As Micah mentioned, our first stop during the 2012 Asian Turfgrass Roadshow took us to Singapore. For me, it was about 22 hours in the air (through Tokyo) and a 12:30AM arrival on Monday night/Tuesday morning. Knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep right off the flight, I had recent graduate (Shane Lee) pick me up at the airport and to the bars we went. We had a great time catching up on his pursuit of a job in the region and he showed me around what little of the city we could see that night. When all was said and done, I managed to get to bed at 4:30AM local time.
At about 7AM, the alarm went off and away we went to Sentosa Golf Club. After about 6 cups of coffee, I had the chance to get up and talk about a problem that is near and dear to the hearts of many in the region…Algae. Although this was our first stop on the tour, I quickly was schooled in the variation in the weather around the region and the unique weather patterns typical in Singapore. My initial thought was that weather within all of southeast Asia was similar, but I quickly realized that each region had its unique qualities and Singapore’s was numerous days of cloud cover and shade which has a big influence on the warm-season grasses grown there. Check out Micah’s take on the climate’s impact on various warm-season grasses in his last post.
After less than 24 hours in Singapore, we were off to Bangkok where we would spend 2 days and 2 nights. After a long first night in Bangkok, I finally was hit hard with the jetlag and fortunately was able to sleep much of the morning to recover. In the afternoon we had a chance to see the landscape of the Grand Palace and also take a boat tour of the water canals. Finally, I was treated to some traditional Thai food and “not that crap they serve in the United States” as Dr. Woods would say.
On Thursday, we gave our first of three translated talks at Thana City Golf Club. This was a great experience and our interpreter made it easy to move through the presentation. There was a lot of interest on our GCSAA-funded algae work in this region and many were surprised at the impact of nitrogen source. In our research, ammonium sulfate (likely due to the acidification of the upper 1-2 cm of the rhizospere) consistently suppressed algae nearly 100%. We also discussed the impact of chemical control. In our work chlorothalonil and mancozeb are hard to beat when it comes to managing algae, but the phosphite (not phosphate) products are also effective at providing preventive suppression.