Pest and Disease Prevention
The success of the protocols mentioned in the following sections relies upon proper maintenance of equipment and the establishment of sanitary regimes such as inspection, sterilization and order of entry. All material coming from outside the farm is inspected for pests or disease prior to placement in a growth chamber or greenhouse room. All growth rooms are sterilized before the start of experiments by heating to 45C for 3-5 days to kill eggs, larval and mature insects and/or pathogens. An order of entry is instituted to minimize the spread of disease or infestation between zones.
Monitoring & Recording
All plants within the facility are examined for pest or disease problems by the Uplands staff on a regular basis. Yellow sticky monitoring traps are set up at the beginning of experiments to detect any flying insects. Plants are visually inspected and flower taps are done. Each pest is identified. The percentage of plants affected and the degree of infestation are monitored.
Treatment is of two types: prophylactic and prescriptive. In cases where known pests are repeatedly found, prophylactic measures are instituted. Once pests have been detected and identified, infected plants are immediately treated (prescriptive treatment). Pests are reduced through compatible physical and/or chemical means.
Communication & Advisement
Uplands staff has a responsibility to keep users informed on the status of any pest problems and to notify them of any spray treatment that is being planned to minimize phytotoxicity and/or experimental disruption. The Uplands staff is available for consultation on all matters of plant growth, plant health, pest issues and welcome user's questions.
Uplands staff is responsible for all watering at the farm. Schedules are determined and posted depending on the crop and weather conditions. Weekly fertilizer applications are made to the maize in the greenhouses usually at the end of each week. Arabidopsis flats have a slow release fertilizer component built into the soil mix so no other fertilizer applications are made. This regime will vary according to seasonal and environmental growing conditions as well as the age of the plant. Uplands staff will monitor the plants daily to adjust variables as needed.