Update: Plant Health News (23 Apr 14)

The proportion of coffee producing areas used to cultivate shade-grown coffee has reduced by almost 20% in as many years (Fernando Rebelo, GFDL)

The proportion of coffee producing areas used to cultivate shade-grown coffee is decreasing (Fernando Rebelo, GFDL)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the postharvest pathology of beans, a reduction in the proportion of shade grown coffee and the filamentous fungus that may be effective at controlling sugarcane nematodes.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Our Earth Day stories…What’s yours?

At CABI we spend a lot of time researching some of the most extreme challenges facing the environment, and supporting livelihoods that depend on the environment with programmes like Plantwise. Each year the international community celebrates Earth Day on April 22nd, to draw public attention to some of these challenges like climate change, food insecurity, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction and how we can all play a part in the solution. To raise awareness today, we’d like to share some of our Earth Day stories: tales of ways big and small that we are trying to conserve the Earth’s resources, or what we would like to do this year. Check out our stories below and let us know in the comments, on facebook or twitter one of your stories this Earth Day.


Julia Dennis, Communications Manager Plantwise & CABI Switzerland

Image“I never knew there was so much wildlife in city parks until I started last year working with the Green Gym in London’s Regents Park. It’s run by The Conservation Volunteers to fix up park space and make it suitable for more species of plants and animals, helping them thrive even in urban spaces. The name is no joke as well- it is an extremely good workout cutting through bramble and planting trees. Ouch!”

 


Claire Curry, Content Developer

Kessner Photography (CC BY)

Kessner Photography

“You can’t beat freshly picked food from the field. We have a small fruit and vegetable plot where we grow a range of crops including apples, tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, carrots and lettuces. This provides us with great produce using minimal resources as the fruits and vegetables do not have to be packaged or transported – just pick, rinse and eat! The peelings and other garden waste are then recycled into compost, ready to fertilise the next crop.”

 


Sarah Hilliar, Creative Designer

sarah reef

“In 2006 I spent 4 weeks in the Philippines doing reef conservation work with Coral Cay Conservation. This involved learning 400 fish, coral and invertebrate species and taking part in 3 dives a day on various reefs around the coastline of the Philippines. The highlight was being in the water with whale sharks during one of the dives!”

 

 


Holly Wright, Project Management Supportgarden

“I live in a house that loves good food- growing it, cooking it, sharing it and eating. It’s so great to know exactly where your food comes from and how it’s been grown. The shorter the chain from mud to mouth the better.

I have the luxury of growing my own food or buying it. For many subsistence farmers their garden plots are their only choice and the success of their crops can be the difference between food or famine. I first saw poverty 12 years ago and I’ve had a heart to work in food security ever since.”


Emily Palmer, Content Development Assistant

Looking out over the Thames on the way to CABI Photo credit: Emily Palmer

Photo credit: Emily Palmer

“One of my favourite things about living close to work is walking in and back every day along the Thames. It takes about 35 minutes, so I have lots of time to enjoy the scenic river view, listen to the songbirds and ducks, and get energized for the day. I’ve met lots of people and some very friendly dogs – it’s a great way to get some exercise and reduce my fuel consumption!”


Credit: Polythene Pam, Plastic Is Rubbish

Abigail Rumsey, Content Developer

“My cousin has spent the past seven years boycotting plastics. When you start thinking about this in today’s consumer society, it seems like an impossible task. However, she has managed to cut down to using the bare minimum of plastic wherever possible: making her own beauty products, insisting that supermarkets fill her fabric bags, using refillable bottles for water, and not using disposable stationery. Also, wherever she goes in the world, she documents the plastic rubbish that is ruining scenery and killing animals.”

Take a look at the Plastic Is Rubbish website to find out how you can start to cut plastic out of your life: http://plasticisrubbish.com/

Family Farming and Women in Agriculture

Abigail Rumsey:

A blogger from Trinidad writes about his visit to a family farm where they grow purple sweet peppers.
To read about Plantwise clinics in Trinidad & Tobago, visit this page: http://www.plantwise.org/default.aspx?site=234&page=5022
To get information on the management of crop pests and problems in T&T, visit this page: http://www.plantwise.org/knowledgebank/CountryHome/TT/

Originally posted on LukesmithT.v:

Today’s post highlights family farming and women in agriculture in Trinidad.I recently visited a humble,hardworking,passionate female farmer named Sheliza Ramlogan.She is 54 years of age with over 30 years experience in the agricultural sector. She currently has 3 acres land of which 2 ½ acres are under sweet pepper production in Arranguez ,Trinidad. Mrs. Ramlogan has had much success as a female farmer achieving the County Prize for ‘Farmer of the Year’ in Agriculture for three consecutive years. She received recognition from the University of West Indies where she was awarded a faculty prize from the Faculty of Food and Agriculture. Added to her success she also won the small scale farming Prize.

Image

Aside from her current production of sweet peppers, Mrs. Ramlogan has produced a variety of crops in the past including tomatoes,aloes,bodhi, cucumbers and string beans. Mrs. Ramlogan possesses experience and knowledge of how to manage weeds, insects…

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Take a look at SciDev.Net’s scoop on what Plantwise is doing with mobile

Copyright Cabi, Credit Holly Wright

Copyright Cabi, Credit Holly Wright

SciDev.Net, an online magazine aiming to ‘bring science and development together through news and analysis’, covers the work that Plantwise are doing with mobile in Kenya. It reports on how Plantwise’s mobile initiative is using new technologies to deliver good scientific information to agricultural extension workers in developing countries. This information aims to assist extension workers as they advice farmers how to prevent crop losses.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (16 Apr 14)

The fungus M. fructicola that causes these symptoms on peach has been found in Croatia © Molly Giesbrecht, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service (CC BY-NC)

The fungus that causes these symptoms on peach has been found in Croatia © Molly Giesbrecht, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service (CC BY-NC)

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include the first report of Fomitiporia maxonii causing citrus wood rot in commercial orange and grapefruit groves in Cuba, the first report of Daldinia concentrica on Ficus benjamia from India, and Monilinia species identified on peach and nectarine in Croatia, with the first record of Monilinia fructicola.

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Food security and Biofuels

Sunflower field © Rob Huntley iStock Images

Sunflower field © Rob Huntley iStock Images

A short extract of some of the main points raised during the course “Examining Issues around Global Food Security” by Dr Julie Flood from CABI at the Department of Continuing Education’s program of the University of Oxford on March 7th, 2014. The course aimed to highlight the issues of food security/insecurity, and particularly around growing of biofuels.

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Photostory: SDC visits Plantwise Sri Lanka

The story of support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for the Plantwise food security programme goes back to its inception in 2011. Since the start, SDC has been a major supporter of both in-country programme activities as well as global resources such as the Plantwise knowledge bank. Sri Lanka is one example of a Plantwise country that has shown particularly strong uptake of the plant clinic concept. This prompted Dr Carmen Thoennissen, an SDC senior advisor for the Global Programme Food Security, to join CABI staff and partners in Sri Lanka for 3 days to discover how the programme is unfolding on the ground and understand what makes it a success. Check out the photo story and read more after the jump

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