Plant Disease Clinic Impact

Paula H. Flynn, Extension Program Specialist, Plant Pathology

Plant health problems are a common cause of reduced yields in both commercial and home garden crops.  In addition, poor health of ornamental species can result in reduced aesthetic and functional value of plants.  Laboratory analysis often needed to accurately diagnosis infectious disease problems. 
The mission of the Plant Disease Clinic is to provide diagnostic support for county and area extension personnel and the citizens of Iowa.  The clinic also strives to stay at the forefront of diagnostics of emerging diseases, such as sudden oak death and Asian soybean rust, by participating in statewide disease surveys and initiatives. 
The Plant Disease Clinic responds to requests for plant health information.  Plant and soil samples are received, as well as telephone calls and e-mails inquiries.  An important function of the Clinic is to keep growers and gardeners informed on current and potential plant health management issues.  Timely news releases are generated to help growers and gardeners directly, but also to help county extension education directors anticipate and meet the needs of their clientele.  Information is disseminated in a variety of ways during the growing season including weekly radio updates, newsletter articles, newspaper columns, TV spots, and bulletins. 
The Plant Disease Clinic received 3,967 requests for information and plant problem diagnoses in 2005.  The continued goal of these educational efforts is to train growers and gardeners to accurately diagnose plant health problems and follow ecologically sound management practices.


142 Integrated Pest and Crop Management
146 Consumer Horticulture and Forestry

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz,