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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Get Insects and Plant Diseases Analyzed at Farm Science Review

August 14, 2007

LONDON, Ohio -- Got an insect or a disease plaguing your landscape plants or garden crops and don't know what it is? Bring a sample to Farm Science Review to be analyzed by Ohio State University specialists of the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic.


The clinic, located on Ohio State's campus of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in Columbus, Ohio, is a state-of-the-art facility that specializes in diagnosing a myriad of pest and plant health problems. Clinic diagnosticians test over 2,500 plant samples a year, and they are bringing their expertise to Farm Science Review Sept. 18-20 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio. They will be located in the Plant Diagnostics Tent, located on Friday Avenue.

"The C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic will return to Farm Science Review to answer questions on garden plants and insects, especially problems with fruit and vegetable plants," said Barbara Bloetscher, a clinic entomology diagnostician. "An entomologist and plant pathologist will be available to diagnose insect and disease damage to plants and answer general questions on related subjects."

The soybean aphid and how to correctly identify it will be a focus of clinic activities during the Review.

Ron Hammond, an OSU Extension entomologist, said that the soybean aphid can be easily confused with other similar-looking insects.

"A lot of small aphids and insects resemble the soybean aphid to the naked eye, specifically potato leafhopper nymphs and young mealy bugs," said Hammond, with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. "Identifying the soybean aphid on an individual basis can be challenging, but when you start seeing an infestation of aphids, they are easy to spot. It is the only aphid that gathers in large numbers."

Soybean aphid is a sapsucker whose voracious appetite can damage soybean fields and significantly reduce yields if left untreated. The insect first appeared in Ohio in 2001.

For more information on the clinic and how to properly submit samples, log on to

Farm Science Review is sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Tickets are $8 at the gate or $5 in advance when purchased from county offices of OSU Extension or participating agribusinesses. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept 18-19 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20. For more information, log on to


Candace Pollock
Barb Bloetscher, Ron Hammond