Update: Plant Health News (28 Aug 13)

Coffee Rust is threatening coffee crops in South America © Carvalho et al CC-BY)

Coffee Rust is threatening coffee crops in South America © Carvalho et al (CC-BY)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including two new types of coffee rust found in Costa Rica, the release of two extra-early maturing white maize Hybrids in Nigeria and the farmers who are diversifying their crops to increase resilience to climate change. 

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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A Happy Brinjal Farmer in the North of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka plant doctor

The farmer studies the mites on his crop © CABI

In Sri Lanka many plant clinics are running to provide free advice to farmers. One such plant clinic at Mallavi vegetable market, received a desperate farmer with an unknown problem in his brinjal crop in the beginning of May 2013. He was fed up of using different pesticides suggested by the local agro-chemical dealer and spending lots of money for nothing so wanted to quit brinjal farming. Find out how the plant clinic team helped him and saved his crop by reading the full case study at http://www.plantwise.org/default.aspx?site=234&page=4321

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (21 Aug 13)

The Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis, which has now been recorded in Russia and Ukraine

The Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis, which has now been recorded in Russia and Ukraine. Image by Sally Crossthwaite via Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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 new species of rust fungus from India, the occurrence of Sclerotium rolfsii causing collar rot to Peperomia glabella in Argentina and the first report of the giant stem nematode Ditylenchus gigas from broad bean in Iran.

Click on the links to view the abstracts:

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Update: Plant Health News (14 Aug 13)

Ants and mealybugs work together to harvest food from cocoa trees  © Malcolm Tattersall (CC BY-NC-SA)

Ants and mealybugs work together to harvest food from cocoa trees © Malcolm Tattersall (CC BY-NC-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including foot rot disease attacking basmati crop in Punjab, Australian authorities intercept citrus pest on curry leaves and the ants that are threatening cocoa crops.

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

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Black Sigatoka Ravages Caribbean

Symptoms of the devastating disease Black Sigatoka on banana leaves. Image by CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Symptoms of the devastating disease Black Sigatoka on banana leaves. Image by CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Caribbean banana farmers are abandoning fields where crops have been badly affected by Black Sigatoka disease. Black Sigatoka has badly affected several countries in the region, including Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada and Guyana. Black Sigatoka is considered the most destructive disease of bananas and plantains and is caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis. It first arrived in the Caribbean in 1991, and has since established and spread throughout the region.   Severely infected leaves die, significantly reducing fruit yield and causing mixed and premature ripening of banana bunches.  As part of the response to Black Sigatoka outbreaks in the Caribbean the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) provided an intensive training programme in management of the disease in Dominica back in June this year. The workshop trained technicians from Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, Guyana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Caribbean’s tropical climate with high rainfall and high humidity is conducive to the spread of Black Sigatoka, hence the training program focused on the management of the disease, including the strategic and careful use of fungicides in order to manage the disease while aiming to prevent fungicide resistance developing. Last year, FAO provided an expert from Cuba to assess the management efforts of each country in the Caribbean affected by the disease, and identify areas for improvement. For each country, a management and action plan was created in conjunction with the CARICOM Secretariat, the OECS Secretariat, the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), CIRAD, the Ministry of Food Production in Trinidad & Tobago and the Banana Board of Jamaica.

There are factsheets available on Black Sigatoka and it’s management on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank, with factsheets in French, Spanish and English. Click here to see them. 

References:

‘FAO supporting battle against dreaded banana disease’, Dominica News Online, June 2013

‘FAO supporting battle against Black Sigatoka’, St Lucia Mirror Online, June 2013

‘St Vincent and the Grenadines: Banana farmers ‘abandoning fields’’, BBC News, August 2013

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (07 Aug 13)

Fungi that cause leaf spots can reduce yields from mango crops (Joel Montes)

Fungi that cause leaf spots can reduce the yield from mango crops (Joel Montes)

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 fungi associated with boll and lint rot of cotton in Iran, leaf spot-causing pathogen Nigrospora sphaerica found on mango for the first time and Bursaphelenchus koreanus found in packaging wood from South Korea.

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Plantwise Photo Of The Month – August

A farmer at a plant clinic in Grenada receives a demonstration of how to make a trap to catch coconut weevils using discarded plastic water bottles. Image courtesy of Shamela Rambadan (CABI).

A farmer at a plant clinic in Grenada receives a demonstration of how to make a trap to catch coconut weevils using discarded plastic water bottles. Image courtesy of Shamela Rambadan (CABI).

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