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Plant diagnostic lab re-opens for season


May 31, 2010
By Fruit & Vegetable

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May 31, 2010,
Charlottetown, PEI – Prince Edward Island’s Department of Agriculture is once
again offering a plant disease diagnostic service for the agriculture industry.



May 31, 2010,
Charlottetown, PEI – Prince Edward Island’s Department of Agriculture is once
again offering a plant disease diagnostic service for the agriculture industry.

The service is available
to all potato producers as well as other commodity producers. It provides
clients with advice and assistance in identifying problems, providing
information to control them if possible and to prevent any recurrence. Most of
the crops dealt with include potatoes, cereals, fruit crops and cole crops.

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Diagnoses are based on a
combination of visual examination of symptoms, microscopic observation and
culturing onto artificial media. During the 2009-2010 potato growing and
storage seasons, the lab identified the incidence of late blight in the samples
submitted. Other common potato diseases identified during that time included
Fusarium dry rot, leak, pink rot and bacterial blackleg. This service is a
valuable service to all Prince Edward Island producers. It is free of charge.

Producers can submit
samples directly to the Plant Disease Diagnostic laboratory at the Potato
Services building in Kensington, or at any of the Access P.E.I. offices.
Disease diagnosis can usually be determined within a week. For potato foliar
diseases, such as late blight, the turn around time is immediate to 24 hours
depending on the sample submitted.

To submit a sample, a
diagnostic form should be completed and attached to the sample. These forms can
be obtained from the P.E.I. agriculture web site or at your local Access P.E.I. office.

“Using the plant
diagnostic service can take the guesswork out of solving problems,” says plant
diagnostician Marleen Clark. “An accurate disease diagnosis can then be
correctly treated. In the end, an effective treatment can save producers
money.”


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