management of further spread. A new method to extract DNA from soils, coupled with quantitative PCR, have provided an accurate predictive tool for assessing P. brassicae populations in soil and is capable of predicting expected yield loss based on inoculum thresholds. At infested sites on grower properties, combinations of soil incorporation of hot lime (CaO), or calcium cyanamide, combined with strategic application of other nutrients, CaNO3 and boron, and the fungicide, fluazinam (1.5 L ai/ha in 500L/ha) have almost completely controlled clubroot and improved yields by over 100%. Nutrient and fungicide efficacy has been improved by strategic application, either at, or during, the first 14 days after transplanting. New machines that target products into bands in the soil around transplants have improved control and increased yields by more than 80% over conventional methods. The banding method has reduced the rate and cost of lime and calcium cyanamide needed for effective control by 66% and minimised the impact of residues from these treatments on the environment. Integration of the control methods has increased crop profitability by between A$200 and A$6579. The program is now able to provide industry with a predictive PCR tool to accurately estimate disease loss and then offer strategic controls to suit inoculum densities of P. brassicae, soil type and climatic conditions experienced throughout Australia.
Plenary talk 5
University of Florida’s Plant Medicine Program: Changing the Paradigm of Plant Health Education
Robert J. McGovern Plant Medicine Program, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Florida-Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 1453 Fifield Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
The University of Florida has taken a novel approach to teaching the intricacies of crop health management with the creation of the Plant Medicine Program. Although other universities offer degree programs in integrated pest management and plant protection, there is no other as comprehensive as UF’s course of study; after completion of the program, graduates receive a Doctor of Plant Medicine (D.P.M.) degree that parallels in concept the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) and Doctor of Human Medicine (M.D.) degrees. Extensive multidisciplinary coursework [90 credit hours in the plant and soil sciences (including weed science), entomology, plant pathology, and related subjects] enable students to become knowledgeable in all aspects of the prevention, diagnosis, and management of plant health problems. Alongside academic and industry professionals, students apply their expertise to practical situations, and exchange ideas and insights during multiple internships that total 30 credit hours. Interns have worked with private corporations, public institutions, and government agencies, in research, regulatory, and extension capacities. The diversity of agricultural commodities produced in Florida is complemented by internships available throughout the US and in other countries. This diversity allows students to pursue a wide variety of crop interests ranging from agronomic crops like corn and peanut to such horticultural crops as ornamentals, turfgrasses, vegetables, and temperate and tropical fruits. Certificate programs in environmental policy management and regulatory agriculture allow D.P.M. students additional specialization options. Each student, therefore, has the opportunity to tailor their program to reflect specific interests through elective courses while maintaining a strong foundation in the discipline of plant medicine through the core courses. Since its inception in 1999, current enrolment in UF’s Plant Medicine Program has grown to about 40 students from around the world, and its graduates have become valued members of the global agricultural community.
SESSION 4 - Delivery – Converting research to practical messages
Converting R&D into Practical Messages
Rebecca J. Nelson Associate Professor, Plant Pathology, Plant Breeding and Genetics and International Agriculture, Cornell University, Ithaca NY, USA; and Program Director, The McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crop Research Program
Agricultural research produces knowledge and information, as well as products and practical messages. The utility of knowledge, information and products all depend on the successful generation and transmission of practical messages that are perceived as valuable by the agricultural establishment and the public. I will briefly contrast three case studies in which a range of strategies were used to identify and convey messages related to pest management to resource-poor farmers in developing countries. The first case study involves the development of participatory extension methods to improve the agroecological literacy of Asian rice farmers and