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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


First Detector Training at Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference

February 3, 2009

ADA, Ohio -- Farmers, crop consultants and other agriculture industry specialists have the opportunity to strengthen their professional development in plant disease and insect detection and diagnoses through the First Detector Training program at the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference.


First Detector Training, part of the National Plant Diagnostic Network, promotes awareness and early detection of exotic and newly emerging plant diseases and pests in the field through enhanced diagnostics and education.

"It's an extension of already established training and education in recognizing problems associated with familiar crop diseases and pests," said Nancy Taylor, director of Ohio State University's C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic. The clinic is located on Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences campus in Columbus. "The program is designed to provide an overview and update on plant diseases and insect problems that are of concern to farmers and industry regulators and how they can have a potential impact on agriculture in Ohio."

First Detector Training will be offered on Feb. 26 from 1:15 p.m. until 2:45 p.m. The session is free with conference registration, but participants are encouraged to sign up in advance by logging on to Interested individuals can also register onsite. The Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference will be held Feb. 26-27 at the McIntosh Center at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.

Following the First Detector Training program will be a series of advanced scouting sessions, designed to build upon and strengthen the techniques offered during First Detector Training. Advanced scouting technique sessions will run from 3:05 p.m. until 5:35 p.m. and include such topics as CropCam: A New Way to Get into Your Crop; Using yield Maps to Determine Your Crop Limits; Early Season Crop Emergence Problems; Mid-Season Scouting Efforts; Leaf Area Assessment for Disease and Insect Scouting; and Digital Photography for Scouting Support.

The training is open to anyone interested in the program. Those who complete the training become Certified First Detectors and have the opportunity to receive the national NPDN First Detector newsletter, as well as pest alerts via e-mail through the National First Detector registry. Participants will also receive 1.5 hours of Certified Crop Advisor credits.

For more information on the First Detector Program, visit the North Central Region National Plant Diagnostic Network Web site at

For more information on the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference, log on to, or contact Randall Reeder, OSU Extension conservation tillage specialist, at (614) 292-6648 or

The conference, which attracts participants from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania, provides the latest in university research and industry information on topics related to no-till and conservation tillage. This year's event covers general agricultural sessions, cover crops, soil fertility, nutrient management, soil and water, crop management, planters, and precision agriculture, as well as a new in-depth program on intensive corn production and a pre-conference program on cover crop benefits.

Sponsors include Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Northwest Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency, and the Ohio No-Till Council.


Candace Pollock
Nancy Taylor