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.

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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.

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Infographic: Plantwise progress in Malawi

Malawi_Infographic

New edition of weed biocontrol catalogue gives information on more than 2000 releases

Himalayan balsam infected with Puccinia rust

Himalayan balsam infected with Puccinia rust – a method of biocontrol being used in the UK. Photo credit: Rob Tanner © CABI

The fifth edition of Biological Control of Weeds: A World Catalogue of Agents and Their Target Weeds has been released after years of literature searches and the involvement of 125 weed biocontrol specialists.

The publication of this catalogue, available as a searchable online database and as a PDF book, was led by Mark Schwarzländer, University of Idaho CALS professor of entomology and biological control of weeds (and a former CABI researcher), and current CABI biological weed researcher, Hariet Hinz. Several prominent invasive species researchers co-edited the catalogue, including CABI’s Chief Scientist, Matthew Cock. Read more of this post

Update: Plant Health News (10 Apr 15)

Onions in storage in Burkina Faso © André de Jager, IFDC

Onions can be affected by pests in storage, reducing the value of the crop © André de Jager, IFDC

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the identification of genes that increase resistance to potato late blight, improved onion storage in Burkina Faso and the identification of a natural bacterium that kills plantain moth larvae.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Factsheet of the month: April 2015 – Trapping banana weevils

Banana weevils factsheetAccording to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Tanzania and Uganda, who produce almost half of all bananas in Africa, are only achieving 9% of their expected yield. This year sees the start of a 5-year project to develop high-yielding, pest resistant banana hybrids. Rony Swennen, the project’s leader, says that he hopes this will help to increase resistance to pests such as nematodes, Black Sigatoka and banana weevils. Banana weevils are found in virtually all banana-growing countries of the world and can cause severe damage to the banana plant. The weevils bore into the trunk and roots, which weakens the plants and can cause them to collapse altogether. This month’s Factsheet of the month explains how banana weevil populations can be reduced using traps made from 2 halves of a freshly cut banana stem.

 This factsheet was written by an agronomist from the Ministry of Agriculture in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is also available in French.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (01 Apr 15)

TSWV is one of the viruses detected on chillies in Mexico © Gerald Holmes, Cal Poly via Bugwood

TSWV is one of the viruses detected on chillies in Mexico © Gerald Holmes, Cal Poly 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 report of Alternaria leaf blight disease on oil palm in Thailand, caused by Alternaria longipes, the detection of a virus affecting chilli pepper in Chihuahua, Mexico and the association of Papaya leaf curl virus with the leaf curl disease of grain amaranth in India. 

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