Using rice to filter pesticide runoff

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It may be practical to use rice crops to naturally filter and dissipate pesticide runoff from agricultural land (© Pexels)

Rice has been a staple food crop for millions of people for hundreds of years. This important crop is now a major part of 20% of the world’s population, with it being grown on every continent except Antarctica.

Whilst rice is known to be an important part of our diet, recently published research has shown how rice can be used in a unique way; to clean chemical runoff from farms before it can enter local water sources.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (04 January 19)

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This month’s pest alerts report includes the first report of Fusarium oxysporum as the causal agent of wild saffron corm rot disease in Iran (© USDA, Public Domain CCO).

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 Fusarium oxysporum as the causal agent of wild saffron corm rot disease in Iran, a report on two new hosts of Prillieuxina winteriana (Ascomycota) and the first record of Euplatypus parallelus in China. Continue reading

Agricultural pest control by bats in Madagascar

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The study found that native bat species preferred to feed around hillside farmland compared to forest due to the higher number of agricultural pest insects (© Pexels)

A new study has brought to light how native bat species in Madagascar are playing an important role in the control of agricultural crop pests. If more attention and information was brought to this, zoologists from the University of Cambridge believe that bats could reduce the financial strain on farmers for chemical pesticide use as well as the need to convert forests into fields. Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (20 December 18)

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This months pest alerts include a report on Erschoviella musculana, the Asian walnut moth (© Pexels)

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 Polyphagotarsonemus latus in Saudi Arabia. The first report of Rhizoctonia solani from parthenium weed in Malaysia and a report on the Asian walnut moth in Turkey. Continue reading

Fighting hunger in West Africa with shrubs

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The African shrub Guiera senegalensis (© Marco Schmidt)

Improving food production in drought-prone, insecure areas of West Africa is a major challenge and concern for governments and their respective communities. A new crop management system incorporating the promotion of perennial shrubs may be a key potential solution to such problems.

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The future for coastal farmers in Bangladesh

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Roughly 40 million people in Bangladesh depend on coastal areas for agriculture and is the most important livelihood option (© Pexels)

A recent study published in Nature Climate Change has suggested that the future global effects of climate change will impact the livelihoods of over 200,000 coastal farmers in Bangladesh as sea levels rise. Flooding of saltwater is already negatively impacting coastal residents in the country as soil conditions alter, causing farmers to either change from historic rice farming to aquaculture or to relocate further inland to avoid such salinity changes.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (05 November 18)

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This month’s pest alerts include a report on 8 new species of weevil (Curculionidae) in Saudi Arabia (© Pexels)

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 Trochoideus desjardinsi in Cuba. 8 new records of Curculionidae in Saudi Arabia and 3 new species of aphids in China. Continue reading