The Rapid Turfgrass Diagnostic Service, based at the Florida Extension Plant Disease Clinic (FEPDC) in Gainesville, is led by Dr. Phil Harmon and addresses practical disease management problems. Key features include rapid turnaround, researched-backed fungicide management options and interaction with the state turfgrass pathology extension specialists.
Participation in this program has grown every since its 2005 inception, with even out-of-state turfgrass managers taking advantage of the program.
Funding from the Florida Turfgrass Association has been earmarked to provide a rapid turfgrass student assistantship. Responsibilities would include processing turfgrass samples and communicating Dr. Harmon’s recommendations to the client. This project is on its way to meeting the objective of creating a self-sufficient diagnostic service for turfgrass managers within the existing Extension Plant Disease Clinic, reports the Florida Turf Digest.
Samples are processed the day they are received and a preliminary diagnosis is available within 24-48 hours. A final diagnosis is made within 7-10 days. Samples have been received from more than 50 Florida counties as well as from Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
To learn how to submit a sample, click here