A new pesticide is all the buzz

Rusty patched bumble bee feeding on wild bergamot
Bees’ fuzzy yellow bodies and hairy legs are custom-built for picking up pollen. Nothing can distribute the yellow powder more efficiently—something farmers that shell out for commercial beehives every growing season know all too well. And starting with this fall’s growing season, bees may be given some cargo to carry on their outbound journey to the blossoms: pesticides.
Read Further

Factsheet of the month: January 2015 – Management of clubroot disease in crucifers

Clubroot is a serious disease of crucifers. It is found in many countries across the world (see the Plantwise distribution map).  It is caused by the fungus Plasmodiophora brassicae, whose spores can live for many years in the soil. This makes the disease difficult to control once a field has been infected. To find out more about…
Read Further

What CABI Is Doing To Tackle Major Coffee Rust Outbreaks In Central America

Guatemala has declared a state of agricultural emergency after coffee rust fungus has affected approximately 193,000ha of coffee, equating to 70% of the national crop. As a result of the outbreak, Guatemala is releasing $13.7m (£8.7m) in emergency aid to help farmers buy pesticides and to inform farmers on ways to manage the disease. Honduras…
Read Further

Sweet Like Chocolate: Breeding Programs Combating Fungal Diseases of Cocoa in Ecuador

Cocoa, Theobroma cacao L. is the third most important export product in Ecuador; a country which produces 70% of the world’s highly prized Arriba cocoa. However, the sustainability of this crop is threatened by a number of devastating pest species including fungal diseases and insect pests. Among the most severe are the closely related fungal diseases…
Read Further

Arctic fungus spreads to UK

Scientists have recently identified the first specimens of the fungus Sclerotinia subarctica in the UK. The fungus has not previously been found this far south and may pose a risk to UK agriculture. The findings were made by scientists at the Warwick Crop Centre at the University of Warwick.
Read Further

Yellow Rust Adds to Famine Worries

Source: allafrica.com In terms of food security the big story recently is that two regions of southern Somalia are in the midst of a famine. More than 10 million people are currently at risk of starvation with 1.8 million people displaced in East Africa’s worst drought for 60 years. Ethiopia and Kenya are neighbouring food…
Read Further

Do you like your coffee wilted?

According to CABI’s Peter Baker at the recent ISEAL Conference the International coffee community may be failing farmers in providing them with support in adapting to upcoming climate risks. Changes in the climate can have dire consequences for farmers within developing countries. They can change the distribution ranges of insect pests, causing pests to migrate into…
Read Further

Afghan opium harvest halved by blight

A mysterious disease is blighting Afghan opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) destroying nearly half of the opium harvest in 2010, according to a report published in September by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Production in 2010 was at its lowest level since 2003, estimated at 3,600 tonnes – a 48% decrease from 6,900 tonnes…
Read Further