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Archive for the ‘Emerging/invasive pests’ Category

Fresh Plaza

http://www.freshplaza.com/article/138186/Fruit-fly-detected-in-Puerto-Rico?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_medium=ed5&utm_source=s4

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Puerto Rico is readying control and eradication protocols after the first-ever detection on the island of the Mediterranean fruit fly, one of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests.

Hector Cordero, president of the Puerto Rico Farmers Association, told Efe that the initiative is a response to the appearance in the southwestern municipality of Cabo Rojo of two Mediterranean flies, long present in the nearby Dominican Republic.

The Puerto Rico government is receiving advice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service on control and eradication measures.

“The goal is to prevent the impact of pests such as the coffee rust or the banana black sigatoka that in the 1990s caused damage to the Puerto Rican agriculture,” Cordero said, adding that the lack of timely action in the face of the previous pests may have been a factor in their spread.

Francisco Aponte, Puerto Rico’s deputy agriculture secretary, said USDA officials detected the flies during an inspection last month.

The pest can damage tomato, mango, avocado, coffee, papaya and cantaloupe, all of which are cultivated in Puerto Rico, Aponte said.

Authorities in Puerto Rico have established contact with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to obtain approval for the use of the recommended pesticides.

Source: http://www.laht.com

Publication date: 4/13/2015

 

 

 

 

 

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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-07/ntch-quarantine-sign-on-mitchell-curtis27-farm/6373242

“Nothing has changed” for Katherine melon grower after virus declared impossible to eradicate
NT Country Hour By Daniel Fitzgerald

A Katherine melon grower says “nothing has changed” for his farm after the Northern Territory Government declared a plant virus cannot be eradicated.

The Department of Primary Industry (DPI) recently stepped back from trying to eradicate Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV), opting instead for a management program.

The virus, which affects cucurbits like melons, pumpkins, zucchini, squash and cucumbers, was found to have spread from quarantine zones and is now confirmed on 21 properties across the Northern Territory.

Mitchell Curtis grew melons near Katherine until his farm was found to be infected with the virus and put under quarantine restrictions last year.

While the DPI is still putting together a formal plan for management, Mr Curtis said as far as he understands, the move to management will not change anything for his farm in the short term.

“Basically for us, nothing has changed,” he said.

“Most of it is structural at this stage and once they work that out, we might be able to plant crops, not cucurbits, but plant crops here in 12 months.

“Going from eradication, to management leaves a lot of questions to be answered, like whether we can send [cucurbits] down south from an area that’s been infected, what we have to do to stay clean if we do grow here; all those sorts of things to put certainty back into our orchard, so that we can actually grow melons again, all have to be answered.

“It may take us around 12 months to do that, to go and liaise with other states and work on the problem [of] whether or not we can grow in areas and stay clean with some protections in our growing process, or whether we can’t.”

The Territory’s Minister for Primary Industry, Willem Westra van Holthe, confirmed last week Northern Territory farmers growing cucurbits on land not infected with CGMMV are still able to sell their produce interstate with a Plant Health Certificate.

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Mr Curtis said the declaration that CGMMV cannot be eradicated ensured the nature of the Northern Territory melon industry has changed irreversibly.

“I think there’s some big questions over Territory melons, I think that’s to do with people not understanding what this virus is,” he said.

“There are a lot of viruses in melons, this is another virus that we have to learn to manage.

“Once we’ve learnt how to do that and the fear has gone out of what this virus does and how it can affect our growing processes and all those things, I think the name of the melon industry in the Territory will be just as strong as it has been.”

Mr Curtis leased a plot of land from the Northern Territory Government to grow melons on this year, but to his “absolute horror” he found the land was already infected with CGMMV.

“It certainly indicated the problem we thought we had under control was not,” he said.

“It put some big question marks as to how it got there and what’s spreading it as [the land is] about 40 kilometres from the infected area on Fox Road and its about 30 kilometres from [the infected area at] Edith Farms.”

However Mr Curtis said he believes the virus can be safely managed and controlled.

“We’ve got to keep the thing in perspective so that we understand that small areas in the Northern Territory are infected, but there’s a lot of other areas that are quite safe to grow melons and deliver them with no virus,” he said.

“We’ve got to make sure we don’t taint the whole Territory.”

