Update: Plant Health News (09 Apr 14)

Nematodes are difficult to control but a new banana variety might be the answer to avoiding attack © Michael McClure, University of Arizona (CC BY-NC)

Nematodes are difficult to control but a new banana variety might help avoid crop loss © M. McClure, University of Arizona (CC BY-NC)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the banana plants that can fight off nematodes, the effect of pesticides on earthworms and training for farmers in Gambia on rice crop husbandry.

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Update: Plant Health News (26 Mar 14)

The Plant Protection Code aims to ensure sustainable tea production in India © oldandsolo via Flickr (CC BY)

The PPC aims to ensure sustainable tea production in India © oldandsolo (CC BY)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including research into the benefits of cover crops, the release of the 2013 Global Food Policy Report and the launch of the Plant Protection Code for India’s tea industry.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (20 Mar 14)

Sclerotium rolfsii, causing leaf chlorosis, and root and collar rot of apple has been found in Tunisia © University of Georgia

Sclerotium rolfsii, causing leaf chlorosis, and root and collar rot of apple has been found in Tunisia © University of Georgia

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 a ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma Ziziphi’- related strain associated with peach decline disease in India, molecular and morphological characterisation of Scutellonema bradys from yam in Costa Rica and the first report of apple collar rot incited by Sclerotium rolfsii in Tunisia.

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Update: Plant Health News (12 Mar 14)

Brown marmorated stink bugs are a major pest © David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ (CC BY)

Brown marmorated stink bugs are a major pest © David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ (CC BY)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the use of Stink Bug saliva in pest control, FAO’s article on empowering women in agriculture and new research into the delayed resistance of pests to Bt crops.

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Update: Plant Health News (26 Feb 14)

Two- wheel tractors are more affordable for small-scale farmers who wish to benefit from the mechanisation of agriculture in South Asia © werktuigendagen (CC BY-SA)

Two-wheel tractors are more affordable for small-scale farmers who want to benefit from the mechanisation of agriculture in South Asia © werktuigendagen (CC BY-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including drought affecting coffee in Brazil, new biodegradable mulches that could be used as an alternative to polyethylene and innovative farm machinery used in Bangladesh.

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Update: Plant Health News (12 Feb 14)

Rhinoceros beetles are a major pest of coconut © John_Amend (via Flickr)

Rhinoceros beetles are a major pest of coconut © John_Amend (via Flickr)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including a new biocontrol treatment to control Rhinoceros beetles on coconut,  research to show GM Bt crops don’t harm non-target insects  and research into the use of insects to control invasive weeds.

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Update: Plant Health News (29 Jan 14)

Enset fruit

Banana-like enset fruit

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the development of shock treatments for weeds, plans to monitor pesticide residues in Nepal and the development of enset varieties resistant to bacterial wilt disease in Ethiopia.

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Plant Health Rallies: Giving Rwandan agronomists the tools to inform the public

Plant Health Rallies: Giving Rwandan agronomists the tools to inform the public

In November 2013, three members of the CABI Plantwise team (Dr Noah Phiri and Peter Karanja of the Nairobi office, and Julien Lamontagne-Godwin of the UK office) visited Musanze in the Northern zone of Rwanda. 12 participants from the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) were trained in techniques to inform the surrounding rural communities on serious pests and diseases of important crops, particularly maize stalk borer and Lethal Necrosis, and potato late blight. During the 4 day training, participants were taught to develop a simple extension message that can be announced clearly in less than ten minutes. This message explains the background to the problem, discusses symptoms, and recommendations to prevent or reduce its effects in the field.

In the picture above, Jeanne Priscille Ingabire uses a megaphone to alert the village of Bikara of an impending talk on maize stalk borer. Kalisa Jean Pierre (left) and Stanislas Mushimiyimana (right) both hold onto a banner to gain more public interest before the talk.

This technique complements the established plant clinics in the area, and will help the RAB team inform and help more people with their agricultural pests and diseases.

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (22 Jan 14)

Fire blight is well know in crops such as apples (ARS-USDA)

Fire blight is well known in crops such as apples (ARS-USDA)

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 leaf blight of mint caused by the fungus Helminthosporium spiciferum, the first occurrence of fire blight on apricots in Hungary and the first report of Tomato rugose yellow leaf curl virus infecting tomato in Argentina.

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Update: Plant Health News (16 Jan 14)

Mobile phones are increasingly being used in agriculture © CIAT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Mobile phones are increasingly being used in agriculture © CIAT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the role of radio and mobile phones in boosting crop yields in Namibia, the discovery of ants protecting Acacia trees from pathogens and different approaches to controlling the emerald ash borer in the US.

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