Thursday, August 5, 2010

Turf Notes: Pythium Blight

In general, golf course superintendents don't like to see white, cottony stuff in the morning.  It usually indicates some sort of fungal pathogen.  There is one form of white, cottony we really don't like to see: Pythium Blight.  This fast acting disease loves heat and water.  We can blame the recent rain for its presence today.  According to Purdue University's Richard Latin: "Late afternoon rain during these hot, humid periods further favor disease development and may be responsible for rapid spread of the pathogen."  He's absolutely right.  Yesterday, it rained all morning and in the late afternoon.

I haven't seen this disease for 3 years.  I was hoping to never see it again, but nature had other plans.  I offer the following pictures for identification and educational purposes to anyone interested in turf out there:

Pythium in the morning
Pythium Blight
Pythium, aka Grease Spot
Pythium Blight - Close-up

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