Factsheet of the month: August – Sulphur to control powdery mildew in cashew

Sulphur to control powdery mildewLast weekend, a team of experts from the Naliendele agricultural research institute (NARI) held a seminar in Tanzania to present lectures on the prevention and control of pests affecting cashew. Although cashew production in Tanzania has declined since the 1970s, it remains an important cash crop in the coastal regions of the country. The seminar, held in Mkinga District, aimed to bring extensionists and researchers together to promote the exchange of ideas and provide the extension officers with the knowledge to be able to advise farmers on how to improve the health, and therefore the yields, of their cashew crop.

Powdery mildew is the most important disease facing cashews in Tanzania and was the subject of one of the lectures held in Mkinga District. The disease, which is caused by a fungus, causes patches of white powder to appear on the surface of the leaves and other plant parts. To find out about how sulphur can be used in the management of powdery mildew on cashew,  read the Plantwise Factsheet for Farmers created by employees from Mkuranga District Council and the Ministry of Agriculture in Tanzania. This factsheet is also available in Swahili.

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Update: Plant Health News (30 Jul 14)

Farmers in California are diverting water away from vegetable crops to rescue their almond crops from drought © Luigi Chiesa (CC BY-SA)

Californian farmers are diverting water from vegetable crops to save almonds from drought © Luigi Chiesa (CC BY-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the effects of typhoons in Taiwan and China, a new strategy for almond irrigation in California and a crackdown on fake seed sellers in Kenya.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Update: Plant Health News (16 Jul 14)

wheat leaf showing chlorotic spots symptomatic of boron toxicity © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Wheat leaf showing chlorotic spots symptomatic of boron toxicity © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the varying effects of rain on crops in Ivory Coast, the discovery of wheat genes that control boron tolerance and the projects managed by FAO that aim to improve food security in Africa.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Update: Plant Health News (02 Jul 14)

The European Food Safety Authority have announced their opinion on biotech oilseed rape © Carron Brown (CC BY- NC)

The European Food Safety Authority have given their verdict on biotech oilseed rape © Carron Brown (CC BY- NC)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the release of EFSA’s scientific opinion on biotech oilseed rape, why using too much fertilizer is bad for crops and bad for climate and how the El Niño is already impacting Peruvian fruit crops.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Factsheet of the month: July – Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease

20137804184-page-0On Friday, the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) released an official pest report, submitted by KEPHIS, for the presence of Maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND) in Kenya. This disease is caused by a co-infection of Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus and another cereal potyvirus, such as Sugarcane Mosaic Virus, Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus or Maize Dwarf Mosaic Virus. This co-infection causes more severe symptoms that either of the viruses causes alone. Symptoms include mottling, stunting, necrosis and malformed ears.

MLND can devastate maize crops, impacting farmers’ incomes and the food security of the area. To find out how to recognise and control MLND, read the Plantwise Factsheet for Farmers created by employees from the Ministry of Agriculture and CABI.

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Plant Health Rallies to help control West Indian fruit fly in Grenada

Paul Graham, Pest Management Officer, demonstrates how to prepare the trap (Photo courtesy of Paul Graham)

Paul Graham, Pest Management Officer, demonstrates how to prepare the trap (Photo courtesy of Paul Graham)

Two Plant Health Rallies have recently been held in Grenada to raise awareness of the West Indian Fruit fly and promote the control of this pest using fruit fly bait stations. The rallies, which were organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, were aimed at local farmers with the first attracting 25 attendees and the second around 12. The farmers were given practical advice on how to make and use bait stations which they were able to take away with them afterwards. Thaddeus Peters (MoA) presented at one of the rallies explaining what damage the West Indian fruit fly causes and how the MoA and farmers can both play a part in controlling the pest.  Read more of this post

Ghanaian droughts foreseen and Nepali floods that have been

Article by Sebastian Avery.

Hope leaves Ghanaian farmers as another expected late rainfall leads to the possibility of drought. We can only pray that history does not repeat itself. As some of you may know 2007 was disastrous for Ghanaian farmers especially those living in the White Volta Basin.

Lake Volta, Ghana © Sandister Tei (CC-BY-SA)

LakeVolta, Ghana © Sandister Tei (CC-BY-SA)

This is because a very similar drought happened that year, causing farmers to cultivate their crops later in the year, and that is when the torrential rains appeared. This was not the worst of it. Because of the massive rainfall, it was announced that the Bagra Dam was full to the brim and had to be spilled. This made the flooding around the White Volta incredibly serious; farmers lucky enough to survive lost their belongings, livestock and crops. The weather is currently very unpredictable leaving all of us hoping that this will be a safe year for the farmers of Ghana.
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (25 Jun 14)

Phomopsis blight of eggplant has been identified in Egypt © David B. Langston, University of Georgia (CC BY)

Phomopsis blight of eggplant has been identified in Egypt © David B. Langston, University of Georgia (CC BY)

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 bacterial leaf blight of jute caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. capsularii in India, the molecular characterization of a novel victorivirus from the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana and the first report of phomopsis blight of eggplants in Egypt. 

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World Food Prize 2014

Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram (left)  in the field with Norman Borlaug, founder of the World Food Prize © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram (left) in the field with Norman Borlaug, founder of the World Food Prize © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)

This week, the President of the World Food Prize Foundation, Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn announced that Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram has been selected as the 2014 World Food Prize Laureate for his contribution to improving wheat yields. Dr. Rajaram’s work on crossing winter and spring wheat varieties resulted in an impressive 480 wheat varieties which have been released in 51 countries on six continents and benefited countless farmers and consumers around the world.

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Update: Plant Health News (18 Jun 14)

Increased awareness of side-effects has reduced post-harvest chemical use on Citrus © Rachel Jones (CC BY-NC)

Increased awareness of side-effects has reduced post-harvest chemical use on Citrus © Rachel Jones (CC BY-NC)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including chemical-free citrus post-harvest becoming the new standard, how weeds could help feed billions in a warming world and the rehabilitation of banana fields devastated by Xanthomonas wilt in DRC.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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