The plant systems that provide the food, feed, fiber, and fuel that directly and indirectly contribute to public health and economic well-being are under increased pressures from a long list of biological and climactic stressors, including global trade and travel, population increase, and extreme weather events. Incursions of plant pathogens and pests have increased dramatically in the U.S. and in many of the nations with which we trade.
Early detection and rapid response are essential to minimizing the impacts from incursions of plant pathogens and pests. The prevention, early detection, and mitigation of biological incursions require diagnostic infrastructure, effective policies, and experienced plant professionals, including diagnosticians. The National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) works to improve prevention, detection, rapid diagnosis, containment, mitigation and recovery from these new, foreign, or emerging pests and diseases of crops which could cause major national social, economic, food security, and public health impacts. The NPDN National Conference’s symposia, technical presentations, poster sessions, and workshops will focus on plant health diagnostics as well as diagnostic laboratory infrastructure and organization.
- Professional development for diagnosticians and others interested in plant diagnostics
- Networking opportunities to facilitate cooperation and stimulate collaboration; and
- Outreach to administrators, managers, and plant scientists in federal agencies, resulting in enhanced national diagnostic capacity.