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Gray Leaf Spot disease on perennial ryegrass has arrived in Britain!




The first known UK case of Gray Leaf Spot disease on perennial ryegrass has arrived in Britain!


This is potentially the most damaging fungal disease for this grass variety – and it’s a problem that can be extremely difficult to control.


As a disease of amenity turf, Gray Leaf Spot is a problem which has been prevalent in the USA and over the past 15 to 20 years, it has progressed through much of mainland Europe.


In August 2020, however, The Turf Disease Centre confirmed the development of Gray Leaf Spot disease in a UK sample of perennial ryegrass turf.


This was the first known occurrence of the disease in UK perennial ryegrass and the importance of this outbreak should not be underestimated.


This is potentially the most damaging fungal disease that can develop on stands of perennial ryegrass turf and the disease can be extremely difficult to control.


Leaves may show lesions or spots when the fungus has entered the plant and started the process of infection. More commonly, these small leaf lesions go unnoticed and the first observed symptom will be diffuse areas of tan-coloured turf that appear to increase rapidly in number and in size, can follow the line of mowing (through movement of spores, or water across the turf) and may resemble either drought or heat stress.


Recognising the symptoms, understanding the implications and delivering solutions is NOT a job for the amateur grass cutter or the ill informed. This could have dire consequences for sports and amenity land owners.


Failure to recognise, react and report instances of disease, non-native and invasive species requires training, certification and continuing professional development ETGS applies biosecurity measures and maintains currency in all such disciplines.