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Fresh Plaza

http://www.freshplaza.com/article/137531/QLD-Good-news-for-banana-growers-as-TR4-contained?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_medium=ed5&utm_source=s1

 

Banana growers have started to breathe a sigh of relief, but are continuing to spend money on quarantine measures as news broke that the plants infected with Panama Tropical Race 4 (TR4) disease have been killed, and no new infectious plants have been identified from samples taken. “We’ve spent $100,000 in the last three weeks putting in quarantine measures. We’re trying to quarantine our two properties we have,” said Tully banana grower Martin Buchanan, whose property is in the area around the infected farm. “Everybody should be made to do it. It should be mandatory.”

Biosecurity Queensland have had almost 70 people working on the response since the beginning of March with a further 20 people joining the effort on Monday. An Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) field officer and assistant on Saturday destroyed the 10 infected plants and 200 surrounding plants on behalf of the family that owns the infected farm. The plants are being injected and left onsite. “The plants are being injected with chemicals to reduce any risk of disease spread and they will be left onsite. “We will continue to monitor the farm and surrounding area for any further signs of the disease in the weeks and months ahead,” said Chief Biosecurity Officer Dr Jim Thompson.

A total of 16,000 plants on a 10-hectare section of the quarantined farm are expected to be destroyed to help prevent the spread of the Panama TR4 pathogen. The farm is 240 hectares with about 160 hectares planted with bananas. That will require sustained effort from banana growers on the Cassowary Coast and other North Queensland growing regions, many of whom have been attending meetings in the regions at Tully, Innisfail and Mareeba to receive updates on the situation, and find out what they should be doing to protect their farms.

Mr Buchanan said that the meetings have been ‘good at keeping people up to date’ however some growers were still unsure about correct procedures for some decontamination measures, for example the correct chemicals to use to wash down vehicles.

Both the ABGC and Biosecurity Queensland have made resources available to assist farmers to ensure they follow the ‘come clean, leave clean’ directive, and ABGC Chairman Doug Phillips offered his thanks to growers for their cooperation, and expressed cautious optimism at the news that there have been no other plants in the North Queensland growing regions that have tested positive for Panama TR4, from 150 samples sent for testing. The only ones to test positive were from the infected plants on the quarantined farm. “It’s very encouraging that there have been no detections of TR4 on other banana farms,” Mr Phillips said. “Surveillance and testing is continuing and we would ask growers to continue to report any plants that may appear to have TR4 symptoms.”

Publication date: 3/31/2015
Author: Kalianna Dean
Copyright: http://www.freshplaza.com

 

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freshfruitlogoffp
March 31st, 2015

Banana Panama disease 2

 

The Tropical Race 4 strain (TR4) of Fusarium oxysporum which causes Panama disease in Cavendish bananas has been found in a Pakistani plantation and a Lebanese farm in two more separate outbreaks. At http://www.freshfruitportal.com, we caught up with Wageningen University & Research Centre lead researcher Gert Kema who discussed implications for the Indian subcontinent as the disease’s spread continues.

 

Bananas – Marlith – Wikimedia Commons panorama

Kema became involved after reading an online forum post made by banana grower Hadi Bux Laghari from Asim Agriculture Farm in Pakistan, who was suspicious some of his plants were showing signs of the deadly fungus.

“I immediately responded to him and asked him if he could cut one of the plants to see how it looks internally, so that’s what he did and he said that he was almost sure that it’s Panama disease,” Kema told http://www.freshfruitportal.com.

“I asked him to document everything, take photographs and send the samples to me which he did. We looked into the material once we received it here and we carried out DNA tests and various other tests, isolated the fungus and infected healthy banana plants and eventually we confirmed that is was indeed TR4.”

Initially the infected area in Pakistan was just six hectares; Kema now believes that has increased to more than 100 hectares.

Simultaneously, he was analyzing suspected Panama disease plant specimens sent from another plantation in Lebanon, after concerned growers also suspicious of the disease and posted samples to the Dutch lab.

“Once again the diagnosis was TR4. The acreage in Pakistan is a few hundred hectares whereas in Lebanon it’s very limited with just a few hectares. These are two new incursions in Pakistan and Lebanon and come very quickly after what happened in Queensland, Australia a little while ago and in Jordan and Mozambique last year.

“We are almost sure that it arrived in Lebanon via a man from Jordan transporting infected plants as TR4 was already reported in Jordan but as far as Pakistan is concerned, we don’t have the slightest idea how it got there.”

What are the next steps?

Kema plans to visit the Lebanon plantation over the coming months but is concerned that ‘communication difficulties’ in Pakistan may hamper his recommendations.

“Frankly speaking the communication is pretty difficult with Pakistan so I’m afraid I don’t yet have a good idea of how they are currently handling it, although of course we have recommended for them to take immediate action in terms of isolation and quarantine.

