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

Tailor-made crop varieties for farmers

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Bacterial wilt in tomato crops were the focus of this study (© Pexels)

Bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum) is one of the world’s most devastating plant diseases, with major crops such as tomato, potato and pepper being severely affected. Until now, crop breeders and farmers have had to simply wait for their crops to mature to determine the level of resistance to the disease. New research has shown that with modern metabolomics technology, it is possible to determine the level of disease resistance in plants much earlier at the seedling stage. This development could save both farmers and breeder time and money when growing host crops, and reduce the yield losses caused by the bacterial disease.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (13 October 18)

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This month’s Pest Alerts include the first report of sweet potato Badnavirus A and B in South Africa (© 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 sweet potato Badnavirus in South Africa. The first report of Arabis mosaic virus in rhubarb in Poland and the first report of maize yellow mosaic virus on corn in South Korea. Continue reading

Improving food crop yields using blue-green algae

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Photosynthesis is one of the leading limitations to global agricultural food production (© Pexels)

Using specialised carbon-fixing material from blue-green algae, scientists have successfully engineered crop plants to boost photosynthetic productivity and crop yields. This exciting development promises to increase the yield of important food crops such as cassava, wheat and cowpea.

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