Thanks to efforts by Dr. Phil Brannen, we now have two Pierce’s disease testing kits, one located in White County and one in Lumpkin County. These “field” kits are very reliable for confirming PD in suspect vines. Each test kit can run 48 samples, meaning we only have 96 samples we can run in total. For this reason we are going to limit each GEORGIA vineyard to 5 samples for submission. The good news is, these kits were purchased through a grant which allows the test to be free of charge to you, at least until we run out. To submit a sample consider the following:
1. If you are located in or West of Lumpkin County, please send your samples to Clark MacAllister in Lumpkin County (706-864-2275). If you are in or East of White County please contact Nathan Eason (706-865-2832).
2. The idea for this test is to confirm PD on vines that are symptomatic or possibly asymptomatic but showing decline, therefore giving you uncertainty on whether it is PD or not. PD can often be more difficult to identify in white berried cultivars.
3. Method for collection: We only need two petioles for the test, but please collect at least 5-10 leaf and petioles from the symptomatic leafs and put in ziplock bag.
4. The test takes 1 hour to complete in our office. Both Clark and I will run samples on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call ahead of time if you plan on bringing samples, as we would like to arrange times to run the test that best work for our schedules.
Also, testing for Pierce’s disease is already a service UGA offers, at labs in Tifton. But samples are $40. There is a reduced cost for additional samples.