There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes to prepare for a new Plant Disease Clinic database. The database, which is being developed by a group headed by Will Baldwin at Kansas State University, is called the Plant Diagnostic Information System (PDIS). It will link most of the 50 states (the remaining states will be using an alternate system). Plant and pest identification clinics throughout the country are now part of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN). Iowa is in the North Central Plant Diagnostic Network (NCPDN), the region that includes Midwest states.
"The mission of the NPDN is to enhance national agricultural security by quickly detecting introduced pests and pathogens. This will be achieved by creating a functional nationwide network of public agricultural institutions with a cohesive, distributed system to quickly detect deliberately introduced, high consequence, biological pests and pathogens into our agricultural and natural ecosystems by providing means for quick identifications and establishing protocols for immediate reporting to appropriate responders and decision makers. The network will allow Land Grant University diagnosticians and faculty, State Regulatory personnel, and first detectors to efficiently communicate information, images, and methods of detection throughout the system in a timely manner." This quote was taken from the home page of the NPDN Web site.
For more information, please see the sites above. You'll be able to get to pertinent sites from the NPDN site .
This article originally appeared in the 11/7/2003 issue.