Turf Scouting Report, July 16th

Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle -
We have just weathered two storms.  Well, counting two long holiday weekends with difficult weather.  A superintendent with good insight reminded me of this week. And what will the third long holiday weekend bring – Labor Day? This humid Midwestweek, we continue to monitor unusual disease pressure caused by an especially warm summer.  Scouting of our big three (dollar spot, brown patch, and Pythium blight) went too well in a week.  However, in most cases, we handle diseases quite well given correctly-timed fungicides.  It is physiological decline that scares us most – heat-intolerant Poa annua our weak link turf-wise.  Our eyes got bigger as the weathermen’s oppressive predictions for a hot July continued to come true.  We logged a few more 90-plus days and now have less memory of summer’s 2008 and 2009 (a cool anomaly X 2).
More upsetting, we lost our cool nights this week – allows plant recovery/healing.  This has meant soil temperatures continued to climb.  At 2 inches below, rootzones are now topping 80 degrees on average – natural summer root mortality just accelerated. Beam me up Scotty?
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