Plantwise opens at Milan Expo 2015


A new exhibit by Plantwise launches at Milan Expo 2015 for this year’s theme ‘Feeding the planet: Energy for life.’ Take a look at the story from the beginning as word of the exhibit builds on social media up to launch day on site in Milan. Can’t make it to Expo this year? Play along at home by downloading the Plant Doctor Game today. Read more.

Integrated Crop Management Masters students with CABI Switzerland sharing visions for a sustainable agriculture

Contributed by Melanie Bateman, CABI Switzerland

In March of this year, 11 students from 10 different countries journeyed to CABI’s Centre in Switzerland and embarked on a Masters of Advanced Studies in Integrated Crop Management (ICM). ICM is a sustainable approach to farming which promotes practices that are economically-viable and that integrate the needs of the environment.

This week, the MAS ICM students join world-renowend experts for a symposium on Visions for a Sustainable Agriculture. The students will take to the floor to present on the challenges and priority areas for action in their home countries. Other presenters on the agenda include representatives of industry; research institutions such as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL); universities such as the University of Southampton and the Sustainable Agroecosystems Group at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Plantwise will also be featured among the topics under discussion as an example of a means for providing farmers with advice on sustainable farming practices. Plantwise is a topic which is close to the hearts of some of the students as many of them are very active in the Plantwise programmes in their home countries.

MAS in ICM class 2015 CABI Switzerland

Master student of the classe 2015 in Intergrated Crop Management (ICM) with CABI Switzerland. Many of them are very active in the Plantwise programmes in their home countries.

Update: Plant Health News (06 May 15)

Ecuador plans to improve traceability of its products from field to market. Photo by Vilseskogen/Chris Yardin, via Flickr

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the encouragement of citizen cooperation in the fight against fruit flies in Chile, exciting new projects to improve agriculture in Ecuador and an update from IITA on the spread of papaya mealybug in Tanzania.

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

Which is the most important plant-pathogenic oomycete?

Oomycete oospores © Richard Shattock

Oomycete oospores © Richard Shattock

In its latest issue, Molecular Plant Pathology has published a list of the top 10 oomycete pathogens based on scientific and economic importance, as voted for by 62 scientists. This is the latest of the journal’s “Top 10” articles which have previously covered plant pathogenic fungi, bacteria and viruses.

Oomycetes, also known as water molds, are often likened to fungi as they resemble filamentous fungi, and have similar feeding and reproduction methods. However, genetic analysis has shown that the two groups are actually phylogenetically very different and are now classified in separate kingdoms. Below you will find more information about the “Top 10″ plant pathogenic oomycetes, with links to further information available on the Plantwise knowledge bank.   Read more of this post

Factsheet of the month: May 2015 – Tolerant bean varieties against stem maggots


The saying “prevention is better than cure” is no more true than when applied to agriculture. Taking precautionary measures against common pests can increase farmer income by investing a small amount of money into minimising crop losses, ensuring a high yield. Preventative measures can include correct land preparation, physical barriers, field hygiene and cultivation of tolerant varieties. Unlike resistant varieties, tolerant varieties can host the pest, but are not seriously affected by it. Different varieties have different levels of tolerance to different pests. It is therefore important for farmers to select a variety with tolerance to the pests known to occur in their area. This month’s Factsheet of the month ‘Tolerant bean varieties against stem maggots’ provides information about the use of bean varieties tolerant to stem maggots, also known as bean flies. Stem maggots are an important pest of legumes found mainly in Asia and East Africa. They feed by tunnelling into leaves, stems and roots, weakening the plant and increasing the chance of death in younger plants.

 This factsheet was written last year by staff from the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI).

Read more of this post

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (29 Apr 15)

New records for insect pests of cashew have been identified in Guinea-Bissau. Photo: Terrie Schweitzer, via Flickr

New insect pests of cashew have been recorded in Guinea-Bissau. Photo: T. Schweitzer, via Flickr

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 new records of insect pests associated with cashew in Guinea-Bissau, the first report of Meloidogyne incognita from Radermachera sinica in China  and the first report of Fusarium solani f. sp. cucurbitae race 1 and 2 causing crown and root rot of watermelon in Iraq.

