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Archive for the ‘Emerging/invasive pests’ Category

Philippine Information Agency

October 14, 2014

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct 14 (PIA) – The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has been stepping up its information campaign, monitoring and eradication operations as key strategies in strengthening defense against the threat of Coconut Scale Insect (CSI) or cocolisap infestation in the Bicol region.

PCA Bicol regional manager Mateo Zipagan said part of these strategies is the creation and training of the Bicol CSI Task Force held on October 8-9 at the PCA Albay Research Center in Banao, Guinobatan Albay to further strengthen their stand against the threat of CSI spread in the region.

“This activity aims to strengthen our stand against the threat of CSI spread in all fronts. Focal persons from all provinces and partner agencies in the region will be part of the task force and our field team whenever surveillance and control operations are to be done,” Zipagan said.

He revealed that nine coconut trees in Sta Elena and Del Gallego have been identified as infected with cocolisap but is now under control after conducting trunk injection further noting that a defense line has been established to prevent further spread and ensure proper monitoring.

Quarantine operations has likewise been conducted in the region to prevent the spread of CSI from infested to non-infested areas as specified under Executive Order No. 169.

The said EO aims to establish emergency measures to control and manage the spread and damage of Aspidiotus rigidus or cocolisap in the country designating the PCA as the lead agency for the purpose.

“Land and seaport checkpoints have been established in all provinces in the region manned by deputized plant quarantine inspector (PQI) and quarantine guards,” Zipagan said.

From the said checkpoints, he cited the interception and return to origin of 500 pieces coconut seedlings and 60 pieces mango seedlings from Unisan, Quezon and confiscation and burning of 30 pieces infested coconut seedlings from Gumaca, Quezon to Macahadoc, Sta Elena, Camarines Norte.

CSI outbreak has been declared in Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and Quezon.

CCA senior science research specialist Johana Orense said infestation of CSI anchored in masses on the underside of infested leaflet involves yellowing and wilting of infested leaves and eventual drying at advanced stage.

“Among the visible damages are lesser and undersized nuts, shorter leaves and discolored leaflets due to drying and reduced photosynthetic activity,” she said.

Orense noted that among the factors that can trigger pest outbreak factors are temperature, relative humidity, pollutants level, climate change, planting density, susceptibility of host plants and population imbalance of the pest and natural enemies.

“If all the environmental factors favorable to CSI outbreak are met and no interventions or treatment will be made, then an outbreak will most likely occur within a 15 kilometer radius from the focus of infestation in less than a year,” she explained.

Three species of beetles and wasps identified as natural enemies of cocolisap are being mass-produced in the laboratories of PCA and Regional Crop Protection Center.

“These natural enemies are being released to control the population of cocolisap and restore a balanced ecosystem,” Orense said.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571413251176/pca-steps-up-defense-to-curb-threat-of-cocolisap-infestation-in-bicol#sth

 

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http://grist.org/food/relax-california-isnt-about-to-dump-pesticides-on-organic-farms/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%2520Nov%252013&utm_campaign=daily

By Nathanael Johnson
13 Nov 2014 12:40 PM

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There’s a story going round right now that makes it sound like the California Department of Food and Agriculture is planning to spray pesticides on organic farms, forcing them to go conventional. What’s actually happening is a lot less exciting, but still worth knowing about.

First, the background: Yes, the state of California does pest control — and that’s a good thing. Insect control doesn’t work very well if it’s done in a patchwork. You knock out some here and some there, but the bugs between those patches thrive and come back stronger the next year. This is especially true when you’re dealing with a non-native organism that’s just been introduced. If you can get rid of those pioneers, you have far less need for pest control in the long run.

For about the last 20 years, California has used integrated pest management — which means it tries to handle problems without chemicals, if at all possible. Often this means using biological controls, releasing predators or parasites that will kill the pest.

For instance: Every day, an airplane flies over the Los Angeles basin, releasing a stream of sterile male Mediterranean fruit flies. Those flies go out and mate with the females, preventing them from reproducing. It works, and it has prevented farmers from turning to pesticides.

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And then there are times when the state decides that the best way to deal with a pest is with a chemical pesticide. And yes, if the state decides it really needs to, it can spray on someone’s farm, even an organic farm. That has actually occurred, said Steve Lyle, spokesperson for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, but it’s incredibly rare.

