MSU Turf Team Update – Hot Temps


 Heat and Drought Resources

Conditions across Michigan have certainly been challenging for managing turf in the last month.  Most of the state has been very dry and combined with the record high temperatures has resulted in extreme stress for our cool season turfgrasses.  Today (Friday) there are many all time record high temperatures that are in danger throughout the state.  In the Lansing area if we top out over 102 today it would set a new all time record high temperature (previous record is 102, with the last time being on July 24, 1934).  Similar records are likely in danger throughout Michigan.  Today will hopefully conclude the streak of six straight days (Lansing area and many others) of temperatures above 90 degrees.  The longest stretches above 90, 10 days in both 1973 and back in 1897.  

In the last several days, isolated thunderstorms have traveled across the state.  These storm events are somewhat of a good news, bad news scenario.  Moisture is certainly needed in unirrigated areas but adding 1-2 inches of rainfall from an isolated storm on top of 100 degree temperatures and rising humidity result in increased disease activity.  In addition to disease activity, excess soil moisture can quickly cause anaerobic conditions in the rootzone and root die back.

MSU Extension has compiled some helpful weather tools to document the conditions we’ve been experiencing.  Resources can be found at:

Dr. Kevin Frank

MSU Turf Team

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