Read more of this post

Atenciones en Clínicas de Plantas y asistencias a los agricultores en la Amazonía Peruana

Texto escribido por Martha Passador y Javier Franco.

English summary follows

Señora Eugenia: Oportunidad para aprender y llevar este conocimiento para la tierra donde trabajamos nosotros. Foto: Martha Passador

Señora Eugenia: Oportunidad para aprender y llevar este conocimiento para la tierra donde trabajamos nosotros. Foto: Martha Passador

El éxito de una clínica de plantas se puede evaluar por la cantidad de productores que buscan este servicio. Algunos traen sus muestras, o solamente conversan con los doctores de plantas.

En determinadas regiones, hay cultivos y problemas agrícolas que son comunes para todos. En estos casos, los doctores de plantas y técnicos que trabajan conjuntamente en las clínicas, ofrecen charlas técnicas acerca de temas relacionados al manejo, control, buenas prácticas de cultivo y otras informaciones necesarias para evitar pérdidas en los cultivos.

Actualmente, ésta es una práctica común en las clínicas, y hace que el agricultor se sienta mejor acogido. Un ejemplo son las atenciones ofrecidas por los doctores de plantas de la Estación Experimental  Agrícola “El Porvenir” del Instituto Nacional de Innovación Agraria (INIA), en la región de Tarapoto. Estas atenciones a  los productores locales son ofrecidas gracias a los trabajos de los doctores de plantas Edison Hidalgo y Patricia Orihuela, al trabajo del INIA y los Coordinadores Nacionales Luis Torres (EEA-La Molina) y Luis Navarrete (EEA-La Molina), junto al Programa Plantwise.

Tarapoto es una ciudad del nororiente del Perú, ubicada a una altitud de 250 m a orillas del río Shilcayo, tributario del Mayo. Es una de las principales ciudades turísticas y comerciales de la Amazonía Peruana. Es una región dónde se encuentra una gran superficie con el cultivo de café, por lo tanto, las principales preocupaciones están relacionadas a este cultivo.

Además de las  consultas,  estas actividades cuentan con el apoyo del ingeniero Román Pinedo-INIA, que ofrece explicaciones y recomendaciones para el manejo del cultivo de café y sobre el control de plagas y enfermedades. Los problemas que tienen los agricultores en sus cultivos de café son: principalmente la roya (Hemileia vastatrix), nematodos (Meloidogyne sp.), manchas causadas por Cercospora coffeicola y antracnosis (Colletotrichum spp.). Mientras son presentadas las informaciones, los agricultores también pueden preguntar y aclarar sus dudas. Es un espacio abierto para cambios de informaciones entre todos, agricultores y técnicos. Después de la charla, el ingeniero Román Pinedo, también trabaja con Patricia Orihuela en la atención en la clínica de plantas.

La señora Eugenia Arivalo, una agricultora de 57 años de edad que vive en la provincia de Rioja,  y una de las muchas mujeres que buscan el apoyo de las clínicas, afirma que las recomendaciones que recibe son viables y le ayudan a mantener las buenas prácticas en su cultivo. “Siempre estoy presente en las fechas establecidas para el servicio de clínica, es  una oportunidad para aprender y llevar este conocimiento para mi familia y para la tierra donde trabajamos nosotros” – dijo la señora Eugenia.

Este servicio brinda a los agricultores soluciones y respuestas a una infinidad de dudas, así como conocimientos que mejoran su producción.

In Tarapoto region, plant doctors Edison Hidalgo and Patricia Orihuela provide technical assistance and advice on coffee production at the Experimental Station El Porvenir (INIA). During this clinic session, coffee growers have received recommendations on pest and disease management, including coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix), nematodes (Meloidogyne sp.), leaf spot Cercospora coffeicola and anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.).  

Mrs. Eugenia Arivalo, a coffee producer of 57 years old who lives in the province of Pioja and one of the many women who seek the support of the Plant clinics, states that the recommendations that she receives are effective and help implementing good management practices. “I’m always attending Plant clinic sessions for the scheduled dates, it’s an opportunity to learn and bring back this knowledge to my family and to the land where we work”- said Mrs. Arivalo.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,873 other followers