All this has been going on for years. But now the state has put out a new environmental impact report that details everything it does in pest control. The individual programs — like the Mediterranean fruit fly program — all have their own environmental approvals. All this new report does is put everything into one document and update it. “This doesn’t give us any new authority,” Lyle said.

Still, this is an opportunity for stakeholders like the organic farmers to weigh in. Most of the time, the state’s pest control doesn’t happen in farmland. But it could.

In an email, Lyle wrote:

[I]n rare cases, it may be necessary for the Department to require treatment by producers. While a great deal of time and resources are dedicated to finding organic approaches, if a suitable approach cannot be identified, a producer would not lose organic status. The organic industry worked with regulators to make sure that provision is in federal law.

The draft report notes that, in this scenario, organic farmers would lose money, because they’d have to sell their crop without the organic premium that season. But they could return to organic production the next year. Individual farmers would pay a price — but in the long run, there would be less spraying overall, and fewer losses for organic farmers at large.

 

 

 

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Kansas State University
Released: 13-Nov-2014 10:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Kansas State University

Newswise — MANHATTAN, Kansas — Several states, including Kansas, are trying to protect their borders from a little beetle that could cost the black walnut industry millions of dollars. Kansas Forest Service specialists at Kansas State University say you could be spreading the disease without knowing it.
Thousand cankers disease has been confirmed in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Vermont, Nevada, California, Idaho, Washington, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Several quarantines have been established in an attempt to prevent the disease from spreading. States in quarantine include Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wyoming and Montana.
“It’s an interesting disease that requires two parts,” said Ryan Armbrust, a forest health specialist with the Kansas Forest Service. “There’s a small walnut twig beetle that will feed on the twigs of black walnut trees. In doing this, it will spread a fungus that causes cankers and causes the tree’s vascular system to clog up and die.”
The beetle is tiny —about the size of the letter “i” in the word Liberty on a dime. The flight season for the beetle is typically in the warmer months, but it can survive in the tree throughout the year. Since there are currently no viable treatment options, Armbrust says the best defense is to avoid moving black walnut tree firewood or lumber out of an area, especially if it still contains the bark.
“While it may seem safer to move black walnut material in the wintertime, when the beetle isn’t flying around, that beetle could still be contained within that bark. When it warms up in the spring, it could come out,” Armbrust said. “There really is no safe time of year to move black walnut lumber, especially from an area that has been infested.”
Kansas is home to about 25 million black walnut trees, which are an important part of the economy. The Kansas Forest Service estimates the state would lose at least $160 million in revenue from the lumber and nut production if these trees were destroyed by thousand cankers disease.

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/626120/?sc=dwtn

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http://www.seedquest.com/news.php?type=news&id_article=54725

A ProMED-mail post    <http://www.promedmail.org>
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases <http://www.isid.org>

Date: September 2014

Source: European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) Reporting Service 9/2014/164 [edited] <http://archives.eppo.org/EPPOReporting/2014/Rse-1409.pdf>

 

A systematic survey for the presence of potato cyst nematodes (_Globodera rostochiensis_ and _G. pallida_ — both EPPO A2 List) was initiated in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2011. Until 2012, only _G. rostochiensis_ had been detected in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In autumn 2012, viable cysts were found in 2 soil samples originating from 1 field located 70 km [about 43 miles] east of Sarajevo.

Morphological and molecular analysis confirmed the occurrence of _G. pallida_ in these samples. More samples were collected from the other fields of the grower concerned, as well as from their surroundings, but no cysts were found in these additional samples.

A more intensive sampling regime was implemented in the infested field (1.1 ha [2.7 acres]) and revealed a high infestation of 1 cyst per gram of soil in the infestation focus. The high infestation level and the use of farm-saved seed potatoes by the grower suggest that the introduction of _G. pallida_ probably took place several years before via imports of infected seed potatoes.

Phytosanitary measures were taken on the infested field (prohibition to grow potatoes for the next 6 years, continuing sampling).

communicated by: ProMED-mail <promed@promedmail.org>

[Both golden (_Globodera rostochiensis_, with at least 5 races) and pale (_G. pallida_) potato cyst nematodes (PCNs) cause serious crop losses in potato. Other solanaceous crops (such as tomato) and weeds may serve as pathogen reservoirs. PCN symptoms on potato include stunting, yellowing, and wilting of leaves as well as a reduced root system. PCNs may lead to complete crop failure. Diseased plants first occur in isolated patches and these become larger with each new crop.

