General tips for submitting plant samples to the Plant Disease Clinic

  • Provide plenty of plant material. When possible send the entire plant, including roots and top growth.
  • Provide lots of information, such as a description of the soil, nearby plants, cropping history, pattern of symptoms in the field, and a history of the problem. Remember to include information about chemicals used.
  • Include photos when possible.
  • Provide freshly collected specimens.
  • Be sure the specimen represents the problem.
  • Include enough plant material to show all stages of the disease from healthy to very sick.
  • Wrap specimens in paper towels or clean newspapers. Do not add moisture. Pack loosely in a plastic bag to reduce drying.
  • Mail in a sturdy container.
  • A $10 fee is charged for plant samples. Soil samples (to check for soybean cyst nematode) cost $15 for Iowa residents and $20 for out-of-state residents. Checks should be made payable to Iowa State University.
  • Please submit samples with the appropriate forms:

*When herbicide injury is suspected, the samples should go to the extension weed specialists.

Corn smut galls on corn
Corn smut galls on corn.

This article originally appeared on page 5 of the IC-498 (1) -- February 12, 2007 issue.

Updated 02/14/2007 - 1:02pm