Read the current Progressive Forage digital edition

New Mexico State University students diagnose plant disorders

Soumaila Sanogo Published on 12 November 2013
New Mexico State University students

The next generation of farmers, agricultural extension agents and researchers receive practical training through a variety of venues.

One such venue was conducted Oct. 28, when New Mexico State University students in the Diagnosing Plant Disorders class held an outreach event to diagnose plant problems for the community of Las Cruces, New Mexico, at the parking lot of the Las Cruces Convention Center.

The event was part of a course taught by Soum Sanogo, fungal plant pathologist of the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science in conjunction with other faculty and staff:

Carol Sutherland, entomologist; Jason French, with the Plant Diagnostic Clinic; and Geno Picchioni, professor and specialist in plant mineral nutrition.

The diagnosis outreach event was aimed at providing students with real-life situations and opportunities to strengthen skills to diagnose plant disorders and communicate with the public regarding plant problems.

Community participants brought a wide array of plant specimens for examination by the students. Specimens included landscape plants, fruit trees, vegetables and weeds.

Problems identified on the specimens were due to insects, mineral deficiency, plant pathogens and environmental causes.

Other community participants had questions of a horticultural nature for the students. For examples, questions were asked on how to prevent flower drop from fruit trees caused by wind, and how to prune grapevines.

In cases where the students could not provide a definite diagnosis, specimens were collected for further processing in the class laboratory session.  FG

Soumaila Sanogo, PhD, is an associate professor of the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science, New Mexico State University.

New Mexico State University students help area residents identify insect damage, nutrient deficiencies, diseases and environmental stresses. Photo courtesy of Soum Sanogo.