The nematodes can survive in soil for up to 20 years as cysts. Spread occurs via infected soil, water, wind, or on plant material (such as the seed potatoes suspected above). Disease management includes exclusion, long crop rotation with non-host species, use of crop cultivars resistant to specific PCN races and nematicides. These control measures can be combined to keep nematode levels below economic thresholds. Both PCNs have been included on the quarantine lists of the European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO).

In the Eurasian area, golden PCN is widespread but pale PCN has a more restricted distribution and its detection in specific areas is considered of significance to the respective region. It would be important to ascertain the original source of the infection in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as that location would also require appropriate measures to improve the health of local solanaceous crops.

Maps

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Fresh Plaza

The Federal Department of Agriculture is considering tightening regulations around seed imports, in response to the outbreak of a melon disease in the Northern Territory.

It has devastated the Territory’s melon industry since first appearing on a farm near Katherine last month, leading to the quarantine of five properties. The virus has already done considerable damage to horticulture industries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, some parts of the USA, and Canada.

John McDonald, industry development manager for Queensland’s nursery industry, says there was no biosecurity method in place to screen cucurbit seeds coming into Australia for the virus.

Kim Ritman, the nation’s chief plant protection officer with the Federal Department of Agriculture, confirms there is minimal biosecurity testing for seeds coming into the country.

“This is an unregulated pathway at the moment, much like a lot of other seeds that come into the country,” Dr Ritman said. “We don’t test all seeds. We don’t have the coverage or even the reason to do those. Importing industries and seed companies do undertake their own testing. Those tests have various levels of coverage.”

Mr Ritman says as a result of the Territory outbreak, more stringent biosecurity measures could be put in place for cucurbit seeds coming into Australia.

“We do our best to look overseas and take the right steps, but certainly this may well trigger another look into high priority pathways,” he said. “The emergency measures aren’t in place yet, they’re still being considered and discussed with industry, but one possible outcome is there will be testing of seeds, much in the way carrot seeds are now being tested.”

Origins of CGMMV
It’s difficult for authorities to make a combative decision without knowing the origins of the disease, and how far it’s spread. The virus travels on seed, through machinery, pollen, people and even birds. But also could have quite easily been brought in on the shoe of an overseas traveller. One theory is that infected seeds were imported, grown out in an Australian nursery and then sent to the Territory.

John McDonald, from the Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland, says there are a number of ways infected seed can make it into Australian soil.

“If they are direct seeding, the grower will take that seed, plant it in the field and grow that crop,” he said. “Others will contract a production nursery to grow that seed on their behalf, and produce the seedlings, germinate it then despatch it back to the farmer.”

These are the official ways to bring seed in. Complicating matters is the fact seeds can be brought in illegally, which would make it almost impossible to establish the origin of the virus.

Potential links to Queensland nurseries and seed producers
It’s too early to determine where the infected seeds came from, and if infected seeds were even the cause of the outbreak. However, if the virus did enter Australia through lawful means, that puts seed producers and nurseries in the firing line.

Mr McDonald says seed producers will be watching events in the Territory closely.

Dr Ritman says a number of Queensland nurseries have been linked with the outbreak in the Territory. “Seed is planted out in the Northern Territory as little plants that are grown out in nurseries, and some nurseries in Queensland were involved in a couple of properties,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic virus necessarily originated in an Australian nursery.

“This is where we need to find more information, because the infected properties we’ve recorded come from planted out direct seed and from nursery stock,” Dr Ritman said.

Could the virus spread interstate?
Growers in other melon growing regions across Australia – particularly in Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland – are worried the virus could spread. Dr Ritman says it’s possible the disease has moved.

“The melon season starts in the Northern Territory and progresses its way down through Australia, so various states will be progressively planting,” he said. “We don’t know at this stage what the various pathways are, but certainly that’s one of the possibilities, that we’ll see it emerging elsewhere around the country.”

A consultative committee on emergency plant pests is meeting today to consider if it’s even worth trying to eradicating the virus.

Depending on the outcome of those talks, there’s a chance Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic could be in Australia for good.

Farmers near Katherine in the Northern Territory have been told a two-year ban on growing watermelons in the region will be established to prevent the spread of a virus. Affected growers have also commenced destroying their crops.

