Artificial Intelligence employed to protect crops against the oriental fruit fly.

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A new system has been developed in Taiwan which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the monitoring of the oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis). The system uses infrared beams to detect the number of flies present in the area, in order to predict impending outbreaks. It is hoped that this system will reduce the need for…
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (05 Sept 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 record of the tomato leafminer Tuta absoluta in Sudan, a post harvest disease caused by Pestalotiopsis mangiferae affecting the mango species Mangifera indica  in Saudi Arabia and sap beetles found…
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Sweet potato improving Vitamin A status in Uganda

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A variety of sweet potato has been shown to decrease childhood blindness, when eaten regularly. The variety, called Orange Sweet Potato (OSP), provides higher levels of β- Carotene (the precursor the body uses to produce Vitamin A) than its white and yellow counterparts.
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (22 Aug 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 novel maize-infecting mastrevirus from the French island Réunion, a new report of leaf blight on eucalyptus caused by Pestalotiopsis virgatula in Thailand and the first occurrence of Drosophila suzukii in…
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Kenyan plant doctors respond to new data management

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This week MaryLucy, a member of the Knowledge Bank team based in Nairobi, has been travelling across Kenya to meet some of our plant doctors and offer them data management training to help improve the support available to farmers. This training involves highlighting the importance of accurate data collection from farmers who attend Plantwise plant…
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (08 Aug 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 incidence of the grass moth Classeya tenuistriga as a maize seedling pest, the first report of Blueberry red ringspot virus affecting Korean highbush blueberries and three new species of Aspergillus section Flavi isolated from almonds and maize in Portugal.
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US drought could spark a global food crisis

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The US is currently facing its most severe drought of the past 50 years, raising questions about the implications for global food security. The US is a major producer of grain, including maize and soybean, which have both been adversely affected by the drought, causing a knock-on effect for the global market. The predicted reduction…
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Solution to devastating weed draws closer for sub Saharan Africa

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Striga, commonly known as witchweed, is a group of parasitic weeds found in over a third of cereal crops in sub Saharan Africa (SSA). Crops typically yield at least 40% less when they are parasitised by Striga, causing an estimated US$ 7 billion loss and reducing the food security of millions. 
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Banana genome revealed to aid crop yield improvement.

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Scientists working at CIRAD, a French research centre, have sequenced the banana genome for the first time. The researchers have been able to trace the evolution of the banana, as well as study the current genetic make-up of the species. This will help future research into why this crop is so susceptible to pests and…
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Climate change to affect agriculture

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With the Rio +20 conference occurring just last month, the world leaders have been encouraged to take notice of the global poverty and environmental concerns. Climate change was a key issue and with the population set to reach 9 billion by 2050, the impact this will have on food security is of paramount importance, especially…
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