Link to home

Gary G. Grove

Gary G. Grove was born in Canton, OH. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Botany from Ohio University and in 1984 his PhD in Plant Pathology from The Ohio State University. Gary worked briefly as a Field Development Representative with Rohm and Haas and Post Doctorial Fellow at the University California, Davis before joining the faculty at Washington State University in 1986 at the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, WA. In 2000, he transferred to the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, WA, and assumed additional research and extension responsibilities with grapes and hops. He was promoted to Professor in 2006 with a split appointment of extension, research, and teaching.  He also became Director of WSU's AgWeatherNet ( Gary has statewide responsibilities for grapes, hops, and stone fruits, and teaches a field pathology course.

Gary has developed a highly respected and productive extension and research program with international impact. His extension activities are recognized for his innovation in the development of cutting edge information delivery approaches which capitalize on the advances in communication technology. Gary has also developed a research program on the biology and epidemiology of powdery mildews and other diseases of fruit crops that served as the foundation for significant reductions in fungicide use in Washington vineyards and orchards. He has received over $2.7 million in competitive and noncompetitive funding, with $1.6 awarded from grower commissions. Gary has published 50 peer reviewed papers, 39 extension bulletins, 30 web pages, 8 educational videos, 7 disease or pesticide data bases, 9 book chapters, 105 technical publications, 13 popular press articles, and given over 300 invited presentations to regional, national, and international audiences.

Gary is a world leader in the use of communication advances to get his clientele information when and where they need it. In 1992, before the World Wide Web, he established an electronic bulletin board and server to allow growers to submit questions, receive answers, and view the questions and answers of other growers. This success served as proof of concept for numerous other extension agents throughout the nation and as a precursor for future interactive web pages. Later, Gary recognized that many of his clientele were becoming comfortable with many portable electronic and communication devices and he rapidly adapted his outreach efforts to take advantage of these technologies. When PDAs and later Smartphone’s became available, Gary developed databases- and PDA/Smartphone-compatible web pages that allowed growers to view information on pesticide recommendations, labels, and resistance management guidelines while in the field. He took advantage of the opportunity offered by video iPods to deliver downloadable videos on sprayer calibration, diagnosis, epidemiology and management of various diseases, and the use of disease forecasting models. He later developed tools to deliver weather and disease forecasting alert using text messaging. His most recent innovation is the use of synthetic voice technology to deliver to his clientele voice messages on weather and disease forecasting model data. Through various informational websites, clients can customize the type and frequency of information they want text or voice messaged to them throughout the year. This allows his clients to have the most up-to-date information for management decisions in the most efficient and timely manner. Gary is also known for his skill in developing user friendly interfaces for web and wireless information portals. This is best exemplified in AgWeatherNet where not only are the weather data and pest model results available in multiple formats and the user also has direct access to information on available pesticides, their use restrictions, and recommendations based on regional efficacy studies.

As Director of the Ag Weather Network, Gary modernized and expanded the network of to 132 weather stations throughout Washington in two years. The network provides 15-minute weather data that is updated once an hour and includes various pest models and disease and weather forecasts. The website has 4000 registered users and receives greater than 300,000 visits for weather and/or pest model data per month. Just recently, mobile applications for handheld computing devices were developed that allows clientele to obtain weather and forecast data, pest or disease risk data on a site specific basis or in as regional maps, and management   recommendation in near real-time.

His research is focused on pathogen biology and disease epidemiology with the goal of

enhancing the economic sustainability of Washington fruit and hop farming. Gary’s research has lead to increased understanding of how irrigation influences disease epidemics and resulted in modifications of standard management recommendations that save Pacific Northwest fruit and hop growers millions in pesticide application costs each year. His current research on using molecular tools to detect pathogen presence in the air biota challenges current dogma that over-wintered inoculum of powdery mildew is always present in perennial crops. He demonstrated that in some instances numerous fungicide applications are not warranted due to the absence of the pathogen in the air biota thus saving growers several hundred dollars in application costs. He is now working with commercial partners to transfer this approach for routine monitoring of vineyards and fruit orchards.

Gary has extensively served his profession. Gary served as APS Pacific Division Councilor (2004-2006) and member of the APS Office of Electronic Communication. He was senior editor of Plant Health Progress and associate editor of Plant Disease and Phytopathology. Gary has chaired the APS Extension Committee and served on the Crop Biosecurity, Public Relations, Epidemiology, and Diagnostics committees of APS. He also served on numerous university and industry committees.

Gary has changed the way extension is done through his continued innovative use of electronic communication for information delivery. He has coupled these technological innovations with his ability to develop user friendly interfaces that enhance stakeholder adoption. His research efforts have influenced the management of powdery mildews throughout the world.