Tanzanian farmers keeping peckish elephants at bay

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It’s good news for the savanna ecosystem that the elephant population of East Africa has increased in recent years, but bad news for farmers whose crops are being devoured by these giant pests. Wildlife services’ successful anti-poaching campaigns and an increased designation of land to national parks has helped elephant population numbers to recover. However,…
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Which is the most important plant-pathogenic fungus?

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A survey by the journal, Molecular Plant Pathology, had 495 responses from international fungal pathologists on what they thought the most scientifically and economically important fungal plant pathogens were. Several of the ‘top 10’ fungi from these results are those that infect cereal crops, which isn’t surprising as cereals such as wheat and rice are…
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (04 Apr 12)

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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 North American leafminer invading Italian vineyards, a new fungal disease on blueberry in Argentina, a new species of nematode in Iranian banana plantations, and three new races of Bremia…
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From discovery to eradication: the coconut rhinoceros beetle on Guam

It takes a large combined effort to successfully eradicate a plant pest. The Guam Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Eradication Project has finally found a technique that could bring them their own eradication success story. The coconut rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) was first discovered in Guam on 11th September 2007. Over the past five years it has…
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (21 Mar 12)

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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 citrus tristeza virus found in Afghanistan for the first time, the first record of peas infected with tomato spotted wilt virus, and a new species of the pathogenic fungal genus…
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Where did black sigatoka come from?

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Black sigatoka, or black leaf streak disease, a disease of bananas and plantains caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis, has caused widespread losses to banana crops over the past 50 years. A new study of the phylogeography of black sigatoka on banana leaves from around the world has helped to elucidate the recent origins of…
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Crop monitoring from space

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The USDA Agricultural Research Service, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), is developing a computer model to map evapotranspiration data from Landsat satellites, which can be used to remotely assess crop health. The US Geological Survey Landsat satellites have been in orbit since 1972.…
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (05 March 12)

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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 time the sapote fruit fly has been found on citrus in Brazil, Fusarium species causing cucumber rot in Iran, and a new species of nematode discovered in India.
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Shouting out about plant clinics

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Plantwise works with in-country agencies to set up plant clinics, which farmers can attend with a sample of their affected crops to obtain a diagnosis and treatment advice. Plant clinics are often run in larger towns or villages, and farmers can travel many miles to talk to a plant doctor to solve their crop problems.…
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (21 Feb 12)

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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, unnamed virus infecting tomatoes and Euphorbia species in Venezuela; first reports of watermelon viruses in Palestine and Serbia; and a phytoplasma that infects prickly pear being found in…
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