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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Reverse innovation brings new intelligence to food chain pest management

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CABI has today launched PestSmart Diagnostics in Europe and North America, a new and unique e-learning course based on training developed for the award-winning Plantwise agricultural programme aimed at farmers in developing countries.

PestSmart promises to benefit the way businesses in the food supply chain manage plant health problems to grow more and better produce.

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Plant health key to reducing world hunger

By Katie Tomlinson

On the 16th October, World Food Day events will take place around the globe to draw attention to the growing problem of world hunger and malnutrition.

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Shockingly, the FAO has reported that 10% of the global population experienced severe food insecurity in 2017 and that world hunger has increased for the third consecutive year. Key drivers in this trend have been recent climate variations and extreme weather events and increasing impacts of pests and diseases.

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The Umatui amazing site women group tackle Tuta absoluta

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Located in semi-arid Eastern Kenya, Machakos county is home to the Umatui amazing site women group. The group comprises 15 members who mainly grow tomatoes, cowpeas, pigeon peas, and maize. It is among eight other women groups working with Katoloni Community Based Organisation (CBO),  a non governmental organization under infonet biovision. The CBO runs a mobile Plant Clinic in Machakos county, Kenya and mostly targets organized farmer groups.

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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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