The weather finally broke, and it looks as if we did not miss spring after all. The advent of warm weather always opens the floodgates to questions about plants and plant problems. The University of Illinois Plant Clinic is one place to seek help in plant problem diagnosis. Mark your calendar now to remember that this service is again available beginning May 1, 2008.
The University of Illinois Plant Clinic provides a service to the general public, offering unbiased plant-problem diagnosis and access to opinions of specialists in multiple disciplines, funneled through one location. There is a support fee for all plant samples. For information about the clinic, fees, location, and how to submit samples, visit the Web site at http://plantclinic.cropsci.uiuc.edu/.
The Plant Clinic processed 2,318 plant samples in 2007, an increase of 25% over 2006 sample numbers. Samples were submitted from Extension sources (31% of the time) or non-Extension sources (69%). In 2007, 78% of the plant samples were field crops, while 17% were ornamental plants. In addition to diagnosing plant samples, the clinic staff handled 886 telephone inquiries, 530 walk-in diagnoses, and over 250 electronic inquiries.
Why would you want to use this service? Possibly you have no idea what is causing a plant or plants to decline. Possibly you have been seeing a problem for one or more years and would like to “get to the bottom” of the problem. Often our clients have specific tests in mind, such as culturing to test for oak wilt, identifying a specific insect or weed, or testing for legume viruses. Check our Web site and feel free to call with questions about our services.