The PIDC staff processed a total of 2581 samples in 2017. The bulk of our samples originate in the state of Iowa (2556), while 29 samples (~1%) originated from other states in the US, mainly from the Midwest.
The majority of our samples were nematode counts (64%). Horticultural plants and field crops accounted for 36% of our samples. Our most common sample types were broadleaf trees problem diagnosis (257) and insect identification (167). In 2017 we diagnosed the following problems: pathogens (49%), insect damage (29%) and environmental (13%) and plant/weed or mushroom identification (9%). On plant samples we often diagnose more than one problem.
We continue to offer DNA-based diagnostic techniques for plant pathogens. We now offer PCR tests for the pathogens that cause hops downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora humuli), apple and pear fireblight (Erwinia amylovora), and introduced a new service to identify bacterial pathogens based on DNA sequences. We continued offering the DNA test for oak wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum).
Extension and Outreach Highlights
PIDC staff members are vital members of many Extension and Outreach programs. One of the most important ways that we support programs is through presentations (21 presentation with a total of 2096 participants) and hands-on workshops (5 workshops with a total of 374 participants). For example, in 2017 we provided training to 341 new Master Gardeners. We were part of the Turfgrass Field Day (100 participants), and presented at the High Tunnel Short Course (90 participants).
We give tours of our facility where we show how we diagnose plant problems and explain to attendees about the importance of submitting samples for diagnosis. This past year we enjoyed a visit by the 100 attendees of the Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators.
The Clinic staff responded to 482 phone calls and a total of 1111 email from costumers. The PIDC staff also engaged with stakeholders via social media. Our Facebook page has 872 likes, 144 more than in 2016. The pages average yearly total reach was 135.
Diagnosticians engaged with clients and the general public using Twitter (@LauraJesseISU, @Linaplantdoc and @EdZaworski). We have 285 new followers on our diagnostician's twitter accounts, with a total of 947 followers. Our diagnosticians were mentioned in twitter 128 times, and our tweets were liked 379 times.
We always encourage our clients to give us feedback on our services. If you received a diagnosis from us this year be sure to follow the link to our survey in the email. We value your feedback greatly!
Our videos had new views in 2017:
- Rhizosphaera Needle Cast, Views in 2017: 1,437.
- Collecting Tip and Needle Blight Samples, Views in 2017: 44.
- Collecting Mushroom Samples, Views in 2017: 92.
- Morel Mushroom ID Workshop, Views in 2017: 318.
- Properly Collecting and Packaging a Sample for Diagnosis, Views in 2017: 57.
- Collecting Whole Plants For Plant Problem Diagnosis, Views in 2017: 93.
- Special type of sample needed when testing for oak wilt, Views in 2017: 94.
- What is Emerald Ash Borer, Views in 2017: 584
- How to Tell if an Ash Tree is Infested with EAB, Views in 2017: 632
During 2017 we contributed to Horticulture & Home Pest News with 13 diagnostic updates, three plant disease articles, three mushroom articles and one general service article. We were part of the following publications:
- Category 3, Ornamental, Turf, and Greenhouse Pest Management -- Iowa Commercial Pesticide Applicator Manual.
- Master Gardener workbook. Updated the Plant pathology activities for the 2017 edition of the Master Gardener Workbook.
- Tomato Diseases and Disorders. Updated this publication in 2017. A total of 20,207 pdf downloads in 2017.
- Verticillium Wilt of Woody Plants. Updated this publication in 2016. A total of 346 pdf downloads in 2017.
- Iowa High Tunnel Fruit and Vegetable Production Manual. Activity 2017: 86 paper copies sold, 7 seven pdf downloads.
- Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (2017 edition). Contributions from L. Rodriguez-Salamanca and L. Jesse. A total of 8,217 pdf downloads in 2017.
- Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide (2017 edition). Contributed to the update. L. Rodriguez-Salamanca, L. Jesse. A total of 50,269 pdf downloads, and 317 paper copies sold in 2017.
- Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases in Iowa. Updated. A total of 10,614 pdf downloads in 2017.
- Scale Insects on Ornamental Landscape Plants. Updated 2016. A total of 84 pdf downloads in 2017.
- Integrated Pest Management for Home Gardens and Landscapes. Updated 2013. A total of 834 pdf downloads in 2017
See our article "What’s to come to PIDC in spring 2018" in this issue of the HHPN for exciting updates including that we are moving!! We look forward to helping Iowa's with plant problem diagnosis and identification and extension outreach. Happy New Year and healthy plants in 2018!