Update: New Pest & Disease Records (11 Jun 14)

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4, associated with Panama wilt, has been identified outside Southeast Asia © Scot Nelson (CC BY-SA)

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense TR4, has been identified outside Southeast Asia © 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 Phytophthora cinnamomi in the rhizosphere of agricultural crops in southern Bahia (Brazil),  the first report of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 associated with Panama disease of banana outside Southeast Asia and the first report of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ associated with Huanglongbing on Persian lime in Martinique and Guadeloupe.

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Update: Plant Health News (04 Dec 13)

A new strain of the destructive banana wilt disease is spreading in Africa © IITA (CC BY-NC)

A new strain of the destructive banana wilt disease has been found in Africa © IITA (CC BY-NC)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including a new banana disease identified in Africa, ways to deal with oil seed rape pests after the neonicotinoid restrictions and the role of agricultural cooperatives and storage in rural Ethiopia.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Typhoon Devastates 10,000 ha of Banana Plantation In the Philippines

A NASA image from 3rd December 2012 of Typhoon Bopha (locally known as Typhoon Pablo) making land fall in the Phillipine island of Mindanao © NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre

A NASA image from 3rd December 2012 of Typhoon Bopha (locally known as Typhoon Pablo) making land fall in the Phillipine island of Mindanao © NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre via Flickr (License CC-BY 2.0)

The Philippines, the world’s third largest exporter of bananas, has lost up to a quarter of its banana plantations after typhoon Pablo, also known as typhoon Bopha, struck. The typhoon is one of the most powerful ever recorded in the island of Mindanao and has caused the deaths of over 400 people as well as destroying huge areas of agricultural regions. Stephen Antig, the executive director of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association has said that while analysis is still in progress the damage to the banana industry is likely to be in excess of US$ 318 million after around 10,000 ha of banana plantations in the badly affected areas of Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte were destroyed. The impact of the typhoon on Philippino banana production  has huge implications for many farmers and businesses since bananas are one of the key export industries in the country. Approximately 150,000 people depend on the banana industry in Compostela Valley alone. There are further concerns that the storm may encourage the spread of Panama disease in the region, a disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum which severely affects banana plant yields.

Recovery and replanting will be a slow process, since once planted bananas take a further 9 months to mature until they can be harvested, but it is hoped the Department of Agriculture will be able to provide an assistance program.

Bananas are a key export industry in the Phillipines © Marlith via Wikimedia Commons (License CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Bananas are a key export industry in the Phillipines © Marlith via Wikimedia Commons (License CC-BY-SA 3.0)

References

‘Typhoon Affects Phillipine Banana Export’  6th December 2012, Manila Bulletin

‘Phillipines Buries It’s Dead As Typhoon Bopha Death Toll Rises’, 7th Decemeber 2012, The Guardian 

‘Phillipines: Pablo Destroys 1/4 of Banana Plantations, 6th December 2012, Fresh Plaza

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