International Fusarium Wilt of Lettuce Symposium
The 2015 Conference on Excellence in Desert Agriculture focused on Fusarium wilt of lettuce. The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture (YCEDA) brought together the world's foremost researchers and industry professionals to share their knowledge on this insidious disease. The purpose of hosting this conference was twofold: (1) to share and disseminate information from academia and industry and (2) to build a collaborative road map for future endeavors to control Fusarium wilt and increase productivity and profitability. Our diverse group of speakers and panelists provided in-depth information on the global pervasiveness of Fusarium wilt diseases, factors influencing the severity of the disease, challenges in isolating the pathogen, practical applications in disease management strategies, and actionable methods to become more effective in controlling Fusarium wilt of lettuce. Additionally, YCEDA partnered with Dr. Mike Matheron and industry for grant-funded commercial field trials of FW resistant varieties and treatments. Industry feedback of on-the-ground experiences and a field trip to the field trials contributed to the success of this first-ever international symposium.