Singh Wins Prestigious LSU AgCenter's Floyd S. Edmiston Extension Award
Dr. Raj Singh, Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology, LSU, received the Floyd S. Edmiston Extension Award from the LSU AgCenter 15 December 2014. This meritorious award is made annually to the extension specialist, who during the past three years, has made the most outstanding contributions toward improving Extension services and mission while benefitting the people in the state of Louisiana.
Dr. Singh was recognized for his outstanding extension program that provides accurate and timely diagnoses of plant diseases and other pests and educational programs to the agronomic and horticultural industries and homeowners of Louisiana. In addition, he provides diagnostic services in support of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and serves as a liaison to the National Plant Diagnostic Network. He has transformed the Plant Disease Clinic into a Plant Diagnostic Center with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and stream-lined sample handling and results reporting. He has successfully processed over 10,000 samples that have led to the identification of seven new diseases from a number of ornamental, landscape and other plant species. Further, he has definitively identified these pathogens by developing and applying serological and molecular techniques. For example, he recently discovered a new disease of boxwoods caused by Colletotrichum thoebromicola. After his discovery, several other states have confirmed the disease in the United States. He also instituted the Rapid Turfgrass Diagnostic Service for the Louisiana in and out-of-state turfgrass industries. This service provides sound information within a 24 hour period on whether the turfgrass problems observed were either biotic or abiotic. Dr. Singh has provided up-to-date presentations on plant diseases to diverse organizations, such as Master Gardeners, Orchid Society, La Nursery and Landscape Association, and participated in delivering diagnostic information at a bunch of garden shows/field days as well as at meetings/symposium/conferences in Louisiana and 12 other states. These are just a few examples of the positive impact that Dr. Singh’s extension program in plant disease/pest diagnostics is having on the agronomic and horticultural industries in Louisiana and even in other states. His impact is especially noteworthy in the successful urban interface his program provides for the LSU AgCenter.