Plantwise Pest Alerts – free email subscription service

Are you interested in keeping up to date with crop pest and disease literature reports? You’re invited to sign up to our monthly pest alert email containing links to recently published scientific literature from around the globe.

On sign up, select which country or region you are interested in, or the Worldwide regional option. Feel free to sign up more than once if you would like to receive reports on multiple countries or regions.

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CABI leads rapid identification of Fall Armyworm

Fall Armyworm larvae seen in Ghana (J. Crozier, CABI)

Identifying armyworms usually involves taking the larvae that have caused the damage, waiting for them to develop in to adults and then studying the body and markings of these adults to identify the species collected. This process causes delays to identification, and could therefore delay action for what are some of the most ravaging crop pests in the world. However, scientists from CABI and Ghana’s Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate have been able to speed up identification using molecular techniques to confirm the identity of fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) from the larvae alone.

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Shifting gears: expansion of e-plant clinics in Kenya

“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid!”  Passionate words spoken in 2014 during an indelible Oscar moment. The utterance of these words, coupled with the winning of an Academy Award, announced Lupita Nyong’o’s entry into the global stage. Two years later in Lupita’s country of origin, Kenya, long-held dreams in the plant health sector are realized.

Plant doctors (in green lab coats) attending to farmers at Kithumu plant clinic in Embu County

Indeed, the journey to realizing the usefulness of mobile technologies for the plant health sector has been long, and to some extent treacherous. Was the Plantwise program setting up the agricultural extension officers for failure? Was the program having unrealistic expectations? Could it be, in the program’s quest to keep up with the times, it was essentially building an ivory tower? All these were questions Plantwise grappled with in 2014 when it introduced mobile technologies for the running of plant clinics.

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Making the most of the knowledge bank: How to enhance your country’s content

Contributed by Léna Durocher-Granger and Kate Dey

Are you perhaps a coffee expert, a research scientist, post-graduate student in crop management, an extension officer working at the Ministry of Agriculture? Would you like to contribute to the plant health system of your country, bring the Plantwise methodology to your institute, help us with the translation of content so it can be used locally or improve your extension writing skills?

Well, we have made it easier for you to get involved with the development of essential extension materials and enhance pest management and control information for your country. You now have the power to download and edit Green Lists– a type of Pest Management Decision Guides (PMDGs) which provide simple and vital prevention, management and control information for extension workers and farmers. They contain generic non-chemical and non-hazardous advice such as cultural and mechanical control.

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Plantwise showcases open access Knowledge Bank at global open data summit

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Dr Nicholls addressing the GODAN Summit; © Diana Szpotowicz

Last week, CABI and Plantwise representatives attended the GODAN Summit in New York, the largest event ever planned for open data in agriculture and nutrition. It brought together key stakeholders from around the world to consider how open data can help achieve Zero Hunger – one of the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2).

Speaking at the opening session of the Summit on the 15th September, CABI CEO, Dr Trevor Nicholls, called for action. “As a GODAN partner and donor we know the importance of building core GODAN principles into what we do as well as what we say. We cannot remain still. Innovation is essential.”

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Making the most of the knowledge bank: super searching

site-searchIn the first post in this series about making the most of the Plantwise knowledge bank , we wrote about how to effectively search for content. I’m now here to tell you that we’d barely scratched the surface of smart searching! In this post we will delve further into effective searching, covering Boolean searches, word stemming and metadata.  Continue reading

La Necrosis letal del maíz amenaza la producción en América del Sur

English version below the break.
Artículo elaborado por Joao A. Jeque Junior, Léna Durocher-Granger y José Gómez Vargas.

La enfermedad conocida como la necrosis letal del maíz (MLN, por sus siglas en inglés), causada por la co-infección de dos virus, está amenazando la producción de maíz en el Ecuador. Según el Ministerio de Agricultura, la incidencia y severidad de la enfermedad fue de casi 14% en 2016 y estaba presente en las provincias de Guayas, Los Ríos, Manabí y Loja. Aunque no está claro cómo y cuándo la enfermedad entró en el país, se están haciendo esfuerzos por las organizaciones nacionales de protección fitosanitaria para controlar la propagación de la enfermedad, así como para cuantificar los daños.

Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms. Naivasha, Kenya. March 2
Síntomas de la Necrosis letal del maíz/Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms. Naivasha, Kenya. March 2012 (©CABI/Rob Reeder-2012)

Esta enfermedad es causada por la co-infección del virus del moteado clorótico del maíz (MCMV) y del virus  mosaico de la caña de azúcar (SCMV). En África, se detectó la enfermedad por primera vez en 2011 en el distrito de Bomet, Kenia. En 2012 un estudio realizado en los distritos de Bormet y Naivasha, Kenia, mediante la secuenciación de alto rendimiento de muestras de hojas de maíz recogidas en la clínica de plantas Plantwise, ayudó a confirmar la presencia del virus MCMV y SCMV en el maíz (Adams et al., 2012). Debido a  que la enfermedad puede propagarse rápidamente (en menos de una semana), en  4 años se han reportado casos de la sintomatología de la enfermedad en Tanzania, Ruanda, Uganda, Sudán del Sur y la República Democrática del Congo (RDC), y su presencia se confirmó en Tanzania y RDC en 2012 (Makumbi & Wangai, sin fecha).

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