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Plant diseases can frustrate gardeners and farmers alike. Now they can get help on battling plant diseases from plant diagnostic labs with a free app for both iPhones and iPads.

The Plant Diagnostic Sample Submission App, developed by Purdue University, is a joint effort with eight universities to provide homeowners, gardeners, farmers and agricultural specialists with a remote plant diagnostic option.

app-takeorselectphoto.jpgDr. Kassie Conner, and a plant pathologist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, says the app is available all over the U.S. and allows the user to send samples to the laboratory of choice.

“With the app, anyone can submit digital samples to a participating university associated plant diagnostic lab,” Conner says. “The app contains sample submission forms for every type of plant, from small houseplants to large-scale agronomic crops.”

app-phototip.jpgConner, who works at the Auburn University Plant Diagnostics Lab, says agents currently send photos for diagnosis and plant identification as needed, but the app opens the doors for others to receive help in a timely manner. She said in January 2014, there were 1677 app downloads.

With the app, users fill out several forms by responding to simple, customized questions to help professionals better understand the problem. Upon form completion, there is an opportunity to add corresponding images. Samples are processed in the order received and a response will be sent to the specific email address with comments from a diagnostician.

Conner says the Auburn University Plant Diagnostics Lab is waiving fees for diagnostics submitted through the app from Alabama residents; but if additional physical samples are required, traditional fees will apply.

Traditional fees are $15 per sample for homeowners, and $20 per sample for commercial submissions. Fees for samples received outside of Alabama will be doubled: $30 for homeowners and $40 for commercial. This fee includes examination of a follow-up physical sample if requested. An invoice will be sent to the email address provided if a fee is required. Each diagnostic lab has specific fee policies, so users should check with their preferred lab for details.

To download the app, visit the iTunes App Store, or click on this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sample-submission/id669269520?mt=8 .

For more information on the app, visit http://www.ppdl.purdue.edu/ppdl/hot13/8-12.html .​


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