Ants farm bugs like people farm cows. So said Dr Ben Hoffmann of CSIRO, Australia, who led the Tuesday evening seminar at the 11th Session of the Commission for Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) on invasive ants. That’s why they’re a problem in agriculture. They protect and encourage other pests like mealy bugs, which reduce crop production and have to be controlled. Some ants have a painful burn-like sting, so are aptly known as fire ants.
Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including native ants helping to improve cocoa yields in Indonesia, unseasonal rains affecting crops in India and local mangoes in the Philippines declared free from mango seed weevil.
Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the role of radio and mobile phones in boosting crop yields in Namibia, the discovery of ants protecting Acacia trees from pathogens and different approaches to controlling the emerald ash borer in the US.