Update: Plant Health News (22 Apr 15)

Mission Director for USAID, Pakistan is shown some produce grown with the help of greenhouse technology. Photo: US gov

Mission Director for USAID, Pakistan is shown some produce grown with the help of greenhouse technology. Photo: US gov

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the celebration of ecologically farmed food in Kenya, the new fertilization method that has resulted in a 20% rise in ginger yields and greenhouse technology introduced providing a way to grow off-season crops in Pakistan.

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

This Earth Day, think agriculture

Corn fingers

On April 22nd, 1970- the date of the first Earth Day– 20 million people marched for clean air, clean water and improved environmental protections. These actions were designed to draw public attention to the environmental agenda and move environmental issues up the priority list of policy makers. The question is: What will unite us this Earth Day? Today we are well aware of the pressures placed on the environment, and we have perhaps more data and more tools to communicate data than ever before. Launched this week, a new awareness tool, the Plant Doctor Game, aims to reach more people with information about one critical environmental movement- sustainable agriculture– and resources here to help.

Read more of this post

Experts counting down to the “triple COPs” of the Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel Conventions

Contributed by Melanie Bateman

Three international conventions address issues related to chemicals and hazardous waste at the global level: the Stockholm Convention seeks to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants; the Rotterdam Convention supports information exchange on hazardous chemicals and ensures that trade in certain hazardous chemicals only occurs with countries’ prior informed consent; and the Basel Convention controls the international movement and disposal of hazardous wastes. To build synergies between these conventions, the meetings of the governing bodies of each will be held back-to-back in Geneva from 4 to 15 May, 2015. The “triple COPs” (Conference of Parties) will be kicked off by a joint session of the governing bodies of all three conventions. This joint session will address areas of common interest such as technical assistance, international cooperation and non-compliance.

Experts counting down to the “triple COPs” of the Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel Conventions held back-to-back in Geneva from 4 to 15 May, 2015. Source: kinja-img.com

Experts counting down to the “triple COPs” of the Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel Conventions held back-to-back in Geneva from 4 to 15 May, 2015. Source: kinja-img.com

The joint session will be followed by individual meetings of each of the three COPs to address issues that are specific to each convention. Pesticides which are potentially harmful to human health and the environment are on the agendas of the COPs of both the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. For example, the Rotterdam COP will consider the possible addition of the pesticides methamidophos and trichlorfon as well as highly hazardous formulations of fenthion and paraquat dichloride to the list of chemicals requiring “prior informed consent”. The Stockholm Convention COP will assess whether to include chemicals such as the pesticide pentachlorophenol in the list of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

In case you have burning questions about these or other multilateral environmental agreements, UNEP has an online tool that you can use to put your questions directly to the experts. Each day a different expert is available to answer questions.

In its “countdown to the triple COPs”, a range of experts in the line-up are there to answer questions specifically related to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. For example, today, 16 April, Kei Ohno will be answering questions about the listing of additional POPs under the Stockholm Convention.

Citrus canker – a threat to orange production in Pakistan

Symptoms of citrus canker ©  Timothy Schubert, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood

Symptoms of citrus canker © Timothy Schubert, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood

Last week, key players in Pakistan’s orange production came together for the first Orange Exporters Awards, organised by the Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Association and the Department of Plant Protection. During this meeting, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, announced that orange farms in the Sargodha region of Punjab are under threat from diseases, especially citrus canker. Mr Sikandar Bosan pledged financial reward for any farm owners that encourage new research to overcome the region’s citrus canker problem.  Read more of this post

Welcome to National Gardening Week 2015

“Gardens are one of the greatest things about the UK and we at National Gardening Week are passionate about them”, say the organizers of the country’s biggest celebration of gardening, which takes place from 13-19 April 2015. The National Gardening Week was launched four years ago and offers plenty of events and activities being run up and down the country.

To show the support of the UK’s National Gardening Week, Sainsbury’s Bank has put together a fun and illustrative guide to growing your own mint and strawberries, which “…we hope will inspire people to try their hand at gardening this spring,” says Suzy Darke from the  Money Matters Blog by Sainsbury’s Bank.

You can’t beat freshly picked food from the field – and yes, even if you live in an apartment or a flat you can grow fresh fruits and vegetables! What you need is simple and cheap to get: a window box, potting compost, gravel and strawberry seeds or plants and now … go for it and check out how to do build your own strawberry window garden.

But watch out – strawberries are susceptible to many pests and diseases!

That’s where the Plantwise Knowledge Bank , comes into play. It is a gateway to global plant health information that can help you to prevent, diagnose and control leaf spot, strawberry aphids, powdery mildew and other common Strawberry pests that may affect you window garden.

The Plantwise knowledge bank provides you with pictures and technical factsheets of sick plants to diagnose pests and offers recommendations on how to combat them. Here: affected strawberry leaves by leaf spot, strawberry aphids and powdery mildew (from left to right). Source: Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

The Plantwise knowledge bank provides you with pictures and technical factsheets of sick plants to diagnose pests and offers recommendations on how to combat them. Here: affected strawberry leaves by leaf spot, strawberry aphids and powdery mildew (from left to right). Source: Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

The Knowledge Bank is central to the Plantwise global programme, currently active in 34 countries, which aims to help farmers to reduce crop losses due to pests and increase food security for their families. In only two years, the Plantwise Knowledge Bank has become a vital tool to support the Plantwise global programme and so far, over 198 countries have visited the Knowledge Bank to access critical agricultural data on crop pest distribution and best practice information to help manage and prevent potential crop loss.

The most recent innovations include a new Factsheet Library App, which enables farmers and agricultural advisors to take open access data with them to the field. Up to now over 9,000 technical factsheets in 61 languages are freely available in the Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

Some of these tips and tricks may also serve you! Happy National Gardening Week 2015!

Find more resources on strawberries and mint under:
Strawberries: http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank/SearchResults.aspx?q=strawberry
Mint: http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank/SearchResults.aspx?q=mint

A Plantwise Knowledge Bank demo video you find on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1kE05ELJCY

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (15 Apr 15)

P. pachyrhizi causes rust to develop on soybean leaves © Daren Mueller, Iowa State University via Bugwood

P. pachyrhizi causes rust of soyabean © Daren Mueller, Iowa State University via Bugwood

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 reports of Phakopsora pachyrhizi on soybean in Costa Rica and Malawi, the first report of corynespora leaf spot of Eucalyptus in China and a new report of sweet basil leaf blight caused by Cochliobolus lunatus in India.

Read more of this post

Infographic: Plantwise progress in Malawi

Malawi_Infographic

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,774 other followers