A greater role for educational animation in extension?

Blog contributed by Nick Quist Nathaniels, Independent Consultant, Denmark

A freeze-frame animation showing a mouldy groundnut kernel © CCRP/ McKnight Foundation’
A freeze-frame from animation showing a mouldy groundnut kernel © CCRP/ McKnight Foundation

Computer animations are a rather special and exciting communication medium. For example, they can be used to illustrate the basic biology of pests and diseases and explain control measures. Animations are also an effective way to show changes that occur over a long time or at the landscape, watershed or even the global level. A combination of animation with spoken explanations can make such phenomena much easier to grasp. Being able to ‘see’ the phenomenon helps viewers imagine why individual or collaborative actions may be needed to address otherwise hidden problems. Continue reading

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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Grand Challenges – inspiring next generation plant pathologists

Julie Flood, Phil Taylor and Claire Beverley attended the ‘Grand Challenges in Plant Pathology study group’ event at the Doctoral Training Centre, University of Oxford, 14-16 September. The event was the first of its kind, aiming to engage and inspire the next generation of plant pathologists.

Biotechnology lab The event was sponsored by the British Society of Plant Pathology (BSPP), the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and CABI, and saw 5 real problems posed by industry and non-academic organisations to a group of 27 young scientists, post-docs and graduate students, in all aspects of plant pathology and plant sciences.

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Plantwise partners hone their pathology skills during UK training course

Course participants learn diagnostic techniques in CABI’s Egham lab. Credit: M Rutherford, CABI

For the fourth successive year, CABI UK Centre staff in June ran a four day training course on Techniques in Plant Pathology. Through lectures, demonstrations and practical sessions, the course provided a comprehensive overview of methods used for diagnosing plant health problems and for isolating, culturing and identifying fungi, bacteria, nematodes, viruses and phytoplasmas as causal organisms. This year, as in 2015, the primary aim of the course was to support the development of diagnostic capacity within the Plantwise programme. As such, all participants were carefully selected from 19 Plantwise partner countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and Latin America. The majority are actively involved in Plantwise activities within their respective countries, and some are already providing diagnostic assistance directly to plant clinics or through provision of laboratory-based diagnoses and pest identifications. To provide a practical management perspective, participants also received some insight on the key characteristics of high impact pests they are likely to encounter in their work and how these are best tackled in the field. Feedback from all participants, who immensely enjoy the course and their time in the UK, has been extremely positive. Continue reading

South American tomato leaf miner, Tuta absoluta, reported in Nepal for the first time

South American tomato leaf miner, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), has been reported in a tomato farm for the first time in Nepal and the presence has been confirmed in five districts, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavrepalanchowk and Dhading district. Studies carried out by the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) in May and June this year have identified and confirmed the presence of the pest in 14 locations in the five districts mentioned above. The highest infestation was identified in two districts, Ugrachandi Nala-2 and Panchakhal of Kavrepalanchowk district.

T. absoluta damage on tomato. Copyright: Peter Kodwaran, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF), Kenya

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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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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (13 Jul 16)

Naga King chilis in India are being attacked by invasive mealybugs  © Asit K. Ghosh
Naga King chilis in India are being attacked by invasive mealybugs © Asit K. Ghosh

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 new host records for the fruit fly Ceratitis capitata in the state of Pará, Brazil, the presence of Meloidogyne enterolobii on Jalapeño pepper in Sinaloa, Mexico and the first report of the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus parvus infesting Naga King chili in India.

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