Steven Koike, Plant pathology and food safety
21 years with UC Cooperative Extension
Plant diseases can cause significant loss of crop yields and quality; identification and management of plant diseases are therefore of paramount importance to Monterey County farmers so that they can remain competitive and profitable. Koike’s research focuses on diseases of vegetables and strawberry, understanding of disease systems, identification of new diseases, and exploration of alternative disease control methods (alternative fungicides, biological agents, and organic agriculture disease management).
Another crucial program is in applied research of foodborne pathogens (primarily E. coli) as they occur in agricultural field settings. Educational efforts consist of informing clientele of research results, tailoring results to commercial operations, and diagnosing problems found in field and greenhouse. Koike operates the UC Cooperative Extension plant pathology diagnostic lab located in Salinas.