Update: New Pest & Disease Records (06 Aug 14)

A mixed infection of Papaya ringspot virus and phytoplasma has been detected in India © Scot Nelson  (CC BY-SA)
A mixed infection of Papaya ringspot virus and phytoplasma has been detected in India © Scot Nelson (CC BY-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 Diaporthe pseudomangiferae causing inflorescence rot, rachis, canker, and flower abortion of mango,  the first report of mixed infection of Papaya ringspot virus and phytoplasma in papaya in India and fig fly occurrence in Rio Grande do Sul State.

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Armyworms devastate crops in Zambia, threatening food security

Armyworms can devastate crop yields © Rikus Kloppers/PANNAR Seed (Pty) Ltd
Armyworms can devastate crop yields © Rikus Kloppers/PANNAR Seed (Pty) Ltd

Armyworms in Zambia are threatening food security by reducing crop yields. This was the message from former Agriculture Minister Eustarkio Kazong, speaking in an interview for Zambian radio station, QFM. Armyworms are attacking crops, causing major damage to maize, cassava, sorghum and rice. In Kabwe, the capital of the Central Province where the first cases were reported, armyworms have already been reported to have destroyed 6500 hectares of maize crop. Despite measures to prevent the spread, cases of armyworms have today been confirmed in 5 of the country’s 10 provinces. Farmers in the remaining provinces have been advised to take precautions as the pest could spread to the whole country.
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Stunting crop plant growth to reduce resource use

One of the researchers, Burkhard Schulz, shows sorghum that has been dwarfed with treatment of propiconazole, with untreated maize plants behind. © Purdue Agricultural Communication / Tom Campbell

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. Continue reading