Quarantine and eradication methods are also being used to contain the 2013 CGMMV outbreak in California, but it’s too early to determine if it’s working.

Source: abc.net.au

Publication date: 10/22/2014

http://www.freshplaza.com/article/129592/AU-Watermelon-virus-outbreak-prompts-re-think-biosecurity-controls-regarding-imported-seeds

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http://www.freshfruitportal.com/2014/11/04/mexico-eradicates-destructive-mediterranean-fruit-fly/?country=australia

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Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

The Ceratitis capitata Medfly

 

November 4th, 2014
Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food (SAGARPA) has declared the country free of a certain Mediterranean fruit fly, in a development that is expected to ease trade restrictions and boost the produce industry.

According to the organization’s statement in the Diario Oficial de la Federación (DOF), the pest Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) is no longer present within Mexico’s borders.

The declaration will positively impact on 1.8 million hectares of growing land for some key agricultural crops – including tomatoes, mangoes and avocados – with an annual production of 17.6 million metric tons (MT).

The total value of the affected produce is estimated to be around 86 billion pesos (US$6.4 billion).

SAGARPA said the fruit fly’s eradication was a result of phytosanitary measures that had been in place for 35 years and the Mediterranean Fruit Fly Program carried out by the National Service for Agricultural Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA).

The Ceratitis capitata Medfly species is not native to Mexico, and has caused high levels of damage across the industry.

Countries that are known to have the pest are subject to severe restrictions, which can hinder international trade for more than 200 potential host fruits.

 

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fruit flya286fe2be5

 

 

 

Photo: ©USDA/Scott Bauer.
A female oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) laying eggs in the skin of a papaya.

 

Research findings should reduce trade barriers and boost pest control measures

28 October 2014, Rome/Vienna – Four of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests are actually one and the same fruit fly, according to the results of a global research effort released today. The discovery should lead to the easing of certain international trade restrictions and also aid efforts to combat the ability of these harmful insects to reproduce, experts said.

The so-called Oriental, Philippine, Invasive and Asian Papaya fruit flies, the study shows, all belong to the same biological species, Bactrocera dorsalis, which is causing incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security across Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.

The international collaborative effort, involving close to 50 researchers from 20 countries, began in 2009 and was coordinated by FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It followed an integrative approach, examining evidence across a range of disciplines.

The ability to precisely identify pests is central to pest management, including quarantine measures or bans applied to internationally traded food and agriculture products such as fruit and vegetables.

Keeping exotic fruit flies out is a major concern for many countries. The study’s findings mean that trade restrictions linked to the Oriental fruit fly should now fall away in cases where the insect is present in both the importing and exporting country, according to Jorge Hendrichs from the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture in Vienna.

“This outcome has major implications for global plant biosecurity, especially for developing countries in Africa and Asia,” said the study’s lead author, Mark Schutze, from the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

“For example, the Invasive –now Oriental — fruit fly has devastated African fruit production with crop losses exceeding 80 percent and has led to widespread trade restrictions with refusal of shipments of products into Asia, Europe and Japan, and significant economic and social impacts on farming communities,” Schutze added.

Using sterilized males to mate with wild females

The findings of the study will also simplify techniques like the use of sterilized males to prevent the growth of pest populations.

A form of insect birth control, the sterile insect technique involves releasing mass-bred male flies that have been sterilized by low doses of radiation into infested areas, where they mate with wild females. These do not produce offspring and, as a result, the technique can suppress, if applied systematically on an area-wide basis, populations of wild flies in an environmentally friendly way. The FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratories have demonstrated that the four fruit flies freely interbreed, which means that instead of using males from the four supposedly different species, mass-produced sterile Oriental fruit fly males can now be used against all the different populations of this major pest.

“Globally, accepting these four pests as a single species will lead to reduced barriers to international trade, improved pest management, facilitated transboundary international cooperation, more effective quarantine measures, the wider application of established post-harvest treatments, improved fundamental research and, most importantly, enhanced food security for some of the world’s poorest nations,” Schutze said.

The findings of the FAO/IAEA coordinated study, published in the journal Systematic Entomology means that the four, previously considered distinct fruit-fly species, will now be combined under the single name: Bactrocera dorsalis, the Oriental fruit fly.

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