“The first thing to do of course is to isolate, not only those contaminated plants, but any other plants that show symptoms as well as surrounding plants, and quarantine all of them.

“I have never been to Pakistan and I don’t know yet whether they will be following these recommendations or not. At present all we can do is offer our advice and recommendations on what should be done now. I am happy to buy a ticket and just fly out there but communication has been very difficult so far.”

Although both of the latest outbreaks are of major concern and demonstrate TR4 has global implications, Kema believes the Pakistan outbreak is very significant because of its close proximity to India, a global leader in banana production.

“These are both significant but particularly so in Pakistan because the plantation there has a substantial area of bananas and they grow in an area that is frequently flooded which is one way to spread the disease.

“Without dramatizing the situation, India is a major banana producer in the world and to have Panama disease next door shows there is definitely a risk and so having this strain in the Indian sub continent is definitely not a good thing.

“This is just another sign that shows the issue of Panama disease is becoming more and more serious with TR4 popping up in different countries which is a huge alert for quarantine action to be taken as well as awareness campaigns. I really hope that maybe officers from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) or others can get in touch with the growers in Pakistan and see how they can effectively quarantine.”

How was TR4 transported?

This question still remains unclear but it’s an important one for Kema who suggests several theories.

“People can take this along with them as it were, although we don’t know in exactly what form, particularly in Pakistan’s case but we do know that it spreads very quickly. It could be through infected plants, perhaps someone smuggled plants or they carry contaminated tools or wear contaminated shoes.

“We are generating a lot of new information in general terms regarding Panama disease, some of which I cannot disclose yet, but there are still very many questions we need to find answers for.”

http://www.freshfruitportal.com/2015/03/31/panama-disease-tr4-detected-in-pakistan-lebanon/?country=australia

http://www.freshfruitportal.com

 

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USAIDLogoExLgipm crsp logo

This report presents the conclusions and recommendations from the ‘Sensitizing workshop on Tuta absoluta: An impending threat to tomato production”, held in Lalitpur on March 13. Purpose of this workshop was to educate stakeholders regarding the impending threat of Tuta absoluta and the importance of monitoring to prevent its invasion and spread.
Tomato is the most important vegetable crop in Nepal. The tomato leafminer, a native of South America, was accidentally introduced in to Spain in 2006. Since then it has invaded to other European, North African, and Mediterranean countries. Now that it has just been reported in India, there are no natural barriers to its spread into Nepal. It is a devastating pest of tomato, and if no control measures are taken, it will likely cause up to 80-100% yield losses. The exceptional speed and extent to which it has invaded several countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa leads us to believe that it will soon invade Nepal. Tomato is the preferred host even though it can develop on other solanaceous host plants such as eggplant, potato, pepper, tobacco, nightshade, and Jimson weed.
The workshop was hosted by the International Development Enterprises (iDE Nepal) funded through the Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab. The program was chaired by Dr. Min Nath Poudyal, Planning Director, Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC). Forty seven participants attended, including major scientists and experts from different organizations e.g. DoA, NARC, University professors, private companies, USAID representative and other related stakeholders. The list of workshop participants is attached in the Annex. Dr. Muni Muniappan gave a key note speech on Tuta absoluta- its biology, plants affected by it, its geographical distribution, and its economic impact; monitoring and control methods; and the detection, and management of recent outbreaks.

 

Tuta absoluta

Link to the Tuta absoluta workshop flyer: http://www.oired.vt.edu/ipmil/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Report-Tuta-absoluta-Workshop.pdf

Reported by: SULAV PAUDEL | IPM Program Coordinator | iDE Nepal
PO Box: 2674, Kathmandu, Nepal
Office: 00977-01-5520943 (Ext: 207) Cell: 9857011122
spaudel@idenepal.org | sulavpaudel111@gmail.com

