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.

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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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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (11 Jun 14)

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4, associated with Panama wilt, has been identified outside Southeast Asia © Scot Nelson (CC BY-SA)

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense TR4, has been identified outside Southeast Asia © Scot Nelson (CC BY-SA)

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 Phytophthora cinnamomi in the rhizosphere of agricultural crops in southern Bahia (Brazil),  the first report of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 associated with Panama disease of banana outside Southeast Asia and the first report of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ associated with Huanglongbing on Persian lime in Martinique and Guadeloupe.

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Update: Plant Health News (04 Jun 14)

Scientists have identified a gene that encodes resistance to Phytophthora capsici, a fungus-like pathogen spreading root rot disease in peppers © Gerald Holmes (CC BY-NC).

Scientists have identified a gene that encodes resistance to the fungus like-pathogen causing root rot disease in peppers © Gerald Holmes (CC BY-NC).

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the discovery of a microbe that could help control rice blast, concern over the effects of erratic rainfall on crops in Somalia and the discovery of a gene encoding resistance to stem and fruit rot of pepper.

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