Field Insights Blog | GreenCast | Syngenta
Field Insights Blog | GreenCast | Syngenta

May Mid-Atlantic Regional Update

The unseasonably cold days that can often plague April in the mid-Atlantic have for the most part moved on and we are starting to see a steady increase in daytime temperatures, as well as some now unseasonably warm weather mixed in. Although “summer-like” temperatures are upon us, there is a stark contrast between forecasted highs in the mid-upper 80’s in April/May compared to June-September. In the spring, mornings are cool and for the most part comfortable and it takes most of the day to reach that upper mark versus going through the extended periods of heat we experience in the summer months. That said, it is these unseasonably warm days that accelerate the transition of the overall turf landscape most significantly. Right now, a turf manager’s biggest nemesis at the moment is roughs or home lawns growing at a virtually uncontrollable pace, particularly after rainy periods.

Weed Pests:
Soil temperatures have been holding in the mid-upper 50’s°F and are even creeping into the low 60’s°F. Pre-emergent applications have been going out regularly and will be wrapping up soon. I have even seen a few Broadleaf weed applications going out, particularly in rough areas which recovered slowly from fall seedings that fell short due to a hot, dry conditions in 2016.

Poa annua in general, is looking a bit under the weather and is likely attributed for the most part to a combination of the following:

  • Low carbohydrate/energy reserves following seedhead production
  • PGR use (particularly products containing paclobutrazol or flurprimidol)
  • ABW larvae feeding (covered in later section)
  • Recent weather (cloudy/wet)
    • In many cases most pronounced in areas also under traffic stress or that drain poorly/surface drainage paths

Poa annua is stressed following seedhead production

Disease Pests/Pressures:

Because of the recent weather patterns,Helminthosporium (Drechslera) leaf spot, Waitea (Brown Ring) Patch and Cool Season Brown Patch have been the primary players. There have been a few isolated cases of Dollar Spot this past week and with Bermudagrass breaking dormancy, some Spring Dead Spot is becoming more pronounced.

Active Waitea Patch

It has been my experience over the past several years that leading into Memorial Day marks the largest surge in Dollar Spot activity in MD/VA. Based on the accelerated pace of the season, I am feeling like 2017 may provide an earlier onset. It may be advantageous to ensure an application containing a Multi-site contact (Such as Secure® or Daconil®/Daconil Action™ fungicides) is tank mixed with a penetrant material that is labeled for Dollar Spot in the coming weeks. Preventative programs have been shown to perform better in the long run when compared to making curative applications throughout the season. This also helps to protect against resistance to susceptible classes of chemistry.

Other pathogens that tend to surface this time of year may include, but not be limited to Microdochium (Pink Snow Mold) (often on Ryegrass fairways), Red Thread (mostly on higher cut turf/home lawns) and one to be on the lookout for is Take-All Patch, to include Bentgrass fairways. Take-All is more commonly associated with newly constructed sand based greens, however a mild and saturated fall/winter in 2015 brought this to front in the spring of 2016. There were some weather parallels to the fall/winter of 2016, not quite to the degree of 2015, but still something to keep an eye out for.

Annual Bluegrass Weevil (ABW) got off to a fast start and haven’t really let up. WeevilTrak will be turning to Stage 3 of the Optimum Control Strategy early this week at most Maryland and Virginia sites. The first documented larvae came almost two full weeks ahead of 2016 and as of April 26th, there was a small portion of the overall larval population that had reached the beginning stages of 4th instar. It is fair to attribute, in part at least, some damage to individual plants to ABW larval feeding. This is expressed by the deep yellow/orange appearance of individual plants within a stand. This can also look a lot like Anthracnose, so it important to diagnose properly before treating.

ABW Larval Sampling April 26th

Individual Plants damaged from ABW feeding

If you have had a history of Nematode-related issues, sampling is advisable in the near future to get a baseline of count/type present for the season and help prepare for a treatment program as appropriate.  A list of Nematode Labs and sampling methods is available on . To date, most samplings have yielded generally low counts in the mid-Atlantic, which can be expected when soil temperatures are still increasing and root structures are forming. These numbers should increase accordingly in the coming weeks. Targeting the 2-3” soil depth is most effective to control turf parasitic nematodes and can require more complex application methods. Consulting with your local Syngenta Territory Manager to develop a strategy can assist with your preparation from initial scouting and sampling on through to implementing control options.

Sam Camuso – Territory Manager (MD/DC/NoVA)
Twitter: @samcamuso
Mobile: 240-405-5069



About the author

Sam Camuso is a Syngenta Turf & Landscape Territory Manager located in the Northeastern US. You may also follow Sam on Twitter:

© Syngenta. Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your state or local Extension Service to ensure registration status.