Tiny wasp that is having a big impact on pests in the Mekong

Rice productivity is seriously affected by the damage pests cause © IRRI
Rice productivity is seriously affected by pests such as the rice stem borer © IRRI

Rice is the most important crop in the Greater Mekong sub-region of Southwestern China, Laos and Myanmar, providing food, work and income for a diverse range of people living all along the Mekong river. However, the yield of this crop in the Mekong region is still missing the mark in terms of potential, partly as a result of the millions of tons of rice that are lost to pests, including insects, diseases and weeds. Unfortunately, in trying to resolve this, the excess use of pesticides in previous years has caused problems of its own with increasing pesticide resistance and damage to farmer health and the environment.  Continue reading

Plantwise Initiative Equips Farmers with Knowledge in Zambia

NAIS LogoArticle by Dorcas Kabuya Chaaba- NAIS

A small-scale farmer in Chilanga District, Moses Banda has seriously taken up vegetable production. Mr Banda commends Government for its continued support in assisting farmers in addressing crop problems and how best to control them organically.
“My vegetables always had holes due to Sefasefa (Diamond Back Moth) and all I could think of was spraying but little did I know that the chemicals were harmful not only to the soils but humans and the entire ecosystem. Through this interaction with the Plant Doctors, I have learnt insects are being resistant to chemicals and that we should consider treating these insects organically through the use of crop rotation and Neem tree, which is soaked in water and sprayed to infected plants,” he explained.
Plantwise addresses the constant struggle that small-scale farmers go through to produce food by providing affordable, locally available solutions to plant health problems.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (16 Sep 15)

Eurema hecabe is just one of the pests found affecting Eucalyptus in the nursery stage © Andy Cheung, CC BY-NC-ND
Eurema hecabe attacks Eucalyptus in the nursery stage © Andy Cheung, CC BY-NC-ND

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 a new record of insect pests on seedlings of Eucalyptus, the occurrence of Alternaria species on cabbage in Iran,  and the dispersal, yield losses and varietal resistance of Sugarcane streak mosaic virus in Indonesia.

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Update: Plant Health News (09 Sep 15)

Weaver ants work as colonies to feed on crop pests, providing effective control © Troup Dresser, via Flickr
Weaver ants work as colonies to feed on crop pests, providing effective control © Troup Dresser, via Flickr

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the researchers attempting to prevent pest beetles entering avocado crops in Mexico,  the use of weaver ants in pest control to reduce pesticide use and the colonisation of crops such as lettuce with secondary pathogens.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (02 Sep 15)

Sheath brown rot of rice caused by Pseudomonas fuscovaginae has been identified in Korea © IRRI, CC BY-NC-SA
Sheath brown rot of rice caused by P. fuscovaginae has been identified in Korea © IRRI, CC BY-NC-SA

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 sheath brown rot of rice caused by Pseudomonas fuscovaginae in Korea, postharvest stem-end rot on immature coconut caused by Pestalotiopsis adusta in Brazil and the first report of tomato pith necrosis caused by Pseudomonas cichorii in Tanzania.

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Factsheet of the month: September 2015 – Control of Black Rot in Cabbage

20157800494Black rot is considered the most important disease of crucifers across the world and can attack its host at any stage of growth. Cauliflower and cabbage are the most readily affected crucifer hosts and suffer significant yield loss as a result of the disease. On cabbage, black rot causes yellow to brown V-shaped lesions to develop on the edges of leaves and move inwards towards the midrib. As the disease progresses, the lesions turn darker, and leaves may wilt and fall from the plant. In the advanced stages of the disease, veins in the affected area will darken.

The disease is causes by a bacteria, Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, which can be spread via wild hosts, water or, most commonly, infected seed. Even symptomsless plants may produce infected seed so it is important to try to source certified disease-free seed before planting. For more information about how to control this disease, read September’s Factsheet of the Month, Control of Black Rot in Cabbage, which has been written by staff from the Ministry of Agriculture in Grenada.

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Update: Plant Health News (26 Aug 15)

With the help of sustainable irrigation, crops in Honduras are able to thrive despite the drought © CIAT (CC BY-NC-SA)
Sustainable water use helps Honduran crops to thrive despite the drought ©CIAT(CC BY-NC-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the risk of invasive pests spreading across Africa as a consequence of irrigation, research into genetic markers for disease resistance and salt tolerance of rice in Vietnam, and farmers in Honduras adopting sustainable methods to deal with increasing drought.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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