Plant Disease Diagnostic Training for Agricultural Professionals in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2014: $63,900.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2018
Grant Recipient: University of Guam
Region: Western
State: Guam
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Robert Schlub
University of Guam

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn, sugarcane
  • Fruits: melons, avocados, bananas, citrus
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, beans, cucurbits, eggplant, peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes


  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, workshop


         In accordance with a WSARE Professional Development Program grant, workshops were held for thirteen Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) agriculture professionals with a concentration on plant disease diagnostics training over a three and one-half day period. The workshops were hosted by the University of Guam PDP Project Coordinator Dr. Robert Schlub and his Extension Associate Mr. Roger Brown, University of Guam Research Plant Pathologist Dr. Anita Blas, University of Guam Ornament Horticulturalist Dr. Jim McConnell, and Dr. Raghuwinder Singh, head of the Louisiana State Extension Plant Diagnostic Center. Trainees were from the Northern Marianas College, CNMI Forestry, CNMI NRCS, Guam Customs and Quarantine, and the University of Guam. Topics included identifying plant disease symptoms of vegetables, ornamentals, fruit trees and forest trees. Also during this reporting period progress was made in the compilation of a plant disease list for Guam and an online training manual.

    Project objectives:

    Objectives and Performance targets as stated in the proposal:

         Pre-workshop, September 2014-March 2016: Activity (1) Centralize plant disease information and publish a list of plant diseases for Guam and the CNMI: “Plant Diseases in Guam and Northern Mariana Islands.” Activity (2) Develop a working draft diagnostics manual for Guam and CNMI: “Diagnostic Manual for Plant Diseases in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.” Trainees will be encouraged to provide literature and editorial comments during this stage.

         Activity (3) Conduct a four-day plant disease diagnostic workshop, March 2016: Objective (1) Improve the ability of agricultural professionals to conduct educational programs on diagnostics and to respond to inquiries about ‘sick’ plants from commercial farmers, gardeners, and the public. Objective (2) Bring awareness to agricultural professionals of the importance of surveying and monitoring crops as a component of an integrated plant disease control program. The workshop will emphasize diagnoses based on field symptoms and those revealed through the use of a hand lens. The PI and subcontractor will provide the bulk of the instruction with individual trainees providing examples from their own experiences. The first three days will be a mix of field trips, lectures, and hands-on examination of samples. Trainees with access to their own laboratories will receive instruction on laboratory diagnostic techniques, whereas others will receive additional training in basic field diagnostics. To assist trainees in passing on their newly gained knowledge, a plant clinic will be set up in conjunction with the Guam Nursery Association’s monthly plant sale. Commercial agriculture and horticulture producers and others involved in growing plants will be encouraged to bring plant specimens and ask questions.

         Post-workshop, March 2016-March 2017: Activity (4) Evaluate project outcomes. Activity (5) Publish and make available to the public the project’s disease list and diagnostic manual. Activity (6) Insure all participant information is made available in the Participant section of the final report so that WSARE can perform a long term survey/evaluation of the project 

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.