the horizon.

Coming up we have a dull and dreary week in prospect with cooler temperatures than last week and not much chance of seeing the sun. The flip side is that the cloud cover will prevent any risk of frost.

General Weather Situation

As you can see from the graphic above, that high pressure system is still sitting over central Europe and blocking Atlantic weather systems from encroaching on our weather, so the wind and rain is going round us.

Speaking of rain, there’s very little of it on the horizon for this week, but the start of next week may be a different matter. So we have a dull and dreary week, lots of cloud cover, cool temperatures barely double figures, low sunlight and for most dry. There is a weak rain front projected to sit just off the west of Ireland mid-week and that may bring some rain to the west of Munster on Wednesday, slowly moving north-east through Ireland, the south-west of England and the west of Scotland through Thursday, but we’re not talking high amounts. Wind direction will be east / south-east until mid-week.

The start of a change takes place on Wed / Thur with a change in the wind direction from south-easterly to southerly and this signals the beginning of that Atlantic low pressure system’s movement east, to affect our weather over the weekend and next week. So a little milder towards the end of the week with that warmer wind.

Outlook

Tricky one this because it’s all down to who wins the battle between the continental high pressure and the Atlantic low pressure. If we look at the Unisys graphic we can see that the low stalls over the weekend before sweeping in with very strong winds (gales) and heavy rain for Tue / Wed next week, so rain, possibly heavy for all of us next week I think.

That said, the wind direction of south-westerly means that temperatures will stay mild so I think we have a pretty good chance of seeing out November with relatively no frost and mild temperatures.

Agronomic Notes

Last week marked the third week of continuously high disease pressure with close to 24hr leaf wetness, a feature of the weather. In addition we have really mild temperatures, with soil temperatures, +5°C to +6°C, higher than normal driving growth on greens with three times per week cuts the norm, and most people saying they could cut every day. Although these conditions are good for growth, they are also unfortunately good for Fusarium.

Leaf wetness is a strong driver for disease because it facilitates mycelium movement across the leaf and from plant to plant. End-users reported dewing last week and by the time they’d finished, the dew had reformed. A lot of this will be Guttation fluid, droplets formed on the leaf tip (see left) which are a mix of water, sugars and nutrients forced out through the cut leaf tip or nodes called Hydathodes. This provides a nutrient boost for developing disease, another reason why disease pressure has been so high.

Like I said before, if you’re clean at the moment, fair play to you….My advice is the same as last week regarding managing the current disease pressure, but I’d add one caveat – Next week’s weather looks windy and wet, in other words very poor spraying conditions, so if you plan to apply a fungicide or a turf-hardening liquid / feed, this week is definitely the week to do it.

All the best.

Mark Hunt