Update: Plant Health News (20 Jan 16)

Scientists are studying a number of wild banana varieties to help in the fight against TR4. Photo: Vezina, Anne / Bioversity International
Wild bananas could be key in the fight against TR4. Photo: Vezina, Anne / Bioversity International

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the wild bananas that could help overcome TR4 Panama disease, the effect of El Niño on potato crops in Peru and the farmers in Tanzania who are being urged to grown drought resistant crops.

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Collaboration between Plantwise and the University of Queensland

Plantwise factsheet app
Plantwise Factsheet Library

In 2014, Holly alerted our blog followers to the Plantwise factsheet library app, aimed to provide country extension workers with a portable electronic library of pest management factsheets. Since then, there have been in excess of 65,000 sessions of the app by our global users. Continue reading

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

Iphimeis dives beetle has been found on beans in western Parana State, Brazil © Carlos Simioni (CC BY-NC-SA)
Iphimeis dives beetle, as found on beans in Parana State, Brazil © Carlos Simioni (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 Tomato spotted wilt virus of potato in Korea, Iphimeis dives (Crysomelidae) beetle occurrence in beans in the western Parana State of Brazil and the first report of Beet yellows virus (BYV) on sugar beet in Croatia.

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Perú: Las clínicas de plantas en los periódicos locales

Ing. Patricia Villegas habla acerca del servicio de la clínica y de los materiales de extensión. Junto a Patricia están Domingo Guzmán y Cesar Flores (Doctores de Plantas) y el alcalde Luis Alberto Valladolid. Foto: Melanie Bateman
Ing. Patricia Villegas habla acerca del servicio de la clínica y de los materiales de extensión. Junto a Patricia están Domingo Guzmán y Cesar Flores (Doctores de Plantas) y el alcalde Luis Alberto Valladolid. Foto: Melanie Bateman

En las últimas semanas, dos periódicos peruvianos, Andina y Correo, han publicado artículos acerca de las clínicas de plantas Plantwise impulsadas por el Instituto Nacional de Innovación Agraria (INIA) a través de la Unidad de Extensión Agraria de la Estación Experimental Agraria Santa Ana.

En 2015, mediante la red de clínicas de plantas establecidas en Perú, se han atendido a más de 350 productores y productoras aquellos pudieron recibir asesoramiento en cuanto al uso de las semillas, análisis de suelo, abonamiento y fertilización, cosecha y post cosecha de cada cultivo, además sobre el control de plagas y enfermedades.

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Tackling pests and diseases in Trinidad and Tobago [Video]

The latest episode of the Tech4agri web series focuses on a number of farmers who attended Plantwise plant clinics in Trinidad and Tobago and received follow-up visits from Plantwise and NAMDEVCO extension workers.

As CABI’s Naitram Ramnanan explains: “We decided to follow up by visiting the farmer in the field and then realised that it was a pervasive problem in the christophene-growing areas of the country.” Plantwise is now working with a group of christophene [chayote] farmers around Brasso Seco to develop sustainable solutions to the pests and diseases affecting their crops.

Update: Plant Health News (06 Jan 16)

Parthenium hysterophorus is jsut one of the invasive plants that pose risk to food production © Forest and Kim Starr
Parthenium hysterophorus is one of the invasive plants that affect food production © Forest and Kim Starr

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the invasive plants posing risk to food production in East Africa, a new tomato variety a hit with farmers in Australia and the use of botanical big data helping to predict how plant species will react to environmental change.

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Factsheet of the month: January 2016 – Blast in Paddy

Rice blast factsheetScientists from the University of Delaware, USA, have recently uncovered critical information about the effect that deadly rice blast fungus has on rice plants, which could lead to more effective effective control measures in the fight against this disease. The team found that Magnaporthe grisea, the fungus responsible for rice blast, causes an increase in the production of abscisic acid in the plant on infection. Abscisic acid is a stress hormone usually released during times of drought to prevent the plant from losing water through holes in its leaves. However, it has been found that this hormone also causes a reduction in the disease fighting mechanisms of the plant.

The first factsheet of the month for 2016 ‘Blast in Paddy‘ contains information on the current methods of control used to manage rice blast in rice, or paddy as it is sometimes known. This Pest Management Decision guide was written by Mr G. Sudhakar from the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), India.

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