This week’s timely topic focuses on the maladies on grains and pulses samples that have come into the WSU-Pullman Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic. Fifty-seven (57) samples came in between November 2016 and November 2017 with problems ranging from biotic pathogens and pests to soil, chemical, and environmental issues. Frequently what comes into the clinic for diagnosis are sampled with ambiguous symptoms, plants that show uncommon symptoms, and unfamiliar crops with unfamiliar symptoms. Root rots were a frequent issue this year given our cold and wet conditions that began during Fall 2016 planting and persisted through Spring 2017 during the planting of many pulse crops and spring wheats. Pink snow mold
was also seen this year and submitted to the clinic for confirmation as it is not frequently observed in many of our counties. A number of soil samples were sent to the clinic for testing and were found to have Pythium
that was resistant to the fungicide Metalaxyl
-commonly used in the dryland region as a seed treatment. Environmental problems are continually observed and may be due to numerous things outside of the biotic realm including cold weather, nutrient disorders, chemical interactions, as well soil issues such as low pH, erosion, or compaction.
The clinic sees a snapshot of what happens in the field as weather conditions change and as new pathogen and pest issues emerge. The clinic is open year-round and can accept all types of agriculture crop as well as ornamental and private homeowner plant samples.