No. 4 Article 1/April 29, 2011

Changes at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic

The University of Illinois Plant Clinic will open its doors for the season on Monday, May 2. There are new staff at the clinic, but we will continue to provide the same quality services, recommendations, and education.

Suzanne Bissonnette is the University of Illinois Extension, Plant Clinic, and IPM coordinator. Her primary responsibilities are to centralize IPM educational outreach, diagnostics, and programming and to provide leadership for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Extension IPM (E-IPM) Illinois program and the National Plant Diagnostic Network grant program, which supports the Plant Clinic. In addition to supervising clinic operations, Suzanne provides leadership and delivers educational programming in plant disease and pest diagnostics and management; chemical, biological, cultural, and physical pest control methods; and rural and urban pest management.

I (Stephanie Porter) am a plant diagnostic outreach specialist in crop sciences. I am a plant diagnostician at the clinic; collaborate with departmental extension specialists to diagnose plant health problems and provide management recommendations; manage the database for plant disease, insect, and weed identification; and interact with counterparts in the North Central Plant Diagnostic Network. I will also develop short courses and outreach for plant diagnostics as outlined in the NIFA-Extension IPM (E-IPM) grant.

I would like to introduce readers of the Bulletin to the Plant Clinic's social media and web-based presence. At our Facebook page you will find pictures, websites, press releases, and "question [or sample] of the day" posts about relevant horticulture and crop issues in Illinois. Several extension educators also contribute to the Facebook content.

You can follow me on Twitter for updates on crop and horticulture issues in Illinois through pictures, links to our Facebook Page and websites, and quick information.

The Plant Clinic also has a blog. My goal is to post at least once a week, with a focus on a relevant plant issue, event, or whatever else comes to mind. The blog, which is also posted on our Facebook page and at my Twitter account, is one good spot to seek answers to plant problems happening in your neck of the woods.

The Plant Clinic is on the north border of the University of Illinois farms in Urbana, nestled between the historic round barns and the new golf facility. The mailing address is Plant Clinic, 1401 W. St. Mary's Rd., Urbana, IL 61801 (phone 217-333-0519). Our website outlines our services. If you submit a sample, provide as much information as possible on the pattern of injury in the planting, the pattern on one affected plant, and details of how symptoms have changed over time to cause you concern. We handle most disease questions in-house, but some may require us to find an appropriate campus specialist to help.--Stephanie Porter

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