Arizona Iceberg Lettuce Research Council Awards Grant To Focus On Lettuce Diseases

The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture (YCEDA) has been awarded a grant from the Arizona Iceberg Lettuce Research Council (AILRC) for the collection, production, and dissemination of lettuce disease research results.

In a recent AILRC Iceberg Lettuce Research Survey, disease control and management was identified by the industry as the highest priority area of research focus. Considerable relevant research based on annual field trials in the southwest deserts and laboratory-based studies has been conducted by University of Arizona researchers that has not been effectively disseminated to or utilized by the industry. The goal is to get this in the hands of producers so they can better manage lettuce diseases.

YCEDA proposed that www.DesertAgSolutions.org could become the “go-to-site” for current knowledge on Arizona lettuce diseases. The project includes designing and implementing a series of web pages dedicated to iceberg lettuce diseases that will be under the “learn” tab of the new website to be unveiled this fall.

These pages will contain research reports, informative videos, and links to other resources for the top desert lettuce diseases identified in the AILRC survey. The informative videos, focused on Arizona lettuce diseases, will present current knowledge on disease control and management and disseminate trial results in a convenient video format, making the latest research easily accessible to help meet industry needs.

According to YCEDA, establishing a central location where relevant and easily-accessible information on lettuce diseases that is southwest-specific will be a valuable tool benefitting Arizona lettuce producers.

“Our mission at YCEDA is finding solutions to desert agriculture’s pressing problems, and our first step is always searching for available solutions,” said Executive Director Paul Brierley. “Working with University of Arizona plant pathologists Dr. Barry Pryor and Dr. Mike Matheron, we found that the results of many field trials and laboratory experiments on desert lettuce diseases have not made their way into a central location or an approachable format. We are thankful for the AILRC research funding to fill this critical need as farmers work to mitigate diseases and achieve every drop of productivity possible.”

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