Be Prepared in 2016
by Rick Brandenburg, Turf Entomologist
There has been a lot of discussion this winter and spring regarding the extremely warm temperatures of December and March and the impact this will have on turf management. The warm temperatures of December and March are remarkable not only for the unusually high temperatures, but also the duration of these “warm” spells.
At the time of this writing (March 15) a lot of activities, both plant and pest, appear to be 3 or more weeks ahead of normal. There is reason to take note of this and to start making plans to monitor and possibly take certain actions earlier than normal. The forecast calls for a return to more normal conditions, but that doesn’t mean the 3-week push ahead of normal will go backwards. If temperatures return to normal, we will still be 3 weeks ahead. We will get back to more normal timing only if we have some extended periods of below normal temperatures.
This is not intended to be a gloom and doom prophecy, but rather a heads up for possible early activity. We know that mole crickets, for example, are active earlier than normal and in the Wilmington, NC area this could equate to mid-May egg hatches rather than the first week of June.