A smartphone application developed by Purdue University could help growers nationwide to submit pest samples digitally.
Growers simply download the app from the iTunes store, shoot a photo and fill out the submission form before sending it to a participating university plant diagnostic lab.
The app is designed for iPhones or iPad tablets.
At Auburn University, for example, county agents used to be he only ones who sent photos for diagnosis and plant identification.
But the app opens the service to everybody who has downloaded the small program, according to a news release.
Auburn University is waving diagnostic fees for Alabama residents who submit a pest through the app.
Samples submitted to Auburn by traditional methods cost $15 per sample for in-state homeowners and $20 per sample for in-state commercial samples. Out-of-state samples cost $30 and $40, respectively.
The fee includes examination of a follow-up physical sample if requested.
Development of the app by Purdue is a joint effort with eight universities to provide remote plant diagnoses.