Clemson hires new South Carolina peanut specialist

A plant pathologist with a background in research and educational outreach has joined Clemson University as South Carolina’s new peanut specialist.

Daniel Anco, an Illinois native with master’s and doctoral degrees in plant pathology from Ohio State University, will work from Clemson’s Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville but provide assistance to peanut growers across the state.

“I am excited to join Clemson University and the precision agriculture team at the Edisto Research and Education Center and look forward to helping the peanut growers of South Carolina by providing new and updated management recommendations, evaluating cultivars and products for performance under South Carolina conditions, and determining ways to improve peanut production and disease and pest management by making resource use more efficient and effective,” Anco said.

South Carolina growers harvested 108,000 acres of peanuts in 2014 with a value of $91.1 million, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Yields averaged 3,800 pounds per acre.

“We are very pleased to add Dr. Anco to our research faculty. He has a great background in plant disease epidemiology, which should be a great tool in studying the leaf spots that are so important on peanut,” said John Mueller, director of Edisto REC.

Anco most recently held a postdoctoral research position with North Carolina State University, working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Florida to study citrus diseases and pests. While there, Anco evaluated environmentally friendly quarantine and decontamination treatments to prevent the spread of Asian citrus psyllids imported on curry leaves. He also researched treatment methods for citrus canker and developed models to predict levels of tomato yellow leaf curl virus.

At Ohio State University, Anco produced educational materials, such as fact sheets to provide disease-management steps and worked directly with growers to troubleshoot problems.

Anco received his bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Lewis University in Illinois. While in Illinois, Anco worked at the USDA’s Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie reserve.