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Department of Plant Pathology

Location & Maps

Kansas is about 400 miles from west to east and 200 miles from north to south. From northwest to southeast, elevation drops from over 4,000 ft to less than 800 ft. above sea level and average annual rainfall increases from less than 20 inches to about 40 inches.

Agriculture is the leading industry in Kansas. The annual value of agriculture production in Kansas ($7.8 billion in 1998) is about equally divided between crops and livestock. Crops are grown on 30 million acres, and pasture and rangeland cover another 17 million acres.  Crops account for about 38% of the Kansas agricultural economy.


Manhattan has a population of over 56,000. It is located in the scenic Flint hills of northeastern Kansas, where the Big Blue and Kansas rivers meet. Tuttle Reservoir, with camping, boating, fishing, and swimming, is 7 miles from campus.

Manhattan is about 120 miles west of Kansas City and just north of the 39th parallel. It is home to Kansas State University, the American Institute of Baking, the USDA-ARS Grain Marketing and Production Research Laboratory, the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Department of Agriculture, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility and the Kansas Crop Improvement Association.

Manhattan can be reached via Interstate Highway 70 (I-70), then 10 miles north on Highway 177.  Air connections are available from Chicago O'Hare (ORD) or Dallas-Ft Worth (DFW) airports to the regional airport about 5 miles west of Manhattan (MHK)on Highway 18. Some people prefer to drive to Kansas City International (KCI aka MCI) airport just north of Kansas City, Missouri, for more connection options. An airport shuttle also runs from KCI to Manhattan, with pick-up and delivery possible at the location of your choice in Manhattan and the terminal of your choice at KCI.

Topeka, the state capital, is about half way between Kansas City and Manhattan, on I-70. Wichita, a major population center, is about 140 miles southwest of Manhattan on I-135.

Anderson Hall

K-State was the first land-grant institution in the U.S. to be organized under the Morrill Act. It has a primary strength in agriculture with close ties to the supporting sciences. Enrollment is about 25,000, including about 4,000 graduate students.

The 664-acre main campus is in Manhattan. The Salina campus, 70 miles west of Manhattan, was established in 1991 through a merger of the former Kansas College of Technology with K-State. K-State Olathe, which officially opened on April 26, 2011, is the newest member of the family. This campus will be the academic research presence within the Kansas Bioscience Park, leveraging K-State's broad capabilities and its many resources on the Manhattan campus.

Additional University sites include 18,000 acres in the four branch locations of the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) (Hays, Garden City, Colby, and Parsons) and 8,600 acres in the Konza Prairie Research Natural Area jointly operated by the Kansas AES and the division of Biology. The department also conducts research at the Rocky Ford Experiment Farm on the northeast edge of Manhattan, near Tuttle Creek Reservoir.  Plant Pathology also collaborates at study sites maintained by the Agronomy Department.


Department of Plant Pathology: We currently have 21 state faculty, 8 adjunct faculty, 30-35 graduate students, 15 post-docs, a regular presence of visiting scientists; about 20 technical research and Extension assistants all from about 25 countries; the current graduate students alone are from Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the United States.  Domestic students currently hail from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Wyoming.

The Department of Botany, established in 1888, was changed in name to the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology in 1919. The Department was moved from the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Agriculture in 1962. In July 1967, Plant Pathology became a separate department.

The Department's research, teaching, and extension programs are periodically reviewed by a team of outside experts under the leadership of the Cooperative States Research, Extension, and Education Service. The 1996 review team rated this Department one of the top five in the country.  In 2013, the U.S. National Research Council rated the department as the top Plant Pathology department among U.S. plant science departments.

About Manhattan, Kansas