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Radio

New Zealand

News

Natural pesticides tested
Updated at 2:20 pm on 23 March 2015

New Zealand scientists have begun trials to test the effectiveness of some natural pesticides on one of the world’s worst vegetable pests, the diamond back moth.
The moth caterpillar causes serious damage to brassica crops such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and bok choy.
More than a billion dollars a year is spent on trying to control the pest. The moth quickly becomes resistant to whatever chemical pesticide is used on it.
Scientists working under the Bio-Protection Research Centre based at Lincoln University, with the backing of genetic specialists at New Zealands Genomics, have been trying a non-chemical biological approach.
They have been investigating the potential of using several native fungi and bacteria in bio-pesticide sprays.
The centre’s director Professor Travis Glare said work was well advanced and they were two weeks into a 16-week field trial.
“We’ve identified several bacteria and one species of fungus that show real promise. We’ve actually got a new programme funded from the government called the next generation bio pesticide programme, a Bioprotection Research Centre programme that has AgResearch staff in there and Lincoln University and Plant and Food staff.
And we are combining our best (biological control) agents and using them in a field trial against diamond back moth.”
Professor Glare said the use of a combination of biological agents to control pests was also different from the single solution approach taken with chemical pesticides.
“The traditional approach to using biopesticides is really very much to mimic what you would do with a chemical pesticide, so you produce one organism and then you spray it out.”
“Our work in the Bioprotection Research Centre has highlighted that really, nature does things through combination. It rarely uses one agent to get to an end point. And so this sort of silver bullet approach we’ve been looking for, for years, is probably not the best way to go.”
“And so we’re looking at these combinations of agents to see if using different combinations of bacteria and fungi together, will have a greater effect than using any one by itself.”
Professor Glare said bio protection researchers also looked for agents that would control more than one pest.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/269398/natural-pesticides-tested

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Multimillion-dollar project using unmanned aerial systems to detect emerging pest insects, diseases in food crops
By Greg Tammen K-State News and Communications Services Mar 19, 2015

 

550bad2ac0cac.imageRich Brown, KSU, Salina, KS,prepares an unmanned aircraft for flight.

MANHATTAN — Kansas State University is leading an international, multimillion-dollar project that is looking at unmanned aerial systems — or UAS — as a quick and efficient method to detect pest insects and diseases in food crops before outbreaks happen.

Brian McCornack, associate professor of entomology, is the U.S. principal investigator on the $1.74 million three-year project, “Optimizing Surveillance Protocols Using Unmanned Aerial Systems.” The project partners Kansas State University’s Manhattan and Salina campuses with Australia’s Queensland University of Technology, the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries, and the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The project was recently funded by the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre — a consortium of several of Australia and New Zealand’s leading governmental research institutions and universities supported by industry and governmental partners. Kansas State University is the center’s only U.S. partner. Australia and Kansas share similar agricultural systems and concerns about emerging diseases and insect pests.

“In both Australia and the U.S., there is a lot of interest in the plant biosecurity field on how to increase the efficiency and detection rates of plant-based threats using emerging technologies,” McCornack said. “Unmanned aerial systems technologies are promising because they’re inexpensive and you can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.”

McCornack and researchers at Kansas State University’s Manhattan and Salina campuses are conducting a series of studies that look at how accurately UAS can detect invasive insects and emerging diseases in commercial wheat fields, as well as how to optimize information collected during flights.

The team’s findings may lead to new pest management strategies that use UAS and other imaging technologies for detecting invasive pests in horticulture and grain industries.

The project will initially target the Russian wheat aphid and wheat stripe rust, also commonly referred to as “yellow rust.”

Kansas State University researchers are working with landowners and the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct approved UAS flights in wheat fields around Kansas. Researchers in Australia are conducting complementary flights to collect supporting data.

Researchers will use UAS to repeatedly monitor FAA-sanctioned fields in key Kansas counties over the wheat-growing season. Aerial images captured by the UAS will be compared and used to identify field sections that have abnormalities, possibly caused by key insect pests or diseases.

According to McCornack, using UAS in this manner removes the current needle-in-the-haystack approach to monitoring crop plants.

“Currently, early detection of an invasive pest requires a great amount of luck and sweat,” McCornack said. “Typically, a landowner has to make an educated guess about where to go in a large field to check for infested plants. It works, but if a farmer or scout has several thousand acres to manage, it’s not very time effective. Whereas with remote sensing, you can scan a wide area in a short amount of time.”

In addition to testing for accuracy, researchers will look at how to refine the aerial images captured by the UAS in order to provide landowners with the most usable data. For example, this could include comparing images taken at varying heights and resolutions — from satellite images to pictures taken on the ground with a mobile device.

“It’s important that we’re able to detect the next invasive pest,” McCornack said. “Since 2001, the invasive soybean aphid has changed how we manage much of the 75 million acres of soybean in the North Central U.S. We believe that using UAS and working closely with farmers and scouts to regularly monitor crops and look for those changes early on can reduce the likelihood of repeating what happened with soybean aphid. Using this technology is not a guarantee, but it can help us understand how to quickly manage new pests that do establish.”

http://www.gctelegram.com/news/state/multimillion-dollar-project-using-unmanned-aerial-systems-to-detect-emerging/article_cdcd3e2a-3c31-5182-9901-97fc29f67bc0.html

 

 

 

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