NC County Extension Agents Practice Cucurbit Disease Identification Techniques
As part of NC State University Department of Plant Pathology and Entomology’s annual agent training each July, the Vegetable Pathology Lab at NC State University conducted disease identification workshops for county extension agents in both the lab and field. The workshops focused on the identification of cucurbit and other crop pathogens. When disease strikes, time is of the essence for disease identification and the implementation of control measures. County agents provide a grower’s initial contact with Cooperative Extension and connect cucurbit producers with the Vegetable Pathology Extension specialist and the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic.
The goal of the Vegetable Pathology Lab at NC State University is to deliver science-based management strategies to North Carolina growers. County agents are an integral connection between the growers and University Vegetable Pathology specialists who have become partners in research, discovery, and innovation that are important for the state’s agricultural and economic health.
During the July 2019 Annual agent training, the NC State University Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology’s Vegetable Pathology Lab shared disease diagnostic techniques for cucurbit pathogens including Gummy Stem blight, Downy Mildew, and Phytophthora with county Extension agents from across NC. On the first day, agents practiced their diagnostic skills at the Central Crops Research Station in Clayton, NC on cucurbit crops inoculated with pathogens. County Extension personnel networked with specialists, members of the Quesada Lab and fellow agents. On the second day of training, the group visited the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic and then practiced disease diagnostic techniques in a lab equipped with microscopes and the basic instruments recommended for disease diagnostics.