May 8, 2012- It’s only the first week of May and Joe and Todd are smiling, almost giddy while using words like “great” and “wonderful” to describe things we are seeing in the field. Although these words usually mean positive things in most circumstances, in this case, it does not for turf managers. We are seeing red thread, leaf spot, dollar spot, waitia patch, fairy ring, and brown patch already. With these warmer than normal temps and unusually high humidity, it wouldn’t surprise us if summer patch is not gearing up to show its head a lot earlier than normal, watch those soil temps. With this weeks cool down, we hope disease slows down and gives golf course managers a chance to “get ahead” of disease with a preemptive spray. If you’re not already, you might want to start up on a phosphite program. This group of fungicides is our only true systemics, provides some disease control, and provides agronomic “benefits” for your turf. None of us are very sure what the rest of our summer weather is going to be. I’m a “glass is half empty” kind of guy so I would do as much as possible now to get ahead of disease and stress on my turf while I still could.