Turf managers should wait for soil temperatures to warm up sufficiently for active plant growth before making the first Primo MAXX applications of the season. To help turf managers time their first Primo MAXX application more effectively, the GreenCast turf management web site (www.greencast.co.uk) now includes a five-day forecast of soil temperatures and minimum ground temperatures, with automated local frost warnings.
"Some warm days in early March, with temperatures reaching the mid-teens °C, has turned thoughts to spring, but soil temperatures are still in low single figures for most areas. Turf will be slower to get going in cold wet soils," advises Simon Elsworth of Syngenta. Newly released records show the UK has an average eight days with an air frost during March. Last year saw a regional variation from four nights in March with frost in the south west, to more than 13 nights in parts of eastern Scotland.
"GreenCast records show soil temperatures really didn't start to pick up until the first week of April with consistent turf growth," according to Mr Elsworth. "Turf managers who waited to make their first Primo applications saw an immediate benefit of improvement in turf quality and a reduction in vertical growth."
Applications on golf and bowling greens can be started straight off at the 0.4 l/ha rate used at two to four week intervals throughout the season. New recommendations for 2009, however, advocate that for fairways, sports pitches and some other turf the initial Primo MAXX application should be made at half the rate that will be used through the main growing season - typically 0.8 l/ha instead of 1.6 l/ha on fairways, for example.
"The second Primo application, after three to four weeks, can be made at the recommended rates to maintain the optimal growth regulation through the fastest growing spring period," adds Mr Elsworth.
Turf managers and advisors can register now on www.greencast.co.uk for free five-day forecasts of local soil temperatures. The pioneering web site also provides a localised five-day weather forecast and active turf disease risk warnings, along with a range of features designed specifically for improved turf management.
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Syngenta Crop Protection
Tel: 01223 883445
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