Update: Plant Health News (22 Oct 14)

Community seed banks in Ethiopia are preserving seeds of local crops to strengthen food security © Bioversity International/C.Fadda

Community seed banks in Ethiopia are preserving seeds of local crops to strengthen food security © Bioversity International/C.Fadda

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including a study on the use of predator beetles as biocontrol for the destructive coffee berry borer, a look at the role of Ethiopia’s seedbanks in food security and turning barren land into banana orchards in Bangladesh.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (15 Oct 14)

Diaporthe citri, seen here affecting Tangelo, has been identified on lemon in India © 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 a pathogen that’s causing fruit rot of tomato, orange, and apple in Pakistan, the first report of Phomopsis citri associated with dieback of lemon in India and the  first report of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne hapla parasitizing roses in Ethiopia. 

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Update: Plant Health News (08 Oct 14)

Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) bags keep grain pest free © IITA (CC BY-NC)

Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) bags keep grain free of pests © IITA (CC BY-NC)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the promotion of grain storage bags to prevent pest damage in Kenya, the fight against herbicide-resistant weeds and managing Fusarium wilt disease in watermelon.

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Backstopping visit to Bangkok, Thailand

As the last part of our data management trip, Claire and I headed to Bangkok for the 11th and 12th of September. We joined a group of plant doctors and farmers at the plant clinic/rally in Nong Kung village, Suppaya district, Chainat province. We saw a demonstration on biocontrol, looked through pamphlets and information available to farmers about crop problems, and discussed the rice harvest which was currently taking place. In the backstopping training at the Rice Department, the participants shared their concerns and plans for future data management in Thailand.

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Participants of the data management backstopping in Bangkok. ©CABI

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Farmers attending the clinic to listen to advice about crop protection. ©CABI

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Emily, Claire, Fook Wing, and Siva observing how plant clinics operate in Chainat province. ©CABI

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Discussing data management in Thailand. ©CABI

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Looking forward to a delicious meal in Nong Kung village! ©CABI

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Farmers learning about biocontrol products using fungal spores grown on a culture of cooked rice. ©CABI

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A farmer and plant doctor discussing issues with food crops. ©CABI

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Preserved samples and specimens for comparison purposes when diagnosing crop problems. ©CABI

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View from the plant clinic into part of the village – it was a beautiful, sunny day. ©CABI

Backstopping visit to Hanoi, Vietnam

After our stay in Cambodia, Claire and I continued on our way to Hanoi, Vietnam on September 8th and 9th. From there we drove out to Hưng Yên province, visiting two plant clinics and an agro-dealer. We had the opportunity to speak with farmers and plant doctors about how clinics are going, and how useful they can be for farmers to seek advice on their crops. On the way, we enjoyed some pomelo and longans, and shared a cup of tea.  Afterwards, we headed back to the city and facilitated a backstopping training session about data management for 6 participants. Together, we identified bottlenecks in the data flow process, and discussed how they can be improved.

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Plant doctors at Plant Clinic 8 in Hưng Yên province. ©CABI

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Longan season in Hưng Yên province. ©CABI

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Interview with the leader of Nhat Quang commune while sharing a cup of tea. ©CABI

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Pomelo picked fresh from the tree! ©CABI

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Visiting an agro-dealer and learning about the safety information available for farmers. ©CABI

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Claire highlighting the importance of data management. ©CABI

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The group visiting plant clinic 8 and talking with farmers about how much they valued the advice provided by plant doctors. ©CABI

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Group photo from the backstopping data management training. ©CABI

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (01 Oct 14)

Insect pests of cashew in Peru, where this fruit is consumed, have been identified © Joao Vicente CC BY

Insect pests of cashew in Peru, where this fruit is consumed, have been identified © Joao Vicente 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 record of the leaf beetle Callosobruchus nigritus found in Soybean in India, two new rust species on Fabaceae in Brazil and preliminary data on the major pests of cashew in the Peruvian Amazon. 

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Alternative to fungicides for the control of Pecan scab

Symptoms of pecan scab on pecan fruit © Charles J. Graham

Symptoms of pecan scab on pecan fruit © Charles J. Graham

Pecan scab, caused by the fungus Fusicladium effusum, is a major yield-limiting disease of pecan (Carya illinoinensis). Planting varieties with some resistance to the disease is the most practical way to avoid losses from pecan scab, but the scab fungus can change over time to overcome host resistance. The use of chemical fungicides is another widely used method of prevention and control. However, increasing resistance of the scab fungus to fungicides, coupled with greater awareness of the environmental impact of chemicals, is prompting farmers to consider other management options.

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