Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Texas Digital Diagnostics System Discontinued

For a number of years Extension here in Texas has participated in a Digital Diagnostics service coordinated through the University of Georgia. This service allowed us to send digital photos of plants, insects and diseases for identification, diagnosis and recommendations to a central location from which they were routed to various Texas specialists for assistance. After a close look at this service's level of usage across the state and the costs of the service, it was decided that our participation here in Texas should be discontinued.

That said, I want to assure our clients here in Travis County that we still offer a diagnostic service free of charge. You can send digital photos in clear, sharp focus to: travismg@ag.tamu.edu. Our Master Gardener e-diagnostic team with assistance from staff in our office will identify or diagnose plants, insects, disease or other plant problems. If we are unable to do this we then send the photos via e-mail to specific AgriLife Extension specialists across the state for their input. All in all the discontinuation of the statewide service should have no negative effect on our ability to serve our clientele here in Travis County.

If you wish to send in a photo include information that would be helpful in diagnosing the problem such as age of plant, species/cultivar, any care provided (watering schedule, fertilizing, pest control), herbicides or weed and feed products used near plant, any soil disturbance (trenching or construction) done within the branch spread of a tree, etc. Keep in mind that you can also bring plant samples to the Extension Office for free diagnosis.

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