Update: Plant Health News (27 Aug 14)

Soil health issues cost African farmers $4 billion a year in lost crop productivity © Gates Foundation (CC BY-NC-ND)

Soil health issues cost African farmers $4 billion a year in lost crop productivity © Gates Foundation (CC BY-NC-ND)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including surveillance robots that can detect weeds and pest insects, a focus on gender capacity development in Ethiopia and smallholder farmers in Africa adopting practices to improve their field soil health.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (20 Aug 14)

Phytoplasmas that do not belong to the apple proliferation group have been found in infected apple trees in Iran © Brad Greenlee (CC BY)

Phytoplasmas that do not belong to the apple proliferation group have been found in infected apple trees in Iran © Brad Greenlee (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 2 new phytoplasma species infecting apple trees in Iran,  the first report of Colletotrichum asianum causing anthracnose on Willard mangoes in Sri Lanka and the first report of Groundnut ringspot virus in cucumber fruits in Brazil.

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Update: Plant Health News (13 Aug 14)

A UF/IFAS study has found a simple solution for monitoring the spotted wind drosophila © Hannah Burrack (CC BY)

A UF/IFAS study has found a simple solution for monitoring the spotted wind drosophila © Hannah Burrack (CC BY)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including  the management of Kanjarai leaf spot of banana in India, a UF/IFAS study into monitoring a major berry pest and the invention of the most efficient technology of vegetable growing in Japan.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (06 Aug 14)

A mixed infection of Papaya ringspot virus and phytoplasma has been detected in India © Scot Nelson  (CC BY-SA)

A mixed infection of Papaya ringspot virus and phytoplasma has been detected 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 the first report of Diaporthe pseudomangiferae causing inflorescence rot, rachis, canker, and flower abortion of mango,  the first report of mixed infection of Papaya ringspot virus and phytoplasma in papaya in India and fig fly occurrence in Rio Grande do Sul State.

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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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Looking back on 2013: Plantwise brainstorm

2013 Plantwise knowledge bank infographic

©CABI

Last year, 2013, was a productive year for Plantwise. There were over 120,000 visits to the online knowledge bank, with over 250,000 page views. This is great news because there were over 15,000 views per month, with people exploring distribution maps, browsing the image-led diagnostic tool, and looking at factsheets on treatment of pests and diseases. Of the views, about a quarter were from PW countries, where use has doubled since the same time in 2012.

We’re excited to share that at the end of last year, there were more than 7,500 factsheets publicly available on the knowledge bank, with 550 Factsheets for Farmers, 100 Pest Management Decision Guides, 3,400 Technical Factsheets and links to 3,500 External factsheets. The Technical Factsheets included 2,500 pests that affect over 4,000 different agriculturally significant hosts.

Mobile is progressing well, with over 450 Factsheets for Farmers having been repurposed and available via tablet or smartphone. This means that plant doctors on the e-clinics pilot initiative have access to factsheet information in real-time as they fill out prescription forms, making diagnoses and recommendations more accurate. Using mobile technology also increases the number of people that Plantwise reaches, especially since the app works with intermittent internet, and can be viewed offline.

The Pest Alert service had 545 sign-ups from 200 countries, including 169 contacts from the National Plant Protection Organizations.

As of the end of December 2013, plant clinics were regularly collecting data in 14 countries, with over 18,000 records of visits by farmers. Local and national engagement continues to increase in 2014, with the current numbers in July being over 50 000 records collected from 23 countries.

It’s been a busy first half of 2014, and we’re already making good progress on figures for this year. Check out the knowledge bank site to see the content we’ve added recently!

 

Yours in losing less and feeding more,

The Plantwise knowledge bank

 

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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