sealPurdue News

May 8, 2003

Diagnostic workshops offer clues to what ails crops

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Your corn takes on a sickly hue. What's causing its unhealthy appearance? An annual Purdue University workshop series could provide valuable clues.

Purdue's Crop Diagnostic Training and Research Center (CDTRC) is sponsoring a dozen daylong workshops on identifying and treating crop problems. The Diagnostic Training Workshops will take place in June, July and September at the Purdue Agronomy Center for Research and Education, located five miles west of Purdue's West Lafayette campus on U.S. 52.

Registration is $120 per person per day. Workshops run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 17, 18, 19, 20 and 24; July 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18; and Sept. 10 and 11.

The workshops appeal to a wide audience, said Corey Gerber, interim director of CDTRC.

"The sessions encompass a large group of people who are involved in agriculture production," Gerber said. "We help them develop troubleshooting skills and provide information on what to look for if there are insect, disease, weed or soil fertility problems in their fields. We generally use a hands-on approach."

Workshop participants spend most of the day in agronomy center fields, examining crop plots and comparing notes with workshop speakers. Among the speakers are Purdue specialists in the departments of Agronomy, Botany and Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Agricultural and Biological Engineering; experts from other land-grant universities; and ag industry professionals.

Training sessions cover most major crops. "We'll primarily look at corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and other forages," Gerber said.

The workshops will include topics in special areas, such as a new Bt corn hybrid that is resistant to corn rootworms.

"We're planting the corn at the Diagnostic Training and Research Center in areas we know corn rootworm exist in order to see the level of damage caused by the rootworms on the resistant plants," Gerber said.

Early-season crop problems are the focus of the June workshops, with mid- and late-season crop problems the main topics of the July and September workshops, respectively.

Continuing Education Credits are available for Certified Crop Advisors who attend. Indiana Commercial Pesticide Applicators are eligible for Continuing Education Hours.

Registration is on a first-come basis and is limited to 60 people per workshop. A registration form and workshop brochure is available by calling Purdue's toll-free Extension hotline at (888) 398-4636 or can be downloaded online at

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415,

Source: Corey Gerber, (765) 496-3755,

Related Web site:

Purdue University Crop Diagnostic Training and Research Center:

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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