Plant Diagnostics and Pathology
Plant diagnostics has been part of the Teagasc service to the horticulture industry for over fifty years. It began at Kinsealy in 1962 and became part of Ashtown Food Research Centre in 2012.
Pest and disease infestations often coincide with climatic changes such as irregular rainfall, increased humidity, or drought, which in themselves may lower crop output. Pest outbreaks may have a devastating impact in a given year, but cause only marginal losses in other years (Yudelman, Ratta, and Nygaard 1998).
We are one of the only plant clinics in the country that deal with such a wide range of plant diseases. Samples from the;
- Vegetable Sector
- Protected Crop Sector
- Nursery Stock Sector
- Cut Foliage Sector
- Soft Fruit Sector
- Cultivated mushroom industry
The main focus of our work is on fungal pathogens which can cause large crop losses to a farmer. Samples are either submitted through our advisors and specialists, or a site visit arranged directly with the clinic by our clients. On-site visits involve a basic audit of the disease problem and a sample collection for identification and possible further pathogen identification in our purpose built Ashtown horticultural laboratories.
Rapid disease identification is extremely important in order to suitably manage crop diseases. This may involve a chemical treatment schedule, biological treatment or ideally, a more integrated crop pest and disease management approach.
Take a look at our plant pathology laboratories and see what services we offer.