Brian Hudelson, Sr. Extension Outreach Specialist
Plant Diagnostic Lab
Department of Plant Pathology
UW Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Brian Hudelson explains how the UW Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic helps both homeowners and commercial growers identify plant diseases.
3:04 – Total Time
0:18 – Welcome to the UW Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab
0:37 – How the lab works
1:01 – Everyone may use the lab service
1:37 – Plant diseases common in Wisconsin
2:34 – Visit the web site
2:54 – Lead out
Sevie Kenyon: A visit to the University of Wisconsin plant diagnostic lab, we’re visiting today with Brian Hudelson, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Brian, very generally, tell us what the plant diagnostic lab is.
Brian Hudelson: Basically, I do diagnosis of plant diseases on virtually every plant you could imagine. The only thing I don’t work with is turf and so I see samples of field crops, forage crops, ornamentals, you name it and I probably see it.
Sevie Kenyon: And can you describe for us, Brian, how it works?
Brian Hudelson: So if you have a sick plant and kind of want to know what’s going on, you submit a sample to us. You can submit it though you county extension office or submit it directly to my lab. We take a look at it, decide what we think might be the problem, we can do some lab tests, and then once we figure out what the problem is, you get a written report back in the mail and recommendations on how to manage the problem.
Sevie Kenyon: Brian, what kind of samples do you get and who do they come from?
Brian Hudelson: They come from a lot of different places. I think the majority of the samples that I get typically are ornamental samples, so a lot of woody ornamentals. We do charge a small fee for what we do, so people, if they are concerned about ornamentals, will be willing to pay for a diagnosis on a tree or a shrub. Probably about 50-60% of our samples are ornamentals of some kind or another. We get field crops and forage crops. We also get vegetables and fruits. Those are lesser amounts; probably about 10% of my samples are in each of those particular categories.
Sevie Kenyon: What kinds of diseases are common here to the state of Wisconsin?
Brian Hudelson: We do a lot of testing for Oak wilt, that’s a big one on Oak tress. A lot of folks are concerned about that. It can really range a lot; root rots, leaf spots, and blights. We get a lot of samples that come in on tomatoes. We do free testing actually for late blight for tomato and so folks can send in a tomato sample and if they invoke the words late blight we’ll do a free diagnosis for them whether its late blight or not. We do a lot of soil testing, actually as well. Pea root rot testing, so if there is a canning company that wants to contract with a grower to grow peas on their property this coming year, they’ll bring in a sample to us, we grow peas in the greenhouse, and then we report back about whether that particular field is a good candidate for pea production. We do a lot of testing for soybean nematodes in collaboration with a faculty member here in the plant pathology department and also some folks over in the agronomy department as well.
Sevie Kenyon: And Brian, if people are interested in using your service or learning more, what should they do?
Brian Hudelson: They can go to my website. Just look up the plant disease diagnostics clinic at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and you should be able to find it us very, very easily. We have information on how to submit a sample. We also have a lot of fact sheets. I also do a weekly summary of the diseases that I have seen in the clinic which is called Wisconsin Disease Almanac and there’s a tab for that on the website as well.
Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Brian Hudelson, plant diagnostic lab, University of Wisconsin-Extension Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.