Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dollar Spot...It's Back

Dollar Spot is one of the most easily identified diseases in turf. It can affect several different types of turf and has a wide range of conditions in which it can be active.  The disease is caused by the fungal pathogen Sclerotinea homeocarpa and, if left untreated, can cause poor playing conditions. Luckily, the pathogen does not affect the crown or root of the plant, so new growth can be initiated once the pathogen has been suppressed.  On mornings with heavy dew, white mycelia can be seen on the infected leaves (see picture below).

Thanks to Mother Nature and her propensity for ill-timed and excessive rains this year, we have been unable to adhere to our normal preventative spray schedule.  Because our normal applications have been delayed, the pathogen has had an opportunity to become active and begin to show signs of damage.  Damage has been seen on a handfull of tees (#'s 1,3 and 14) and fairways (#'s 7,10,16 and 17).  The aforementioned areas have had additional applications of fungicides made to them as well as foliar applications of nitrogen to improve plant health and help speed-up the recovery time.  It is not uncommon for us to see Dollar Spot throughout the course of the golfing season because of my tendancy to apply fungicides at low end of the recommended rates, but this year there is more than normal. It is my hope that the weather will begin to cooperate and the turf can have a quick recovery.  Until that time, we will remain vigilant in our preventive/curative programs as deemed necessary.

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