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Plant Clinic Request

June 13, 2001

The Plant Clinic has been doing a booming business lately. We appreciate the time most of you have taken to prepare plant samples and to get them to us in good shape. Most clients have also provided the required payment with samples. I am happy to report rapid turnaround times so far this season.

The amount and quality of supportive paperwork has not always been as helpful. Please take the time to write down details about symptom distribution in the entire planting area as well as the symptoms on one particular plant. A specimen data form is not required as long as you provide the information requested on that form. Describe how the symptoms have changed over time. Describe the condition of nearby plants. It is critical to know details about the planting site, plant material around the base of plants, chemicals used on or near the plants, soil type, available moisture, and any other facts that might be helpful.

The type of information described above often provides additional clues to the real problem-causing symptoms. As an example, a recent fruit sample was submitted for disease assay. No pathogens were detected. Because details had been provided on symptoms and fertilizer applications, additional specialists were consulted and the problem was identified as nutrient toxicity. Diagnosis is our service, but it is only as good as the sample and information provided. We canít afford the time to call 2,000 people for additional information and will often work with what we are provided. Please take the time to give this information to us.

Information about the Plant Clinic, fees, how to submit samples, a data form, directions to the clinic, etc. can be found on the Web at http://www.cropsci. uiuc.edu/research/clinic/clinic.html.

Author: Nancy Pataky


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