Solution to devastating weed draws closer for sub Saharan Africa

strawb
Striga, commonly known as witchweed, is a group of parasitic weeds found in over a third of cereal crops in sub Saharan Africa (SSA). Crops typically yield at least 40% less when they are parasitised by Striga, causing an estimated US$ 7 billion loss and reducing the food security of millions. 
Read Further

Maize disease in Kenya no longer a mystery and being controlled

strawb
Update [March 2013]: More information about the pests and viruses associated with Maize Lethal Necrosis disease can be found on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank. In January this year, ProMed-mail reported an undiagnosed disease of maize that had been destroying farmers’ crops in the Rift Valley of Kenya since the previous September. The Ministry of Agriculture…
Read Further

Stunting crop plant growth to reduce resource use

strawb
Plant scientists at Purdue University in Indiana, USA, along with their colleagues from Seoul National University in South Korea, have found a way to keep crop plants small without having a reduction in yield. The diminutive plants have reduced resource requirements and are more tolerant of severe weather conditions.
Read Further

Plant-bacteria relationships a-maize scientists

Maize field
Many of us have seen the adverts trying to convince us that there are ‘good bacteria’ that we should be making the most of in yogurty, pro-biotic drinks to help keep our guts healthy. Now it turns out that plants like maize are already one step ahead of us – not only making the most…
Read Further

Down the pan

strawb
How about I start this week’s blog with a question……what is the common link between the newly-constructed toilet block in Kithimu market place and Maize streak virus (MSV)?
Read Further

Maize’s New Protector: Parasitic Wasps

strawb
Certain maize landraces obtained from South America have been found to have developed sophisticated defence strategies to cope with insect pests such as the spotted stemborer, Chilo partellus, it was reported today. These findings could help to increase maize yields and improve food security. The spotted stemborer, Chilo partellus, is now a major pest in…
Read Further