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Pythium is everywhere!

Root-rot Pythium on Poa and Pythium dysfunction on bentgrass are currently widespread.  This will be the 3rd year in a row that we have seen significant activity from these pathogens during this time frame.  Samples are showing up across the Northeast.  The thing that connects these three years is the weather.  The spring of 2017, 2018 and 2019 have been extremely wet.  This is in contrast to 2016 which was unusually dry.   Just about every sample I have seen in the past two months has some level of root Pythium infection (if superintendents have not sprayed preventatively).  Root Pythium typically moves very slowly and nibbles away at root mass.  If left uncontrolled, the end result is that by June, all roots are gone or dysfunctional and plants struggle through the summer.  Unfortunately, we are now seeing a type of Pythium Patch that usually occurs in the summer.  Root-rot Pythium, specifically Pythium torulosum, is beginning in the roots and creeping into the crowns, creating ugly, yellow rings and chlorotic turf.  This is a new phenomenon which we assumed could only happen in August.  It is now happening in April and has been identified in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  See my March 2018 update (below) for additional details on management.

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