Joint forces against highly invasive Fall Armyworm Pest

Reblogged from plantix.

PEAT, CABI and ICRISAT launch the first live tracking tool for Fall Armyworm (FAW) in India.

The Fall Armyworm is a very invasive pest which is highly destructive to more than 80 plant species. The pest is native to America and has conquered the African continent in 2016. Since then, it has cost economies billions of dollars in crop losses and caused millions of farmers and their families destitution and hunger.

 

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (07 September 18)

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This months pest alerts include a report on a new species of Colletotrichum causing anthracnose of chili in the Philippines (© 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 Croicidolomia binotalis as a serious pest of Brassica vegetables in Kashmir, India; a new species of Anagyrus from China and a new species of Colletotrichum causing anthracnose of chili in the Philippines. Continue reading

The role of earthworms in sustainable agriculture

By Jaswinder Singh

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Greek philosopher Aristotle described earthworms as the ‘intestines of the earth’. (Photo credit: USDA, Flickr)

Sustainable agriculture means the production of food from plants or animals using different agricultural techniques that protect communities, the environment, and animal welfare. The extensive use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers to boost crop yields may have resulted in good yields and productivity, but it has caused the efficiency of the soil to deteriorate throughout the world day-by-day. This modern agricultural practice has caused a steep fall in the biodiversity (above and below the ground) associated with cropland ecosystems.

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The Bugs Are Coming, and They’ll Want More of Our Food

Reblogged from The New York Times

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A European corn borer caterpillar. Many insects get hungrier and reproduce more quickly in warmer temperatures. Credit Scott Camazine/Science Source

Climate change is expected to make insect pests hungrier, which could encourage farmers to use more pesticides.

Ever since humans learned to wrest food from soil, creatures like the corn earworm, the grain weevil and the bean fly have dined on our agricultural bounty. Worldwide, insect pests consume up to 20 percent of the plants that humans grow for food, and that amount will increase as global warming makes bugs hungrier, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.

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Future-proofing partnerships

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The recent International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP) in Boston brought together members of the plant health community from all over the world. Large events are a great place to forge new relationships, strengthen existing ones, or simply get everyone together in one place. The importance of working together is always emphasised when all corners of the community come together and find the space to discuss and discover common ground.

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South African ban on Kenyan avocado imports now lifted

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Kenya produces 11,000 metric tonnes of avocados annually, 70% of this is from smallholder farmers (© Pexels)

Earlier this month, South Africa’s government announced that it is lifting the decade-long ban on Kenyan avocado imports. This will result in the return of Kenyan avocados to markets in South Africa, and pave the way for the redevelopment of Kenya’s avocado production industry at an international level.

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New study shows that bacteria can be engineered to create their own fertilizer using air

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It is possible that in the future, agricultural crops will be able to produce their own fertilizer (© Pexels)

Researchers have successfully engineered bacteria to use nitrogen at night to create chlorophyll for photosynthesis. This new development could reduce the need for human-made fertilizers on agricultural crops, thus reducing the cost and manpower required for fertilizer application.

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