PAA Meeting Discusses Future Of Extension, Powdery Scab

Published online: Aug 24, 2004 Dr. Frank Fronek, UAC
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Concern over the future of university extension programs and powdery scab were the two main discussion topics at this year's 88th annual Potato Association of America meeting held in Scottsbluff, NE, in mid-August.

Hosted by Dr. Alexander Pavlista and his staff at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, the event attracted over 200 scientists from the United States and 20 other countries.

Dr. Greg Porter of the University of Maine relinquished his office as president of the association to Robert Davidson of Colorado.

Next year's meeting will be hosted by Alberta at Calgary in July.

The discussion on extension focused on the many positive attributes of the various state programs. It also focused on future directions necessary for the programs to be successful.

Dr. Paul Carter, agronomy sciences manager of Hi-Bred International, explained how Pioneer works with extension across the country in development of effective training programs. He also gave insight on how the relationship between the private and public scientists might change in the future.

Dr. Joe Guenthner of the University of Idaho explained that many large farms now conduct their own research and internal training programs.

The powdery scab problem is still in need of a great deal more research, the scientists agreed. The scab organism needs to be studied to see if there are different races of Spongopsora, its abililty to infect other crops and effects of rotational crops.

The relationship of inoculum density to disease severity, resistance mechanisms, and effects of soil chemistry and microbial activity on Spongospora will also be researched.