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Plant Management Network Launches Focus on Potato Resource, Webcasts

ST. PAUL, Minn. (July 1, 2010 )--The Plant Management Network (PMN), a nonprofit publisher of applied agricultural and horticultural information, announces the launch of Focus on Potato, a resource that features webcasts and other science-backed information tools that will help potato growers and consultants protect and manage their crops more effectively.

The central feature of Focus on Potato is its 24/7 on-demand educational webcasts. These are audio-visual presentations authored by university professors and extension specialists recognized for their expertise and research on potato management practices.

“Topics are suggested by both a technical advisory board and grower surveys and selected for their current interest and need for timely information.” said Gary Secor, Professor of Plant Pathology at North Dakota State University and chair of the Focus on Potato Advisory Committee. “We try to get the best expert in the field to talk about a technical subject in a very understandable way."

One new webcast will be published in Focus on Potato each month. Each of these new webcasts will be open access for a period of at least 30 days. As long as users visit the site monthly, all webcasts can be viewed free of charge, without a subscription. Current freely available webcasts include the following:

• Zebra Chip Disease of Potato by Gary Secor, Professor of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University

• Managing Nitrogen by Carl Rosen, Professor and Extension Soil Scientist at the University of Minnesota

• Potato Late Blight by Steve Johnson, Extension Professor and Extension Potato Specialist, University of Maine

• Potassium and Chloride in Potatoes by Don Horneck, Associate Professor and Extension Agronomist, Oregon State University

• Enhancing Potato Seed Performance by Phil Nolte, Professor and Extension Seed Potato Specialist, University of Idaho

• Fusarium Dry Rot of Potatoes by Gary Secor, Professor of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University

In addition, the Plant Management Network publishes several open-access resources available in Focus on Potato. One such resource is PMN’s University Extension Search, which allows users to find fact sheets, articles, and other information from PMN’s 37 land-grant university partners. Using keywords, users can search individual states or all 37 universities at once for potato-related information. Other open-access resources include PMN’s Cross-Journal and Products & Services searches. The Cross-Journal Search allows users to find bottom-line recommendations in the abstracts of journals published by the Plant Management Network and its partnering scientific societies. The Products & Services Search indexes products, solutions, recommendations, and other web-based resources from PMN’s 38 Industry and Nonprofit partners.

Three of PMN’s subscription-only resources can also be found in Focus on Potato. Plant Disease Management Reports offers trials on the effectiveness of fungicides, nematicides, and biological controls in protecting against specific crop diseases. Across all volumes, nearly 250 reports exist for potato crops. Also included are Insect Management Efficacy Trials, a similar resource covering insecticides and miticides, and the PMN Image Database, a collection of images used for plant disease diagnosis.

PMN’s multidisciplinary journals, which include titles such as Plant Health Progress and Crop Management, offer partial access. All news articles as well as peer-reviewed research articles more than 18 months old are open access, while newer research articles require a subscription for viewing.

“The presentations and access to technical potato information all in one location make the Focus on Potato site a great place to go for education at your own pace and to search for answers to technical questions,” said Dr. Secor. “It will be useful to all those involved with the potato industry."

All subscription-based information on the Plant Management Network website can be accessed for one low $45 annual subscription fee.

Focus on Potato is the second in a series of commodity-specific resources targeted at agricultural professionals, including growers, crop consultants, certified crop advisers, and state/county extension agents. Find it at

Plant Management Network,, is a cooperative not-for-profit resource for the applied agricultural and horticultural sciences. Together with its industry, university, and nonprofit partners, PMN provides practitioners fast electronic access to science-based crop management solutions. PMN focuses on publishing high-quality, applied, and science-based information. PMN is jointly managed by the American Society of Agronomy, American Phytopathological Society, and Crop Science Society of America.


Phil Bogdan

Phone: +1.651.994.3859