Part of a surplus from STRI’s advisory work is being used to fund an internal research programme into the spread and severity of pests and diseases on sports turf throughout the UK and Ireland. The programme is being co-ordinated by Dr Ruth Mann – STRI’s Turf Pathologist.
Initially, the research will centre on a comprehensive questionnaire which will determine the major pests and diseases across the country and any “hotspots” of certain problems. Questionnaires have been sent to all golf clubs in the UK and Ireland. Data from these replies will be collated and entered onto a database.
STRI research staff will then be able to determine if there are any correlations between disease occurrence and management practices or weather conditions. Initial results, showing the spread of pests and diseases, will be published on STRI’s website www.stri.org.uk and in the Turfgrass Bulletin early next year.
STRI’s golf clients will receive the added benefit of ‘medical’ notes. These notes will be compiled by their STRI agronomists in the course of their regular advisory visits. They will provide clubs with a history of any problems on their golf course, the occurrence of any new diseases or changing seasonal patterns of established diseases.